Choices in Relationships Chapter Thirteen: Stress and Crisis in Relationships.
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Choices in Relationships Chapter Thirteen: Stress and Crisis in Relationships
Personal Stress and Crisis Events Definitions of Stress and Crisis Events –Stress is a reaction of the body to substantial or unusual demands (physical, environmental, or interpersonal) made on it. –A crisis is a crucial situation that requires changes in normal patterns of behavior.
Personal Stress and Crisis Events Resilient Families –Resiliency refers to a family’s strengths and ability to respond to a crisis in a positive way. –Several characteristics associated with resilient families include: Having a joint cause or purpose Emotional support for each other Good problem-solving skills The ability to delay gratification
Personal Stress and Crisis Events –Several characteristics associated with resilient families include Flexibility Accessing residual resources Communication Commitment
Personal Stress and Crisis Events A Family Stress Model –How a family experiences and responds to stress depends not only on the event but also on the family’s coping resources and perceptions of the event.
Positive Stress Management Strategies Changing Basic Values and Perspective –The strategy that many people cite as being helpful is changing basic values as a result of the crisis situation. Exercise –Exercise has also been associated with successful crisis coping and better health. –Exercise is also an effective stress reducer.
Positive Stress Management Strategies Biofeedback –Biofeedback treatment teaches a person to influence biological responses such as heart rate, nervous system arousal, muscle contractions, and even brain wave functioning. Electromyographic (EMG) biofeedback, Thermal or temperature biofeedback Galvanic skin response (GSR) biofeedback Neurofeedback
Positive Stress Management Strategies Sleep –Getting an adequate amount of sleep is also associated with low stress levels. Love –A love relationship also helps an individual cope with stress. –Similarly, intimacy in one’s marriage, as well as being able to talk with family members, is associated with stress reduction.
Positive Stress Management Strategies Religion and Spirituality –Spirituality, defined as having purpose and meaning in life, having inner resources, feeling connected to others, and being able to transcend one’s physical or psychological condition may also be positively related to reducing stress and coping with crisis events.
Positive Stress Management Strategies Friends and Relatives –By reaching out to friends and relatives, people do not feel so alone and vulnerable in the world and perhaps this enables them to prepare themselves for the worst Multiple Roles –Another factor that helps individuals cope with stress is to be involved in multiple roles. –The greater the number of roles, the lower the depression and the higher the psychological well- being.
Positive Stress Management Strategies Humor –Humor is associated with a number of positive outcomes, including stress reduction, physical health, mental well-being, and life satisfaction. Other Helpful Strategies Intervening early in a crisis. Avoiding blame. Keep destructive impulses in check. Seek opportunities for fun.
Harmful Strategies Harmful Stress Management Strategies –Some coping strategies not only are ineffective for resolving family problems but also add to the family’s stress by making the problem worse. –These included keeping feelings inside, taking out frustrations on others, and denying or avoiding the problem.
Five Family Crises Physical Illness and Disability –“Major illness/injury to self” was ranked the number 3 most stressful life event (from a list of 51) by over 3,000 adult respondents (death of spouse and death of close family member were numbers 1 and 2). –Although short-term illness and disability often produce stress in the family, long-term illness and disability have profound and enduring effects on family members and family life.
Five Family Crises Physical Illness and Disability –Intimacy and Threatened Loss –Establishing Healthy Boundaries –Togetherness and Separateness
Five Family Crises Extramarital Affair –Extramarital affair refers to the emotional and sexual involvement of a spouse with someone other than the mate.
Five Family Crises Extramarital Affair –Extradyadic involvement refers to all pair- bonded individuals who are emotionally and sexually involved with someone other than the partner. Gender Differences in Views of an Extramarital Affair
Five Family Crises Reasons for Extramarital Involvements –Variety, novelty, and excitement –Workplace friendships –Relationship dissatisfaction –Revenge –Homosexual relationship –Aging –Absence from partner
Should You Seek a Divorce If Your Partner Has an Affair? One alternative is to end the relationship immediately on the premise that trust has been broken and can never be mended. Other couples respond to a partner’s emotional and sexual involvement with acceptance. When spouses do stay together after an affair, the price is high.
Five Family Crises Unemployment –The effects of unemployment may be more severe for men than for women. Drug Abuse –Spouses, parents, and children who abuse drugs contribute to the stress and conflict experienced in their respective marriages and families.
Five Family Crises Teenage Drug Abuse Drug Abuse Support Groups –Al-Anon
Five Family Crises Death –Death of One’s Child Intimacy and sexual needs Views and feelings about having other children Methods of childrearing to be used for the surviving child or children –Death of One’s Parent –Surviving the Suicide of a Loved One
Marriage and Family Therapy Availability of Marriage and Family Therapists –There are around 50,000 marriage and family therapists in the United States. Brief Solution-Based Therapy –The “cognitive-behavioral” approach focuses on the cognitions or assumptions that underlie a marriage or family with the goal of ensuring that these are accurate and functional.
Marriage and Family Therapy Though these may be helpful for getting e-mail answers to e-mail questions, ongoing on-line marital therapy is virtually unknown. Since effective marriage counseling requires the participation and involvement of both spouses, on-line marital therapy is made difficult since both partners would need to be on-line at the same time. In addition, nonverbal interaction behaviors cannot be observed by the therapist.