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Your Questions

Saltzman, Ph.D.


Q.  If I show my husband how angry I am at him, he would leave me again and maybe never come back.

A. Maybe so. Yet, it appears that never showing your anger honestly is already ruining your relationship. He is the one who walks out, because you can’t face being alone, but you sometimes want relief—from him or from your anger—so much that you provoke him into leaving. Suppressing your anger forces you to put up with anything to keep him.   

Honest anger in the voice without intent to injure strengthens bonding. It shows you care! Use a simple phrase such as, “I won’t stand for that! Never insult him, for that would linger in his mind long afterward.   

When one does not care, one may just smile and withdraw. Dissembling one’s anger does not take the same investment of energy as honest anger. Nor does calling one’s mate (lover) by the names of body parts, giving the silent treatment or any other form of hostility.   

You need the freedom to show your husband your anger. You can acquire that freedom with guidance and support. You will rarely need to do it! A good love relationship consists primarily in nourishing exchanges, expressing your need for one another and your love for one another. THE GOOD SCREAM™ shows a therapist how to bring out these tender emotions.

Q.  How can I help a patient with low self-esteem? I ask him to say, “I’m OK!” but it doesn’t carry into his life when he leaves my office.

A. Learning to say, “I’m OK!” over bad feelings can drive bad feelings deeper. It risks giving a patient a cheery surface, so that others see him as dishonestly selling himself.      

The honest way to raise self-esteem is to help the patient deal with the pain of early experiences that damaged his sense of what he could expect from others. THE GOOD SCREAM™ teaches how to bring out these feelings and how to respond. Afterward, you guide expression of an independent need for love that attracts healthy persons. Your patient feels whole and lovable when he sounds this way. 

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