Feelgood Health E-mail Consultations by Licensed Psychologists
Approved Counselor for Feelgood Health clients!
From the end of September 2006, Feelgood Health will no longer be directly offering online counseling services. However, we have negotiated with Nellie Prinsloo, a Clinical Psychologist and online counselor, who will be happy to review all your counseling requests. Nellie comes with many years of experience in private practice and can be contacted at www.onlinetherapist.co.za.
We have published a few questions answered by Nellie, choosing topics that commonly present themselves in online counseling. While the e-mail consultations to clients are longer and more comprehensive, here are some short examples of some of the problems that Nellie commonly deals with. Read more about Nellie.
I am a 64 year old and have two grown daughters and a son that is married. All of them have children and I have 4 grandchildren which I love. They all live in the same town as me but I just never see them. I always ask them for dinner or ask if the kids can come over to my place but if I see them on birthdays and other holidays it is a lot. I feel like I hardly know my grandkids and I am very lonely. The kids just say they are very busy but I can't get there myself and I don't know what to do. It is as if I just don't feature in their lives. What can I do without being a nagging prying mother?
It is hard to feel isolated from the people that you love and care for and you will have to look at the things that you can control – the choices that you have about how you want to deal with your children’s behavior. Being busy is certainly a reality that we all can confirm and weeks just fly by and maybe the whole situation is just that they are busy with living their lives. When we have a rushed week we often crave a quiet and peaceful weekend where you don’t have to keep to any schedule. Ask your kids if there is anything that you can do to help them out – maybe you can pick the kids up from school or maybe you can help with homework or getting them to their activities. The problem is that you can invite but they have the choice to accept and to participate!
If you are feeling lonely look at your own life and see if you can fill it with other things or other people. Maybe they need someone at your local hospital to read stories to the kids or may be they need a volunteer to help at the church. Don’t make the mistake of thinking that your kids are the only ones that can keep the loneliness locked away; you have to organize yourself as well. Try to go out and get involve in activities where you can meet other people and where you can build some friendships. Being without a partner or kids at home can be very lonely but you have to focus what you can change about your life instead of what the kids will have to do to change your life. You have no conrol over their thoughts, emotions and actions but you have control over the choices that you exercise. Good luck
As a man, I think it is important to be the head of the house. of course everyone must help to make the decisions but I should have the last say. My wife and me have been married for 6 years and we fight about this all the time where she says I am controlling but am just trrying to do the best for my family. We have a fight about how to bring up our son who is 5 and she says I am too hard on him (but I don't hit) and I think she is making him soft. Why can't she see that I as the husband should be respected and not scream at me in front of my son? How can I make her understand that I do it for love of her and my son and to be a proper father so we can work together?
When two people who love one another get married, they take their own opinions, lesson from the past, fear and hopes into the relationship and the "hard" work about married life, is to be able to compromise and meet at the place where both feel at peace with the result. I see that you are fighting to have the ultimate authority as well as discipline and parenting and it have become a win-loose situation. The sad reality is that both of you are loosing – you are loosing the ability to really communicate, to have respect for one another and to feel comfortable with each other’s personalities!
No person will accept absolute authority from another person – we all want to make our own decisions and be able to exercise our own choices. We certainly do not want to live someone else’s life and we certainly want to be able to question and discuss certain decisions that another has made. When we differ about decisions, we have to discuss, negotiate and compromise until both feel happy with the decision and the discussion did not ruin the relationship. I understand that there are crisis situations when two people might have different ideas about how to deal with it and ultimately one person must make a decision and act upon it but these occasions are rare and should be the exception and not the rule!
Parents often fight about the discipline and parenting of their children and you will both need to be patient, listen to each other and try to understand why the other one is thinking about parenting in this manner. No one is right and one wrong – we differ in parenting because of our personalities and the lessons from our own lives. You will never convince her to do things completely your way and she will never convince you to do things completely her way. It would just not feel comfortable wearing someone else’s shoes! I am sure your ideas as well as your wife’s ideas have validity and in combination could be the ideal way to parent your son.
If you want her to see and experience your love for her and your son you have to show it in the way that makes sense to her. When people feel uncomfortable with the behavior of another person, they are certainly not going to feel loved! Will you feel loved and protected if your boss is on your case all the time and fire you because it is for your own best interest and because he cares about you? You have to reconsider the way that you do show love and caring!
Dear counsellor. I am nearly 8 months pregnant and I live in Jhb and due to give birth soon. This is my first baby and I am excited but the problem is that my mother believes it is her duty to come and stay for the first 3 months to help me with the new baby as this is a family tradition. I really want these months to be special for me and my husband and they wont be with my mother there as she and my husband dont get on much. He says I must just tell her that she cant come but she will never forgive me and I can't work up the courage. My husband and I are even fighting about it and it is stressing me out so much that I sometimes even wish I werent having this baby. Please help with a way of telling my mother not to come?????
It is really awkward and very stressful to be in a situation where it feels as if you have to choose between the needs of your husband and those of your mother. Having a new baby is very special and you and your husband are now taking on new roles: you are no longer a couple but will soon be a family of your own. You are also going to be parents and your mom will take on a role of grandmother. You cannot disregard your wishes, your husband's needs or your mother's emotions. However, as with everything else in life, you can only live your life. What is it that you want? If you want time alone with your husband and baby you will have to tell your mother that.
You have no control over your mother's or husband's emotions and one of them is going to be upset if they choose to be. You and your husband should discuss how long the grandparents can visit to get to see their new grandchild. Ask them to come for the birth and stay a few days - negotiate with your husband a period of time that will help you, him and the grandparents.
Ask your Mom how this tradition started - was it not initiated to help a mother that could not cope or wanted the help? Tell her that your needs are different and even though you appreciate the gesture, you will not need her help for such an extended period. Tell her that both you and your husband want to spend time alone with your child before either one goes back to work since you are forming your own family now. Tell her that both of you need to adapt to the parent role and that there is plenty of time to initiate and maintain a grandparent role with your child. Reassure her that the grandparents will be a part of your child's life but that you want this time alone with your baby to get acquainted with him / her.
We don't know how your mom is going to react and you will have to deal with the situation in the moment. Speak from your heart and be honest and truthful to yourself - that is the best that you can offer. You cannot please everyone and making decisions to please others is not the way!
My daughter is 16 and used to carry a little puppy fat. For the past 6 months she has been exersising every day and playing squash 5 times a week and she eats only salad and drinks bottles and bottles of water. She is so thin I can feel her shoulder bones when I hug her but she says she is healthy and needs to lose more weight and I am being overprotected. I am so worried, do you think she has anarexia? Marion.
Your daughter's eating habits certainly sound very unhealthy and it could be anorexia. Anorexia usually starts in puberty with extreme weight loss. Even though she is very skinny she will fear that she'll become fat again and believe that she needs to loose more weight. Common ways of loosing weight are excessive exercising, not eating and the use of laxatives. Anorexia sufferers often develop strange eating habits such as refusing to eat in front of others. Logical reasoning seems to have no effect on them and they continue to believe that they are too fat even when they are dying.
Marion you must tell your daughter that you are concerned for her safety and health and because you love her, you want her to see an expert. She most probably will respond with denial, resistance and anger but you have to persevere and insist on psychological and medical health. Anorexia is a disorder that can be overcome. Some other symptoms of anorexia are:
Loss of at least 3 consecutive menstrual periods
Brittle and dull skin
Shortness of breath
Obsessive behaviour re calorie intake
They often enjoy cooking or feeding others
They might keep food such as chocolates in their cupboards
They move their food around on a plate instead of eating it
It is important for you to take your daughter to a doctor and or psychologist for assessment and help. Don't think that if she eats all the problems will go away - there are many underlying issues that need to be dealt with. In the event of further queries, please do not hesitate to contact me.
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