Parental Considerations and Responses to Bullying

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Though Herb Tannenbaum, PhD, has built most of his career on relationship counseling for couples, he has also established his expertise in child psychology. Dr. Herb Tannenbaum has served for several years as the director of a children’s day camp and has been invited to offer lectures and lead workshops on various aspects of child development, including the persistent problem of bullying.

Exact statistics can vary because of differing definitions of “bullying” and methods of reporting, but in general, traditional bullying has seen a decrease only to be replaced by cyberbullying. Regardless of its form, however, it’s a critical issue because those targeted by bullies are more likely to engage in violence, bring weapons to school, struggle academically, and experience both physical and mental health issues.

Parental response is a key element in addressing bullying. Helpful actions include informing the child that bullying is not uncommon nor the fault of the child, listening to the child’s concerns without offering judgment or reaction, and building the child’s self-confidence through developing extracurricular skills and talents. Actions a parent should avoid include scolding the child, assigning blame, or encouraging any form of retribution. In the event that it becomes necessary to speak to the parents of the bully, offering analysis or judgment of their child is almost certain to cause offense and exacerbate the situation.

For those who discover their child is the bully in this situation, several common factors need to be considered. Many children who bully others do so because they are subjected to disrespect or disregard at home, acting out in order to gain a sense of power or draw attention. Children who are accustomed to leniency and unused to strict restraints might bully out of a sense of entitlement. In some cases, the child has trouble feeling empathy despite coming from a loving home and active parenting. In any case, it’s important to remember that a bully is still a child in need of guidance.

An Introduction to Imago Relationship Therapy

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Getting the Love You Want

Psychologist Dr. Herbert (“Herb”) Tannenbaum has relied upon imago relationship therapy (IRT) as a means of supporting relationships for more than four decades. Based in River Edge, New Jersey, Dr. Herb Tannenbaum also works with individual patients.

IRT provides couples with the tools they need to endure challenging times together and, in some cases, to view their relationship as unhealthy or unsustainable. Although the timing of its application and specific issues to be addressed by IRT can vary from case to case, several aspects of IRT make its application suitable for most if not all cases.

A number of relationship problems can be traced back to poor communication and an inability of an individual to share his or her true desires with another. IRT helps both people in a relationship to identify their subconscious needs and convey them directly to the other. Similarly, imago therapists seek to explain the ineffectiveness of treating surface problems, focusing instead on helping patients to identify core issues that multiply into hurt feelings and negative encounters.

As one might expect, a successful IRT regimen can take a significant amount of time, even for couples that do not view their relationship as unhealthy or in serious jeopardy. One of the primary tenets of IRT is the construction of an emotional safe place through which couples can establish a healthy, long-term partnership. This safe space allows potential fights to evolve into opportunities for deeper connections and greater understanding. That said, emotional safety does not necessarily come easily, but can perhaps be achieved through hard work.

Developmental Delays Versus Developmental Disabilities

Developmental Delays Versus Developmental Disabilities pic

Developmental Delays Versus Developmental Disabilities

A licensed psychologist, Dr. Herb Tannenbaum has been helping individuals and couple through a variety of challenges for more than four decades. Executive Director of the Center for Effective Living, Dr. Herb Tannenbaum maintains his own private practice and has a professional interest in areas such as attachment therapy, couple therapy, and child development.

When it comes to child development, parents may hear the phrases developmentally delayed and developmental disorder. Although the two terms are occasionally used interchangeably, they are two separate things. Developmental delays do not result from lifelong conditions. They occur when a child falls behind the normal emotional, cognitive, or social development for their age range. With early intervention, developmental delays can be overcome and the child can get back on the path or normal development. However, in some cases, a child may still experience delays after reaching school age.

Meanwhile, developmental disabilities or disorders are problems that cannot be outgrown. They result from mental or physical issues like autism, Down syndrome, and brain injuries. Most developmental disabilities affect a child’s learning, self-care, and socialization. Some children with developmental disabilities will miss certain developmental milestones, while others may reach every milestone, especially if they are high-functioning.

Choosing a Therapist That Suits You

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Herb Tannenbaum

With a PhD from New York University, Dr. Herb Tannenbaum serves as the executive director of the Center for Effective Living and also has a private consulting and psychotherapy practice. Dr. Herb Tannenbaum’s areas of interest include child therapy, teenage suicide prevention, attachment theory, and child development.

There are a lot of good therapists, but choosing the one that is best for you can be tricky. Many people don’t know what to look for in a therapist, and you can never really be sure if a therapist is a fit until you meet with him or her. The best thing you can do is to arm yourself with as much knowledge and firsthand experience as you can before setting up an appointment with anyone.

One of the best methods for doing this is calling to directly ask the therapist a few things about him- or herself. Ask about his or her academic pedigree, licensing, training, length of time in professional practice, and whatever else concerns you. Asking friends and family for recommendations as well as investigating online are other good ways of getting information.

One of the most important things you can ask is whether the therapist has treated issues like yours. For example, therapy for couples can be very different from therapy for an individual with an addiction. While some skills, such as compassionate listening, are applicable across the board, a therapist with the right experience will have a better idea of what works and doesn’t work for people in your situation.

Specialization in a school of therapy is also important. Research the therapist’s area of specialization and see if it sounds appropriate for you. Beware of therapists with too rigid or too broad a scope, and trust your gut feelings. In the end, don’t be disappointed if you don’t click with your very first therapist. Finding the right one can sometimes be like dating until you find the right match.

What to Expect from Couples Therapy

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Getting the Love You Want

Dr. Herb Tannenbaum earned his PhD from New York University and is a member of the National Accreditation Association of Psychoanalysis. One of Dr. Herb Tannenbaum’s specialties is couples therapy, and he is a clinical instructor of Imago relationship therapy and a Workshop Presenter for the “Getting the Love You Want” couples workshop.

Couples who are fighting or having other issues may want to consider couples therapy (also known as couples counseling). However, even people who have tried individual therapy may not realize what couples therapy involves. Knowing the basic procedures and goals can help couples get the most out of it.

The therapist generally starts with some basic questions to get to know the couple and their history and then goes more into their points of contention. Equal voice is given to each individual, and they are both encouraged to be talkative and forthcoming and to listen to one another. Depending on the therapist or the couple’s dynamics, a couple might be seen together or individually.

Effective couples therapy will achieve change in a few different aspects of the relationship. Dysfunctional behavior, such as angry reactions, are modified. Their strengths as individuals and as a couple are promoted to de-emphasize shortcomings and enhance cooperation. Communication is improved. Emotional avoidance is decreased so that couples can confront their underlying fears and other unpleasant feelings that interfere with healthy interactions. Views of the relationship are changed to encourage more constructive conversations.

Achieving any one of these goals can drastically improve the relationship, but it may take some work. By the time they go into therapy, couples generally have been wrestling with their issues an average of six years. It can take months or years of regular sessions to work through them. Goals like improving communication and dysfunctional behavior are difficult for even individuals to achieve, much less couples.

Divorce and Marriage from the Imago Therapy Perspective

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Imago Therapy Perspective

Dr. Herb Tannenbaum is a PhD graduate of New York University, as well as the Clinical Training Program, the Clinical Instructor Program, and the Workshop Presenter Program of the Institute for Imago Relationship Therapy. A licensed psychologist since 1975, Dr. Herb Tannenbaum leads the Imago “Getting the Love You Want” workshop for couples.

Q: According to Imago relationship therapy, people often need marriage as a catalyst for healing and growth. Does that mean they shouldn’t get divorced?

A: Many people believe that if they are fighting a lot with their spouse, they are in the wrong relationship. There are certainly situations where divorce may be the best choice, but from the Imago perspective, a marriage is less likely to reach the point of dissolution if wounds incurred in childhood from not getting needs met by primary caretakers are healed or are being worked on.

Furthermore, any unresolved relationship issues may still need to be resolved in one’s next relationship, so the difficulties in the current relationship are seen as being important to confront in the present. Divorce could lead to continuing a cycle of relationship issues attached to new faces.

When people first meet and fall in love, they tend to idealize each other and to try things they don’t normally do for the sake of bonding. After marriage, on the other hand, the individuals in a couple begin acting more like who they actually are. The Imago school of thought holds that rather than divorce, if couples can look beyond their own need for gratification and focus on their partner’s growth and the well-being of the relationship as a whole, a shift to a psycho-spiritual transformation occurs and enhances the relationship.

Signs of Self-Hatred

Executive director of a private psychotherapy practice and the Center for Effective Living, Herbert “Herb” Tannenbaum, PhD, treats couples and individuals in New Jersey. Possessing more than four decades of experience, Dr. Herb Tannenbaum has given numerous presentations and taught several advanced clinical training courses on such topics as self-hatred.

Self-hatred, also referred to as self-loathing, is a detrimental thought pattern that involves individuals feeling extreme hatred toward themselves along with thoughts of being worthless or inferior. Self-hatred is treatable. A few signs of self-hatred include:

Setting low goals. If you are continually setting low goals, you are subconsciously saying that you’re not capable of reaching higher ones. While setting low goals may seem like a simple way of improving self-esteem it can actually have the opposite effect.

Using tough love. Some individuals may rely on self-hatred for motivation, but using tough love to motivate yourself just results in increased anxiety. Self-loathing may actually halt your progress toward a specific goal and destroy any motivation you were trying to create.

Being envious. Constantly comparing yourself to those who you feel are better equates to putting yourself down for no reason. There are positive and negative qualities to everyone and focusing only on the positive ones of another damages your opinion of yourself.

Apologizing for everything. Taking the blame for every minor mishap creates the belief that you are at fault for everything. This reinforces the idea that you cannot perform certain tasks or that you are a bad person, when most of the time the problem was out of your control.