Games Feed

I Just Got Played by a Narcissist

She started talking to me about how stellar her performance was at a recent social event, obviously fishing for compliments, and I refused to bask in admiration and feed her ego.  The results were dramatic.  She went for the jugular.  Narcissistic rage in action.

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Why Healthy Boundaries are Important in Relationships

Therapists talk a lot about boundaries, but we're not always clear what we mean by "boundaries", why they are important to an individual's mental health, or why they are important for healthy relationships.  

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Home for the Holidays: Dealing with Toxic Families

Blood may be thicker than water, but you can't drink it.  We are told throughout our lives that family is the most important thing.  I constantly find myself working with clients who are deeply entrenched in the dynamics of toxic family systems.  Helping them navigate these turbulent waters can be difficult, but well worth the effort.

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Tilting at Windmills

They say troubles come in threes.  I think issues must too.  It seems that clients and colleagues alike seem to be struggling with the same issues at the same time.  One week I'll have a plethora of "Victims" in my office.  The next a lot of depression.  This week it seems to be people tilting at windmills.  I'm still trying to figure out if I just become sensitive to an issue so that is what I see everywhere.  Or if everyone is truly struggling with the same thing at the same time.  Either way, I seem to be surrounded by people tilting at windmills this week.

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Power in Relationships and the Scapegoat Role

I'm reading an excellent book by Claude Steiner, Scripts People Live: Transactional Analysis of Life Scripts.  It's a bit outdated, originally published in the 1970's, but still has some real gems.  Here is one about power in relationships, "The exercise of power over people for the purpose of harming them seems to have two basic sources."

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The Scapegoat as Truth Teller for the Family

If you cannot get rid of the family skeleton, you may as well make it dance. - George Bernard Shaw

The Scapegoat in a family system is often the one who tells (or acts out) the truth in the family, the elephant in the living room that no one is talking about.  It is this act of truth telling that makes them the target for family rebuke and this is why they are often the first person the therapist wants to talk to.

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"Let's You and Him Fight" - In the Workplace

In his book, "Games People Play", Dr. Eric Berne describes the game of "Let's You and Him Fight".  I see this game played out all the time in office politics.  Let's say "Joe" is upset about something that has happened in the office, usually something done by the boss or someone in a position above him.  He goes to his colleagues, Sam and Maria, to vent his frustration and to ask for advice.  What does he get?   Sympathy, for sure.  What advice may Sam and Maria provide?  "You should file a grievance."  "You should go have it out with the person."  "You should confront them about that."  "You need to stand up for yourself."  But is this really the best advice?

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