Back by Popular Demand—Dr. Helen
We have invited Dr. Helen Yeni-Komshian to join Fabrice and me for two consecutive podcasts on questions listeners have asked about troubled relationships. In today’s podcast, we address a question from Mary about how to deal with a husband who constantly complains and exaggerates how awful things are at work, in politics, and in the world. But when Mary tries to dismiss his statements in an effort to “keep the peace,” it just gets worse. His complaints escalate!
This is a common problem and you may have run into it as well. Do you have a friend or family member who loves to complain? And have you noticed that your attempts to help or point out the irrationality of his or her complaints are futile? So what SHOULD you do? What’s the secret of dealing with a whiner or a complainer? Is it even possible.
Helen and David provide a myriad of information and describe techniques such as Forced Empathy, Interpersonal Decision Making, Changing the Focus, and the Five Secrets of Effective Communication. You’ll LOVE this lively dialogue!
For more information on healing troubled relationships, you can read my book, Feeling Good Together, which is available as a paperback on Amazon. In addition, you can listen to our previous podcasts on the Five Secrets of Effective Communication, beginning with Podcast #65 (Enjoy Greater Intimacy) and several of the podcasts that follow.
More relationship questions answered next week. See you then!
PS: Listeners who wish to contact Dr. Helen can do so via email: helen at dryeni.com. You can also visit her website, http://www.dryeni.com.
PPS: In Episode #101 of this podcast, David responded to Dr. Michael Edelstein and Tommy Bateman on their challenge of the TEAM-CBT model vs. REBT. David was invited to be interviewed on their YouTube channel, The REBT Advocate and used his own effective communication skills to answer the challenge in Episode 35 of The REBT Advocate. You might want to listen to it.
Coming Up Soon–
TEAM-CBT Methods for the Treatment of Relationship Difficulties
Step by Step Training for Therapists
by David Burns, MD and Jill Levitt, PhD
Learn how to reduce patient resistance and boost motivation to change. Master skills that will enhance communication skills and increase intimacy with loved ones. This workshop is highly interactive with many case examples and opportunities for practice using role plays.
Join us for a day of fun and inspiring learning on site in Palo Alto OR online from anywhere in the world by this dynamic teaching duo!
Sunday October 28th, 2018 (9am-4pm PST) 6 CE*s. $135
To register, go to Feeling Good Institute
or call 650-353-6544
* * *
Rapid Recovery from Trauma
a two-day workshop
by David D. Burns, MD
October 4-5, 2018–Woodland Hills, CA
November 1-2, 2018–Pasadena, CA
The November workshop includes Live Streaming
if you cannot attend in person)
For further information, go to http://www.IAHB.org
or call 1-800-258-8411
Another fantastic podcast! I’m learning so much every week.
There is one thing I’m still puzzled about however. What is self confidence and how is it related to anxiety? What creates self confidence and what damages it? Thanks so much for this wonderful resource you’ve created.
Hi Christian, Appreciate the kind comments and cool question. Here’s the short version. I define self-confidence as the knowledge you will probably be successful, based on previous success. I define self-esteem as the capacity to love and support yourself whether you win or lose. Both are related to anxiety, of course. I define self-acceptance as the capacity to accept yourself, warts and all. Read any of my books, like Ten Days to Self-Esteem, for more details! Thanks!
Thank you, Dr. Burns! I am relatively new in the field and have found your techniques and wisdom in these podcasts to be invaluable. I’m planning to sign up for your upcoming trainings. Thank you for your contributions to the field!
Thanks, Stephanie! Glad you are going to attend one of the workshops! Please say hello if you participate in person. All the best, david
I can’t thank you enough for this podcast and all the training you provide. I’m working on moving up to the next certification and I can’t wait to attend another workshop!
Thanks, Shanna, really appreciate your comment and copied to Fabrice and Helen! david
My wife and I have had a very up and down emotional relationship for a long time. We never stay so down as to where we want to divorce but we have a difficult time sustaining times of great communication between one another so there is tension between us a lot of the days. We were praying together one day after going through a rough time and when it was her turn to pray she was blasting me in her prayer saying a lot of hurtful things about me and our relationship. I didn’t like it, but I was ok with it because I think it’s good we vent to God like that and not directly to each other. She ended her prayer by saying “I’m out…” and then she got up and started walking out of the room. I was SO ANGRY David, because I felt like my family was breaking apart and it was difficult for me to communicate anything constructive. I’ve had some success using the 5 secrets in effective communication but my downfall is that I get really angry when my wife doesn’t validate how I feel. I know it’s all supposed to be on me, but I guess I’m having empathy fatigue. I don’t know how to get over this hurdle and I REALLY want to! Any advice would be much appreciated <3
Thanks, Brian, I try super hard NEVER to give advice, but if you partially complete the RJ and DML I sent, happy to focus on the specific example you provide. Also, are you interested in examining your own role, and changing yourself, or more focused on what your wife is doing “wrong?” d
Dear David, Helen and Fabrice,
Thanks a lot for another great podcast! I can totally identify with the ‘deer in the headlights’ experience when trying to use the 5 secrets in real time, so it was very helpful to hear that being addressed.
About the resistance to solving conflicts in relationships, I recently found out something interesting – I was thinking about a problem I had with my partner and as a thought experiment, I tried to apply your technique to melt away resistance to depression, addictions and so on: I tried to think of all the ways in which the very thing that annoyed me about my partner was an expression of his positive and awesome qualities and the things I really like about him. And I’m happy to report it seemed to work! 🙂 I felt a kind of relaxation and emotional liberation, which felt very similar to what I had felt when suddenly seeing a bad habit of my own in a better light.
It reminds me a bit of the action=reaction law of physics – speaking as a layperson for both fields here 🙂 but it seems like emotional pressure also always invokes an equally strong counterpressure, whether between people or inside one person’s mind, and that somehow keeps things stuck, until you let go of the pressure for things to be different than they are? (I’m blabbering a bit here, but I think these topics are very interesting – why does your technique work to melt away resistance, and how can the intra- and interpersonal parts of your work be connected – like you talked about in another fantastic podcast, the one with Brian (number 235) – is that the person from the previous comment??)
Best wishes, Fabienne
Yes, Fabienne, I like your idea, and think you are right about “equal but opposite” action and reaction! All the best david