program tagged posts

Creating Change Through Counselling (Part 1)

Creating Change Through Counselling

The Main Categories of Counsellors

Many people are somewhat afraid and ashamed when it comes to help, especially on the topic of feelings, mentality and psyche.

Realizing there’s a problem and a need for it to be solved is the first step in solving it.

There are a few different categories when it comes to therapy in general. Counsellors fall into one of four main categories: behaviour therapy, cognitive therapy, counselling, or psychotherapy.

None of them is better than the other and each of them can lead to the effect that is being wanted, namely inner peace and happiness...

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What Games Do Couples Play? (Part 7)

Lyn and James Game

Some people realize they are having problems at an early stage in their relationship while others they only realize there have been problems when their relationship is about to break down.

As with every other couple, with Lyn and James, the problems appearing are connected with both their childhoods.  Lyn had grown up in a family with three older brothers and a mother who was struggling to manage as she and her husband had separated some years before.

Lyn’s mother was anxious and depressed and on medication and her father was only occasionally available to take care of the children.

As she was still young at the time, Lyn knew very little of what happened to separate her parents...

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What Games Do Couples Play? (Part 5)

The Gotcha Game

The “Gotcha” Game

When a game is being played, there are two sides, so while Alex was playing his game, Tamara was “feeding” her own game too. Her needs match his needs in the meaning that for her he is somebody that makes sure she is not responsible for the quality or success of their marriage.

They both blame it on the other – he blames every little thing on her and she blames it on his affairs. This “blaming” is both exposing and defending and specifically, Tamara’s game may be called “Gotcha”.

As in “If it weren’t for you”, this game also belongs to the Aggressor’s list of games. Even though there were many heated arguments, mostly Tamara’s game was even more manipulative than his game and dangerous because it was hidden and passive aggressive.

The role o...

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What Games Do Couples Play? (Part 4)

What Games Do Couples Play Part 4

How and Why Games Began

It seems that Tamara and Alex’s game began when had their first child. However, in truth, the root of the issues presenting themselves has a longer history and it starts with Alex’s early life.

As often happens, when the first child is being born, the father can feel replaced and ignored. This certainly happened to Alex. But added to the background of his relationship with Tamara, or the lack of it, was his relationship with his father and the feeling of rejection he experienced then that consequently escalated now.

Back then, when he was a child, he wasn’t aware consciously of the missing figure of his father because he had everything he wanted.

The gulf between Tamara and Alex grew even wider when Alex went to work for the science and technology company whe...

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What Games Do Couples Play? (Part 3)

What Games Do Couples Play?

Tamara and Alex’s Games

Things need to be clear in order to be understood. By clear I mean the background story and the connection to the current issues to it need to be understood to fully comprehend what the current issues are about before responding.

Usually issues come up when something far distant in the past which has nothing to do with current issue impacts on the resolution and/or even the understanding. Consequently, what you might think about a situation will often be the exact opposite of what I think about it.

Understanding and being clear about each other’s past helps build the future of the relationship better and can prevent issues from occurring.

Each relationship has its stages and it’s important to recognize the stage and its needs.

In fact, to be in a happy relati...

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What Games Do Couples Play? (Part 2)

What Games Do Couples Play Part 2

Beth and Roger’s Games – What Obstructed Their Relationship Progress?

There are few things that obstructed Beth and Roger‘s relationship. Surely the first thing to mention is the miscommunications between them. Having in mind their childhood experiences and the way they have developed certain patterns in their way of relating to each other, it is obvious that their effective communication skills are limited.

By “skills” I mean the ability to say what you really want to say and to give yourself time to understand what the other person is saying.

I also mean the ability to listen not in order to answer, but in order to understand.

It also means being honest with each other in those communications.

Situations like this and the resulting crisis in the relationship are most often a sig...

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It Takes Two to Play Games

It Takes Two to Play Games

Why Do We Play Games?

Just as we need two people to agree to tango so too it takes two people to subconsciously agree to play the psychological games we all play.

However, they don’t realize how exactly the game is being played, or how it all started, but usually the payoff for both sides is negative and it comes fast.

The whole process of playing games comes from an earlier stage of one’s development during childhood. Most of the time games happen automatically, like a habit that the brain has in creating realities that we believe and live in.

Watching other people’s behaviours in early childhood is the core of the games being played later on...

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Drama-Free Life: Is It Possible?

Drama-Free Life: Don't Make an Elephant Out of a Fly

Life Is Not a TV Drama

Is it possible to live a drama free life? Is it necessary to have drama in our lives in order to feel balanced when it is over? Isn’t it easier to just exclude even the smallest possibility of turning a fly into an elephant? What make us create dramas in our lives when this is the thing we fear and dislike the most?

Look at the games the couples in our stories (The Story of Tamara and Alex, The Story of Vanessa and Mark, Vanessa and Mark (cont), Detecting Games in Relationships, Responding Assertively to Game Playing).

An Exercise

If you want you can challenge yourself: try imagining each game discussed as initiated by anyone, of either sex, and imagine how that game story might play out...

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Responding Assertively to Game Playing

Responding Assertively to Game Playing

I will illustrate the topic with an example from the story of “Lyn” and “James”.

At one time Lyn decides to take her children on vacation with a girlfriend and her children for a few days. But when Lyn tells James of the plan, he is not OK with it. When she asks why, he just says, “Because I said so.” When she says she is definitely going but would like his consent, he again refuses to give it.

Earlier in their relationship, Lyn would have backed down, but this time she decides to go anyway. James remains angry and revengeful. On Lyn’s return, James refuses to speak to her, and they go to bed in silence. The next morning, Lyn wakes to discover that James is not there. She finds him in the living room with her wallet and a pair of scissors cutting up her credit cards.

She ask...

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Five Ways to Respond to Game Playing

Five Ways to Respond to Game Playing

STOP Goku S.S. vs Majin Bu - Cosplay A house of mirrors in the Czech Republic Mine's bigger than yours

When you get that feeling in the pit of your stomach that something is about to explode then it might be an indicator that you are being invited into a game. It might be something that someone else says or may be conveyed by a gesture, a look on their faces, by touch, or even by a period of silence.

When this happens you have several choices in considering the best response. Here are a few of them:

  • Ignore it. Ignoring a problem or a situation usually doesn’t solve them, but when it comes to games of first degree this might appear to be the wiser reaction one could approach...
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