Articles

Full Interview for PsychCentral Article on Couples and Stonewalling

Last year, I was interviewed by Margarita Tartakovsky, M.S., an Associate Editor at PsychCentral in order to help provide information for her article on couples and stonewalling.  In my previous post, I shared the link to the published article in which you can see quotes from our interview.  However, I thought I’d share the full interview for those that might be interested in a deeper look at my thoughts about stonewalling, how it impacts relationships, and what to do when it occurs.

 

1) How do you define stonewalling?
Stonewalling is when an individual emotionally and/or physically withdrawals from an interaction with their partner due to feeling psychologically or physiologically overwhelmed (i.e. hurt, angry, frustrated, self-protective, etc.).

2) What are examples of stonewalling?
Rather than staying connected with their partner and addressing any personal or couple issues that are present, someone who is stonewalling may remain unresponsive to any attempts made by their partner or therapist to reengage. They emotionally shut down and resist         discussing triggering emotions or topics as they struggle to tolerate discomfort. In addition, they may physically turn away, cease eye contact, cross their arms, or even leave the room. Typically, stonewalling can be described as an uncomfortable and hurtful silence.

​3) ​Why is stonewalling so damaging to relationships?
​The person who chooses to stonewall is no longer participating in self-reflection and subsequently personal growth. By doing so, they are no longer contributing to the health and well-being of their relationship as they have become a hindrance to moving forward. In addition, the partner that wishes to remain engaged and continue working on their dynamic may often become angry, frustrated, and resentful as their efforts are ignored. The partner may begin to feel disrespected, undervalued, and even begin to question if this is the type of behavior they are willing to tolerate in a loved one.

4) ​How can people stop stonewalling (in themselves)?
​Self-soothe. It is extremely valuable for anyone to continually practice self-soothing as we are the only ones that have control over our emotional state and behaviors. Often times, couples will look to one another to fix or soothe their emotions and make the situation better. However, it is our responsibility to do our own emotional work and behave with integrity in all our affairs. Therefore, if someone wants to have a deeper, more intimate relationship, they need to behave in ways that honor that desire. This means soothing your heart long enough to be honest and clear with yourself (as well as your partner) about what is coming up for you. You need to settle yourself so you can be be responsive, not reactive.

​5) ​How might readers prevent their partners from stonewalling (for instance, they might communicate more ​ ​compassionately or not yell or lose their temper, etc)?
​It is not your responsibility to prevent your partner from stonewalling nor do you have that ability. Although speaking to your loved one more compassionately may be the kind thing to do and make you feel good about your behavior, your partner has the choice to respond in any way he/she chooses. To believe that you have the power to make your partner behave in particular manner if you simply express something the ‘right way’ is dangerous. It can result in taking on more responsibility than is yours for the well-being of your relationship and can often leave you feeling angry or not good enough when they choose to shut down despite your loving approach. What you can do is take care of yourself. When you recognize that your partner is stonewalling, you can choose to loving detach and not enable or perpetuate an unhealthy dynamic. When you persist in getting your partner to engage when they are clearly don’t want to, you are teaching them that it is okay to behave in such a manner as you will tolerate it and try enough for the both of you.​ There is no motivation for them to change or do their emotional work when you are doing it for them. However, ​when a partner is in a healthy emotional state, they typically do not tolerate the intolerable ​. Therefore, detaching and setting a clear boundary sends the message that although they have a right to behave as they please, they cannot do so while in connection with you. By removing yourself from the situation, your partner is left with no-one to focus on (or blame) but themselves.

​6) ​Anything else you’d like readers to know about stonewalling? ​
Learning to self-sooth, detach, or set healthy boundaries can be challenging. Therefore, individual ​therapy ​in conjunction with couples ​work can be helpful in providing ​ the necessary​ ​awareness, insight, ​ ​and ​tools to help foster more adaptive ways of both expressing self and responding to your partner.

PsychCentral Article: “Stonewalling in Couples: When You or Your Partner Shuts Down”

Back in August of 2014, I along with my dear friend and colleague Dr. Heather Gaedt, were invited by Margarita Tartakovsky, M.S. to contribute to an article she was writing on stonewalling in couples.  She asked us a variety of questions including how we define stonewalling, what it looks like in our couples work, how it can impact relationships, and healthy ways to cope when it occurs.

After much anticipation, the article was published towards the end of last year and I was deeply honored to see my name  throughout the piece.

It is such an honor to be a part of an experience like this and I hope that this article provides some insight and helpful to tools to those who read it!

Stonewalling in Couples: When You or Your Partner Shuts Down

 

PsychCentral: Article on Couples

Submitted a piece today to PsychCentral along with Dr. Heather GaedtDr. Georgina Smith to contribute to an article about couples! Feeling grateful for this collaboration and excited to see the published article in September!!!

PsychCentral

Currently writing an article about couples for PsychCentral with Dr. Heather Gaedt! Stayed tuned to find out when it’s published on their site!!!

You Can Stop Suffering From Depression Today

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Depression can affect you on a mental and emotionally drain you. Below you’ll find some very useful tips to help you to employ in your journey to battle against depression.

Do not allow depression to keep you from your depression control your social activities. Depression may cause you from wanting to do your normal activities. Keep on doing the same things you normally would.

Go outside for a little while every day to bask in some sun each day. Research has provided evidence that not getting a proper amount of depression.

Meditation can bring you might want to consider to help you manage your depression. Studies have shown that meditation is beneficial because it makes your mood and lower blood pressure.

Antidepressant medication can help restore the neurochemical balance in your brain. However, keep in mind they only work best when combined with regular therapy, therapy and effort.

You must keep in mind that you’re in control when you are dealing with depression. Take “depression” completely out of your vocabulary. The word itself can put you in a bad frame of mind.

Try to find a group of friends or even a brother and sister to just talk to, or even go out for non-alcoholic drinks. Just getting out and doing something can really improve your spirits.

As the saying goes, having a good life stems from having hope, one can have a reason to keep going and looking for a better future.

You may not exactly be depressed if something has you feeling blue.

Music in and of itself is helpful for those suffering from depression, but you should be cautious when choosing the type of music. Don’t focus on music that require a lot of thought. This music will make you to think about the feelings and dwell on them.

Caffeine should be avoided when you are suffering the effects of depression.Research shows that excessive caffeine worsens depression.

Try dancing if you are feeling down. Play some up-tempo music that will get your feet moving.How many people feel blue when dancing to the beat of their favorite tunes? There aren’t many that can stop themselves from moving!

Sleep as long as your doctor suggests. The right amount of sleep is vital for both body and mental health. If you have insomnia, then meditation can be effective, or your doctor can prescribe a sleep aid if he feels the need for it.

Acceptance can help you bring yourself out of depression.

A good tip to battle depression is to ensure that you are getting an adequate amount of sleep each night. Insomnia and restlessness are just a couple of the common causes of depression, so ensure you are getting 6-8 sleep hours every night. If you stay busy all day, you will sleep better at night.

Helping others is even better for your own feelings of self-worth.

Keep a running list of issues that you want to discuss with your therapist. This can assist you stay on track during your sessions.

Do not rely on any crutch to get rid of your depression. Some people turn to things like alcohol as a coping mechanism for their depression.

Physical workouts cause your body to release endorphins. Endorphins will help to improve your body’s own natural mood and make you feel good. If you are in a negative mood or are depressed, start moving and get a little exercise. The more energy you expend, the better you will feel. This will help improve your mood and body simultaneously.

You can manage your depression if you put time and effort into it. All that is required is a little self-education on the subject and talking to your physician so you can manage yourself in ways that lead to health and happiness. Here are a few tips that will help you get control of depression.

Turn Depression Into Happiness With These Tips

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Depression is a black hole that is very difficult to treat. Read the following article to find out which habits and cope with your depression.

Don’t let yourself to fall into a downward spiral of depression. Obsessing over negative thoughts will also increase feelings of any help. Try your best to think positively, and get others that you are around to focus on positive things as well.

Antidepressants can be very helpful in restoring the correct balance of your brain. However, keep in mind they only work best when combined with regular therapy, therapy and other efforts of your own that will help you restore your life back to normal.

Your dietary habits are capable of playing a big contributor to your depression. If you are eating the wrong kinds of foods this can actually have an effect on your thought process, you can affect your depression and enter a downward spiral you don’t want. Stay away from junk food and try to keep a diet that is healthy.

As the saying goes,” and a bright future provides hope.

Try to decorate your home to be very happy and happy. This can help to eliminate those negative feelings and induce happier feelings.

Whether you suffer from routine sadness or clinical depression, you should stay in touch with a therapeutic professional. They can also be able to tell you what type of depression you suffer from.

If you are suffering from depression, you need to remember that you do not have to be alone. There are many people with a similar problem or somebody who is willing to help you.

Even if you don’t have a big appetite, it is important to eat so your body continues to get the healthy nutrients it needs.

Try to be positive no matter what happens if you and you’ll have depression.

Getting enough sleep you need can lessen your depression.The right amount of sleep is vital for both body and mental health. If you are unable to sleep, then meditation can be effective, or get a sleeping aid.

One very important factor in resolving depression to to eat a healthy diet. Breakfast is important because it helps to jump start your day as it increases metabolism and keeps hunger away. Research shows that omega-3 fatty acids that are in cold water fish like tuna, halibut, or salmon, can ease depression symptoms.

Alcohol should be avoided by people who is suffering from depression.Alcohol has a depressive effect on the body which can intensify depression in people who are already feeling depressed. Remove any alcohol that you keep in your home to get rid of temptation, and attend an AA meeting if you feel that you are at a point where you should do so.

Helping others has real value for your self-esteem and self-worth.

List the things you wish to discuss with your therapist about. This will help you stay on the right subjects during your therapy sessions.

Find a group that can help you deal with others about your depression problems.

A good strategy to change your way of thinking when you’re depressed to stop saying the word ‘depression’. Try to use a term that is not so emotionally charged when you aren’t feeling great.

The tips provided here are aimed at helping you get through depression. Do everything possible to maintain a positive attitude and take the tips in this piece to heart in order to make your life run more smoothly. Always be on the lookout for new advice and tips to improve your life because that one piece of advice could be the turning point in your life.

Effective Advice For Depression

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It is very important to treat your depression. You must do all of your research and ask people to help. You have to know you are never alone in the fight against depression. There are some tips below to help you understand and then getting treatment for your depression.

Go outside and soak in some sun for a little bit every day. Research shows that insufficient exposure to sunlight worsens depression.

Try to get some friends or a sibling to play video games, play video games or go out for a non-alcoholic drink. Just getting out and doing something can help.

Depression can come from a variety of places, so do what you can to isolate what is causing you to feel down. Once you’ve pinpointed the cause of your depression, it is easier to find a solution and to deal with the feelings when they occur.

Music in and of itself is helpful for those suffering from depression, but keep in mind the kind of music you are listening to. Don’t listen to music that require a lot of sad memories. This music will cause you remember bad feelings and dwell on them.

Having fresh cut flowers around can really brighten your day. Flowers have evolved so that they can bring pleasure to humans and life forms with their smell tend to evoke happier thoughts and color. Use this tip to your advantage; surround yourself with fresh flowers.

Take your prescribed medication the same time every day.

If you are suffering from depression, you need to remember that you do not have to be alone. There are many people with a similar problem or somebody who would just enjoy talking to you about your concerns.

It is helpful to attempt to understand the depression you face. Depression affects the body in both your physical and physical ways. This may enhance your overall feeling of depression. Anti-depressants encourage serotonin production in the brain, by causing the brain to secrete more seratonin to compensate. There are other natural ways to help increase your serotonin levels higher. Stay away from stimulants like alcohol and caffeine, instead make sure you get plenty of rest, get plenty of sleep and exercise, and stick to a healthy diet.

Try to remain positive no matter what happens if you and you’ll have depression.

To beat depression, you must learn to see through the gray clouds and look at life with a more realistic view. Take a look at your goals in life, and if they’re unrealistic, adjust them. If your expectations are not realistic, you’ll just be setting yourself up for failure, which will only make your depression worse.

Try to eat three meals each day that you are down.When depression hits, it may cause you to lose your appetite, but if you don’t eat you will feel lethargic, less motivated, and a loss of motivation. Your body can’t function if you don’t provide it with the fuel it requires. Eating regularly helps your body always has the energy it requires in order to function optimally.

Being out of the workforce can actually trigger depression.If you are laid off, and you get laid off, especially if you are the only breadwinner.

Think about getting counseling from a psychologist. A good therapist and medication is often the best way to conquer depression. Using two different therapies can help you more than using them by themselves. Therapy is effective at rooting out the real causes of depression cause and medication can handle the sudden shifts in mood.

It can be hard work to learn how to treat your depression and may require quite a bit of conscious effort, yet it is also rewarding. Nonetheless, when you have discovered successful techniques and use them diligently, you will soon overcome depression. Learn all you can, ask for help and use the tips provided, and you can see success in your depression battle.

Help Beat Depression With These Pieces Of Advice

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There are many different people who suffer with depression.

Go outside and soak in some sun for a little bit every day. Research has provided evidence that not getting a proper amount of exposure to sunlight.

Look for a support wherever you are able.

Find a friend or sibling to talk to, time with friends who make you laugh or a funny movie. Just getting in touch with people that love you can really improve your mood.

Dress to impress as a bit to elevate your depression.Put on your favorite outfit and go out. It does not have to be for church or for a wedding, it’s really just about feeling good and being among others. When you do something to improve how you look and to make yourself feel more attractive, it will be a big boon to how you feel about yourself overall, and help overcome your depression.

Music can help to fight depression, but be careful not to listen to the wrong kind. Don’t focus on music that makes you sad or down. This kind of music will make you to think about the feelings mentioned in the song.

Try to remain positive about all the obstacles life throws at you have a great shot at beating depression.

To beat depression, you have to remain realistic. Take a look at your goals in life, if they are realistic, see what you can do to adjust them. If your expectations are not realistic, too quickly, which may lead to even deeper feelings of depression because you couldn’t reach them.

Try to consume three meals daily if you are down. Depression may cause loss of appetite, but if you fail to eat three healthy meals you will be contributing to the loss in energy and motivation. Your body will not have enough energy if you do not consume enough calories daily. Eating regularly helps your body gets the energy and nutrients it needs.

Avoid artificial sweeteners when trying to overcome depression. These sweeteners reduce the amount of serotonin secreted and can worsen existing depression symptoms, which will only serve the purpose of making your depression worse. Remove these products from your eating plan.

Try dancing if you are feeling down. Play some upbeat music and move to the beat. How many people can feel sad when dancing to the beat of their favorite tunes? There are not many people who can resist the lure of their favorite music.

You can beat depression by accepting that you can’t control everything.

List the things you want to talk to your therapist too. This can help you keep track during your session with the therapist.

Find a group that can help you deal with others about your depression problems.

You have to take charge and make changes in order to eliminate depression from your life. Some depression are literally stuck in place and can’t change anything.

This vitamin gives your energy levels. It is possible to take it in a supplement. You should use the supplement form over getting it from red meat that has it. The high amount of the animal fat in red meat might make you feel worse.

When suffering from depression, you may become withdrawn and aloof in an effort to hide your feelings from others. This is completely contradictory to the things you should be doing.

Depression and stress are closely linked and you should also focus on dealing with both at the same time. Sleeping for at least 8 hours each night can help to reduce stress in check.

Depression is a problem that many different people struggle with. The tips provided within this article will assist you in dealing with your depression, and help you lead a happier and healthier life.

Develop Skills That Will Help You To Cope With Depression

Depression is a black hole that is impossible to climb out of.Read this article to find out which habits and cope with your depression.

Don’t allow yourself fall into a repetitive cycle of symptoms of depression. Constantly dwelling on your negative feelings can have the same effect. Keep your chin high, and focus on the good things in your life.

Antidepressants are a good way to rectify the imbalance of neurochemicals in your brain. However, keep in mind they only work best when combined with regular therapy, therapy and effort.

Diet can affect your symptoms of depression. If you eat improper foods, this may actually change your thought process which can put you into a depression cycle that will have you looking for an exit. Stay away from foods that are high in fat and fat and find out more about nutrition to adopt a better diet.

Whether you feel sad all the time or have clinical depression, you should always remain in touch with a professional. They can also let you know the kind of depression which has you suffer from.

Take your prescribed medication the same time every day.

If you are depressed, it’s very important that you realize you are never in it alone. There are many people with the same problems as you and many more who is willing to help you.

Even if your appetite is affected by the depression, keeping up with your essential nutrients is crucial to overcoming the energy drain that accompanies depression.

If you want to overcome depression, it’s important that you think realistically.Take a look at priorities and expectations, and if they’re unrealistic, adjust them.If your expectations are not realistic, then you could be setting yourself up to fail, then it’ll be near impossible to overcome depression caused by a feeling of being a failure.

Try to consume three meals daily if you are down. Depression often causes a loss in appetite, but going without food can contribute to on-going depression and less motivation and energy. Your body can’t function correctly if you don’t consume enough calories. Your body cannot get the proper energy if you don’t eat regular meals.

One way to do this accomplished is by counting your blessings every day. When you are feeling depressed, it can be hard to feel thankful, but it is important to always keep in mind what is good in life. It will help to raise your mood and spirits.

Eating nutritious meals regularly is a regular basis that are healthy and nutritional is an important tool with depression. Breakfast is an essential meal because it fuels your day ahead and keeps hunger away. Research has proven that these kind of fish, including halibut, tuna and halibut, can ease depression symptoms.

You can lift yourself out of depression by accepting that you have it.

Alcohol should be avoided by people who is suffering from depression.Alcohol is a known depressant and it is proven to increase depression in people who already suffer from the illness of depression. Remove any alcohol that you keep in your home to get rid of temptation, and attend an AA meeting if you feel that you are at a point where you should do so.

Helping others is even better for your own feelings of self-worth.

Hopefully, you can get some help from everything that you have learned in this article. Make sure you stay positive and use this knowledge to live a far better life. Make sure you are always looking for new tips and ways to better yourself because one little thing you learn could help you change your life forever.