Putting them into words is only part of the process. Focus on his verbal message and the feelings behind it. If she has a hard time using words, this can be a stepping stone in the right direction. What is most likely going on is that you are feeling something that you cannot picture in your mind and that you cannot find words for. What else might be going on here? The Most Important Personality Trait You’ve Never Heard Of. So now you’ve got several thoughts and images of both what led up to and also what happened in the argument with your daughter. I have long believed that alexithymia can and should be treated in talk therapy with some slight changes in the therapeutic stance. Teaching your child how to put his feelings into words can help him effectively cope with uncomfortable, frustrating or painful situations. Help lead him through some problem-solving techniques without taking over. Why Is It So Hard for Some Men to Share Their Feelings? They say that when these emotions are recognized, the research benefits. And you are not bad for feeling them. 51. When You Can't Put Your Feelings Into Words: The Emotional Ignorance of Alexithymia How this state of emotional disconnect can harm your health, well-being, behavior and relationships. “Your soulmate doesn’t just mean your husband or your boyfriend. What happened next? Then try to say what it is about the argument that distressed you. It’s okay that you’ve come up with a couple of different answers. In summary, by all means use the exercises in this article to help you put your feelings into words. Go back to step one, get yourself something to eat or drink, or distract yourself with television, something on your computer, music, or a walk around the block. Why Do People Risk Their Own Health for Their Pets? Hang a feeling chart up in your child’s bedroom. You know she is rebelling against you, but is that all bad? F. Diane Barth, LCSW: Speaking of feelings: Affects, language and psychoanalysis. Yay! What did they say to you? A loving relationship can be an oasis in uncertain times, but nurturing it requires attention, honesty, openness, vulnerability, and gratitude. Based on these mental representations, you may find that a solution comes fairly easily. The work that you are doing is to find a way to represent the feelings in your mind’s eye so that you can know what you need to do to manage them successfully. Spell out to yourself how you understand the problematic situation. If you have difficulty finding words for your own feelings, these three suggestions can help you begin to make that connection; and when you are making connections between your feelings and language, you will start to find better ways to manage both the feelings and difficult situations. Your child will learn a great deal when you demonstrate self-control and set a good example to follow. It often happens just when we most need to be able to explain ourselves – when we’re feeling something particularly strongly or in a crisis or just want to communicate a strong feeling. If you can, try to develop a mental image of each of these moments. So, for instance, if you and your daughter argued this morning before she left the house, your goal in this step is to put into words what happened, what you argued about, and what you think might have been the reason for the argument. Have you ever had trouble finding the words for what you’re feeling or thinking? For instance, when you see your child crossing his arms and sitting by himself with a scowl, you can approach him by saying “I see that you’re upset. Maybe you’re worried that she’s going to get sick. When this happens, it is important to find ways to back off. Try to put into words for yourself (or ask your child or your loved one, if you are trying to help someone else, to put into words for you) the chain of events that led up to the situation. 84–97. A child is not born with the knowledge or skill set to effectively express complex feelings with words -- he must be taught to become aware of and recognize these emotions. Stijn Vanheule, Paul Verhaeghe and Mattias Desmet, clinicians and researchers at Ghent University in Belgium, have come up with a successful system for working with alexithymia in psychoanalytic psychotherapy. Although this lesson takes time and patience, it’s worth it when you see your child dealing with a problem in a constructive way instead of fighting, hitting or name-calling.
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