Relationship & Family

Clear Thinking About Partner Abuse

Partner abuse can be a ”muddy” issue for the two people directly involved, concerned friends and relatives, and even helping professionals. What defines an abusive relationship? What differentiates it from an up-and-down, stormy or just plain bad relationship? And, if someone feels abused or threatened by their romantic partner, how do they decide whether to…

Creating a Healthy Family Environment

The adults set the tone in terms of everyone being treated with love and respect. The needs of the children come first, though it is important for the adults to also take care of themselves and each other. Children who are showing signs of distress with their emotions or behavior should get prompt medical and…

Eldercare: Choices and Dilemmas

At some point, most people are called upon to assist an aging parent or other close relative who has become less able to manage on their own. Fortunately, caregiving options for older adults have expanded so that it is no longer just a choice of living with relatives or going to a nursing home. Many…

How To Deal With Hostile or Abusive People

1. Get clear about what constitutes hostile or abusive behavior. Examples: Sulking, passive-aggressive behavior, giving the “silent treatment” Constant criticism & blame Sarcasm or verbal barbs, put-downs, name-calling Yelling or berating you. Using things against you, social humiliation Physical intimidation (e.g., getting “in your face”) Property damage (e.g., throwing or breaking things) Direct or implied…

When “Helping” Becomes Enabling

We all want to be supportive of family and friends, especially when there is a crisis of some sort. Usually, it is sufficient to provide non-judgmental listening and perhaps some practical assistance to help someone through a difficult time. And many people are open to seeking professional help if they are experiencing serious emotional/ psychological…