Friday, January 30, 2015

Part 3 Attachment Styles: Pre-occupied, Anxious, Ambivalent, Resistant

This is Roberta. She has the pre-occupied attachment style.

            Roberta grew up in a family of all men. At the age of two, her mother passed away and she was left to be raised by her father. Because of her mother’s death, Roberta has suffered from separation-anxiety and has always feared losing the ones she cares most about. In her teenage years, Roberta discovered her died had lied to her about her mother’s death to help her understand as a child and she began to be very angry with him. Since this discovery, Roberta holds the anger towards her father but has begun to wonder if it was his way of also coping with his wife’s death. Despite the anger, Roberta mentions she stayed in her home town, Shelby, Indiana, in order to be close and take care of her father along with her best friend Chrissy. Chrissy is the only person Roberta has allowed to know the darkest and deepest parts of her life. She is the only person Roberta can truly trust, but she fears the upcoming birth of Chrissy’s child will separate them and she is very anxious about this.
            Since childhood and teenage years, Roberta has been very hesitant of pursuing a romantic relationship. Roberta states that she believes this is because of losing her mother at a young age and never having the relationship talk. Any man who has pursued Roberta has mentioned she is too cautious to begin with, but then becomes overwhelming with her constant focus on providing for them. Roberta does not understand what these men mean and is left feeling confused at the end of her relationships. She believes putting her needs to the side and allowing their needs to be met is how a relationship lasts. Although she believes this, she has come to therapy to learn more about how to have a relationship that lasts and to possibly work through the resentment she holds towards her father for the lies he told.
Clinical Approach for Roberta
            Roberta’s therapist wants to begin work by focusing on the need to take care of her father. The therapist believes Roberta’s self-esteem is dependent on her attachment to her father and thinks this may be part of the problem with her relationships (Holmes, 2001, p. 10). Instead of focusing on her own needs, Roberta is willing to put her needs to the side and put others before her. While this is a hospitable quality, it is damaging the relationships in her life because of the disappointment she ends up feeling from the other when they do not meet her needs (Costello, 2013, p. 81). One way the therapist would like to work on Roberta naming her needs is conveying the needs she hears back to Roberta. When the therapist does this, she hopes it will help Robert to feel heard and seen as she believes her father did not know how to do this for Roberta (Beebe & Lachmann, 2014, p. 89). The mirroring role of the therapist will help Roberta understand she does have needs and that her needs are valuable.
            Along with working on the acknowledgement of Roberta’s needs, the therapist would also like to work on breaking Roberta’s fear of inconsistency from those whom are important to her. Roberta’s therapist believes this fear arises out of her separation-anxiety which has been present since her mother’s death. For Roberta, she believes her mother’s death no longer impacts her today; it is just a part of her life story. The therapist, on the other hand, believes her mother’s death continues to impact her today. Roberta never leaves her house without grabbing a picture of her mother and takes it with her everywhere she goes. The therapist would like Roberta to talk about the feelings and memories of her mother’s death and her need to carry her around every day.
By doing this, the therapist hopes Roberta will begin to understand the fear and anxiety that is arising from her best friend’s upcoming birth (Sable, 2012, p. 101). Chrissy has provided the secure base that Roberta desired from her father and mother and has been a place of safety for her. The goal of Roberta’s therapist is not to take this away from her, but to help her see that she can still have a secure base with Chrissy as well as others. With some education about secure attachments, the therapist believes Roberta can use her relationship with Chrissy to help build other secure relationships in her life.
Following this educational teaching about attachment styles, the therapist would like to move into more exploration of Roberta’s attachment style with her father. Roberta’s therapist believes her anxious attachment style is because of the relationship with her father. Roberta has expressed how she has been angry at her father for the lie he told when she was younger about her mother’s death and this comes up frequently in the counseling sessions. The therapist believes it will be healing for Roberta to fully express the anger and hurt she feels for the lie he told years ago. By allowing her space to communicate, the therapist believes Roberta will be able to allow her feelings to be felt and hopes to communicate that she understands her feelings.
Being a doctor herself, Roberta approaches many sessions believing in the value of therapy and ready to accept each task asked of her. While this seems genuine to an extent, the therapist believes this is just a mask for her anxiety in the sessions (Holmes, 2001, p. 17). The therapist would like to help Roberta truly desire to invest herself into the counseling relationship (Holmes, 2001, p. 17). She wants Roberta to be able to know that there will be space for rupture and repair, that she herself believes Roberta can create secure relationships, and that she is also committed to the therapeutic relationship (Holmes, 2001, p. 17). If Roberta can come to the decision to pursue therapy because she believes she truly needs it and has a desire to build secure relationships, then the therapist and she will be able to work together to improve her relationships.

Any questions? 
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Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Part 2 Attachment Styles: Dismissive/Avoidant

This is Teeny and I have decided that the Dismissive/Avoidant attachment style fits her best.

Teeny is the child of two parents that are pre-occupied with their own social lives. Mr. and Mrs. Sanders had very little time for Teeny and encouraged her to be independent of them which is why Teeny chose to ignore them. She spent most of her childhood and teenage years imagining her future in the movie industry playing the many roles she played out in her life with her parents. Instead of enjoying her teenage years, she desired to grow up faster and begin her life far away from her family and her home in Shelby, Indiana. Teeny had a close knit friend group, but none of them truly knew what was happening in Teeny’s home. Her closest relationship was with Samantha, but even they both held each other at a distance that made it very difficult to rely on each other. Presently, she speaks to her friends a few times a year, but keeps them at a distance with the excuse of her busy movie-making schedule
            For Teeny, her strength and reliance on herself is what she is proud of. She made it as a movie star all by herself and had no assistance from anybody.  Teeny has won many Academy Awards, starred in over 100 movies, and continues to outshine in the movie industry. Although Teeny is very successful, she has not had much success in the love department. After three failed marriages, Teeny has decided to enter into therapy from the encouragement of her new romantic partner in order to try and make one relationship last in her life.
Clinical Approach for Teeny
            With the background Teeny has provided for her therapist, the therapist has decided that she represents the dismissive attachment style. One of the major indicators for this was Teeny’s expectations for her parents. As Teeny mentioned, she found her parents unavailable in almost all categories in her life, but especially emotionally in her life (Siegel, 2012, p. 101). Because of this Teeny learned not to seek others and learned how to manage her own feelings without anyone else’s help (Costello, 2013, p. 81). This attitude is present when she discusses her career success and how well she has done in the industry on her own. Self-sufficiency is what pushes her in life, but has also been the reason her relationships have failed over the years (Sable, 2004, p. 62).
            While Teeny is self-sufficient in most of her relationships, she still desires the love and comfort of a relationship. Her marriages failed because of her need for protection. She let the men in her life get close enough to provide some protection for her, but held them far enough away so that she would not have to feel the pain of rejection if they decided to end the marriage (Holmes, 2001, p. 10). The proximity controlling of her relationships was to protect Teeny, but actually resulted in Teeny being hurt anyways.
            One area Teeny’s therapist wants to work is emotional proximity. Because of Teeny’s parents not providing a secure base for her growing up, she keeps encountering this same problem with her romantic partners. The therapist would like to spend time helping Teeny create a secure base with her partner in hopes that it would allow her to connect more emotionally with her partner (Holmes, 2001, p. 17). In order to help Teeny create a secure base with her partner, the therapist wants Teeny to create a secure base with her. The therapist believes Teeny needs to practice creating the secure base with her first in order for Teeny to be able to see what a secure base looks like and the effort that is required to create one (Howard & Schwartz, 2002, p. 464).    After creating this secure base, the therapist would like to integrate emotionally focused couple therapy (EFT) into the sessions. EFT has a goal of reconstructing the interactions between partners into more accessible and responsive encounters along with creating a space of comfort and care (Johnson, Makinen, & Millikin, 2001, p. 147). Teeny has spent year’s not allowing people to see how she truly feels. She takes her feelings and places them into the character roles in her movies. Instead of placing all her emotions into her character roles, the therapist wants Teeny to start to name her needs and feelings with her partner.
The hope is that practicing this in the therapeutic environment will help Teeny to grow into the practice of allowing more intimate encounters with her partner and allow herself to learn how to rely on not only herself, but someone else as well. While Teeny will practice this first with her therapist, the goal is to eventually invite her partner into the therapeutic session and help them facilitate this therapy together.
            While these are two steps into helping Teeny work towards a secure attachment, there is more work that will be asked of her in later sessions. Teeny has also mentioned a desire to re-connect with her friendships from childhood and has asked the therapist to work with her on mending those relationships. She also has a desire to speak the truth of her childhood to her parents and create a space for them to mend the hurt that has been felt together. There is much hope for Teeny in her search for a secure attachment with those she pursues a relationship with in life and the therapist is looking forward to see how she evolves in each session. 

Any questions?
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Thursday, January 22, 2015

Attachment Styles with Now and Then

If you can name the movie these girls starred in together, then you may just have luck understanding my first paper to air on this blog. These actresses appeared in the movie Now and Then which is about four girls who spend a summer saving their money to buy a tree house and also discovering the difficulties of growing up. It is a great movie and you should watch it immediately! Also, watching it may help you understand my paper.

This specific  paper I am sharing will be shared in four parts as it is relatively long and I do not want to overwhelm you. The basis of the paper is to describe each of the attachment styles the girls appear to show and how a therapist may work with them on reaching a secure attachment. 

The four attachment styles are

If it helps, here is the prompt I was given for the paper:
 Discuss your clinical approaches to secure, dismissive, preoccupied, and disorganized patients.
Discuss how you might use your subjective experiences to formulate your treatment
approach to enable them to become more secure. Discuss how a more secure attachment to you would make their lives better. 

To help the you understand the goal is to receive a secure attachment, I will Start with Chrissy who I believe best represents a secure attachment style.

Both of these ladies played Chrissy in the movie.

In a world where movies are a way to receive entertainment and to educate, it seems fitting to use it as a way to display the many different ways individuals learn to attach to one another. Whether it is through parents, significant others, or friends, each individual attaches through a unique process. Although the goal is to achieve a secure relationship, working towards this is not always easy and requires the individual to travel back in time to examine their first attachment relationship. In the movie Now and Then, four teenage girls spend a summer chasing their dream goal of a tree house while also dealing with the difficulties of growing up, learning the truth about life, and facing their relationships with their parents. The movie brings to life each attachment style of the teen girls and provides an opportunity to learn the importance of understanding the way an individual attaches and how it continues to impact them in the future.
            Chrissy was raised as an only child with parents who are still married to this day. Her mother always encouraged her to come to her and discuss anything that came up. Because of Chrissy’s friend group choice, her mother chose to prepare her for topics about sex, drugs, and peer pressure in order to help her learn it in a kind manner rather than vulgar manner from her friends. Although Chrissy struggled with her weight, her mother and father helped her keep a positive image about herself. They wanted her to blossom into the person she desired to be and to learn she is beautiful no matter what shape or size she was.
            While the rest of Chrissy’s friends had difficulty expressing their feelings, Chrissy felt she could freely open up and be honest about what was going on inside of her. Chrissy describes her relationship with parents as being in-sync with each other. She discusses how she felt what she did meant something to them and that they desired to be in relationship with her. In moments of difficulty or chaos, Chrissy keeps the motto that things will work out for the best and feels like she has a good handle on her life.
            Chrissy has entered into therapy as she is preparing to become a mother for the first time. She expresses a desire to want to create the same relationship she has with her mother with her soon to be baby girl. Chrissy has seen how not all relationships turn out the way hers did with her parents. The friends Chrissy involved herself with had what she calls difficult up-bringing’s and relationships with their parents filled with turmoil. Chrissy has a desire to prevent that kind of relationship with her daughter and wants to educate herself on ways she can work towards providing a secure base for her infant that she keeps reading about.
Clinical Approaches for Chrissy
            Chrissy’s therapist is excited that she is being pro-active in learning about secure attachments and fot the relationship she has with her parents. To her therapist, Chrissy grew up with parents who focused on creating a secure base for her. This secure base allowed Chrissy to communicate with them openly, feel safe, and trust them (Costello, 2013, p. 9). While the therapist has a desire to compliment her parents success in creating a secure attachment, she also wants Chrissy to not focus on this idea of perfection she keeps describing.
            One area the therapist would like Chrissy to explore is the moments where Chrissy did not always have cohesion with her parents. The intention here is not remind Chrissy of bad memories, but to challenge her to see the assumptions she makes for a secure relationship (Holmes, 2001, p. 17). Chrissy wants to be the perfect wife and perfect mother and although this is a great goal, her therapist would like her to learn that even perfect mother’s and wives make mistakes. The hope is that Chrissy will allow room for grace in her relationship with her daughter and to see mistakes as a part of the motherhood process, not as a detriment to her child.
            Another area the therapist would like to look at is Chrissy’s self-esteem. Chrissy’s therapist is concerned that her self-esteem is relying on her marriage and family life. Part of the observation of self-esteem is to teach Chrissy the importance of allowing her daughter to create a balanced self-esteem in life. This balanced self-esteem is not dependent on external validation, but can be open to it (Holmes, 2001, p. 10). In teaching this to Chrissy, the therapist hopes Chrissy will remember the importance of allowing her daughter to pursue a healthy self-esteem. The therapist also hopes it will remind Chrissy that her self-esteem can partly come from her marriage and family, but most importantly it should come from herself.
            While the therapist thinks Chrissy has an advantage of creating a secure relationship with her daughter, she also wants Chrissy to explore what it would mean if that did not happen. She wants Chrissy to discuss the feelings driving her desire, the fears that drive it, and what she thinks will happen to her daughter if a secure attachment does not arise. The hope is the Chrissy can put words to some of the ideas she has played out in her head and to allow her space to feel free to share them. Because of Chrissy’s focus on perfection, her therapist thinks she is hiding a lot of feelings and thoughts that do not seem like perfection.
            Continuing to ask Chrissy to explore more about herself, her family of origin, and her relationship with her husband is a goal to help Chrissy stay in touch with herself. If Chrissy can be open about herself, her therapist believes she will create space for her daughter to do the same. The therapist also wants Chrissy to practice creating a secure relationship in the therapeutic environment. Practicing it in the sessions allows Chrissy to make mistakes and be more open to the moments she may do this with her daughter. Overall, the therapist believes psycho-education and practicing will benefit Chrissy immensely along with continual exploration of who she is as an individual. 

Please ask questions! I am not expert but I can at least point you into some good areas!

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Monday, January 19, 2015


For the first time yesterday I watched an entire football game from beginning to end.
I never even did this when I played for the Pep band at the football games.
Football is not typically my thing, but since moving to Seattle it is hard not to make football your thing.

Last year was so exciting when the Seahawks won and it was awesome to see how the entire town lit up with excitement. I really believe it is true that the Seahawks have the best fans.
I mean just watch this video if you do not believe me!

Seriously, they are dedicated!
So, back to what I was saying.
I watched the entire game and I was the one who said they could come back with 4 minutes left and not to give up just yet. And when they did I couldn't believe it.
I was jumping up and down screaming with everyone!

But then this thought comes to my head:
This is not the team I grew up cheering for.
I love the colt's not the Seahawks.
But then again I love Seattle and I feel like loving the Seahawks comes with that.

My birthday is coming up and I have absolutely been struggling with ideas which is out of the ordinary for me. Usually I have a long list I add things to all year. I don't know if it's about getting older and preferring to get things I really need rather than would like, but I just cannot come up with a good list of stuff.

I recently had the idea of wanting a Seahawks 12th man jersey, but then I get the feeling I would be betraying the team I grew up cheering for. Is it acceptable or normal for you to change teams you cheer for as you grow up? I do not want to be the person who jumps on the bandwagon of the winning team. 

Really I just want to be a part of the weekly celebration each week. I want to wear my Jersey on Blue Friday and walk down the street high-fiving strangers because they have a Jersey on too. I love the dedication this town has to their team and it sounds like fun to join them on the dedication to their Seahawks. Plus this is going to be my home for most of my life; it seems inevitable that I will be a Seahawk's fan.

What are your thoughts?
Also, does anybody have any thoughts on a fitbit, nike fuelband, or some other device that records work outs?
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Monday, January 12, 2015

Sometimes you just need to celebrate

I am a big believer in celebrating the little things.

I truly believe if we can celebrate with gratitude and a loving hear that we are rewarded.
So I am posting today to celebrate what feels like a huge accomplishment to me, but is just a little thing for others.

As of this past week, I paid off on of my undergraduate student loans.
In 13 months, I was able to pay off $6,066.43.
For me this is a huge achievement.
Yes, I still take out a loan for graduate school but with some leftover loan money and lots of hard work I was able to pay off a loan that was just sitting and accumulating debt.

The next step is to start chipping away at the next one.
It is much larger and will take more time, but I am dedicated to at least paying $100 a month to paying off student loans. Some people do not believe you should start paying off the debt while in school and I am not required to do it by the government until I graduate in 2017.
But each day that loan is accumulating interest. If I can fight the interest, then I have a better chance of paying it off faster.

So here is to gratitude for the little things!
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Monday, January 5, 2015

What type of Blogger am I?

I am constantly seeing posts telling readers about who you are and ways to expand your blog.
They are always nice reads and have some great advice, but I often feel like it just does not apply to me. So today, I decided to tell you what type of blogger I am.

I am the type of blogger who will not post consistently. 
Some weeks I will post everyday and other times it's once a month.

I am the type of blogger who does not put pictures on every post.
Call my lazy, but I just do not want to do it sometimes.

I am the type of blogger who does not make money from posting.
Let me be honest, I did try to do this, but it's really hard and not motivating for me to blog.

I am the type of blogger who is often afraid of how others perceive her.
I often feel that the true person I am is not always reflected well on here. I wonder if people think I hate the restaurant industry and customer service or if they judge me for not being an avid church goer like I used to be.

I am the type of blogger who has good intentions of sponsoring but does not have the money to do it.
I want to sponsor, I do, but this budget of mine does not allow room for it. Sorry for all those who disagree with this, but a grad student budget for me does not include blog sponsorship's.

I am the type of blogger who wanted to make this list longer but had trouble thinking of anything after this point.

The End!

I am curious if any of you would be interested in reading any of the papers I have written during my graduate career. Would you be willing to read something that is 10 pages in length or is that silly?

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Wednesday, December 31, 2014

A New Year

I have to say that I really enjoyed 2014.

I got to go on a cruise with my man and had a blast!

I drank a bunch of Iced Mocha's; probably too many.

I celebrated on year with this guy below!

I got to show one of my besties around Seattle.

 And I made a career change!

I cannot even tell you the goals I made for this past year.
I can tell you my goals for this upcoming year.

1.) To walk more. I just need to be active and walking is an easy way. Maybe I'll do something else as well, but I definitely want to commit to walking more.

2.) Drink less iced mocha's or at least stop buying so many from Starbucks. My lovely sister got me an espresso maker for Christmas so I will now be my own Barista and produce my own iced mocha's.

3.) Save more. 2013-2014 was the first time learning how to live on my own and pay for my expenses. Luckily, I tracked my income and expenses for the past year and see where my weak spots are. I've got to cut back on clothes shopping and Starbuck's along with miscellaneous purchases. I would like to start paying for school out of pocket along with investing into my own retirement.

And I am keeping it at those three goals because life is better when you keep it simple.
Happy 2015 to y'all!

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