Posts

Seasonal Depression

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It’s the week after Halloween, and you know what that means… Christmas music (whether you like it or not. But generally, we start to feel that “The Holidays” are upon us, and whatever that implies. For many people, it is depression. I posted about this last year, but I’ve gained some more insights since then that I’d like to share. And we need to be talking about mental illness all year round anyway so… I talk a lot about how “depression” is a natural adaptation to certain kinds and quantities of stress, things that create a feeling of helplessness, usually that are overwhelming or inescapable. Our body functions depress, diverting energy from non-urgent things to basic functions. Many mammals in cold regions depress because efforts to gather food in cold dark conditions would be less productive than shutting everything down and just waiting for the snow to melt. They are happy to eat up and wait it out. Humans are mammals, and have the same tendency to depress during the dark months.

How To Have Sex, Part 3: Beliefs and Misconceptions

How To Have Sex, Part 3: Beliefs and Misconceptions There are many ideas about sex, either explicitly discussed or expressed implicitly, that can poison it. These ideas are maladaptive because they stem from, or easily induce, the emotions discussed in the previous post. I will list some of these false beliefs, then follow them with a more adaptive rebuttal. - Sexual satisfaction, arousal, and orgasm are based on physical attractiveness . Not so. Firstly, there is no objective measure of physical attractiveness. And, as stated in the first two posts, emotional intimacy is a MUCH stronger predictor of how much you enjoy sex, and your relationship in general (Just look at success rates of celebrity marriages!). - I am responsible for my partner’s enjoyment of sex . Not so. You are not responsible for your partner reaching orgasm, general arousal, or general satisfaction. You communicate and contribute as much as you reasonably can, then leave them the ultimate responsibility for ho

About the Therapist

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  About the Therapist Hey Guys! This post is to tell you a bit about myself and my experience of therapy. A huge component of success in therapy is feeling safe and connected with your therapist. Finding a therapist is a lot like dating, so make sure you find a good match! Hopefully knowing some things about me might help. If you don’t like reading, here’s my grad school interview video from 2018: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LZgbPYUEDRE I was born on Camp Pendleton, CA, on March 23, 1995. I am the middle of 5 children, and have two brothers and two sisters. My father is a family physician, and was in the navy for the first 10 years of my life. My mom is a nurse. We lived in California, Guam, Florida, California, and Italy. I went to Italian public school for a year, learned sufficient Italian to survive, but can’t speak much anymore. After, we moved to Provo, where I started 5th grade at Edgemont Elementary. I graduated from Timpview High School in Provo, after which I immediately

"They HAVE TO Go to School, Right?"

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  One of my greatest frustrations in family therapy is the pressure of sending kids to school. Don’t get me wrong, I think education is awesome. But it shouldn’t be used as a bludgeon to our mental health… which we need to become educated. How does this happen? One reason is–ironically–the lack of education. If a kid is having an urge to not go to school, there is a REAL reason for it (one that isn’t a character flaw). Most of the time, there are serious issues going on outside of academics, such as marital conflict, bullying, friend tension, feeling misunderstood, etc. When these stressors build up, they will first make us anxious: we enter Fight/Flight brain, where logic and learning capacity decrease, we enter “survival mode” when we do just enough to get by with the bare minimum. This is a hard state to go to school in, but it’s manageable. *And, even if it is just about not feeling prepared for a test, seeing a crush, or avoiding friend drama, there are VALID emotions behind these

Blog Contents

 Hello! Welcome to Lessons from Family Therapy.  This blog contains homework assignments for my clients, but also contains useful information for everybody else. As of December, 2021, most of the blog posts from previous years have been included in my book 101 Therapy Talks. If you are a client, you should receive a free digital copy from me. If you are not a client, you may purchase the book here:  Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/s?k=Boone+Christianson&crid=2TJ8DZJAWOPGI&sprefix=boone+christianson%2Caps%2C150&ref=nb_sb_noss This blog contains a few classic posts, as well as all the new ones. To quickly find the posts, type the name of the post into the search bar at the top of the Home Screen. I'm putting my posts and some of the book chapters into audio format through my podcast "Steps with Boone" found on most major podcast streamers: https://open.spotify.com/show/4NW8Sf2AQKf4o8VytImDaz... https://podcasts.apple.com/.../steps-with-boone/id1634436916 https://

How to Put Your Kids in Residential Treatment… Sort of…

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  How to Put Your Kids in Residential Treatment… Sort of… How could sending your kids away actually help them? Interesting question. In the short-term, kids tend to experience significant changes while at Residential Treatment Centers (RTCs). They can move from total mental and emotional dysfunction to thriving in 8-12 months in such an environment. Unfortunately, the long-term prognosis isn’t so great. Children often revert back to old symptoms after they return to old environments. They are likely to retain some gains from residential, but not all. This shows that people’s symptoms arise in strong relation to their environment. What is it about RTCs then? RTCs aim to apply the basic principles of human development, and generally have better resources to do so than many families. First and foremost, they seek to do no harm. The most direct way to induce anxiety, anger, and depression is to use inherently harmful actions or words. Corporal punishment is illegal in most residential sett

STEPS: Therapeutic Interaction Model

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For an updated and expanded version of the model, visit this link to the 20-page booklet:  https://boonechristianson.blogspot.com/2022/08/steps-booklet.html?m=1 And the 5 minute video version:  https://youtu.be/T7l7D1ukw0c STEPS:Therapeutic Interaction Model You don’t know what to do when your partner or child has a reaction that seems totally disproportional to the situation. When you try to be rational, the person becomes LESS rational, and a fight breaks out. The goal in any healthy relationship is to create mutual happiness. We can do this by showing love, THEN, if necessary, helping people change their thinking and behavior, not vice-versa. We do not show love by making them change. We could try to force changes in behavior through coercion, shaming, or fear, but this undermines the ultimate goal, and doesn't create lasting change anyway. So, our priority is to help someone feel safe, NOT to teach, challenge, critique, fix, or get a certain behavior. If you feel safe, you are