"After two divorces I never thought I would be fit for a
relationship again. I knew I had to get this anger under control. I see myself
in a whole new light now and my reactions are being managed in this new
relationship. I am learning its ok to feel righteous indignation and deal with
it in a positive timely way." Gina W. Brandon
Gina is a 42-year-old twice divorced woman with one teenage daughter.
She works in finance and is completing a MBA part-time. She has a busy schedule
which has made it difficult for her to re-enter the dating world. She hoped to eventually
find a life partner but was fearful of repeating old patterns of anger which
she attributed to her jealous nature.
Gina grew up the only
daughter of a single mother. Her father left when she was a toddler, she has no memory of him and no contact. As she was growing up she had a succession of
step-fathers. Apparently Gina’s mother was financially dependent
on each of her partners. She witnessed her mother experience depression at the
end of each relationship and came to see her as “weak for tolerating cheating
As an adult, Gina has worked hard to become financially independent,
vowing never to depend on a man. However, she also developed a tendency to
anticipate negative behaviors in her romantic relationships. She believes that
her anger and her suspicious nature played a role in the downfall of both her
marriages. Gina’s mother was unable to role model effective state management skills
and Gina entered her early adult life with few tools.
Gina requested support stating that she was highly stressed, not
sleeping well, over eating, over drinking and constantly feeling irritated. She
was fed up with what she referred to as her constant negative self-talk and “bitchiness.”
She was worried that if she did not develop a new way of being she would live
out the rest of her life miserable and alone. In addition, she was concerned
about the example she was setting for her daughter.
Gina was a keen student, jumping into success planning with a vengeance
and completing every recommended instrument. She was highly engaged in the planning
and work phase and took great pride in her decision to make lasting changes.
Several months into the program Gina began to date a school colleague.
She had the opportunity to see how shifts in her thinking and problem-solving
style could resolve potential conflicts. She began to manage her reactions in new
ways and felt confident about her ability to sustain a healthy relationship. Gina
was encouraged to include her daughter in small parts of the process and
indicates that this has had a dramatic positive impact on how the two