Sunday, 10 May 2009

Is Anybody Listening?

You may have seen recent articles in the press quoting research which seems to imply that some women are more likely to spend "excessively" in the 10 days before a period starts. The inference was that the boost from so-called retail therapy allows women to deal with the unpleasant, negative feelings created by hormonal change at this point in their cycle. Before going on I would, as a therapist, take issue with the concept of retail therapy as any boost achieved is only temporary, often leaving guilt or remorse later, when the reality of the overspending becomes obvious when the bank or credit card statement arrives. Rather than therapy, it is more like a habit or an addiction that seems to soothe and does not actually relieve the underlying problem, and which over time can become a problem in its own right.
This idea of explaining changes in behaviour by understanding changes in hormonal levels in the body and brain is very interesting and reasonably well understood. In psychotherapy many therapists will in an initial session take details of someone's medical history including maybe the last time that their bloods were checked, knowing well that hormonal deficiency or excess can often influence or even be the cause of unhappiness, depression and sometimes inappropriate behaviour. However, an interesting question to me is, does this understanding mean we should excuse “inappropriate" behaviour?
Read the rest of this article at http://www.onthecouchwithsteve.coml/

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