Dr. Codrin Stefan Tapu

    

For Patients

Let's start with the beginning: there are four main things that people do: they

think, act, feel, and express through their body language (as in emotional

expressions).

Well-adjusted people act what they think, and express what they feel. Also, in

a relationship, they think about others' acts, and feel about what others

express.

Unadjusted people act what they feel, instead of what they think, or express

what they think, instead of what they feel. In a relationship, they think about

what others express, or feel about others' acts.

So, to become well-adjusted instead of unadjusted, we don't have to change

the way we think, act, feel, or express, but change the relations among these

within ourselves, in our relationships, or both.

We will show you a few examples that might match or approximate your

experiences, so you can learn to apply them to similar situations you

encounter in your life. Make sure your partner does the same.

 

Act what you think, do not content to express it: speak your mind, don't let me guess it

Instead of the unadjusted:

"I decided that's better for me to leave my boyfriend, and I tried to show him that"

Try the well-adjusted:

"I decided that's better for me to leave my boyfriend, and I told him that"

The first response would generally be appropriate in:

I found out that I don't love my boyfriend anymore, and I tried to show him that"


Instead of the unadjusted:

"Today I decided that it's better for me to break up with my girlfriend, and I'll behave so that she will leave me"

Try the well-adjusted:

"Today I decided that it's better for me to break up with my girlfriend, and I will tell her that"

The first response would generally be appropriate in:

"I found out that I don't love my girlfriend anymore, and I'll behave so that she will leave me"

So, if you know that the other expresses what he/she thinks, instead of acting

it out, and if he/she is acting like trying to show you that he/she is not loving

you anymore, or like trying to make you leave him/her, understand that he/she

decided that's better for him/her to break up with you, but he/she is not

necessarily not loving you anymore. What to do further is up to you.

 

Express what you feel, do not act it out: "love don't cost a thing", and "love is a feeling, I don't wanna hear it"

Instead of the unadjusted:

"I love my girlfriend and I always buy her what she wants"

Try the well-adjusted:

"I love my girlfriend and I'm always gentle with her"

The first response would generally be appropriate in:

"I want her to be comfortable and I always buy her what she wants"


Instead of the unadjusted:

"We love each other; that's why we are moving in together"

Try the well-adjusted:

"We love each other; that's why we can't spend much time being apart"

The first response would generally be appropriate in:

"We are getting along very well and think we can share a household; that's why we are moving in together"


So, if you know that the other acts out what he/she feels, instead of

expressing it, and if he/she wants to move in with you, understand that he/she

has feelings for you, but has not necessarily thought of all the things involved

in living together.

 

Think about others' acts, don't feel about them: get what I have in mind, do not mind

Instead of the unadjusted:

"My girlfriend wants to make up with me, and I'm thrilled about it, 'cause this

means that she loves me"

Try the well-adjusted:

"My girlfriend wants to make up with me, and I agree, because that's better for both of us"

The first response would generally be appropriate in:

"I feel that my girlfriend loves me, and I'm thrilled about it"


Instead of the unadjusted:

"My partner wants to buy me a house, and therefore I assume he/she loves me"

Try the well-adjusted:

"My partner wants to buy me a house, and therefore I assume he/she wants to make me understand he/she is serious about us"

The first response would generally be appropriate in:

"My partner always treats me kind, and therefore I assume he/she loves me"


So, if you know that the other feels about your acts, instead of thinking about

them, don't tell her you want to make up with her unless you really love her.

Otherwise, she will not understand that it is a mere rational decision, and will

build upon a love that isn't there.

 

Feel what others express, do not think about it: I need you to feel what I feel, I don't want to fill you in

Instead of the unadjusted:

"She thinks that I'm smart, I can see it in her eyes"

Try the well-adjusted:

"She likes me, I can feel it in her eyes"

The first response would generally be appropriate in:

"She thinks that I'm smart, she asked my help in solving a difficult problem”


Instead of the unadjusted:

"He is giving me a bitter look, and I'm wondering what is wrong?"

Try the well-adjusted:

"He is giving me a bitter look, and I feel that he is sad or angry"

The first response would generally be appropriate in:

"He's not acting like he used to, and I'm wondering what is wrong?”


So, if you know that the other thinks about what you express, instead of

feeling about it, try not to show him/her your emotions, unless you thus want

to make a point about your thoughts. For example, if you want to raise his

self-esteem, you can flirt with him, but don't expect that this will make him

understand that you like him as a man.

 

Give up fabricated smiles and controlled gestures. Express your fears or sadness, don't try to act against them. Act against dangerous or bad situations instead, and irrational fear or depression will go away

Physical symptoms like shaking, crying, nausea, pain etc. (what is often called

"sickness") can be no more than pathological emotional expressions. Unlike

normal emotional expressions, symptoms appear not as a reaction to a

perceived emotional state, but to a situation. People with such symptoms do

not realize that these symptoms are in fact the result of their state of fear or

depression, and rather think that they are provoked by events they perceive in

the outside world, like dangers or bad situations. For example, when someone

says "I cry for little or no reason", or "there is nothing to cry about", a rational

cause is assumed that makes people cry, instead of their own emotions.

People with symptoms also display avoidant or passive-aggressive

behavior; they do not openly express their feelings, nor do they openly speak

up their thoughts, nor act what they think. They act out their fears by

deliberately avoiding or sabotaging unpleasant people or situations, and

express their thoughts about someone or something through obstructionist,

involuntary resistance/stubbornness (avoidant behavior and passive

resistance). Fabricated smiles and controlled gestures are falling in the same

category of expressing what you think (you should express), instead of what

you feel.

Also, whereas people without symptoms act against bad or dangerous

situations, and not against their sadness or fears, people with symptoms try

to act against their feelings, and naturally, they fail in doing that, because

feelings are not subject to the control of reason.

 

So, if you are like:

I'm depressed (afraid), and I try to do something about it.

The situation is bad, and I'm sick.

 

Try:

I'm depressed (afraid), and I'm sick.

The situation is bad, and I try to do something about it.

 

And you will soon be in the position that:

The situation is bad, and I try to do something about it.

So I'm not so depressed (afraid), and I'm not sick.

 

Treating a typical problem: fear of college

"I want to go to college, but I feel anxious and afraid"

I want to go to college, but I can't do it.

When I think of going to college, I have all sorts of strange sensations. I suddenly feel dizzy and I have a kind of weakness in my arms. I can't explain why is that. I really want to go to college, I always wanted to.

I feel anxious and afraid, and I try to do something about it.

Lately I just feel like I'm not myself anymore. I feel anxious and insecure. I was always bold and outspoken, bun now I think I became rather shy. I try to repress these feelings and control myself, but it's useless.

I feel anxious and afraid, and I can't go to college.

The last two weeks have been like a revelation to me. I figured out what was going on with me. I was anxious about going to college because I felt that leaving my parents and my old friends would be too much for me, and I wasn't sure I could cope with that. And I'm still not. That's why I have these symptoms, the dizziness and all that...

I think I'm also afraid that I could fail in college. I never thought about that before. I always thought that I was a winner. But it seems that now my body tells me otherwise. I don't know if this weakness was always there or if it developed later as I was growing up. . . It's hard for me to admit that sometimes I might be weak, you know. I was not brought up that way... I think that paying attention to this weakness affects me in two ways. On one hand, it's tough to know that you're weak. On the other hand, It's kind of liberating... And, last but not least, it allows you to concentrate on how to deal with your real world problems. Lately I understood that you can get stronger only by dealing with real problems in your life, and not by trying to be strong, or to be fearless, or to be the best.

I want to go to college, and I try to do something about it.

Since I'm sure that I really want to go to college, I will try to make sure that I will cope with that. I will periodically  talk to my parents and friends back home, and pay visits to them on a regular basis, I mean, I will make a schedule, if necessary...

Therefore, I don't feel anxious and afraid, and I can do it. When I'm afraid about it, I express my fears.

Now, that I know and, more importantly, I can really "feel" the cause of my symptoms, and that I devised a way of coping with this major change that will occur in my life, I think I can do it. If I will ever experience physical discomfort about that, I will know what to do: I will not worry about it, because that's the way I express my normal fears of the unknown that awaits me.
 

Feel what your body expresses.

Express your emotions freely through your body.

Don't let your mind take over your body.

Don't let your heart take over your actions.

Don't try to change yourself.

Try to change your world, and your world will change you.

 

Treatment Model for Anxiety

Before therapy (pathological)

I feel menaced, and I try to avoid the hazardous situations.

I’m afraid of heights, and I try to avoid, for example, being in front of an open window on a high floor of a building, or even crossing a bridge on foot.

As there are hazards on the street (in the world), I have panic attacks (symptoms) there.

I think that me having panic attacks in high places is due to the fact that the danger is really there, I’m just exaggerating it. My fear of heights, as bad as it could be, does not explain these strange symptoms that I have, I feel like getting down on the ground, I feel like the void is attracting me like a magnet and I can’t resist the force of gravity. I guess some people do not stand being in a place like this, they have an exaggerated sense of danger. I know that there really is a danger, you can lose your balance if you stay really close to the window, but I think it’s more the way I perceive the situation that the fear itself that paralyzes me like that. I really see a danger where there isn’t one, and that’s making me real sick.

During therapy (recovering)

I feel menaced, and I have panic attacks

In the last weeks I realized, talking to you, that I have panic attacks when I’m on a height not because there is a danger there that I perceive disproportionately, but because I feel menaced there, I’m not me anymore when I’m there… now I can clearly see that. The problem are my feelings, not the danger itself. I’m not just exaggerating a danger. The danger is real, of course, when you are in front of an open window you can fall if you stay to close and don’t pay enough attention, you can get sick suddenly and lose your balance, these things can happen, all right. But that’s not the real problem. The real problem is that from all the dangers that there are out there, I single this out as a way to express my insecurity. It’s like a nightmare. I always have wondered why people have nightmares. Now I think I know: because they not feel good about themselves, because they feel that they are in danger, not that there are dangers, if you know what I mean. That’s how I feel, and it happened in dreams to me too, as I told you the last time we’ve met.

There are hazards on the street, and I try to avoid the hazardous situations.

Now I think that you really need to pay attention to dangers that you encounter, but that means acting to avoid them not as if you were real scared of the situation, and you avoided it altogether, like staying away from heights, but acting with caution as to avoid real danger. For example, now I try to stay in front of an open window only after I make sure that I cannot fall from where I’m standing.

After therapy (healthy)

There are hazards on the street (in the world), and I try avoid the hazardous situations.

Now I can stay in front of an open window, if I make sure that I cannot fall from where I’m standing.

Therefore, I don't feel menaced, and I don't have panic attacks (symptoms). When I'm afraid, I express my fear (e. g. I'm shaking).

It’s strange, but realizing that [I can stay there if there is not a real danger] makes me feel better even after having a panic attack in front of the open window. It feels like “a good scare”, like watching a thriller movie. You feel kind of liberated when you really get in touch with your fears, you experience them fully and you let them out without worrying too much about that.

 

Treatment Model for Depression

Before therapy (pathological)

I feel depressed, and I try to do something about it.

I feel depressed, and I’m trying hard to get out of this mood. Last night I tried to throw a party with some old friends, I hoped they could cheer me up. I know that I shouldn’t do that, because I can’t change my mood just by wanting that, but I can’t help trying that over and over again.

As the situation is difficult, I cry all the time.

These problems I’m dealing with now are the worst in my entire life. My wife abandoned me for another man, saying that I don’t pay any attention to her needs and feelings. Even if you’re, like, Superman, you can’t help crying out if you end up like me. I can’t do nothing right, I can’t concentrate on my job, all seems useless, and I cry, which I didn’t do since I was a child. And I feel that this crying and not being able to put myself together has little to do with my feelings, I’m generally good at controlling my feelings. No, I think that the situation I’m in is so bad that you can only be paralyzed, no matter how strong you are or how cool you are. It’s not that I loved her so much, but the situation she put me in… I mean… leaving me like that… it’s like a reflex, it even has nothing to do with feelings, I think.

During therapy (recovering)

I feel depressed and I cry all the time.

Lately, with your help, I changed the way I feel, but I don’t think it’s necessarily for the better… now I feel like her leaving me really hurt me, and that’s why it’s so difficult for me putting myself together again. When I started feeling that, I suddenly didn’t need to act upon my mood, I rather felt better by just letting it all out. Maybe I was too proud to admit that I really loved her, and that’s why I felt so bad, and that’s why I cried and I couldn’t concentrate on my work, not because she left me and put me in a difficult situation, no, but because I loved her and maybe I felt (and I still feel) guilty about not being a really caring husband.

The situation is difficult and I try to do something about it.

Now I concentrate on how I can change the situation I’m in. Because I think this situation, partly created by my inappropriate behavior as a husband, can really be changed. It’s useless to try to change the way I feel, that can be changed either by her coming back to me, or by me letting her out of my life. So now I need to decide what’s better for me, and act accordingly.

After therapy (healthy)

The situation is difficult and I try to do something about it.

I tried to get my wife back, we discussed that matter, and I reached the conclusion that I’m not the right husband for her. I can’t give her the amount of love and tenderness that she needs, and we agreed that it’s better for both of us to go our separate ways.

Therefore, I don't feel depressed, and I don't cry all the time. When I'm sad, I express my sadness.

I still love her, and I express freely my feelings of loss, but I’m not so depressed anymore, I think partly because I feel in control of the situation, and partly because I admit and express my feelings, I’m letting all out, you know... now I can concentrate much better on my work and feel that I’m really getting back on my feet.

 

 

 

Bibliography

1.   Tapu, C.S. Hypostatic Personality: Psychopathology of Doing and Being Made. Premier, 2001.

2.   Tapu C.S. The Complete Guide To Relational Therapy, CAdPsy, 2011