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Norman M.
Norman M., Principal psychotherapist in private practice. Newspaper contributor, over 2000 satisfied clients on JA
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 2568
Experience:  ADHP(NC), DEHP(NC), ECP, UKCP Registered.
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Im a mother of 21-month-old triplets -- identical sons and

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I'm a mother of 21-month-old triplets -- identical sons and a daughter. Our sons are NT, but our daughter has been diagnosed with autism. I'm depressed and feel like I'm grieving, in a way. I love her dearly, but I don't feel as close to her as I do to our sons. Interaction with her makes me sad right now because she's in kind of a different world, so I'm tending to avoid it and have my husband spend extra time with her to make up for it.

Are my feelings normal?

I would describe your feelings as not unusual. I suspect that you find interaction with your daughter stressful and anxiety provoking, and that's why you are trying to avoid it.

Now you do know, I am sure, that in the long term, the situation could get worse unless you do something about it now.

In order to help you deal with your situation AND to help with your depression,

I’m going to suggest that you would benefit from some Cognitive Behavioral Therapy.

CBT is based on the fact that what we think in any given situation generates beliefs about, and reactions to that situation, and also causes the behaviour and feelings which flow from those beliefs and reactions.

You’ll fins that you are able to change your negative thinking patterns around, and when you learn to do this, the situation will, I assure you, become much more manageable.

These ‘automatic thoughts’ are so fast that generally, we are unaware that we have even had them. We call them ANTS (automatic negative thoughts) for short.

If the pattern of thinking we use, or our beliefs about our situation are even slightly distorted,

the resulting emotions and actions that flow from them can be extremely negative and unhelpful. The object of CBT is to identify these ‘automatic thoughts’ then to re-adjust our thoughts and beliefs so that they are entirely realistic and correspond to the realities of our lives, and that therefore, the resulting emotions, feelings and actions we have will be more useful and helpful.

Cognitive therapists do not usually interpret or seek for unconscious motivations but bring cognitions and beliefs into the current focus of attention and through guided discovery encourage clients to gently re-evaluate their thinking.

Therapy is not seen as something “done to” the client. CBT is not about trying to prove a client wrong and the therapist right, or getting into unhelpful debates. Through collaboration, questioning and re-evaluating their views, clients come to see for themselves that there are alternatives and that they can change.

Clients try things out in between therapy sessions, putting what has been learned into practice, learning how therapy translates into real life improvement.

Please visit this website for much more detailed information on CBT:

If you cannot afford to see a therapist, there are good free CBT based self-help resources here:

Also, there is a book called ”Feeling good - the new mood therapy” by Dr. David Burns. It has a hand book which gives you practical exercises to work through and further instructions on how to better use CBT. I really do recommend it.

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy Workbook for Dummies By Rhena Branch, Rob Willson is also pretty good.

Best wishes, NormanM

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