21. Leaving the Mother Ship: How Self-Publishing leads to Differentiation of Self

In this podcast, Avrum and Lorna discuss his (rather scary) process of leaving his publisher to self-publish, and the benefits of taking a stand for self.

  • Efforts to define self and take a stand are always accompanied by a sense you are on the right track...and fear.
  • Differentiation of Self:  Working on oneself to be more clear on who you are in relation to the people you love.
  • The marriage benefits when we take "I" positions.
  • The power of ideas is that they are different.

Sources:
Israel, A, Nadigel, A (2017). It Takes More Than Love: A workbook for singles and couples.
Bowen, M. (1978). Family therapy in clinical practice. New York: J. Aronson.
Nadigel, A. (2015). Learning to commit: The best time to work on your marriage is when you're single. International Self-Counsel Press.

 

20. Johnny Depp: Relationship Expert?

Within every catchy pop-culture internet meme there's a kernel of a universal truth.  In their next few podcasts Avrum and Lorna will focus on one currently trending meme to dissect truth from truthiness (thank you Stephen Colbert) using the lens of Bowen theory.

depp.jpg

This week, Lorna and Avrum dissect a meme attributed to Actor Johnny Depp.  They debate the merits of his relationship advice.  

  • There are 67 instances of the word "love" in Dr. Bowen's book, contrasted with 158 for "fusion" and 237 for "schizophrenia".  
  • "Positive statements about the presence or absence of "love," with reactions and counterreactions, can occupy the scene while there is no objective evidence of change in "love" within the family.  Whatever love is, it is factual that many family members react strongly to statements about it." - Dr. Murray Bowen
  • "If you're in a relationship and you fall in love...the new love, it feels a lot more intense, a lot more passionate...an intensity that is addictive."

  • "When we use the term love, we assume we're talking about the same thing."

  • "Relationships begin with that intense dyadic experience."

  • "Feeling a certain way is a justification for a whole ton of collateral damage."

  • "I prefer the idea of growing into love."

Sources:
www.learningtocommit.com
http://lornahecht.com

Bowen, M. (1978). Family therapy in clinical practice. New York: J. Aronson.
Nadigel, A. (2015). Learning to commit: The best time to work on your marriage is when you're single. International Self-Counsel Press.

19. Does Marriage Kill Love?

Within every catchy pop-culture internet meme there's a kernel of a universal truth.  In their next few podcasts Avrum and Lorna will focus on one currently trending meme to dissect truth from truthiness (thank you Stephen Colbert) using the lens of Bowen theory.

This week:

Screen Shot 2017-03-29 at 7.45.40 PM.png
Both spouses long for closeness but closeness results in fusion of the two “pseudo-selfs” into a “common self,” with obliteration of ego boundaries between them and loss to individuality ot the “common self.”  To avoid the anxiety of fusion, they keep sufficient emotional distance, called the “emotional divorce,” for each to maintain as much “pseudo-self” as possible.
— Bowen, M. (1978). Family therapy in clinical practice., p. 125
  • "When people say they've "grown apart," the problem is they're really too fused, too attached to be comfortable anymore."
  • "It hasn't always been that there's so much weight on the dyad."

  • "There's meaning behind the tough times."

  • "Any fantasy that I can get out of this and start anew, that I won't be in a similar spot at some point, is just a fantasy."

Send your favorite memes to be poked and prodded by Lorna and Avrum on air:  lornahechtmft@gmail.com or (your email)

Sources:

http://www.nadigel.com

http://lornahecht.com

Bowen, M. (1978). Family therapy in clinical practice. New York: J. Aronson.

Nadigel, A. (2015). Learning to commit: The best time to work on your marriage is when you're single. International Self-Counsel Press.

Schnarch, D. M. (1997). Passionate marriage: love, sex, and intimacy in emotionally committed relationships. New York: W.W. Norton.

18. One Therapist's Evolution into Bowen Theory

Avrum and Lorna discuss their personal evolution as family therapists and systems thinkers.  Avrum interviews Lorna about her career path.  

There is one anachronistic moment when Lorna says she learned about graduate programs from websites. This was 1991 and she misremembered reading old-school brochures!

Lorna and Avrum touch on the political situation, but only briefly and non-partisan.

 

17. Monogamous or Monogamish?

Lorna and Avrum have A Frank Discussion About Affairs and...

TALES OF A SEX THERAPIST THROWDOWN

"John Gottman is the Donald Trump of sex therapists."

"What lion or gorilla is completely faithful to their spouse?"

"The affair can be stabilizing to the relationship, for a time."

"If the couple can move beyond the bile...I have seen couples more than survive the affair...there was a tremendous amount of growth..."

References:
Bobrow, E. (2017, Dec. & jan.). What's Wrong With Infidelity? The Economist.
Bowen, M. (1978). Family therapy in clinical practice. New York: J. Aronson.
Nadigel, A. (2015). Learning to commit: the best time to work on your marriage is when you're single. Self-Counsel Press, Inc. (November 7, 2015).
Schnarch, D. M. (1997). Passionate marriage: love, sex, and intimacy in emotionally committed relationships. New York: W.W. Norton.

 

16. It’s best if we don’t speak

"This (election) is going to linger like a bad fart."

"People are cutting off from friends and family because of the candidate they've chosen."

"When you're super anxious it's hard to hear."

"Come November 9 there has to be a way to reengage with one another."

Sources:

Bowen, Murray. Family Therapy in Clinical Practice. New York: J. Aronson, 1978. Print. 
https://www.anxiety.org/bowen-family-systems-theory-how-anxiety-spreads-affects-loved-ones
http://lornahecht.com/engage-with-the-other-side/
 

 

15. Calling Trump a Narcissist is Lazy Thinking

In this week's episode, Avrum and Lorna continue their discussion about anxiety and the U.S. election. 

"Everyone is divorcing a narcissist and everyone is divorcing a sociopath." Lauren, Psychotherapist

Source:  
Bowen, Murray. Family Therapy in Clinical Practice. New York: J. Aronson, 1978. Print.

"You have to protect the population from [Trump] like you do with a pedophile." - Michael Moore, Documentary filmmaker 

 

#13: Sexual compatibility is not a thing

This week, Lorna and Avrum conclude their multi-part discussion (Part 4 of 4) about the trials and tribulations of being single by having an unsexy conversation about sex while dating and “Post Orgasm Sobriety”.

  • Having varied partners or multiple partners is going to be very different for a person who’s higher on the scale of Differentiation of Self than lower.
  • Most people want a monogamous, committed relationship.
  • Thinking is crucial to picking a quality mate.
  • Sexual compatibility is one of those phrases that people trot out.

“If intense attractions could stop short of sexuality and revel in the delights of a ’separate, equal, and open’ friendship for a protracted period, is it possible that those intense relation- ships would have more chance for long-term success?” Dr. Roberta Gilbert

Bowen, Murray. Family Therapy in Clinical Practice. New York: J. Aronson, 1978. Print. 

"Home." Lorna Hecht. 4 Sept. 2015. Web. 23 Nov. 2015.  

Nadigel, Avrum. Learning to Commit: The Best Time to Work on Your Marriage Is When You're Single. Self-Counsel, (November 7, 2015), 2015. Print. 

 

#12: Pay now or pay later

This week Avrum and Lorna continue their multi-part discussion (Part 3 of 4) about the trials and tribulations of being single by discussing mate selection, dating and the relevance of relationships in the family of origin.

Lorna shows her “basic self” in some bleeped bits at the beginning of the podcast.

  • Will my Mother Choose My Mate?
  • Who Chooses My Mate-My Mother or Me? 
  • Pay Now or Pay Later, Working on Self Before Choosing A Mate

"Whatever is unresolved between me and my parents is going to play out…in mate selection and how I conduct myself in the new relationship."

"How much, when I’m around my parents, am I able to be myself?"

"We’re being impacted in a very profound way by the people that love us the most."

"If I want to pick the best mate it would probably be in my best interest to work on having good contact with my mother."

"At some point we’re going to be thrust back into the family of origin."

Bowen, Murray. Family Therapy in Clinical Practice. New York: J. Aronson, 1978. Print. 

"Home." Lorna Hecht. 4 Sept. 2015. Web. 23 Nov. 2015.

Nadigel, Avrum. Learning to Commit: The Best Time to Work on Your Marriage Is When You're Single. Self-Counsel, (November 7, 2015), 2015. Print. 

Nadigel, Avrum. "Avrum Nadigel - Home." Avrum Nadigel - Home. Web. 14 Oct. 2015. 

 

#11: How to Date With Your Thinking Brain

This week, Lorna and Avrum continue their multi-part discussion (Part 2 of 4) about the trials and tribulations of being single, by sharing personal stories as they discuss dating and mate selection and what dating with one’s “thinking brain” looks like.  

  • If this theory is correct…then whomever I pick I’m not picking wrong.
  • There’s this built in mechanism to weed out the people that clearly aren’t a match.
  • The more I know myself and the more effort I’m putting into developing myself, the more I’ll be attracting appropriate mates.
  • It is within the struggle that growth is possible.
  • People need to date with their thinking brain.

Bowen, M. (1978). Family therapy in clinical practice. New York: J. Aronson. 

Hecht, L. (2015, September 4). Home. Retrieved January 7, 2016 

Nadigel, A. (2015). Learning to commit: The best time to work on your marriage is when you're single. International Self-Counsel Press. 

Nadigel, A. (n.d.). Avrum Nadigel - Home. Retrieved October 14, 2015 

Schnarch, D. (1991). Constructing the sexual crucible: An integration of sexual and marital therapy. New York: Norton. 

Schnarch, D. (1997). Passionate marriage: Love, sex, and intimacy in emotionally committed relationships. New York: W.W. Norton. 

 

#10: Chocolates and Prozac on Valentine’s Day

This week, Avrum and Lorna launch a multi-part discussion (Part 1 of 4) about relationships, picking partners, Valentine’s Day and how it all relates to the family systems concept of Differentiation of Self.  

  • How do you pick one person to marry?
  • People marry spouses who have equal basic levels of Differentiation of Self.  (Bowen, M. 1978, p. 262.)
  • Trying to describe the human being in factual biological natural terms.
  • The anxiety that pushes people to put their profiles together…gets in the way.
  • The better able you are to bring your clearest thinkingto creating a profile…you’ll have a better chance of catching in your net people that are a better fit for you.

Bowen, M. (1978). Family therapy in clinical practice. New York: J. Aronson. 

Hecht, L. (2015, September 4). Home. Retrieved January 7, 2016, from http://lornahecht.com/ 

Nadigel, A. (2015). Learning to commit: The best time to work on your marriage is when you're single. International Self-Counsel Press. 

Nadigel, A. (n.d.). Avrum Nadigel - Home. Retrieved October 14, 2015, from http://www.nadigel.com/ 

Schnarch, D. (1991). Constructing the sexual crucible: An integration of sexual and marital therapy. New York: Norton. 

Schnarch, D. (1997). Passionate marriage: Love, sex, and intimacy in emotionally committed relationships. New York: W.W. Norton. 

 

#9: New Year's Resolutions: Tolerating pain for growth

This week, Avrum and Lorna discuss goal setting and resolutions for the new year. 

It’s The Anxiety, Stupid will return in the new year with brand new episodes about dealing with our constant companion, anxiety.

  • “Making goal setting and resolutions stick.”
  • “People can get better at being realistic about their expectations.”
  • “Invest in tools that excite you.”
  • “Isolation is a dream killer.”

Allen, D. (2015). Getting Things Done®. Retrieved December 25, 2015, from http://gettingthingsdone.com/ 

Bowen, M. (1978). Family therapy in clinical practice. New York: J. Aronson. 

Forster, M. (2000). Home - Get Everything Done. Retrieved December 25, 2015, from http://markforster.squarespace.com/home/ 

Nadigel, A. (2015). Learning to commit: The best time to work on your marriage is when you're single. International Self-Counsel Press. 

Sher, B. (1999). Barbara Sher's Official Website. Retrieved December 25, 2015, from http://www.barbarasher.com/index.htm 

Speaking of nice pens… http://sakuraofamerica.com/component/product/products/382

What Avrum uses to manage his projects and practice: Business Productivity App for Mac and iOS. (2015). Retrieved December 25, 2015, from https://www.marketcircle.com/daylite/

Send comments or questions to Avrum at:  avrum@nadigel.com
Send comments or questions to Lorna at:  lornahechtmft@gmail.com

 

#8: The Quick Fix

This week, Lorna and Avrum discuss the desire for quick fix solutions and easy answers, as well as the role of anxiety in change.

  • “There is such a fear of losing (peace and harmony) that people will go to any lengths of compromising themselves, their values, their desires and their beliefs to maintain the peace and harmony.”
  • “Anxiety is so much a part of the life force that it must have an upside.”
  • "What is it about the anxiety that easy answers or quick fix solutions are so incredibly seductive?”
  • “I think that you think that people know what you mean by thinking.”

Bowen, Murray. Family Therapy in Clinical Practice. New York: J. Aronson, 1978. Print. 

Nadigel, Avrum. Learning to Commit: The Best Time to Work on Your Marriage Is When You're Single. International Self-Counsel, 2015. Print. 

 

#7: Dealing With Difficult Relatives at the Holidays or What Does This Say About You?

This week Lorna and Avrum discuss making contact with family at the Holidays, what can go wrong and how to turn challenge into an opportunity.

  • “Is there an advantage, something to learn from that type of experience, to invite all types of family, not just the members you get along with?”
  • “If everything is smooth, harmonious and easy then nothing is ever gained.”
  • “I was surprised by how caught up I was getting in other people’s anxiety and drama.”

Bowen, Murray. Family Therapy in Clinical Practice. New York: J. Aronson, 1978. Print. 

Harrison, Victoria, http://csnsf.org/

Nadigel, Avrum. Learning to Commit: The Best Time to Work on Your Marriage Is When You're Single. International Self-Counsel, 2015. Print. 

 

#6: Back to basics: Fundamental concepts in family systems theory

This week, while Avrum continues to promote his book Learning to Commit, Lorna and therapy intern Michael Nelson have a discussion touching on some of the basic ideas behind Family Systems Theory:

  • Symptom generation in the relationship system.
  • The consequences of cut off in the individual and the family.
  • Giving up of self to preserve harmony.

“What is helping in Family Systems Theory?”
“I would say to you that the withdrawal, the fear of rocking the boat, can lead to problem drinking or drug use, any addictive behavior, depression, anxiety, and physical symptoms.”
“What is unresolved in one generation gets played out in the next.”

Bowen, M. (1978). Family therapy in clinical practice. New York: J. Aronson. 

Home. (2015, September 4). Retrieved November 23, 2015, from http://lornahecht.com/ 

Nadigel, A. (2015). Learning to commit: The best time to work on your marriage is when you're single. Self-Counsel Press, (November 7, 2015).

 

#5: Conflict and Disengagement in Marriage. Which is better? Which is worse?

This week, while Avrum is off promoting his newly published book*, Lorna and Registered Intern Christina Heymoss discuss marriage, relationships, conflict and conflict avoidance.  Do they solve the relationship dilemma? They can only try.  

  • In many conflict avoidant marriages…both people are accommodating, giving up self to preserve harmony.
  • I don’t think you can take lack of arguing as evidence of marital satisfaction or health.
  • There’s not some advice that we can just remember to use right away when we’re in an argument with a partner.
  • The last thing that I need when I have a problem with my spouse is someone to support me in my viewpoint!

Bowen, M. (1978). Family therapy in clinical practice. New York: J. Aronson. 

Hecht, L. Lorna Hecht, MFT-Retrieved November 12, 2015, from http://lornahecht.com/specifically-for-you/#families

Nadigel, A. (n.d.). Avrum Nadigel - Home. Retrieved November 13, 2015, from http://www.nadigel.com/ 

*Nadigel, A. (2015). Learning to commit: The best time to work on your marriage is when you're single. Self-Counsel Press, (November 7, 2015). 

Noble, Ed. Lead Pastor Wisdom- Conflict Inevitable, Carnage Optional.Wisdom, Part 6, Nov. 8, 2015

Ohlson, K. (2015, September 1). The Einstein of Love. Retrieved November 13, 2015. 

Porges, S. (2011). The polyvagal theory: Neurophysiological foundations of emotions, attachment, communication, and self-regulation. New York: W. W. Norton. 

Titelman, P. (2014). Emotional Reactivity, Fusion and Differentiation of Self in Family Physiology: Clinical Case Research. In Differentiation of self: Bowen family systems theory perspectives. New York, New York: Routledge. 

 

#4. Stressed, Anxious and Rushed Parents. The Joys of Parenting In Our Child-Focused Culture

This week Avrum and Lorna discuss parenting and anxiety in our child-centered culture. 

  • My father was not reading parenting books!
  • There’s some stuff going on in the world of parenting that doesn’t match up with nature at all.
  • If a child is programmed to expect and is dependent upon a very intense parent/child relationship…when it comes time to function on their own it’s much harder for them.

Ainsworth, M. (1978). Patterns of attachment: A psychological study of the strange situation. Hillsdale, N.J.: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.
Bowen, M. (1978). Family therapy in clinical practice. New York: J. Aronson. 
Bowlby, J. (1988). A secure base: Parent-child attachment and healthy human development. New York: Basic Books. 
Miller, C. (2015, November 4). Stressed, Tired, Rushed: A Portrait of the Modern Family. Retrieved November 6, 2015. 
Papero, D. (1990). Bowen family systems theory. Boston: Allyn and Bacon. 
Spock, B., & Rothenberg, M. (1985). Baby and child care (Rev. and updated ed.). New York: E.P. Dutton. 

 


#3: When is friendship at its best?

Apologies for the late posting. Avrum has Strep Throat, and is curled up in a ball, waiting for the antibiotics to work their magic.  

This week, Avrum and Lorna discuss friendship, relationship triangles and, naturally, anxiety.  They use stories about Avrum’s early courtship with his wife to illustrate family systems principles.

The visual image of a ghoulish Lorna holed up in a darkened bathroom/recording studio is provided.  

  • When two people can maintain emotional connection but each stay in their own skin.
  • It’s the discipline and the craft of establishing a strong self.

The best time to work on your marriage is... 
Information about Lorna
http://lornahecht.com/lorna-s-approach/#triangles

Shout out to Lorna’s clinical supervisor, Carolyn Jacobs, Ph.D., whose wise words about friendship were paraphrased in this podcast. http://www.socalbowentheory.com/

Bowen, M. (1978). Family therapy in clinical practice. New York: J. Aronson. 
Nadigel, A. (2015). Learning to commit: The best time to work on your marriage is when you're single. International Self-Counsel Press. 

 

#2: Prime Minister Harper Allegedly Eats Babies

In this week’s podcast, Lorna and Avrum discuss the Togetherness Force and Differentiation of Self as they relate to Canada’s national elections.  

Questions answered include:  Do politicians really eat babies?  Do you have to put the other guy down to bolster your guy?  Have politics and football replaced religion?

Family Systems concepts:  The Togetherness Force and Differentiation of Self

  • “Is it possible to become a little bit more reasoned and mature with a little more thinking?”
  • “Differentiation of Self is the idea that each of us has a certain ability to separate our thinking from our feeling.”
  • “The force to be a separate, autonomous self can get squashed by the togetherness when anxiety is up.”

Bowen, M. (1978). Family therapy in clinical practice. New York: J. Aronson. 
Hecht, L. (2015, September 17). Lorna' s Approach
Nadigel, A. (2015). Learning to commit: The best time to work on your marriage is when you're single. Self-Counsel Press, (November 7, 2015).