Friday, November 4, 2011

Why are there so many songs about rainbows and what's on the other side? (by Cindy N. Ariel, Ph.D)

Because somebody thought of it, and someone believed it. That's what Kermit the Frog sings, anyway. And this is stuck in my head today for a number of reasons. The biggest is my concern about the so-called 'Cassandra Syndrome.' It sounds like a real syndrome but really isn't based in any serious peer reviewed research and isn't a real clinical syndrome listed in any of the usual manuals for professionally diagnosing syndromes and difficulties. Yet, I recently had a session with a married father with Asperger's syndrome who told me that he was working with his wife on a workbook for couples when they came upon a description of the Cassandra Syndrome wherein his wife started to tell him that she was a 'Cassandra' - a misunderstood, emotionally deprived and physically suffering victim of an empty emotionless relationship caused by him due to his AS. This accusation being thrown at a man who does indeed struggle to understand his wife and children and to be the best husband and dad he can be although it did take him years to finally get to a point of agreeing he needed to learn how to do these things. The accusation seemed extremely harsh. It was one-sided and unfair based on how much growth and work this guy has put in over the past couple years to overcome some of his relative weaknesses to maintain a loving home with his family. And it keeps repeating in my mind...somebody thought of it, and someone believed it... And that's all it took for this guy's positive couples work with his wife to become a crushing experience for him.