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Getting Anger Under Control

Dr. Walton will be presenting at this month’s Second Saturday Divorce Workshop on Saturday, October 8, from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. at our office in Woodland Hills. He’ll discuss combating emotional agendas, tips for better communication with your ex, how to help your kids through the divorce, and how to get through it yourself. Register now for $25 at www.thelawcollaborative.com/secondsaturday.htm or call us toll free at (888) 852-9961.

Getting Anger Under Control Is Easier Than You Might Think
By James E. Walton, Ph.D.

The first thing to understand about anger is that you, and only you, are responsible for your thoughts, feelings and actions. That includes anger and angry behavior. You are responsible for becoming angry and you are responsible for letting it go. No one can “make” you angry. Only you make yourself angry. Anger is a feeling. When we are able to put anger into words, we can clearly communicate our strong feelings to another.

Angry behavior is not a clear form of communication, rather, it is a form of acting out when we yell, scream, throw things or hurl insults. This behavior doesn’t express anger. It simply demonstrates our feelings of helplessness and our desire to force another to bend to our will through intimidation.

Uncontrolled angry behavior interferes with talking and listening. It is actually a very ineffective way of expressing anger. Instead of the receiver hearing clarifying words, they are left to interpret the behaviors, and often their interpretations are not what the sender was trying to express.

To better get anger under control, ask yourself if the angering situation is going to really matter 20 years from now. Then, ask yourself if you would rather be right or happy. Sometimes we prefer to be right, but usually we prefer to be happy. These are two techniques for reducing feelings of anger.

Never attempt to settle an argument when you are angry. Walk away, sit down and cool off. Deal with the situation later when you are rational. Feel with your heart, but act from your head.

Dr. James E. Walton, Ph.D. is a licensed Marriage & Family Therapist with a private practice in Sherman Oaks. Log onto his website at LAtherapist.com or call (818) 753-4865.

Upcoming Events

We still have two fantastic events this summer. On August 13th, we have a Second Saturday Divorce Workshop featuring Attorney Robert Borsky,  James Walton, Ph.D., and Pete Collins, CFP, covering child custody, spousal and child support guidelines, how to protect oneself in court, and the divorce process and fees.  Our much anticipated Wine Tasting and Real Estate event on August 16th will be hosted by Irene Smith, CDFA, with guest speaker Dvir Levy, Regional Vice President of Wells Real Estate Funds.

For the Second Saturday Workshop, register online here and get 50% off the registration fee, or call us toll free at (888) 852-9961.

For Wine Tasting and Real Estate, click here to RSVP online, or call us toll free at (818)884-4888.

When is It An Affair?

Today’s guest post is by James E. Walton, Ph.D.

WHEN IS IT AN AFFAIR?

By James E. Walton, Ph.D.

For something to be called a sexual affair, it requires three conditions and all three must be present.

1. There’s more intimacy than in the primary relationship
2. There’s sex involved
3. It’s kept a secret

Men consider it an affair when sex is involved. An affair does not have to be physical for women to consider it cheating. It just has to be emotional.

The Internet has brought on a new issue for people who had no intention of cheating. They innocently cross the line as they divulge more and more of themselves to each other and find themselves involved in an emotional affair.

For an emotional affair, it requires all three conditions to be present:

1. Greater emotional intimacy than in the primary relationship,
2. Secrecy and deception from the spouse
3. Sexual chemistry

Emotional affairs can cause a good deal of marital strife. However, the affair that includes sexual intercourse typically does the most damage to the couple.

Affairs are an indication that there are problems in the dynamics of the marriage. And they bring with them an opportunity to rediscover the intimacy and closeness that was either lost or was never present in the primary relationship if the couple is willing to work through the violation.

How can you avoid all of this? Simply don’t have the affair. If you feel the temptation, get yourselves into couples counseling immediately. Open up to better communication skills and greater intimacy. The earlier you get yourself into counseling the better. Most people wait to enter into counseling until it’s too late. It’s much easier and more effective to deal with issues and have a great outcome when you enter into therapy at the very first sign of trouble.  It’s economical too.  After all, it’s a lot cheaper than a divorce.

Ultimately, affairs don’t cause divorces; poor communication and lack of intimacy within the couple do.

Dr. James E. Walton, Ph.D. is a licensed Marriage & Family Therapist with a private practice in Sherman Oaks. Log onto his website at LAtherapist.com or call 818-753-4865.

Breakfast with Ron & Robert

Don’t forget! This Saturday, June 11 is Breakfast with Ron & Robert: Second Saturday Divorce Workshop. This month’s speakers include Attorney Robert Borsky, James E. Walton, Ph.D., and Pete Collins, CFP. You’ll learn about the legal divorce, the emotional divorce, and the financial divorce. You’ll be able to ask questions and get answers. Register before 4 p.m. this Friday, June 10 and get 50% off the registration fee. Register online by clicking HERE or call us toll free at (888) 852-9961.

How Men Heal from A Break Up

Today’s guest post is by James E. Walton, Ph.D. Dr. Walton will be a featured speaker at the Second Saturday Divorce Workshop June 11, 2011, where he will discuss the emotional divorce and how to help your children cope with the split.

HOW MEN HEAL FROM A BREAKUP
By James E. Walton, Ph.D.

Men pride themselves on feeling powerful, competent and effective in their world. They receive a sense of fulfillment in feeling successful and doing well. Men take great pride in being independent and self-sufficient.

Then, they fall in love. They allow themselves to be vulnerable to another, they get close and sometimes they end up getting hurt and their hearts get broken.

Surprisingly, men generally are the first to fall in love and the last to fall out of it. Men have more difficulty handling their emotions than women because they have been trained to be independent so they develop fewer skills for handling their emotions. They become emotionally overwhelmed easily and demonstrate it by shutting off their emotions and withdrawing, or going into denial. All of this is a bid to cut themselves off from those overwhelming feelings of hurt and pain.

In the process, those feelings lie dormant and are never healed. If they don’t heal those feelings, they don’t allow themselves to fall in love again and they’ll miss out on one of the most rewarding, healing and satisfying experiences in their lives; that of falling in love again.

When men are in pain from a break up, they go right into feeling mode and become overwhelmed by those feelings resulting in shut down, paralysis, withdraw or angry bitterness. Men cannot make good decisions for themselves or anyone else under those conditions.

It’s best for them to throw themselves into an activity or project that they love doing. While they’re doing the activity they love they’re also processing the painful feelings of a break up and this can contribute greatly to the healing of those feelings.

Dr. James E. Walton, Ph.D. is a licensed Marriage & Family Therapist with a private practice in Sherman Oaks. Log onto his website at LAtherapist.com or call 818-753-4865.

Healing from a Broken Heart

Dr. James Walton will be the guest speaker at this weekend’s Second Saturday Divorce workshop. For more information, or to register for the workshop and save 50% off your registration fee, visit TheLawCollaborative.com/SecondSaturday.htm

HEALING FROM A BROKEN HEART
By Dr. James E. Walton

If you have recently gone through a break up, acknowledge that you are going through a crisis and become more compassionate and gentle with yourself. Remove any blame you may be putting on yourself for anything you may or may not have done or for trusting another or having been vulnerable. It’s important to know that we are able to trust and experience vulnerability. Those are important parts of being in a relationship.

Talk about your hurt with people who are willing to listen. You might even want to seek out a licensed therapist to help you through this time. It’s important to let yourself know that you can and will make it through this experience.

Stick to your daily routines. Continue to eat, sleep and exercise at the same times you always have. If you don’t exercise, now could be a good time to start. Always consult with your doctor first before starting any exercise routine. Exercise causes our bodies to release endorphins that serve to help us feel better.

Don’t seek revenge. It’s OK to fantasize about it, but it’s not OK to act it out. Angry behavior only leads to amping up the drive to act out more angry behavior. Don’t do it.

Don’t follow, spy on, or call the other person. This can keep you attached in very unhealthy ways and make it more difficult to heal your hurt and angry feelings. Resist the urge to try to make them understand your hurt feelings, or try to get them to see your point of view. This will only lead to more frustration and feelings of betrayal. Of course, don’t harm yourself. Doing so never gets them to come back.

Dr. James E. Walton, Ph.D. is a licensed Marriage & Family Therapist with a private practice in Sherman Oaks. Log onto his website at LAtherapist.com or call 818-753-4865.

Love, Romance, and Expectations

Keeping Great Expectations Realistic
By Dr. James Walton

By the late 1500’s, the idea of marriage based on love had taken hold in Europe inspiring Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet.  Shakespeare’s work explored the ecstasies of passion and the devastating consequences of fiery passion not balanced with a realistic perspective.

It was their unrealistic expectations that swept them off their feet and carried them off to their tragic end.  What was true in the time of Shakespeare continues to hold true today; if we allow our expectations of love to run our romance, we will never see the marriage in a realistic light.  Our unrealistic expectations will kill our relationship.

Statistically, arranged marriages experience lower rates of divorce than love based marriages because they do not have the luxury of depending on love to carry them through.  If their marriage is going to survive, they have to make decisions based upon what is good for the relationship.  What is true for them is also true for you.  If your marriage is going to survive, then you must base your decisions on what is good for the relationship above what is good for you alone.

We often expect marriage, and surely our spouses, to rescue us from our feelings of isolation and loneliness.  Love will conquer all.  It will not.  Marriage is not a solution for loneliness.  Two can be a lonelier number than one.

To improve your marital odds, lower your expectations of what your marriage is going to do for you.  Healthy relationships are created by our participation in them.

Your marriage should be treated as a living being under your care whose health is dependent upon your attention.  To have a successful marriage, you must become its loving servant to enjoy all the gifts that a healthy and loving relationship can bring.

Dr. James E. Walton, Ph.D. is a licensed Marriage & Family Therapist with a private practice in Sherman Oaks. Visit his website at LAtherapist.com or call 818-753-4865.