From Bradshaw: A Different Look at High Divorce Rates and Rebellious Children

As chaotic as modern family life may seem, the high divorce rate and runaway children can actually be seen as expressions of an emerging deeper democracy.  Unlike times past, many women and children are expressing their courage and individuality by refusing to live in families where they are beaten and abused.

John Bradshaw

Bradshaw on the Family

Advice in Counseling

by Nathan Chua

One of the most common statements that I hear from clients when they come in for counseling is that they have come to seek advice.  I believe that most of this has to do with a lot of the television and radio programming that focus on this practice as a means for callers to get quick and easy solutions to their problems.  One phone call over the airwaves and people expect their problems to disintegrate! 

 Although I do not thoroughly dismiss such practices as unhelpful, it could pose a danger in certain circumstances.  For me, advice can cause people to become dependent on whichever expert they meet in the course of their lives.  As Peck had said, psychotherapy tries to make people competent and powerful; not dependent.  Excessive advice-seeking can result if counselors were trained to just teach their clients what to do. 

So if you happen to meet a counselor who constantly tells you what to do and not to do, it may be prudent for you to reflect for a moment and see if you should seek another therapist.  Of course, nothing beats asking for your counselor’s credentials.  A doctorate or master’s degree will at least assure you that the people helper you have chosen to see, knows his or her stuff.

The Borderline Personality

by Nathan Chua

Being a psychologist/counselor, I thought it would be proper for me to publish some of the disorders that I encounter in the counseling room and in my studies.  I think many out there are still not as educated as the western world when it comes to knowing what is considered a psychological or mental health problem.  We mostly hear of addictions and crime as most prevalent in our society in the Philippines but very few of us talk about the severe mental problems that could have very well caused these lingering social problems.  So I figured it would make sense for me to add a new category for all those who may be interested in discovering a few things about psychology and how it works for us.  My first post is about the borderline personality.  I hope you find this new category interesting.

Are you living with someone who is so unpredictable that you feel like you are walking on eggshells whenever he or she is around?  Psychologists have discovered a disorder among those who cannot either be classified as psychotic or simply neurotic.  If you have seen the movie “Fatal Attraction” with Glenn Close and Michael Douglas playing the lead roles, you have had a glimpse of what it means to have a relationship with someone who suffers from what is called the borderline personality disorder.  It is frequently misdiagnosed as severe depression hence it helps to know what symptoms to look for if you suspect someone you know suffers from this.   

Here are the symptoms:

Frantic attempts to prevent abandonment, whether this is real or imagined

Unstable relationships that alternate between idealization and devaluation

Identity disturbance (severely unstable self-image or sense of self)

Potentially self-damaging impulsiveness in at least two areas, such as binge eating, reckless driving, sex, spending, substance use

Self-mutilation or suicide thoughts, threats, or other behavior

Severe reactivity of mood leading to marked instability (mood swings of intense anxiety, depression, or irritability, lasting a few hours to a few days)

Chronic feelings of emptiness

Anger that is out of control or inappropriate and intense (demonstrated by frequent temper displays, repeated physical fights, or feeling constantly angry)

Brief paranoid ideas or severe dissociative [split personality] symptoms related to stress

If you or anyone you know has the above symptoms, it is wise to look for assistance from a qualified psychotherapist.