Have a wonderful moment!
Johnny and his mother, Mary, came to my office last year. Johnny and Mary felt that ‘the anger’ was getting Johnny into trouble and wanted to do something about it. Both said that Johnny’s brother, Jason, and Johnny’s father, Bob, didn’t know what to do about ‘the anger’ either. As we talked, we realized that ‘the anger’ was so big that everyone in the family had it as a major influence in their life. I was very curious to learn more about ‘the anger’ and asked them to invite Jason and Bob to our next meeting.
We began our conversation to find out more about the presence of ‘the anger’ in the family interactions. We talked for a while; each family member told me about what ‘the anger’ made them do, think and feel; Mary and Bob described ‘the anger’; Johnny and Jason drew pictures of ‘the anger’ that each experienced in their lives.
We posted the pictures of ‘the anger’ on the wall; we were all were looking at them and trying to figure out what to do with ‘the anger’. They all convinced me that they didn’t want to have ‘the anger’ in their life anymore. As we were looking at them, we found some similarity and differences amongst the pictures. We noticed that they were all working together against what Mary, Bob, Johnny and Jason wanted for their lives. Johnny said, “I think ‘the anger’ has learned to play a trick on me”. We discovered the tricks that ‘the anger’ played on him. In doing this, they became further aware of avenues that allowed ‘the anger’ to walk in; they learned about the triggers that invited ‘the anger’ in their relationship with one another.
We worked together to discover new things about ‘the anger’. Johnny was able to see a link between his fist and the colour of ‘the anger’; Mary was able to detect how intense ‘the anger’ gets when she doesn’t have enough sleep; Bob was able to pay attention to his tone of voice and its influence on Mary and the children; and Jason discovered that ‘the anger’ doesn’t like ‘sharing’. “The more we talked about ‘the anger’, the smaller and smaller ‘the anger’ became”, Mary said.
In one of our meetings Mary said they, as a family, developed a very playful and fun way of talking about ‘the anger’ at home; they learned to support each other when ‘the anger’ walks into their lives. Bob said they teach and learn from each other new ways of keeping ‘the anger’ out of their relationships.
In Our 10th sessions Johnny gave me a letter as soon as he came in. Mary looked at me and said ‘this is a letter that Johnny dictated to me; I wrote it for him. I am very proud of him.’ In his letter he said: “My birthday was last week; I am one year older now. On my birthday, I kicked ‘the anger’ out of our house; I opened the window, and tossed it out of the window. I don’t want ‘the anger’ in my life anymore; I don’t want it at home; I don’t want it to get me into trouble. ”
Mary and Bob told me what Johnny and Jason had been doing between our sessions. Mary and Bob were in tears and said, “We are learning from our children. We always knew Johnny has determination but we never thought he would teach us this. We are going to stick together in this”.
Mary and Bob said, “Since his birthday everything has changed in our home; it is quiet, peaceful, and more pleasant. Everyone does what they have to do; each does their own share; even our dog is calmer”. Bob said that “We are going to stay united against ‘the anger’ and we don’t let it tear our family apart.”
It was an emotional session. The family’s efforts and unity in their battle were acknowledged. We felt that life without ‘the anger’ was more pleasant, respectful and fun.
In our closing conversation, Johnny and his family gave me permission to share their knowledge and wisdom with other children and families who have the same challenge in life. They felt proud of their achievements and wanted to help others. Their significant inside knowledge was passed on to others.
If you are interested in discovering further the problems that bother you and learning more about the problems’ tricks, come visit me. If you know people who can benefit from my service, please connect them to me. For further information, visit my website www.taherehbarati.com
Looking forward to having a conversation with you.
Last spring, Sara came to my office. She appeared to be very nervous and worried about her family’s interactions. She began to talk about her concerns for her partner, John, and their daughter Emma. She talked about ‘the conflicts’ between her and John that made her concerned about their daughter’s life. She was upset that she wasn’t able to protect her daughter from ‘the conflicts’.
She said “my daughter is living in a state of panic everyday, there is no joy in her life; I don’t see her eyes sparkling anymore; she doesn’t want to go out; she doesn’t want to go to school; she is sensitive to the tone of our voices and looks at us when we ‘fight’”. She said: “I am here to end this; I need your help to end this”.
We discussed what ‘the conflicts’ looked like in her family life and what effects it had had on her relationship with self and others. I extended my invitation to her partner, John, and their daughter, Emma, and asked her to give them my invitation. I wanted to see them all; I was interested in hearing John’s concerns for Emma. I wondered if Sara and John shared the same concern.
They all came in; such a pleasure to see them all together as a family!
We began to talk. John said he was concerned about Emma too. He said, “Emma is the apple of my eye and I don’t want anything negative to affect her”. Emma was very quiet in our meeting; she played quietly and didn’t say a word but she listened to what her parents told me about her; she quietly discovered how important she was to her parents and how much her parents loved and cared about her.
As our conversations developed, Emma and I gathered that like us, her parents didn’t like ‘the conflicts’ and wanted to do something about it.
Emma became more comfortable and less ‘nervous’ as our meeting went on. At the end of our session, I asked her if she would come back to our meetings again. She nodded. Her parents interpreted her nod as a big yes.
I was pleased that Emma was part of our meetings; she witnessed her parents’ commitment and looked excited to see her parents deciding to put a stop to ‘the conflicts’.
We planned to invite Emma to our meetings on a monthly basis; however, we planned to continue our weekly couple sessions with both parents.
I looked forward to seeing Emma’s reactions and reflection on her parents’ progress each month.
Sara and John attended our meetings every week; we talked and characterized ‘the conflicts’. We learned what ‘the conflicts’ have done to them as a person, a couple and parents. Their hopes and visions for their couple relationship were explored.
As they became aware of and traced the footprints of ‘the conflicts’ in their relationship, they became closer to their vision and hopes for their family.
Emma came to our meetings every month; she began to talk; she didn’t appear to be panicked anymore. Her parents talked about her achievements at home and school. She smiled anytime her parents broke the news of her progress and achievements. Emma had very expressive eyes; her eyes were communicating with me how she felt about her family. Her parents shared stories of her strengths, abilities and hobbies. I learned dancing was one of her abilities.
In our last meeting, Emma and her parents came to my office very excited. Emma was wearing her pink ballerina dress with a pink pair of shoes and a pink handbag. She brought a CD with her too. Her parents said ‘Emma would like to show you how she dances’. Emma played the music and began to dance. We were all quiet and almost in tears while watching her dancing.
We reflected on Emma’s performance in life. Sara, John and I were amazed to see how Emma freed herself up from ‘panic and anxiety’. Sara and John realized how influential they are in their daughter’s life; they found out that ‘the conflicts’ were taking life out of their daughter and themselves; they became more determined to keeping ‘the conflicts’ out of their interactions. They said “they want to have a happy family and a daughter who smiles and dances and has fun”.
After 20 sessions of collaborative conversations with Emma’s parents, Emma became the child that her parents always wanted; Sara and John became the parents they always wished to be.
Without Sara and John’s commitment to wanting what was important to them and without their efforts to put limits on ‘the conflicts’, what was achieved wouldn’t have been possible.
If you would like to enhance your couple relationship and your children’s lives or if you know a person(s) who can benefit from my service, please visit my website at www.taherehbarati.com and make an appointment or a referral.
Looking forward to talking to you!
Watch this motivational video. It is very improtant how we define, view and interpret our success and failures in life…
It has been a long lasting endeavour to define emotions and feelings and identify interactions and interconnectedness between these two. Practitioners and scholars have proposed many definitions. After years of working, studying and reading, I have developed my own definition of Emotions and the link between Emotions and Core Concerns. I would like to get your feedback and hear your thoughts on these notions.
What is Emotion?
To me, Emotion is an experience to matters of personal cultural social significance, typically experienced in association with a feeling, thought, and action. People usually -consciously or unconsciously – choose their emotional responses to events around them; for instance, whether to see a rainy day as depressing or as a good romantic day could be a matter of choice and association. Some emotions evoke positive constructive feelings, thoughts and actions which I call them Positive Emotions; some emotions evoke negative feelings, thoughts and actions which I call them Negative Emotions.
What are Positive Emotion and Negative Emotion?
Positive Emotion is usually an experience resulting from a core concern being met and satisfied.
Negative Emotion is an experience resulting from a core concern being unmet and unsatisfied.
People feel, think and take actions based on their views and ideas about their particular concerns. If your concerns are being met, you will experience Positive Emotions such as hope, enthusiasm and joy in your relationship with others. Positive Emotions tend to bring forth cooperative actions and pleasure in life. If your concerns are NOT being met and satisfied, you experience Negative Emotions; anger, fear and guilt and tend to take more competitive actions in your life.
What are Core Concerns?
Core Concerns/Values are wants that usually arise within a relationship. Core Concerns are very personal and relational. Core Concerns are important because they touch upon how we want or expect to be treated in a relationship. For instance, if you value Appreciation and want it to have in your life/relationship, any actions that reinforce or limit its presence in your life would concern you. When this core concern is not valued and somehow violated in the relationship, the relationship suffers and experiences distress and negativity. It is very important to know yourself and learn more about your Core Concerns in life. So Self knowing is a key to experience Positive Emotions.
How to identify your Core Concerns?
Here are some ideas that could support you to identify your Core Concerns and make your life more enriching:
- Reflect on your actions, feelings and thoughts
- Make a note of what causes you to experience Positive or Negative Emotions
- Name your Core Concerns in relationships
- See if there is a link between your Emotions and Core Concerns
- Choose relationships that respect and value your Core Concerns