LI Marriage Counseling Center, Huntington, NY

From Dr. Kramer – Give me a call now at 631-553-1476 to make an appointment or email me at Marriage Counseling Long Island.

“Long Island Marriage Counseling – Regulating Emotions in a Marriage

At the Long Island Marriage Counseling Center, I met with a couple who were at war. He attacked her. She attacked him. I could hardly get a word in edgewise. Once I calmed them down, I began to teach them about their own emotions.

Emotions are reactions in the mind/body to the discrepancy between what we expect and what happens. A negative emotion means that something has happened that the person does not want. A positive emotion means that something has happened that the person does want. The more intense the emotional arousal, the more the person could be thrown into emotional deregulation.

Emotional deregulation occurs, for instance, when the amygdala in the limbic system in the brain signals a threat. Then the mind/body goes into fight, freeze or flight mode. Adrenal pumps to the extremities, breathing speeds up and the person will often experience anxiety.

Most important about emotional deregulation is what happens in the brain. Thinking becomes narrowed to a black or white look at events. We become judgmental, rather than using good judgment. We feel bad about ourselves and/or the other and think really negative thoughts. We do not remember the good things that have happened between us.

When emotional deregulation occurs, the couple either engages in active conflict, or one or the other escapes. Nothing constructive occurs. Each spouse then stores the memory of this nasty time and begins to assume that it will occur again. Now each spouse is even more primed for marital conflict.

Emotional deregulation occurs when what I call the Emergency Switchboard in the brain (the amygdala) switches us to that fight, freeze or flight reaction pattern. To make marriage counseling work,
couples need to learn to calm down and stop throwing around the negative blame and judgments or they need to stop running away.

They need to learn to stick it out and calmly learn to negotiate their issues as they become more supportive and trusting of each other. Only then can the marriage counseling work.

If you have similar circumstances, please send me an email using the form to the right or call me. I would love to discuss.

Warmly, Diane

Dr. Diane Kramer, Marrriage Counselor and Psychologist
Long Island Marriage Counseling Center at Huntington, NY
75 Prospect St., Suite 103
Huntington, NY 11743
631-553-1476