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Posts Tagged ‘Frustration’

See the Person Behind the Eyes

Wednesday, June 22nd, 2011 by Rick Hanson, Ph.D.

Who is behind the mask?
The Practice
See the person behind the eyes.

Most of us wear a kind of mask, a persona that hides our deepest thoughts and feelings, and presents a polished, controlled face to the world.

To be sure, a persona is a good thing to have. For example, meetings at work, holidays with the in-laws, or a first date are usually not the best time to spill your guts. Just because you’re selective about what you reveal to the world does not mean you’re insincere; phoniness is only when we lie about what’s really going on inside.

Much of the time, we interact mask-to-mask with other people. There’s a place for that. But remember times when someone saw through your mask to the real you, the person back behind your eyes. If you’re like me, those times were both unnerving and wonderful.

Even though it’s scary, everyone longs to be seen, to be known. To have your hopes and fears acknowledged – the ones behind a polite smile or a frown of frustration. To have your true caring seen, as well as your positive intentions and natural goodness. Most intimately of all, to feel that your innermost being – the one to whom things happen, the one strapped to this rollercoaster of a life trying to make sense of it before it ends – has been recognized by someone. (more…)

Dr. Hanson is a neuropsychologist in San Rafael, California. His practice includes adults, couples, families, and children, as well as psychological assessments of children and adults related to temperament, school performance, and educational and vocational planning. For more information, please visit his listing on the Therapist Directory

On Learning to Tolerate My Own Frustration

Thursday, July 31st, 2008 by Gibbs Alan Williams, Ph.D

My experience and attitude towards frustration has been a life long concern for me. For a long time, into my thirties, I of course, knew what frustration was and how it felt. However, when caught up in it I felt it impossible to do any thing about it except to react as if I was drowning in an emotional flood unable to hold onto anything substantial. During these “frustration attacks” I would lose whatever center I had, often lashing out in anger, or withdrawing either literally or physically from the scene of the moment or cutting myself off emotionally by numbing my feelings.


Gibbs Alan Williams has been a psychotherapist for more than 25 years. He currently practices in New York City. For more information, please visit his listing on the Therapist Directory.