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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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How can I help my son,whose ex fiance refuses to talk with

Customer Question

how can I help my son,whose ex fiance refuses to talk with him to since their breakup 5months ago.
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Norman M. replied 5 years ago.
In order to help you, i need a bit more information about the situation, so I've switched this to Question and Answer m ode so that you can make a considered reply.

Can you tell me:

What is your son going through at the moment? Does he appear to be depressed, anxious or in some other way not himself? Please give me some details.

What kind of help do you think he needs?

What have you tried so far?

Customer: replied 5 years ago.
He feels angry that he cannot speak with her, he also feels it's emotional abuse. He has tried to communicate but she has just shut the door after being in this 3 and half year relationship. He knows he has to move on but would prefer to part amicably. I have suggested he consider himself fortunate there are no children involved because we would probably never see them and it appears communication is the reason for the break up. He realises that, but would just like to say how he feels to her. But I guess it's his journey. I just don't want to see it escalate into something unnecessary where he loses his self respect. I have told him that and he has reassured me but emotions are running high. I am concerned. . I don't know what else to do. I know he has to come to acceptance but I need to pour soothing water on this somehow. He asked her to go to mediation at the beginning but she refused. He doesn't know what else to do. thank you for replying
Expert:  Norman M. replied 5 years ago.

He's going to need a lot of support, but in addition to your help, I suspect he would really need some professional help to come to terms with his situation.

I’m going to suggest that he 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.

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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