Doris Wild Helmering is a nationally known marriage and relationship counselor, weight loss expert, television and radio personality, and business management coach. She is author of nine books, 1,200 newspaper columns, six e-booklets, and has written for Reader’s Digest, Redbook, Self, and Scripps Howard News Service. She has been a guest on OPRAH, Good Morning America, and CNN. She received the Alumni Merit Award from St. Louis University for advancing the field of psychotherapy and the Woman of Achievement Award from Soroptimist International. She was awarded clinical status in the American Group Psychotherapy Association and the International Transactional Analysis Association.

You can visit her website at: www.doriswildhelmering.com .

Tags: time management | counseling | planning ahead

Reachback and Afterburn

By
Wednesday, 29 August 2018 04:32 PM Current | Bio | Archive

Feel tired, dragged out, listless? You may not be suffering from iron deficiency anemia, but from the psychological maladies “reachback” and “afterburn,” two words used by Eric Berne to describe a phenomenon that plagues many an American.

Suppose you’re planning a barbecue for this Sunday. As a minimum, you’ll need to decide whom to invite and what to serve. You’ll also go to the grocery, and more than likely you’ll spend time straightening up the house. These are normal preparations on which you will expend energy.

If, however, you have to make three trips to the store instead of one, and you wind up getting to bed later than usual because of extra cleaning, and one of the guests calls you at the office to find out what time he is expected, the barbecue starts taking more of your time and energy than you bargained for.

When this happens, you experience reachback. The barbecue reaches back, so to speak, from the future to the present, and it interferes with your life today.

If you have a doctor’s appointment scheduled for Friday because of a persistent cough, you’ll most likely think about your appointment every time you cough. Setting the appointment initially was a normal expenditure of energy.

Thinking about it every time you cough or every time you hear someone else cough causes you to neglect, to some degree, what’s happening in the present. The future is reaching back and affecting your thinking.

I know a woman who often hesitated to make a commitment to give a talk, because as soon as she agreed, she started to lie awake at night, first worrying about what she would talk about and then worrying about how her topic would go over with the audience.

It didn’t matter how well she knew her subject or that she had given the talk several times previously, she always experienced a considerable amount of reachback.

The more advanced notice she had, the more reachback she experienced. Finally she made the decision that she would only accept talks that were a month away. Anything further away caused her to experience too much reachback.

After an event has passed, most people assimilate the event or forget it after a week or two. If, however, a person continues to be troubled by something two or three weeks after it happens, afterburn is occurring.

If someone at the barbecue says something that hurts your feelings and you can’t stop thinking about it, you are experiencing afterburn.

If one of your guests trips and breaks a leg, you’ll experience considerable afterburn. You’ll have to visit her in the hospital and talk to your insurance agent. And if your guest decides to sue you, the barbecue will be giving you afterburn a long time.

Certain events in life cause almost simultaneous reachback and afterburn.

If the doctor tells Paul that he has to have bypass surgery, Paul will experience reachback as he thinks about the upcoming operation. He also will experience afterburn as he thinks about what the doctor said in the office.

Loss of a job, a financial reversal, or a poor job evaluation all cause an overlap of afterburn and reachback as a person gets caught thinking about what has just happened to him and what will happen in the future.

When someone experiences too much reachback and afterburn, or worse yet, if he finds himself caught in a kind of cross fire between the two, he will feel tense and apprehensive, and experience some difficulty in his everyday life. The overall feeling is that of being overworked.

It is important, then, not to schedule one event after another, as you need some time to deal with the unexpected, and you also need time to assimilate the incident.

Also, it is advisable to get eight hours of sleep when experiencing reachback and afterburn, because dreaming is the natural mechanism for assimilation.

There will always be some reachback and afterburn in your life. It goes with living. The goal is to control it.

Check out Doris’ latest books, “The Boy Whose Idea Could Feed the World,” “The Parent Teacher Discussion Guide,” and “Thin Becomes You” at Doris’ web page: www.doriswildhelmering.com

© 2019 NewsmaxHealth. All rights reserved.

   
1Like our page
2Share
DorisHelmering
When someone experiences too much reachback and afterburn, or worse yet, if he finds himself caught in a kind of cross fire between the two, he will feel tense and apprehensive, and experience some difficulty in his everyday life.
time management, counseling, planning ahead
700
2018-32-29
Wednesday, 29 August 2018 04:32 PM
Newsmax Media, Inc.
 

The information presented on this website is not intended as specific medical advice and is not a substitute for professional medical treatment or diagnosis. Read Newsmax Terms and Conditions of Service.

Newsmax, Moneynews, Newsmax Health, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, and Newsmax World are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

NEWSMAX.COM
© Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved