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Achieving Inner Balance in Anxious Times

Achieving Inner Balance in Anxious Times

Copyright Date: 2011
Pages: 320
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  • Book Info
    Achieving Inner Balance in Anxious Times
    Book Description:

    Clinical psychologist Dr Barbara Killinger offers insights and a variety of techniques that she developed in working with her clients over the years. Through their stories, she illustrates the dynamics of workaholism, showing how it produces profound personality changes, negatively affects family interactions, and reduces effectiveness at work. She explains the dynamics of how workaholism can result in the loss of personal and professional integrity, and why ambitious, perfectionistic people typically become obsessive and increasingly narcissistic. Achieving Inner Balance in Anxious Times shows us how to become aware of the darker side of our personalities, and how to avoid conflict and power struggles by establishing clear ego boundaries that help build mutual trust and respect in our personal and professional lives. The achievement of inner balance makes work-life balance possible.

    eISBN: 978-0-7735-8552-2
    Subjects: Psychology

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-2)
  3. Introduction
    (pp. 3-10)

    To find that inner pivotal point of balance, our calm centre of equilibrium, is no easy feat at the best of times. Today, much of our emotional and financial security is still being destabilized by anxious uncertainty. We have been witness to media reports of volatile stocks markets, the threat of major bank collapses, massive fraud schemes, and widespread corporate control of our media, government, and institutions of learning. People who suffer from addictions, depression, obsessions, and other psychiatric disorders know anxiety all too well. It is ever present.

    Some of the cultural and societal forces that affect whether or...

  4. 1 Flat Feelings — Tipping the Balance: One Couple’s Experience
    (pp. 11-23)

    A sunbeam slants across my desk, and the morning sun warms the room. Yet an anxious, tense feeling hangs in the air.

    Peter, a darkly handsome fifty-year-old entrepreneur, sits rigidly upright and immobile, some distance from his wife, Sally. He casts the occasional furtive glance at her as she tearfully describes the state of their marriage. Peter’s face registers little emotion. His brow is deeply furrowed, his cheeks sunken. Ridges stretch up from his tense jaw. His eyes look flat, vacant, and haunted.

    In contrast, Sally’s eyes, although darkly circled, shine brightly through her obvious pain. She is articulate about...

  5. 2 The Thinking and Feeling Functions: Understanding What Makes You Tick
    (pp. 24-36)

    Understanding our personality is of utmost importance if we are to gain insight along our psychological journey towards a balanced life. In the early 1920s, C.G. Jung, the Swiss psychologist, developed his theories of psychological differentiation. InPsychological Types, Jung stated that “type differentiation often begins very early, so early that in some cases one must speak of it as innate.” He distinguished four basic functions that the conscious psyche requires for adaptation and orientation: Thinking, Feeling, Sensation, and Intuition. One or two functions tend to be dominant, while the others remain inferior or undifferentiated.

    According to Jung’s theories, ideally...

  6. 3 Misunderstandings: The $64 Question What in the World Went Wrong?
    (pp. 37-55)

    Poor communication is the number one reason people give for the breakdown of a relationship. Communicating well is an art that can be learned, but it takes much patience, tolerance, and skill. It also helps to know the different ways people communicate. For example, do they share their thoughts and feelings or is everything kept safely tucked inside?

    In this chapter we will discover why Thinkers and Feelers have difficulty communicating with each other and why “The Terrible Twist,” a controlling tactic, is so destructive.

    We will also learn why the Inferior function is the dark culprit behind many of...

  7. 4 The Workaholic Trap: Personality Changes on the Gerbil Wheel
    (pp. 56-91)

    A quote from the author Jack Kerouac says it all: “Who wants a living – I want a life.” Today, family life and work have become two worlds in conflict. There is no balance in life when the ideas and goals we pursue come to fruition but we ride roughshod over our own and other people’s feelings and values. Ironically, although workaholics are overly responsible in public, they become increasingly irresponsible with their family and themselves.

    In my bookWorkaholics: The Respectable Addicts, I illustrate why workaholism is such a dangerous and life-threatening addiction. It changes not only people’s personalities but...

  8. 5 Narcissim: Mirror, Mirror, on the Wall,Who Is the Fairest of Them All?
    (pp. 92-115)

    Normal levels of narcissism are fundamental to the development of self-respect, self-love, and pride. We nurture ourselves each day by meeting our physical and psychological needs. In excess, however, narcissism becomes a destructive dynamic that warps our life energy and blocks psychological growth.

    The chief sign of a neurotic narcissism is the loss of feeling, the loss of thereal Self, the whole personality with its potential for growth and development. The person instead identifies with an idealized view of what she or he feels they should be and thus denies and rejects their actual being. In the extreme, narcissism...

  9. 6 The Narcissist’s Family: The Birth of Narcissism and Its Generational Legacy
    (pp. 116-130)

    The children of a narcissist are likely to inadvertently copy their parent’s self-serving behaviour and thus develop a skewed value system. This same parent may reward and foster certain personality traits and talents that encourage a child to feel special and set apart from other children. Often a narcissistic individual will project his or her ideal image and single out one child as a favourite. Thereafter, that child can do no wrong.

    Let’s explore how narcissism begins to develop within the family circle. The most severe narcissistic injuries are inflicted in childhood. Surprisingly, there are two seemingly opposite dynamics that...

  10. 7 The Journey — Stage 1, Awarness: Learn to Internalize Your Feelings
    (pp. 131-163)

    Imagine that you are sitting in my office. Your feelings are flat, and you’re not too sure just how you feel at this moment, or how youshouldfeel.

    You may have been the “good kid” in your family. You always fit in, performed well at school, and rarely rebelled, except maybe to skip a few classes or smoke behind the garage. Or perhaps you grew up in the midst of the family’s Battle of Waterloo. You’re not sure if anyone actually won any of the skirmishes, but you do know that you “run for the hills” and hide if...

  11. 8 The Journey — Stage 2, Rescheduling: Problem–Solving. Now or Later, That Is the Question!
    (pp. 164-185)

    Like Sally and Peter, you are beginning to be super aware of your body. When something happens, you monitor its reactions. You tune in to exactly which muscles and nerve endings are registering your present emotional state by automatically sending signals to your brain. You then label the emotion by naming it. Take anger as an example. You might say to yourself: “Wow, am I ever fuming inside my gut! My shoulder blades are all hunched up, and my blood pressure is rising fast.” There may be other sites affected in your body, but for now this information is good...

  12. 9 The Journey — Stage 3, Non-Controlling Communication: Unplugging Our Ears and Staying on Our Own Side of the Fence
    (pp. 186-204)

    Our journey so far has shown us how toidentify our feelingsthrough the signals our body sends us at the time an incident occurs. We then use ourthinkingtoanalyzeour reaction by making use of the answers to five questions, the last of which asks whether we may or may not be overreacting because of some past-related experience.

    The next step is tocommunicate our feelings and thoughtswith sensitivity and respect. We remain fully present, and refuse to withdraw or lash out even when the other person

    invades our space. We are nowInternalizing, in control, and...

  13. 10 Feeling and Thinking Language and Behaviour: “I Thought We Spoke the Same Language!”
    (pp. 205-233)

    A young medical doctor and his wife came up to me after my lecture on understanding the addiction of workaholism and its devastating effects on the family. “After reading your book,” the husband said, “we realized that we were pretty good at complimenting and rewarding our two children for their accomplishments.” This, apparently, was quite easy for them to do.

    Then the wife joined in: “But after we talked it over, we decided to make a conscious effort to reward our kids for their ‘being and feeling’ side as well. Unfortunately, what we soon discovered, to our great discomfort, was...

  14. 11 Problem-Solving Through Creativity: The Logical Circle
    (pp. 234-256)

    “How will I know when I’m better?” is a question often asked by impatient clients who want recovery to happennow! My standard answer, after many years in practice, is: “When the

    power of love and compassion in you is stronger than the power of greed.” This will signal that feelings really work, and that values have shifted accordingly. As one client put it, “My wife and my kids are on the front burner now, and I intend to keep it that way!”

    In reality, however, all of us experience continual internal struggles between Thinking’s goal-oriented focus and Feeling’s concern...

  15. APPENDIX 1 Learn to Internalize Your Feelings A Summary
    (pp. 259-264)
  16. APPENDIX 2 Additional Functions from Jung’s Theory of Psychological Type
    (pp. 265-281)
  17. APPENDIX 3 Which Is Your Interior Function?
    (pp. 282-284)
  18. Quiz What Is Your Level of Narcissism?
    (pp. 285-290)
  19. Bibliography
    (pp. 291-296)
  20. Index
    (pp. 297-309)