“Adult romantic love is an attachment bond, just like the one between mother and child.” Sue Johnson
Society has told us that in order to be independent, healthy adults, we need to separate ourselves from our parents, and learn to not depend on them for nurturing and comfort. However, the need to depend on one person, to know that when we call, that person will be there for us, never disappears. As psychiatrist John Bowlby said, “from the cradle to the grave,” we need to have someone to be there for us from the moment we are born until the moment we die. For this reason, romantic love is not illogical; it is, in fact, the continuation of an ordered plan for our survival.

However, there is a difference: our partner doesn’t not have to be there physically. As children, we needed our caregivers in order to safe and protected. As adults, we can use mental images of our partner to call up a sense of connection. Whenever I have to do a presentation, I get anxious and nervous. What I do to calm down, is to picture my husband in mind and his encouraging words.

The Laws of Love – 1

Show Your Love and Support to the Mothers in Your Life

Mother’s Day this year is on Sunday May 12th. Since this is just around the corner, I wanted to put together some unique ideas on how to celebrate the mothers in your life. This year, step away from the normal flowers and dinner out and really put some thought into a unique gift that will bring her joy and show her how much you really care.

 

Time Off – Let’s face it, the one thing that every mother would love to have is more time for herself. So why not give Mom a day off. You don’t have to send her off to a day at the spa (not that she wouldn’t appreciate that too!), but give her time away from her normal duties. Take the kids out for the afternoon and let Mom just veg at home. Enlist the help of your children and perform the chores that Mom does. Everyone can pitch in from doing the dishes, to doing the laundry and to giving the dog a bath. Let her enjoy a day spent doing what she wants to do instead of what she has to do.

Document the Year – Put together all of the photos you have taken over the past year into an album or load them into a digital photo frame. Too often we take the photos and then never do anything with them. They live in our phones or on our computers, but don’t see the light of day very often. By putting them together in a collection, Mom can look at them regularly and remember all of the times spent together as a family. If you don’t want to do the entire year, take a few special photos […]

How Can I Benefit From Counseling?

In the United States, there has been an unfortunate stigma attached to individuals that seek counseling. Whether it is couples counseling to improve a marriage, or individual therapy to help you cope with depression or anger management, admitting that you are in counseling is taboo to most Americans. So if you are dealing with a situation in your personal life, your marriage, or your family, what are the benefits of seeking counseling?

 

Improved Communication – All of our relationships whether at work or in our personal lives rely on communication. Yet, far too often when we communicate, our messages either aren’t getting through or are misinterpreted by the person receiving the message. A trained counselor can show you how your current method of communication is lacking and provide you tools for getting your message heard.
Improved Self-Esteem – Between societal norms, opinions from our family and friends and our own opinions, our self-esteem takes a beating. When we begin to have feelings of low self-esteem, it can be hard to even talk to our friends and family about how we are feeling. A certified counselor can help you work through these feelings and get you back on track.
Happier Family – When we are working through issues, we often take out our feelings and frustrations on those that are closest to us. By seeking support from a counselor, you can work through these feelings and issues and create a happier environment for yourself and your family.

April has been designated as counseling awareness month. In an effort to support and promote counseling, I will be putting together several articles throughout the month. If you are struggling with feelings and emotions, don’t hesitate to reach out for help. It […]

Is My Partner Depressed?

 

Have you noticed changes in your partner? Have they withdrawn from activities they use to enjoy? Have their sleep patterns changed? Do they often feel sad, down or empty? If your partner is experiencing one or more of these symptoms, they may be suffering from depression.

 

Symptoms of depression vary from person to person. They may include one or several of the following:

Feeling tired all the time
Changes in sleep patterns – sleeping more or less
Withdrawing from social activities
Irritability
Loss of interest in food, exercise and sex
Thoughts of suicide

We all have a bad day now and then. We may feel down, want to stay in bed, or simply want to be alone.  So how can you tell if your partner is just “having a bad day” or if they are suffering from depression? A person suffering from depression will be experiencing more than one of these symptoms on an ongoing basis (at least 1 week). These symptoms will also be impacting their ability to function on a daily basis. The CDC’s latest studies show that 1 in 10 Americans report feeling depressed. If you think that your partner is depressed, here’s what you can do to help.

Be There – Let your partner know that you are there for them. Tell them that you love them and will help them through this.

Listen – When your partner wants to talk about what they are feeling and what they are going through, listen to them. Don’t judge.

Educate Yourself – Do your research on depression. Find out the symptoms, the triggers and the possible treatments. Depression can be misunderstood as a “loss of love” for a partner since they are unhappy and withdrawing from activities. In some cases, undiagnosed depression can […]

Time for Some Personal Spring Cleaning

With spring right around the corner, what better time to re-evaluate your personal life? Spring is a time of renewal and rebirth. It is a time when both nature and humans wake up from their long winter’s nap. Let’s take the opportunity to look at our personal lives and make some changes to improve ourselves.

Relationships – Are you in a committed relationship? If you are, how is it? Are you happy? Do you and your partner communicate? Are your needs being satisfied? If you answered “no” to any of these questions, take some time to address your feelings. Write down how you are feeling, what could make you feel better and how you would like to communicate. Then set aside some time to discuss your feelings with your partner. If you aren’t in a relationship, are you happy that you aren’t? If you are unhappy, think about what you can do to get into a satisfying relationship. It could be as easy as taking up a new hobby to meet new people or enrolling in a self-improvement course to get you on the right track.

Commitments – We all, especially women, have a tendency to over commit ourselves. Whether it is an extra assignment at work, an obligation to a friend or family member, we are BOOKED UP! Take a look at your calendar and evaluate what you HAVE to do. Identify some items that you can delegate to others or simply take off of your calendar. Once you have done that, make sure you schedule some “ME” time on your calendar. If you don’t write it down and block off that time, you won’t do it.

Health – Are you up to date on your […]

5 Reasons Why Your Ex Should Stay Your Ex

There are many major life moments that each person may go through. Some are easier than others, and then you have the truly hard ones. The hardest thing for most people to go through is breaking up with someone that they care intimately about for multiple reasons. When you share a connection with someone that you think may be the one and it comes to a point where your paths no longer are shared, breaking up is sometimes the answer. Often times, when someone leaves a significant other, they have regrets and consider reconciling and getting back together with them.

In a recent study, 44% of emerging adults in the last two years have had a reunion with their ex. With emotions being incredibly intense after a break-up, it is no wonder people may have the regret of breaking up and want to reconcile. However, it is important to look at the situation and evaluate why you left that person in the first place. There is the old saying that many people say of “Your ex is an ex for a reason”.

So should you reconcile with your significant other? Take a look at why they are your ex and what made you incompatible with them in the end. These are some reasons why you should not reconcile with an ex:

1. You changed who you were for them – Many times in relationships, one, or both parties, will change who they are for the other person. Yes, there is such thing as changing for the better, but you cannot sacrifice all of who you are for someone else. If you did this, get back to who you are, not who you “were” for that person.

2. You […]

5 Warning Signs For Substance Abuse

This past week, we learned that country star Mindy McCready ended up committing suicide. As authorities go through their reports and autopsy performed, much of the speculation of why she did this circulates around substance abuse. With this being such a sad event, lets touch on the subject of how to help someone who may be struggling with mental health issues and who may turn to substance abuse as a way of escape. Sometimes, you may not be able to recognize the signs, but with this article, we hope to help you be able to reach out to those around you.

Many times, people begin to look for ways to escape the stress in their life. This can usually be something from a vacation, to a day at the beach, or even a calming day at the spa. For others, this escape can lead to substance abuse. If someone does not know how to handle what is going on in a safe way or seek out the help they need through friends, family, or counselors, it could go a very wrong way.

What are some of the signs you should look for? How can you reach out and help this person? What if they don’t want help? Some of these are easier answered than others but here are some things to remember:

1. This persons eyes may appear bloodshot more often then normal and they may have drastically smaller or larger pupils.

2. If this person suddenly has weight gain or loss that is of significance and you notice that their sleeping or eating habits have changed, this may be a sign. They may also begin to have an increased lack of caring how they appear in general […]

By |February 20th, 2013|Categories: Adults, Blog, Couples, Depression, Substance Abuse||0 Comments

5 Warning Signs Of An Abusive Relationship

With the death of South African model Reeva Steenkamp, this puts a light on the fact that there are situations out there that many women may be in, and need help. Whether Oscar Pistorious meant to murder his girlfriend, or truly thought it was an intruder, may never be known. However, when faced with this situation, you have to think what type of relationship it may have been and if it was possibly an abusive relationship. How do you know if you are in an abusive relationship? Here are some things to look for:

1. If someone is extremely controlling or jealous, this could be a potential problem. Wanting to know where you are, whom you are with, what you are doing every time you talk to them or making you ask permission to do anything is not a good sign.

2. When someone does not assume responsibility or own up for any mistakes, yet blames it on others, you could be facing a problem. They will tell you how you have made them frustrated or how you could have made the situation better instead of owning up on the problems.

3. As your friends and family begin to fade away and your time with them becomes less and less, you slowly get isolated from the real world. This is a control tactic to make sure you are under their control at any point and time. One wrong move, and it could go very bad.

4. Do not get involved with someone who has a background of hurting someone physically, mentally, or enjoys threatening violence on anyone or anything. These right here are clear warning signs.

5. Mood swings; verbal abuse, and inflicting pain are some of the other […]

By |February 20th, 2013|Categories: Anger, Blog, Co-Dependence, Couples||0 Comments

6 Tips to Improve Your Body Image

As a woman, especially an American woman, we are bombarded every day with what society perceives as the “ideal” body image.  Let’s face it ladies, these “ideal” bodies in some cases don’t even exist. They are cropped, airbrushed and digitally constructed to create an unattainable image. Yet, we all still strive for this perfection that is unachievable. So as a woman today, what can we do to love the body that we are in and ignore the stereotypes from society? These tips should put you on the right path:

 

1.    Focus on what your body is capable of – Instead of focusing on what you look like, focus on all the things that your body can do. You are an amazing miracle. You can swim, walk, run and ride a bike. So instead of giving yourself a disgusted look when you walk past a mirror, celebrate your body for all that it does, or can do for you. Learn a new sport, or take up a hobby to showcase that beautiful body.

2.    Use Positive Affirmations – You are what you think you are. So, in order to change what you think, you need to start telling yourself something positive. Find something about yourself that you like and turn it into a positive affirmation. For instance, if you are a good listener tell yourself that in the mirror every morning. By saying the words out loud and daily, you will start to believe in them.

3.    Walk Away From the Scale – So many of us that battle body image weigh ourselves daily. STOP!!! Due to what eat, our hormones and normal living, body weight can vary up to 5 lbs. from one day to the next. […]

5 Tips To Show Your Love After Valentine’s Day

As the candles have been blown out, the romantic dinners had, gifts exchanged, and memories created, what do you do now to keep the love moving forward? Just because Valentines Day is over does not mean you have to stop showing the love that you have for someone. Love should not require us to show our significant others the love that they deserve just once a year, but instead daily. Love is something that, given enough tenderness, will grow deeper than you can imagine.

Many people have this thought that once Valentines Day is over, that’s it. No need to be extra romantic or extra special towards the one you care for. However, it is even more important to show your significant other after the holiday to remind them what a major factor they are in your life.

Here are some simple things to do to keep that romance alive through the year:

1. Flowers – Girls love flowers. Even better, your girl loves flowers sent to her job with a secret little note reminding her of how incredible she is to you. It makes everyone around her jealous and makes her blush and feel important.

2. Dinner – Don’t let going out or cooking for your significant other happen once a year. Make it a romantic occasion at least once a month. Find their favorite recipe, light some candles, put on some romantic music, and when they walk in the door, sweep them off their feet. It’s not every day that someone will sweep his or her significant other off the floor by going above and beyond. Who knows, you might have the romantic evening returned one day!

3. Baths – Really. After a long hard day at […]