Acts of Honour

Now, was that honourable ???

The idea of honour is an ancient one that has been explored in philosophy, the classical arts, literature, psychology, and behaviourism. The concept is a loaded one as it does imply a level of judgment. To view an act as one of honour means that you have decided this particular situation, response, behaviour, position, or stand is one that reflects your personal views and values. Moreover, it means that you have assessed or judged something in an esteemed and respectable manner that is fitting for social admiration as well.

Honour is a thing to be admired, a higher standard to which you yourself aspire to maintain and uphold for the sake of your own wellbeing, and more importantly for the sake of others. Honour is awe-inspiring. It sets the basis upon which tales are told and shared within diverse cultures.

In this now fading time of “cancel culture”, making judgements has become risky. Party to superficial analysis and critique, your judgments run the risk of public censor even before you have had the time to fully develop your point of view. One of the unfortunate impacts of social media is the overly simplified manner in which information is both shared and understood.

All human languages are subtle and nuanced. They are filled with a multiplicity of meanings that may not fit within the techno-parameters set out by our increasingly digitized world. What you have you lost by a comment, text, or like? Who has wrongly judged you on the basis of your civil right to take a stand? What have we collectively lost even when one person’s right to speak up is silenced?

Acts of honour are often the topic of psychotherapy, albeit not identified as such. Parents, spouses, adolescents, and children will often speak up about situations in the home with which they may not agree. Depending on the developmental stage of the individual and the situation in which you may find yourself, your teens may truly view the dishonour in your activity and call you out accordingly.

Healthy homes have spaces for dissent and active dialogue where differences of opinions are safely expressed, shared, and discussed with repair and resolution as the intended goals. Healthy families understand that the ultimate end-game is love, support, and well-being. There may be years when family members disagree about situations, and perhaps dissolve.

Divorce is one real example where family members leave each other over irreparable situations. Thinking about your process of separation and divorce with this perspective of honour as the backdrop may in fact help you to move forward with less disruption than without this working paradigm.

Your actions will be judged by your family, friends, and most importantly your children. Every interaction and encounter with your loved ones as you move towards starting over as a single person again sets up an opportunity to act honourably or not. The decision is yours to make.

Most psychotherapists are trained to help you work through unresolved feelings about your spouse and family as you move through divorce, grief, financial ruin, or more. Reminding yourself about the role of honour in your life may help to guide your steps in ways that consider the needs of everyone involved and not just your own.

Invest in psychotherapy today.

Dr. Romano-Dwyer RSW

#wellness #honour #mentalhealth #healthy

Is Virtue a Thing?

Building Virtue and Trust with Social Media

On the eve of returning to school, parents are faced with many anxieties this year, mostly due to Covid. Trusting that your child will follow the expectations of the school and public health authorities to keep themselves safe and healthy is a big leap of faith.

Building trust in your child decision is a slow process that evolves under your guidance over many years. Early individual and social tasks are highly supervised by you and other trusted adults like teachers, coaches, extended family members, and neighbours. As children grow, allowing them some freedom to exercise decision-making is key to growing confident, healthy, and independent young adults. Learning from mistakes is sometimes part of this process.

The explosion of social media technologies has certainly complicated parenting today. Finding the right balance between supervision and intrusion is a delicate one that sometimes warrants the support of a third party such as an aunt, uncle, or grandparent.

Where conflict arises over persistent power struggles with your child over social media dependence, and perhaps risky online incidents, professional intervention by a qualified clinician or therapist is best. A professionally trained mental health counsellor with child and family experience will help your family find a happy middle ground that ensures your child is safe and that your rules are respected.

For the most part, parents who can trust the decisions and choices made by their children in everyday tasks are more likely to trust their children with online and social media activities. Being vigilant about the amount of time, favourite sites, and apps your child is exploring is extremely important. You need to keep the lines of communication open with your children in order to foster a tone of trust and care about their online activity and social media presence.

The sad reality is that there are some dangers to unsupervised online activities that children are far too vulnerable to navigate without adult guidance, and in some extreme cases intervention. Calls from the parents of your child’s friends, school, children’s aid society, or local police are strong indicators that your child’s online activity is risky.

Building virtue online is possible and a shared goal. Help your child by reviewing the following questions prior to creating a post OR commenting online:

  • Is my post kind and caring?
  • Will my words build up or break down someone else’s post?
  • Do I really need to post my comment ?
  • Am I concerned about comments or posts I read online?
  • Am I being unkind or hurtful on purpose?
  • Did I re-read my post before posting it?
  • Was I angry or sad when I posted a comment?
  • Who can I share my concerns with about these comments or posts at home or school? Am I afraid that I will get in trouble?
  • What might happen if I post a photo or comment on my social media?
  • Do I have permission to post a photograph that includes my friends?
  • Am I clear about how the privacy controls work on my apps?

Helping your children to develop problem-solving and decision-making skills that are thoughtful, caring, and compassionate starts well before they have access to technology. Hold your children to account where they have been mean, critical, or unkind to people online.

Modern technologies offer many positive aspects to shared learning and social experiences. DO your part to make virtual platforms safe for everybody – a kinder & gentler place for children to share with one another.

Sunny dispositions deserve to shine !!!!

#wellness #socialmedia #onlinerisk #parentingforvirtue

The Alluring Other

A Vow is a Promise

Helping couples to remain faithful to their vows is a special role of psychotherapy in individual and couple’s counselling. Many people experience feelings of attraction to someone other than their spouse, even after marriage.

Adult crushes are more common than you think, and these may not indicate a problem in your marriage.

There are several realms of attraction that may surprise a newlywed or young person. Discovering that you are physically or intellectually attracted to someone at work, school, or in your community may catch you off guard. Discovering that you are attractive to someone other than your spouse may also come as a surprise.

It is common to think about an exciting conversation or project you engaged in with someone at work or school long after it has finished. These alluring ruminations usually work to remind you about the initial fluttering of early love with your spouse. Falling in love is a unique experience that you will never forget. Having reminders about these feelings is a good thing, and often brings back the magic to your own relationship.

For most people who wisely “catch” themselves from the rousing allure of attraction with someone other than a spouse, these reminiscent feelings of excitement are usually enough. Discovering that you have feelings of intrigue are natural, especially when you spend many hours of your day with people other than your spouse.

Discussing your adult crush with your spouse is something you may wish to think about beforehand. Some people have a stable sense of self-confidence and self-esteem to withstand the normative feelings of concern that occurs when you learn that your partner is physically, emotionally, or intellectually attracted to someone else. Some people are far less self-assured.

Where your attraction to another person persists, and more importantly beings to pose a real threat to your fidelity, talking to a therapist or friend will help.

Marriage vows involve a promise of lifelong fidelity. Responding mindfully, maturely, and reflectively to the allurement of another preserves your promise to be true that you created at the beginning of your journey together.

Where persistent attractions distract you from your spouse, more clinical support is advised to explore your feelings and what you may believe is lacking in your monogamous relationship. You deserve to be happy in your marriage. You deserve to be happy in your life.

The inevitability of infidelity as portrayed in the movies is actually fantastical. Lifelong marriages remain the norm, and most couples are faithful to one another forever, as originally promised, and despite the sappy overuse of the term, forever. Love is everlasting.

Trust your marriage to the best, we care how you feel!!!!

By Dr. Lisa Romano-Dwyer RSW