Tag Archives: stress

Beware Of This Real Life Drama!

Beware of the “Drama Triangle!” It’s alive and present. It sucks the energy out of you and is very convincing, manipulative and controlling. The Drama Triangle is a model of dysfunctional social interaction, created by Psychotherapist Stephen Karpman. This “Drama Triangle” I am referring to is orchestrated by someone who is in an unhealthy emotional state. They operate in the Drama Triangle bouncing from one unhealthy emotional state to another. There are three unhealthy emotional states that make up the Drama Triangle. The Victim, Persecutor and Rescuer. It’s easy to get sucked in. With awareness, healthy communication and boundary setting, you can avoid getting caught in the Drama Triangle and not participate. The person who operates out of the Drama Triangle will see you as the “Bad Guy” but you are actually the “Healthy Bad Guy.” They create misery for themselves and others even though they are not aware of their behavior. See the diagram below.

Drama Triangle
The Drama Triangle is a type of “Game” that people play. The purpose of a Game is to obtain strokes-attention, power, love etc. In a Game, the series of transactions does not result in healthy positive strokes but rather in negative strokes. At any given time, the person can switch roles going from one unhealthy emotional state to the next.

When acting as the Persecutor, the person victimizes other people in order to feel more powerful and better about themselves. They are good at finding fault. The Persecutor can attack aggressively or passive-aggressively. The Persecutor is often an angry resentful person who vents his or her feelings on other people. The Persecutor is critical and was previously a victim. There is a difference between truly being victimized and playing the “Victim.”

When acting as the Victim, the person blames others for their condition, actions, or feelings. Victims in the Drama Triangle manipulate others into feeling sorry for them, or into feeling guilty. They look for someone to rescue them. When acting as the Victim, they believe that they do not have any power over their own lives. The Victim is a person who does not help himself and seeks sympathy and has the “poor me” attitude acting as a “wounded child.”

When acting as the Rescuer, the person looks like the “good guy” who helps others solve their problems. They jump in to fix the situation when someone is struggling. In this state, Rescuers focus on others instead of on themselves, and avoid their own feelings, needs and problems. They make themselves needed so that they will not be abandoned. Rescuers do not allow others to make their own mistakes, deal with the consequences, or feel their own pain. Rescuers often slip into the “Victim” role when their rescuing does not get them what they want. They are usually angry underneath.

The “Healthy Bad Guy” role is the only way out of the Drama Triangle. She or he looks like the bad guy to those in the triangle but is really the healthy guy. She or he is operating in a healthy emotional state. This person takes responsibility for his or her own actions and choices, both healthy and unhealthy and accepts the consequences. The Healthy Bad Guy focuses on himself, and supports others without trying to “fix” or solve their problems. She or he has healthy boundaries and is honest with themself and others about their thoughts and feelings. They own their feelings and use “I” statements when communicating. When the Healthy Bad Guy tries to get out of the triangle, the person in the triangle will escalate their behavior to try to keep the Bad Guy in the triangle. It can be lonely and scary being the Healthy Bad Guy until newer healthier relationships emerge. The Healthy Bad Guy uses judgement about when it is safe to be assertive and when it is best to take care of himself by being quiet. The Healthy Bad Guy does not play games in order to manipulate getting strokes but is authentic in his or her feelings, words, and actions.

I’m guessing we all have someone in our life that operates in the Drama Triangle. It’s difficult to deal with and sometimes may seem like a losing battle so the easy thing to do is “give in” and join them. Sometimes, it’s learned and we are unaware we are even participating. It’s definitely not the healthy thing to do. As a consequence, your stress level, your emotions, your other relationships, your time, and even your health can be affected. The majority of individuals I help in my counseling and life coaching practice identify someone in their life that operates in the Drama Triangle. Once the individual is feeling confident and their self-acceptance increases it’s easier to set boundaries and be assertive with the person in the Drama Triangle. The Healthy Bad Guy is more aware of those who are unhealthy emotionally.  They make him or herself a priority in their life and is able to let go of the outcome/reaction of the unhealthy individual by not getting sucked into the Drama Triangle.

Anxiety Affects Our Whole Being, But It Doesn’t Have To!

Time flies!  I have been busy working on other projects related to my passion of helping those suffering from anxiety. Anxiety can be so debilitating it can definitely affect our whole being. I specialize in anxiety because I have been through it and understand how debilitating it can be on every level. I nicknamed my website and coined the phrase “Just Be Mentally Free” for a reason. “Just Be” to me means living in the present, seizing the moment (Carpe Diem). “Mentally Free” means having a mind that is free from anything that can keep us from being “Just Be.” Hence, “Just Be Mentally Free.” If we can achieve this, to me, we are living in the moment, out of pure love, joy, our mind and body are one, we are in total peace. This is my goal for all of my clients especially those suffering from anxiety.

For those suffering from anxiety it’s nearly impossible to “Just Be” in the present. It takes a real conscious effort. The tragedy here is that TIME flies by when we cannot enjoy the moment, the right here, right now. When we are constantly thinking ahead, or dwelling on the past we lose time, the present time. You cannot get time back! I personally feel that time expands and slows down when we can let go of everything that distracts us. I am in this place and can get anyone here too!

As I stated earlier, I specialize in anxiety and I am on a mission to help those suffering from anxiety. So, please join me on April 16th, at 8:30pm for a live webinar about Anxiety and how you or someone you love can overcome this condition. You can visit my website http://www.justbementallyfree.com and sign up at “Get Anxiety Webinar Access Here”  tab or simply click here to sign up and get free access.

If you are not suffering from anxiety please forward this to anyone you know who is. It will change their life!

Anxiety Shuts Down Our Thinking

Have you ever wondered why you cannot make a decision when you’re feeling anxious or you feel like you cannot remember a word or think clearly when you are experiencing anxiety? Anxiety literally shuts down our higher order thinking and makes learning very difficult. There is a scientific reason for this and an explanation why you cannot make a decision when you are feeling fear and anxiety.

The amygdala is a small, almond-shaped clump of neurons deep in the center of our brain. It’s the integrative center for emotions, emotional behavior and motivation. Research has shown that it plays a primary role in the processing of memory, decision-making, and emotional reactions. It’s the filter that leads to the prefrontal cortex. The prefontal cortexbrain-40356_640 is where all of our executive functions take place. The prefrontal cortex resides at the front of the brain and acts as an “executive” for the decision making process, weaving past events to present experiences in order to make the best choices. If the filter (amygdala) is “clogged” with anxiety and fears, our executive functioning (prefrontal cortex) is shut down making it nearly impossible to make decisions, remember information or process new information.

Researchers from the Hawn Foundation have found that, “When we are calm and peaceful the filter [amygdala: an information filter regulated by our emotional state] is wide open and information flows to the prefrontal cortex, where the brain’s so-called executive functions take place. On the other hand when we are feeling negative and stressed out, these executive functions, which provide cognitive control, are inhibited. Indeed information stays in the amygdala; it doesn’t flow into the prefrontal cortex for executive processing. Instead it’s processed right on the spot as fight, flight or freeze. In this way, fear and anxiety effectively shut down higher-order thinking (Scholastic 9).” The MindUp Curriculum. [brain-focused Strategies for Learning-and Living]. New York, NY: Scholastic, 2011. Print.

Remember, you’re not stupid, incompetent or incapable of learning! Anxiety can be very brainstorming-413156_640debilitating and can shut us down not only emotionally, but intellectually as well. However, you do not have to live a life being controlled by anxiety. You can overcome this condition and even live an anxiety free life. There is hope. I am proof you can be in control of this condition and live a life of peace that you deserve!

Sign up for my “Be Free From Anxiety” Webinar on April 16th at 8pm EST and learn valuable information about anxiety and how to begin to live a life free from Anxiety and Panic Attacks.

Keep Your Head In The Game!

Developing the mind of a champion athlete is just as important as training physically. To reach your full potential as an athlete, you have to start training your mind. Just as you develop physical skills and techniques, you must learn to develop mental skills. In the world of sports psychology, mental skills include staying relaxed under pressure, being in the present, focusing on what’s important, letting go of mistakes, letting go of bad breaks and failures, handling self-doubts and negative thinking, using visualization for upcoming events, motivating yourself, recognizing mental traps and avoiding them, and developing self-confidence.

These mental skills will be difficult to master if you are not “Emotionally Fit.” Emotional fitness is defined as the state wherein the mind is capable of staying away from negative thoughts and can focus on creative and constructive tasks. Being emotionally fit is the key to success in all aspects of life especially as an athlete. Unresolved, negative emotions can weigh you down and prevent success and drain you of the energy you need to be productive daily and optimize your performance.

So what does this have to do with sports performance? Everything. Ultimately, we want congruence between our logic and emotions. If there is conflict between the two, this will cause problems; if not sooner than definitely later. Our toxic emotions can take over our logic, creating self-doubt, fears and lack of confidence. We want our logic to lead the way with a clear vision and plan to achieve our goals. An “Emotionally Fit Self” supports and feeds our logic with confidence and positive feelings. There are some athletes that use athletics as an escape from their unhealthy environment. These athletes may argue they will lose their “competitive edge” if the negative emotions or anger they harbor is resolved. They believe those negative feelings are fueling them to become a better athlete, stronger mentally, and more competitive. Quite the opposite happens. Over time, the negative emotions take over and pose problems. The negative emotions win and personal problems begin to interfere with their sports performance. Negative toxic emotions take over their logic. A professional golfer (name withheld) is a perfect example of this. He is having a lot of problems with his game, especially his short game. He was trained at a young age to have the mental skills to be a champion and based on his incredible success was “Emotionally Fit.” Or was he? There was a reason and deep-rooted cause for his infidelity and sex addiction that came out in 2010 which led to his demise. This has caused his professional sports career to plummet and most recently he blames his “injuries” on his poor play but I will argue he is not “Emotionally Fit.” His logic tells him he has all the physical ability in the world, but his unresolved negative toxic emotions are wreaking havoc and taking over to the point he cannot perform like he used to .

So you may be asking yourself, “How do I become emotionally fit?” Here is a simple test to see if you are emotionally fit. Answer some of these questions:

  • Can I think of the past (as far back as infancy until now) and feel ok?
  • Is there a negative emotion associated with some past event that I don’t want to deal with and keep burying?
  • Is there something that’s plaguing you and you can’t identify what it is?
  • Is there someone I have not forgiven in my life?
  • Do I tend to see the glass half empty instead of half full?
  • Am I sad much of the time?
  • Is my current stress level high?
  • Am I easily agitated or angered?
  • Am I lacking confidence in my personal life and in my sport?

If you answered yes to any of these questions or you felt an “emotional charge,” then you need some work to resolve and become “Emotionally Fit.” If you do, it will require some work on your part with a professional Psychotherapist or Sports Performance Coach like myself. I have been helping people become emotionally fit for 16 years and have developed a system that will get you where you want to be quickly. I use traditional methods and an alternative cutting edge technique that will get you to a place of resolution. As a result, every aspect of your life will improve. It takes a strong person to resolve and deal with their emotions. Becoming “Emotionally Fit” brings you back to why you play your sport in the first place. For the love of the game!

For more information on what an emotional cleanse is and the packages I offer, click here and receive half off if you contact me and mention this article!

©Copyright 2015 Paul Cartone, LMHC. All Rights Reserved

“Just Be Mentally Free” Minute For Anxiety


Mondays are great. For most, it’s the beginning of the work week. For myself, it’s the beginning of a new week to help as many people as I can. Monday is a “clean slate.” A time to focus on the present and move forward with new goals. For those suffering with anxiety, Monday is just another day and signifies the beginning of a long hard week, anticipating Friday and getting back to a place of comfort and security on Saturday. That’s a sad way to live. They have the mind-set that anxiety and panic is a disease that will plague them the rest of their life.

I have good news and bad news! The bad news is, anxiety can be debilitating and certainly control your life. The good news is, anxiety is a condition that has developed over time. It’s a condition that you can overcome! It’s not a disease. There is a reason why you have anxiety and possible panic attacks. With a little work on shifting your mind set, resolving, and living out of love instead of fear; you can overcome this condition in less time than it took to develop it!

You are not going crazy. My system works and can get you out of the viscous cycle you’re in.

Contact me today so you can begin to live your life of peace and “Just Be Mentally Free!”

Doing The Same Thing Over and Over Again

Are you tired of talking about the same thing in your counseling/therapy sessions over and over week after week, month after month? Unfortunately, this happens with a lot of my clients who have been in previous counseling for years, yes YEARS with the same therapist. Talking is helpful but will only provide emotional relief for a short period of time. Talking may provide you relief just in time for you next session. A pattern develops here and a lot of people become dependent on their therapist. For most cases being in therapy for years trying to resolve the same issue is not necessary. Your therapist should establish clear and attainable goals with you in the first or second session and be focused on getting you to where you want to be emotionally. They should revisit your goals with you after a few sessions so you see your progress. If you are not making progress there is a reason and it should be figured out by your therapist (Medication is not always the answer either. That’s another blog topic I will briefly discuss later).

My goal is to get you to an emotional place where you want to be so you can be in the “present” and “just be mentally free.” I want everyone to experience what it’s like to truly have emotional peace inside. I want you to graduate from counseling and get you to your goal as quickly as possible. Sometimes, it’s necessary to take “baby steps” and move toward your goal at a slower pace. That’s fine, as long as you are making progress. I meet you where you are and go at the pace you feel most feel comfortable.

Stop living in the past and doing the same thing over and over again. You deserve to live a life of emotional freedom and peace. Are you ready to get started.

Distance is no barrier. I help people all over the world. Contact me today to set up a free consult or to schedule and appointment. 

My goal is to help everyone live in the present moment and “Just Be Mentally Free.”

You Can Be Anxiety And Panic Attack Free!

If you are reading this you’re probably suffering from anxiety or know someone who is. I am here to tell you that you can overcome this condition. I have been counseling people for 15 years with severe anxiety and panic attacks. I will take you through my paradigm that I developed and has been successful in helping thousands of patients that I have been blessed to help over the last 15 years. This paradigm will get you results plain and simple.

There are a lot of great therapists out there that work with those who have anxiety and panic attacks but don’t understand what it’s like to experience life with this condition. They may give you some traditional tools such as breathing techniques and talk to you about your past week. This may help some, but most people make very little progress.

I want you to graduate you from therapy, not to keep you in therapy for months or years. I specialize in anxiety and panic disorder because I personally know and understand what it is like to be paralyzed by this condition. I am proof that you can overcome anxiety and live a life of freedom and peace. My goal is to help everyone with this condition so they can live life one day at a time and enjoy life to the fullest. I want to work with anyone who wants to take control of their life and free themselves from the emotional abyss as a result of being plagued with anxiety and panic attacks. Yes, there is hope and you can overcome this condition and live a life of freedom and peace. Within 3-6 sessions you will feel in control of the anxiety and be free from panic attacks.

I am making this very affordable and accessible because I want to help you or your loved one. Most people with anxiety and panic disorder will not leave their home to attend a therapy session. I am eliminating two giant roadblocks. A session with me is less than most people’s copay and all sessions are online using SKYPE. SKYPE is free, secure and safe. (Skype is a telecommunications application software that specializes in providing video chat and voice calls from computers, tablets and mobile devices via the Internet to other devices or telephones/smartphones-Wikipedia). You will be in the comfort of your own home. You will not have to worry about transportation, fighting traffic or sitting in a waiting room. SKYPE sessions are real time, just like face to face in a counseling office. I haven’t experienced any limitations when using SKYPE. SKYPE sessions are not to enable your anxiety but provide you with the ability to get help for your anxiety so you can live a life of freedom and be in control of your life. You deserve to live a life of peace.

Distance is no barrier with this program. I help people all over the world. Contact me to set up free consult or schedule today!