MyMind Counselling Services

Parents consider the following theory from David Ridell and think how you and your children might be
mis-associating or incorrectly interpreting events and experiences of life. I have observed some parents
clearly explaining (debriefing) to their distraught children the why's and wherefores of the last event that triggered
the emotional outburst. This is wisdom, it often takes some repetition but eventually the child starts to get a
better understanding, the mis-association is eventually put right and so they think and feel differently
and lastly behave in a more appropriate way.

"Children are excellent recorders of their experiences but poor interpreters."

Whenever an experience is FIRST encountered in a particular context, something of that context invariably rubs off on the experience. This mis-introduction (perhaps to crowds, Church, sex, school, competition, marriage or music for example) results in a confusion of emotions or mis-association of impressions or concepts. This leaves our minds with what I call defiled connections. The result of this is that we then find that the later re-experience of that feeling always brings with it the negative interpretation that is now no longer appropriate. (This amounts to a welded echo). In order to heal what amounts to faulty programming (a troublesome neurological overlay) the particular layers must be separated in therapy by revision and new linguistic skills until the two interpretations are quite separate, so that one set of neurological stimulus is no longer automatically brought up by the other. In this way we separate or distinguish between the concepts, and there by enable the separation of emotions.
Some examples I repeatedly come across in therapy are:

1. When being disappointed is indistinguishable from despair.
2. When a particular town or city is welded to failure, or bad times.
3. When correction becomes indistinguishable from rejection (or powerlessness or humiliation.)
4. When housework is indistinguishable from futility or resentment.
5. When responsibility is welded to being blamed or accused.
6. When insisting on consequences feels like cruelty or manipulation.
7. When interviews are welded to feeling rejected.
8. When submission is indistinguishable from subjugation.
9. When assertiveness is indistinguishable from aggression or violence.
10. When apologizing is welded to weakness or injustice or powerlessness.
11. When the telephone or letter-box is welded to shock or bad news.
12. When the dark is indistinguishable from danger or abandonment.
13. When being tidy and organized feels like being powerless or boring or controlled.
14. When visiting in-laws feels like being on trial.
15. When being told "no" feels just like complete rejection, despair or total domination.
16. When being under the spotlight is indistinguishable from humiliation.
17. When any failure is experienced as self-hatred or hopelessness.
18. When guilt can only mean total condemnation and self-hatred.
19. When faith feels just like fatalism.
20. When confident IS only perceived as arrogant.
21. Being alone equates to abandonment or non-existence.
22. When feeling misunderstood is overlaid with being unjustly punished.
23. When feeling unheard is overlaid with feeling abandoned or non-existent.
24. When jokes and humour is welded to derogatory humiliation, scorn or mocking.
25. When having a mess is overlaid by abuse or over-whelmed or confusion / not coping.
26. When any kind of suffering is experienced as abandonment.
27. When different feels like shame.
28. When hunger feels like nobody's there for me.
29. When any criticism feels like total condemnation.
30. When section maintenance is welded to futility or being pressured.
31. When suffering equates to futility or feeling unloved.
32. Success is welded to impending doom or anticipation of bad news.
33. When pleasure always brings with it guilt.
34. When any relaxation brings with it guilt, or recreation is indistinguishable from wasting time.
35. When vulnerability is welded to weakness or dangerous exposure.
36. When trusting is connected to being ripped off or 'sucked in' or naive.
37. When debate is equated to argument and unpleasantness.
38. When disagreement is indistinguishable from rebellion or disloyalty.
39. When helping is indistinguishable from interfering and vice versa.
40. When God is indistinguishable from church.
41. When self-denial feels like non-existence or dying.
42. When being disapproved of is indistinguishable from rejection or abandonment.
43. When being corrected equates to being dominated.
44. When sex is welded to feeling powerless, obligated, disgust or excitement.
45. When respect is welded to veneration.
46. When disorganized means powerless or in danger.
47. When Christianity is welded to exclusivism, intolerance, self-righteousness or authoritarianism.
48. When debt is welded to panic or danger or powerlessness.
49. When enforcing consequences seem like black-mail or manipulation or cruelty.
50. When assessing a person's actions is confused with being judgmental.
51. When 'no' is welded to never.
52. When stating ones terms is welded to being dominating or controlling.
53. When delegation is confused with abdication.
54. When homework or housework is welded to obligation / loss of sovereignty.
55. When classrooms and exams are welded to failure or shame or feeling dumb.
56. When planning and goal-setting is welded to expectation of disappointment.
57. When one's physical body equals ones status (shame or inferiority or superiority).
58. When marriage equates to feeling trapped or controlled or regretful.
59. When exercising-your initiative is welded to spiritual striving.
60. When conversation feels like being unheard or feeling humiliated.
61. When exhaustion is indistinguishable from the need for sexual comfort.
62. When questioned or challenged equals usurped or undermined.
63. When eye contact is welded to domination.
64. When unity is confused with uniformity or control.
65. When the sea / surf is welded to danger. (You saw the movie 'Jaws' when you were too young didn't you?)
66. When church is welded to feeling 'bored' or 'guilty' or 'unsafe'.

From David Riddell - Living Wisdom


Quotes from “Live and Learn and Pass it On” by H. J. Brown

I’ve learned that if your children feel safe, wanted and loved, you are a successful parent. – Age 39
I’ve learned that you can’t hug your kids too much. – Age 54
I’ve learned that when Mummy and Daddy shout at each other, it scares me. – Age 5
I’ve learned that children are the best teachers of creativity, persistence, and unconditional love. Age - 37
I’ve learned that to love and be loved is the greatest joy in all the world. – Age 78
I’ve learned that you shouldn't brag about one of your children in the presence of another. – Age 77
I’ve learned that you can’t expect your children to listen to your advice and ignore your example. – Age 51
I’ve learned that being a grandparent is God’s compensation for growing older. – Age 64
I’ve learned that the more a child feels valued, the better their values will be. – Age 39
I’ve learned that when I come home from a date, I’m always glad to see that my parents
have left the porch light on for me. – Age 17
I’ve learned that you should invest in your family first and your career second. – Age 48
I’ve learned that if you want to do something positive for your children, try to improve your marriage. – Age 61
I’ve learned that you know your husband still loves you when there are
two brownies left and he takes the smaller one. – Age 39
I’ve learned that it always makes me feel good to see my parents holding hands. – Age 13
I’ve learned that a person’s greatest need is to feel appreciated. – Age 45
I’ve learned that if you give a pig and a boy everything they want, you’ll get a good pig and a bad boy. – Age 77
I’ve learned that being a mother is the best occupation you can ever have. – Age 35
I’ve learned that when you have an argument with your spouse, the first one who says,
“I’m sorry I hurt your feelings; please forgive me,” is the winner. – Age 51
I’ve learned that a loving, faithful wife is a man’s greatest treasure. – Age 68
I’ve learned that a happy marriage multiplies joys and divides grief. – Age 79
I’ve learned that there is nothing more peaceful than a sleeping child. – Age 30
I’ve learned that if love isn’t taught in the home it’s difficult to learn it anywhere else. – Age 51
I’ve learned that you can tell a lot about a man by the happiness of his wife and the respect given him by his children. – Age 51
I’ve learned that marriages are meant to last a lifetime. When they don’t, all the world suffers. – Age 59
I’ve learned that if you ask someone, “I wonder if you could please help me?”  
You will almost always get a positive response. – Age 57
I’ve learned that if your teenager doesn’t think you’re a real embarrassment and a hard-nosed bore,
you’re probably not doing your job as a parent. – Age 44
I’ve learned that a smart husband knows that wooing never stops. – Age 59
I’ve learned that kids need hugs more than they need things. – Age 43
I’ve learned that I am my child’s most important teacher. – Age 32
I’ve learned that when visiting my parents, it takes five seconds to say “hello” but about 30 minutes to say “good-bye,” – Age 48
I’ve learned that a time comes when you would give all you possess to have your grown children young again,
if only for one day. – Age 60
I’ve learned that when you have a wonderful wife, tell others – but be sure to tell her too. – Age 51
I’ve learned that you can tell how good a parent you were by observing your children with their children. – Age 82
I’ve learned that it has taken me sixty-one years to learn to do what my granddaughter calls “mellowing out”. – Age 66
I’ve learned that parents will never understand the importance of a telephone (cell phone) to a teenager. - Age 16
I’ve learned that if a child is not getting love and attention at home, they will go somewhere else to find them. – Age 46