Release destructive emotions


Imago Therapy – Making Your Relationship Conscious

I Love You So Big! Blog – Lynne Namka, © 2011-13

“The FREEDOM to see and hear what is here, instead of what should be, was, or will be. The FREEDOM to say what you feel and think, instead of what you should. The FREEDOM to feel what you feel, instead of what you ought. The FREEDOM to ask for what you want, instead of always waiting for permission. The FREEDOM to take risks in your own behalf, instead of choosing to be only “secure” and not rock the boat.” – Virginia Satir

One of the best things you can teach your children is how to be a loving human being. Partners and families sometimes fall out of love. Harville Hendrix gives you guideline on how to get the love back. Remember when you first fell in love with your partner and how the world was so rosy and your partner was simply wonderful? And how you felt deeply connected and understood? Ahh, the joys of the early part of relationship.

conscious relationship, imago therapy, open communication, intentional dialogue

Imago Therapy presents safe ways of relating to each other that helps both partners feel heard and understood by the other and moving toward creating a spiritually conscious union.

What we really want is to be truly understood. And to be really seen by the person we care about. To find someone who can read our minds and meet our needs. To find true love and intimacy that lasts a lifetime. To be loved unconditionally by our partner. To get the “Happy Ever After” promised by fairy tales. We want love especially when we are angry and wounded by our partner.

We want to work through the unfinished childhood agenda with our partner. We want to stay in that euphoric space of new love. But despite our deep longing to be connected with the one we choose to be with, it rarely happens. Most often, when one partner is angry, the other person becomes angry back or shuts down. During conflict, the two partners disconnect from each other. The relationship suffers as people become disillusioned with their partner. The two people may even secretly start to look for exits from the relationship. Common exits are addictions, silence and withdrawal, increased fighting, self blame and depression, anxiety and threatening to leave the relationship.

The main purpose of a committed love relationship is to become a responsible loving adult and complete unresolved childhood issues says Harville Hendrix, Getting the Love You Want–a Guide for Couples and Keeping the Love You Find -a Guide for Singles.  Hendrix’s approach, more than any other current marriage counseling model, helps couples move their union towards a Conscious Relationship.

Hendrix fashioned the name Imago Therapy to illustrate how we fall in love with the image that we put on another person. And we fall in love with those chemicals that the rush of new love brings. You have heard that love is blind? We don’t see the real person, imperfections and all, but we put our illusion of what we expect in a romantic relationship on the other person. Later, when the bloom goes off the romance, we have to deal with what the person is really like.

Imago Therapy teaches major tools of communication and connection to bond people who love each other together. Blaming, criticizing, withdrawing and pouting are the common distancing defenses in relationships. The big challenge for a happy relationship is to stop using these destructive defenses! We can replace these negative defenses with actions that keep us in partnership even when times get rough.

“We all got wounded in relationship as children with our parents and siblings,” Bonnie Brinkman, Imago Therapist, explains. “The healing can only come in relationship. We need our partners for this. The old mom and dad stuff becomes the template for selecting a partner. We choose people to be in relationship with that represents the best and worst of our parents. The psyche holds an unconscious agenda to select the right person who can help us heal. Hendrix says that our partner, with all of their frustration about us has the blueprint for our healing.”

The heart of Imago Therapy is to use the relationship to mend the pain of being hurt and disappointed in childhood. Brinkman continues, “We are the walking wounded. Our partner holds the blueprint for our healing and growth. The elegance of this process is that we heart flutter over only a few people in the entire world. We fall in like with some of them and then find a person to fall in love with and hook up with. We unconsciously pick the perfect partner to help us do the growing up work. God, the Universe, Fate or whatever you call it helps us zero in on that perfect partner who will push our buttons so we can get on with our work. There are no accidents why we get together with the person we choose out of all the millions of potential partners. The one we choose is someone who is familiar to us–we have met aspects of them before in our mother and father. That sets the stage for doing the work of growing past our present defenses.”

In the Power Struggle stage of relationships, the partners become stuck in trying to tell the other what to do and gathering data to make the other person wrong, at least in their own eyes. Conflict sends grownups, back into the defenses of their little child. There can be wounding if each person knows the trigger points of the other and goes for them pulling forth the defenses they learned as a child. In power struggles, nobody wins. But as the saying goes from A Course in Miracles, “Would you rather be right or happy?”

According to Brinkman, there are four options that happen in relationships where there are unresolved power struggles

1.  Adios! Start the cycle over. Find someone new with whom to move through chemical soup into power struggles.

2.  Have a silent divorce. Stay together for religious or financial reasons or fear of being alone and become roommates with passion for life atrophying.

3.  Become the Bickersons and fight over everything, constantly injuring each other emotionally.

4.  Start to cooperate with the unconscious agenda and use the volatile situations for growth. Learn techniques to stay connected during conflict and practice reconnection. This is the “becoming a grownup stage” called The Reality Love Stage.

Making Your Relationship Conscious

The next stage is The Reality Love Stage of relationship where we are presented with many challenging opportunities to use each other to put the childhood pain to rest. Like everything we have a fight – there is another growth opportunity. But of course, it is an opportunity only if we choose to make it one. Some couples never reach this stage, switching partners when fighting get too toxic.

A new set of relationship skills and tools are needed to get the Reality Love Stage. Moving past the Power Struggle stage, the couple begins to realize that not only is their job to grow up but their other job is to help their partner grow up.  Imago Therapy presents safe ways of relating to each other that helps both partners feel heard and understood by the other.  It provides a process to travel the path of creating a spiritually conscious union.

Intentional Dialogue – A Way to Keep Connected During Arguments

Intentional Dialogue gives you a process of obtaining The Five Freedoms and the ability to have intimacy that Virginia Satir, pioneer in family therapy talked about. What creates intimacy? What we really want is to be heard and feel safe with our partner. Hendrix’s technique of Intentional Dialogue is a way of relating to your partner when he or she is upset by something that you did. It is a process that keeps the contact going even in times of feeling threat and stress – IT KEEPS THE COUPLE CONNECTED EVEN WHEN THEY DISAGREE! Intentional Dialogue gives the partner the love and attention they need when they most need it.

Sound good? Well you can get it! You and your partner can find the Happy Ever After, after all. That is one of the greatest gifts you can give your children – parents who work together to keep the kindness and love going in their relationship.

But – it takes learning a process of active listening and hard work. It takes resolution from both partners to do Intentional Dialogue when friction starts to build up. It takes being able to be vulnerable and stomach some uncomfortable feelings. It takes you out of your comfort zone into really being REAL!  Ouch! It requires listening and talking from the open heart; now that is scary stuff. The payoff is that you and your partner become a team actively working though the rough spots in your relationship. It makes you conscious in your relationship. You can actually feel closer with your partner after an argument when you stick to the dialogue.

And the technique works in all relationships, not only in romantic relationships. It even works with adolescents! I highly recommend Hendrix and his wife, Helen Hunt’s book on parenting, Giving the Love That Heals.

Want more ideas to help create a healthy, happy family? I carry on my teacher, Virginia Satir’s ideas on creating functional families. Go to my web site and scroll down to the articles listed under COUPLES. You will find the latest research on how to achieve happiness in your relationship which is then passed down to security and self-esteem in your children.

Validating is Listening

I Love You So Big! Blog – Lynne Namka, © 2011-13

My wife played a tape of me arguing with my daughter and I couldn’t believe it was me talking. I was out of my head. – A co-dependent dad

Stay listening. You will be surprised at what you can learn from your children. Practice active listening. Children feel validated when someone really listens rather than just judging them, that’s one reason their peers gain so much power over them. If their friends listen and make them feel accepted and you do not, guess whose values they will take in.

active listening, validating

Try to understand that children do go through phases and the best thing to do is just ride them out. Learn active listening and work on cleaning up your lecturing so you can talk in the ways that your children will actually listen.

To encourage open communication get your child to think and express his or her opinion. Know that the opinion is probably a transitory one and won’t be acted upon unless you overreact and go ballistic. Listen to their opinion then ask them to respect you and listen as you express yours. Remind your child that your opinion is based on years of experience and living. Remember that he is trying on different ways of thinking and opinions and may not even believe what he passionately says. He may say thing just to shock you. It may be an idea he just heard and is working though. See this as a time to teach your child values, but if you start to insist or argue for your side, he will become more entrenched in his. Opinions are not set in stone during the teen years, but fluctuate according to the ever shifting mood and who is influencing him from the outside world.

Kids’ unusual ideas can be anxiety provoking to parents if you give it power and make it out to be more than it is. If you start to panic at what you hear, tell yourself, “Jeez-Louise, it is just his IDEA or OPINION at this moment. What if I just hear it through as if it’s an idea, not something he is actually going to do? Kids’ opinions are fickle, they change all the time.” Then think back to some weird belief that he used to have and how that changed. Don’t buy into your fear that he will always thing this way or act it out.

So if you are worried about her dressing Goth or playing Doom or games with too much gore, see it as another children phase that he is going through. Just as the monsters under the bed phrase or calling everyone “Poopie” chapter of your lives together that drove you crazy, this too will pass, if you let it. I thought I would go crazy as a young mother when my children went through the phrase of calling each other fatso. Guess what? They outgrew it.

Try to understand that children do go through phases and the best thing to do is just ride them out. Learn active listening and work on cleaning up your lecturing so you can talk in the ways that your children will actually listen. You are the adult here! Most of your values will come through in the long run if you don’t protest too much about their latest one. The longer you protest in days, months and years, the longer their phase will be. Don’t turn differences in values into a power struggle.

Look for my article Parent Cues To Teach Children To Express Upset Feelings at or other articles for help with communicating with children at

Could You Just Listen? – Sage Advice from an Anonymous Source

I Love You So Big! Blog – Lynne Namka, © 2011-13

The most deadly of all sins is the mutilation of a child’s spirit. – Erik Erikson

When I ask you to listen to me and you begin to tell me why I shouldn’t feel that way, you are trampling on my feelings.

When I ask you to listen to me and you feel you have to do something to solve my problem, you have failed me, strange as that may seem.

Listen! All I asked was that you listen, not talk to or do – just hear me.

listen listening feelings

When I ask you to listen to me and you begin to tell me why I shouldn’t feel that way, you are trampling on my feelings. Please, just listen and hear me.

Advice is cheap; 35 cents will get you both Dear Abby and Billy Graham in the same paper.

I can do for myself; I’m not helpless – maybe discouraged and faltering, but not helpless. When you do something for me that I can and need to do for myself, you contribute to my fear and inadequacy.

But when you accept as a simple fact that I do feel what I feel, no matter how irrational, then I can quit trying to convince you and can get about this business of understanding what’s behind this irrational feeling. When that’s clear, the answers are obvious and I don’t need advice.

Irrational feelings make more sense when we understand what’s behind them.

Perhaps that’s why prayer works, sometimes, for some people – because God is mute, and He/She doesn’t give advice or try to fix things. “They” just listen and let you work it out for yourself.

So please listen and just hear me.

And if you want to talk, wait a minute for your turn – and I’ll listen to you.

Here’s some advice about listening to your Inner Wisdom from my book on anger management techniques, Your Quick Anger Makeover Plus Twenty Other Cutting-Edge Techniques to Release Anger!

“Daily listening rituals for healing are part of becoming a loving, calm person. You can set yourself free from unwanted emotions and problems if you are willing to take the time to do the work. There are loving spiritual forces around us that are waiting for an invitation to help as described by the anonymous saying, “We entertain angels unawares.” You can call on your God, guides and teachers and spiritual deities you believe in from higher realms to assist you in achieving peace. You can download higher frequencies from above through intention and asking for what you want. We can always ask for clarification about an issue that is troubling us. To increase your own healing ability, set your intention for change with love. Take a long, slow, deep breath and hold it while focusing on love. Go deeper into love and see healing as happening now. See, feel and experience the power of love plus intention as a powerful change agent in your life.”

To improve your relationships and learn more about improving your listening skills, we recommend the book The Lost Art of Listening, Second Edition: How Learning to Listen Can Improve Relationships by Michael P. Nichols.

We All Want Attention, Affection and Approval! Use Active Listening to Help your Child Feel Validated

I Love You So Big! Blog – Lynne Namka, © 2011-13

“Find the extra time. Yes, teens take more time to parent. You need to be there when your teens want to talk about what is churning in their heads. Start out by listening – don’t half listen while you think of something else.” – Marilyn Heins

“Nobody understands me” is a common complaint of young people. Feeling different from others and feeling alone creates more confusion and conflict in the adolescent mind, which is working so hard to find an identity. One study showed that most behavior problems were caused by the child’s not feeling heard by adults.

The research says that feeling invalidated by others is the most common reason young people act! Young people do not feel respected when they are ignored, not listened to, or order to feel differently. They feel put down and reason that others do not care about them, so why should they care about themselves. They seek others in rebellion like themselves who seeming care and start to adopt values of giving up, alcohol and drug use.

attention, affection, approval

Underneath all these new behaviors of insisting on being left alone is the child’s ongoing need for the Three Big A’s—attention, affection and approval. Young people do not feel respected when they are ignored, not listened to, or order to feel differently.

“Why questions” typically do not work in getting to the root of why your youngster is acting the way he does. Children do not feel validated when parents ask them why they feel the way they do and then tell them how the “should” act. They also feel invalidated when you do not approve of their friends. A cardinal sin for most young people is being dissed by someone. They are furious and defensive when parents call their friends names. Some young people have a misguided sense of loyalty to their friends and keep hanging around people they would normally let go of just because their parents talk disrespectfully about the qualities of the friend.

Philosophizing and dismissal of a child’s problems will make him shut you out and become “parent deaf.” The time of the teen years are at a time of life when he is trying to interpret his world which is changing rapidly. It stings when a parent puts him down by calling him too sensitive, a crybaby, a whiner, stupid, too dramatic or a drama queen.

Underneath all these new behaviors of insisting on being left alone is the child’s ongoing need for the Three Big A’s—attention, affection and approval.And of course structure and clear, strong limits. I love the cartoon showing one porcupine talking to another who says, “Just once, I’d like to be petted!”

Our kids are like that at times. Prickly on the outside but needing that nurturance and connection even at the same time they deny it. They want you to love them despite how irrationally they are acting. So take a deep breath, drop into your heart to find what you really want for them at those moments when they are driving you crazy. That takes you out of your anger in the moment and puts you back in a space of rationality and clarity. Find your loving intention before words come out your mouth.

Lynne Namka is a Happy Psychologist who writes about love and life. She’s a wife, the mother of three, grandmother of three and a desert gardener who lives and practices in Tucson, Arizona. Her award-winning website is

Putting up Barriers Between You and Your Child By Over Parenting

I Love You So Big! Blog – Lynne Namka, © 2011-13

“You can’t scare us. We have kids!” – As seen on a plaque in a thrift store

Don’t over parent! There are some things that you can do too much of that will have a bad effect of your children. There are parent behaviors that WILL shut your child down and make him inaccessible for your input. When parents jump in and give their child solutions or lecture him, the child feels like he is not smart enough to figure things out on his own. In addition, when the parents put the child down through name-calling, criticizing and shaming, the child feels that there is something flawed about himself. You can put up walls, which destroy the opportunity for your wise guidance if you play the expert while talking to him.

over parenting, barriers, judgements

Over parenting by judging, moralizing, preaching, lecturing, ordering, directing and commanding or demanding makes the child feel stupid and unable to solve his own problems. He then becomes insecure and does not trust his own decision making process.

Over parenting by judging, moralizing, preaching, lecturing, ordering, directing and commanding or demanding makes the child feel stupid and unable to solve his own problems. He then becomes insecure and does not trust his own decision making process. Your overbearing judgments set up the scene where the child makes poor choices.

Don’t be a fear-based parent communicating that fear to your child by trying to control him to keep him safe. Vent your fears, worst-case scenarios and anxieties for your child’s safety elsewhere, keeping your negativity and barriers away from your child. Talk to a trusted friend, someone in authority or a counselor. One mother who was deathly afraid of the water, wisely kept her fear to herself and enrolled her children in swimming lessons. Learn stress management skills to deal with your own anxieties about the worst fear that you have about your child.

Sex, drugs and out-of-control behavior that endangers your child’s life are a possibility during the teen years. Parents of teenagers have realistic fears. They also can take on some irrational fears. Talk to other parents to determine if your fears are based on reality or just come from that big dark hole of fear in yourself.  Band together and find out what particular dangers the local peer culture presents. Then get a plan of how to deal with them.

Are you running on fear instead of running on faith? Most parent fears come out during anger at their child, making him feel controlled. Over parenting or making negative judgments about his decisions and criticizing your child’s choices will create insecurity in him. Arguing and disagreeing will only entrench your child in his way of thinking. Instead, ask your child to give the pros and cons of his choices and discuss the rationale behind each.

Without your feedback as to the reality of his perceptions and assumptions about the unfairness of the world, his distortions will continue. His confusion and sense of hopelessness will increase, resulting in more anger. This is a major teaching time for your child. Keep the lines of communication open and be aware of when you start over parenting. Keep the positive feedback going while challenging errors of thinking flowing. The thing to treasure above all else is positive communication that emphasizes connection and belonging.

More discipline techniques are given at my web site. My hobby is bringing the best parenting advice from the world of psychology and infusing it with my good common sense. Here are several articles you can search for:

 * Parents Get Mad Too!
* Things For Parents To Say To Ward Off A Child’s Mad Attack

* Turning It Around: What To Say To A Child Who Hurts Others

* Correcting a Child In a Positive Way: Cues To Break Into Inappropriate Behavior

Help Your Child Move through the Bad Feelings

I Love You So Big! Blog – Lynne Namka, © 2011-13

“We are as happy as we are able to be responsible for our own feelings and behavior. The superior man or woman is always open to the possibility that there may be another reality other than the one seen through the lens of their life.” – Lynne Namka, Your Quick Anger Makeover Plus Twenty Other Cutting-Edge Techniques to Release Anger!

feelings child anger

Emotions rule! One of the best things we can teach our children is how to work effectively with their feelings. Show them it is their choice to own their feeling and give it a name, instead of ignoring, repressing, judging it or blaming someone else.

1. Identify the angry feeling, which is on top. Give the feeling a name. Say, “I’m angry.”

2. Allow yourself to actually feel the feeling. Stay with it. Don’t rationalize it away.

3. Own the feeling. Be responsible for it.

4. Accept the feeling. Do not judge it or make yourself bad for having it. Say, “I’m feeling angry. I’m mad that I did not get what I wanted.” Do not blame others. Stick with your own feelings. The only person we can change is our self – to dwell on how others do not meet our needs keeps you in anger or depression.

5. Observe the uncomfortable feeling. Just watch it. Spy on it like you are a detective. Feelings come and go. Feelings are meant to be felt. That is why they are called feelings. It will pass if you just watch it.

6. Breathe into your feeling. They are just feelings to be tapped and breathed away! Tap all over your body while you have distressing feelings and breathe deeply. Start between your eyebrows, outside your eyes, on your cheekbones and above and below your lips. Then go to your collarbones and tap across and down your body, then up and down your arms and legs. Go around your wrists and ankles. Chances are you might shift your feeling through this tapping.

Emotions rule! One of the best things we can teach our children is how to work effectively with their feelings. My book, Your Quick Anger Makeover Plus Twenty Other Cutting-Edge Techniques to Release Anger!gives many exercises to identify and release unwanted feelings. In the book I say, “Make a rule for yourself: “If I feel it, I own it. I choose to get honest with myself. I can work this out or I can act it out. If I spot it, I got it! I’ll stay with it and breathe into it.” Move your attention to the meaning that your feeling of anger has. It may signal a boundary you need to set or hide a personal limitation regarding your self-esteem that you have and can’t look at. Listen to what your anger has to say.”

Being responsible for your feelings gives you the freedom to deal with them. Your choice to own your feeling, and give it a name instead of ignoring, repressing, judging it or blaming someone else gives you the power. You are in charge of your feelings, instead of your feelings being in control of you!

Keep reminding your child and teens that we are as mature as we are able to take responsibility for our own thoughts, words and actions: Say out loud for your child, “What is your part in setting this situation up? Remember behavior is a product of how you think. What can you learn about yourself so you don’t repeat this mistake?”

Sign up to Time To Love Yourself to receive your free eBook, “Your Quick Anger Makeover” by feelings expert, Lynne Namka. Packed with the newest ideas about how to understand and liberate anger and other unwanted, raw emotions, this ebook is a practical, light-hearted guide to take you through your wildest and woolliest feelings. Perfect for every family. 240 pages, a $19.95 value. Don’t miss this great opportunity! Sign up today in the top, right column of this page or at by clicking the “Free eBook Tab”.

Don’t Go With the “S” Word – Sarcasm

I Love You So Big! Blog – Lynne Namka, © 2011-13

“Stop, stop, stop using sarcastic words! Sarcasm is a learned habit of moving away from problem solving. Sarcasm is a form of dishonesty as you say one thing but mean another. It is a technique of distraction moving away from the issue at hand. It teaches disrespect.”- Lynne Namka

Sarcasm. Teens, and even tweens, can become quite verbal in saying things they don’t mean in an attempt to show their superiority to best you. They have years of practice of going for the jugular veins with their peers using put downs to show verbal superiority. Put downs are a form of sport with young people. They can joust with words with Olympic competence. Don’t you go there. It will be disaster if you do. You won’t win. No one wins in mind games of derision and scorn. Think of sarcasm as a typical teen trap baited and waiting for you to fall into to. Sarcasm can be a factor in teen bullying.

The worst thing you can do is to run to the brink with your anger, then bail out and agree to what your child wants. Getting angry and then giving in is a sure-fire invitation to your child to do whatever he did to push your buttons to the max. Over and over!

teen saracism

Children learn that there are different expectations of how they are allowed to express themselves in different social situations. Sarcasm is never appropriate. This is the time that you have to install healthy values and boundaries in your children.

Roll with the emotional punches – those highs and lows of teen dramas. Of course, you will have to stop freaking out over the latest fads and fashion. As a client told me recently, some advice that helped him was “Nobody ever died of a messy room!” Your overreaction to the temporary bizarre ideas and ways of dressing just makes young people desire them all the more. Let normal childhood phases run their course! Don’t make a big deal of their fads and they won’t have a reason to hold on to them. Think of Romeo and Juliet—if their parents hadn’t objected to the romance so much, they might have gotten tired of each other.

So even if sarcasm is ripe within the teen culture, don’t allow it to take over your home. Even young children learn that there are different expectations of how they are allowed to express themselves in different social situations. The language that is allowed on the playground or pool hall is not always the language allowed when speaking to grandma or at church. Set a strong boundary of what you will allow in your home. Say something like, “You may throw your put downs and smart remarks with your friends. This is how you joust for power with them. However, I will not allow the use of sarcasm here at home. You may not speak sarcastically to adults or younger children. We will use the words of loving kindness with each other as a family. You have the right to call me on this when I step out of bounds.”

Then hang a sign on your fridge which says, “Respect Spoken Here.”

Boundaries! We all need ‘em. So set them again and again with your children. Tell them what you want. Teach them what is and is not allowed in your family. This is the time that you have to install healthy values in your children. Speak up for kindness and respect. Model it and call your children on verbal behaviors that do not go along with the family program of “Respect Spoken Here.”

Want more ideas on learning to set clear and appropriate boundaries? Go to my award-winning web site

The Search for Power

I Love You So Big! Blog – Lynne Namka, © 2011-13

“Putting down the tools of war and picking up the tools of communication, conflict resolution, connection and commitment can create a life that produces long-lasting love. Breaking into bullheaded thinking will give you an increase in personal power.” – Lynne Namka, from Your Quick Anger Makeover Plus Twenty Other Cutting-Edge Techniques to Release Anger!

The Big Game of Life is a power struggle with others which serves to allow the player to avoid personal responsibility and refuse to look at his own behavior. Virginia Satir first described the Big Game. The Big Game is often one aspect of the Family Disease or “I Have the Right to Tell You What To Do!” The power struggle disease is prevalent in families with dysfunctional behavior.

Some young people have a strong quest for power and rebel against authority which means you! Some even want to scare grownups just enough so that they will be left alone. Some create a bad attitude and use anger to gain power to make adults back off. Some kids learn to give you the LOOK. You know what The Look is. It’s that glaring face that children past the age of 12 learn and use The Look to get the parent to stop asking questions. It is that blank look of the face that says, “What you are saying/doing is so stupid, so back off.” These behaviors sometimes are a part of the necessary search for who they are. Children develop covert ways of acting that are passively challenging your authority. Yet there are other ways of becoming a powerful person than trying to gain dominance over others.

power children parenting identity

Behaviors, such as giving you The Look, sometimes are a part of the necessary search for who children are. They develop covert ways of acting that are passively challenging your authority

Misguided power is the search for personal competence and identity can encompass all these areas:

  •             Parental Power
  •             School Power
  •             Religious Power
  •             Physical Power
  •             Sexual Power
  •             Economic Power
  •             Political Power

Author Henry Miller said, “The goal of life is not to possess power, but to radiate it.” Personal power comes from good self-esteem where others are valued along with ourselves. It’s a balance of giving and receiving and correcting imbalances in relationships as they occur. It’s that old rule of sharing that we learned in kindergarten. Talk with your children about small injustices in the family and in their friendships that they can address with healthy conflict resolution skills. Is what is happening fair and kind?

A longer article about Virginia Satir’s concept of The Big Game of Life is featured on my website at

Imbalance of power in your home? Are your children mean to each other? See my interactive video called It’s Not Okay to Feel Good by Making Others Feel Bad at To my knowledge, this is the only curriculum that approaches bullying from the point of helping the bully. It calls bullying for what it is—puffing one’s self up by putting others down and then gives an approach that helps the child stop while boosting his self-esteem at the same time. The video is also on You Tube with my other videos.

Invest in the New Cool-Yourself-Down Techniques

I Love You So Big! Blog – Lynne Namka, © 2011-13  

“The Energy Psychology techniques release feelings through the use of touch, tapping or eye movements to balance the body shift the meaning of a bad experience. The energy techniques help the mind and body return to the state of homeostasis after feeling stressed or threatened.” – Lynne Namka

Self-soothing is an important skill in learning to work with the stressors that children and we all feel. We all need techniques of self-soothing. One of the most important things you can learn to bring harmony to your home is to teach your children how to calm their central nervous systems by self-soothing. Another important thing is for you to learn the new Energy Psychology techniques. They are quick and easy to learn and use to release feelings and get back to your calm, loving self. You can learn these innovative approaches yourself and then teach them to your children. Your household will be much calmer if each person is made responsible for taking care of their own disconcerting and unruly feelings!

calming techniques, self-soothing, eft, emdr, breathing, minfullness, mediation, Tapas Acupressure Technique

One of the most important things you can learn to bring harmony to your home is to teach your children how to calm their central nervous systems by self-soothing. Give EFT, EMDR, breathing and meditation a try.

The Emotional Freedom Technique

Acupressure by tapping or rubbing your body is a form of self massage that feels good. Tapping briskly on your body when you are upset gets your energy moving and helps you relax. The Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) combines acupressure with counteracting negative thoughts, owning the problem and forgiving yourself. EFT helps calm down the fight or flight response by balancing your brain hemispheres. It helps desensitize triggers that make you angry or frightened and helps release strong emotions, negative thoughts and anxiety. There are many web sites that feature EFT. Try Googling “the tapping technique.”

Deep Breathing

When you are scared, you probably contract your body and hold your breath to try to squish the feelings in order to keep from feeling bad. Pulling your body in tight and stopping your breath keeps you from getting good oxygen to deal with whatever upsets you. Breathing helps calm the fight, flight or freeze reaction that you can go into when stressed. Deep breathing helps bring you back to where you can think more clearly and reason. Any time you have a family crisis moment, tell your children to stop and have a deep breathing time so you can problem solve together.

Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR)

Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) is a technique for releasing old trauma and negative beliefs. This tool helps release stressful and uncomfortable emotions stored away in the body and mind. EMDR is helpful in releasing uncomfortable memories of being criticized, embarrassed and shamed by others as well as being unmotivated or stuck on certain emotionally stressful issues. Through the eyes shifting back and forth while focusing on a problem, feeling or inner body states, old repressed feelings come to the surface and are released. If you feel overwhelmed and anxious much of the time or have unresolved trauma in your past, find a therapist who can do this fantastic stress management technique with you.

Mindfulness and Meditation

Mindfulness is keeping your attention on what is happening in the moment. You just watch how you inhale and exhale and observe the thoughts as they come and go. You calm yourself by focusing on your breath until the negative emotion leaves. Just watch the events and emotions as they come up instead of reacting to them. The focus shifts to just being the neutral observer of the events. Stop the knee-jerk reactions and keep your mind in neutral!

The Tapas Acupressure Technique

The Tapas Acupressure Technique (TAT) is a simple method that helps people get in touch with and release information about what is bothering them by holding certain points on the forehead and back of the neck with their fingers while focusing on an issue. With this technique, the front and back of the brain are connected and brain rhythms become more balanced as you go through steps to release your issue.

It’s a Tough World Out There. Make it less Tough on Yourself!

Stop and ponder on these two questions: Who would you be now if you had learned how to handle destructive arousal when you were young? How would your life be different if you had learned to read other people and their agendas early in life?  With sufficient practice and determination, you can learn to modulate your emotions. It’s not enough to know these techniques—you have to do them continually to make them an instinctive habit instead of going into flooding and stupid behavior! Practice makes permanent!

Learning to deal effectively with your feelings is a life-long process. Using these techniques daily to reduce the arousal that comes up when you are upset helps you grow emotionally, psychologically and spiritually. You are as mature as you are able to take responsibility for our own thoughts, feelings and behavior! As I tell myself, “What better thing do I have to do with my life than do what it takes to become the best person that I can be?”

Lynne Namka, Ed. D. is a mom, grandma and a psychologist in private practice in Tucson, AZ. She is the author of The Doormat Syndrome, The Quick Anger Make Over plus Twenty Cutting Edge Techniques to Release Anger and Teaching Emotional Intelligence to Children and other books. Her award winning web site is at

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