"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
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 [...]
As we are preparing to enter into the “Wedding Season” of 2013, I wanted to take the opportunity to give some input and perspective into the benefits of pre-marital counseling. Some religions require for couples to go through session prior to marriage to make sure that they are embarking on this journey for the right reasons. In lieu of any religious requirements or in addition to them, pre-marital counseling can be a great benefit to a lasting marriage. Even in the most intimate relationships, it can be difficult to discuss your hopes, dreams and expectations. While we can agree on where we will live, how we will pay the bills and whether we will have children, there are other issues that can be more easily addressed during a counseling session then in a one-on-one discussion with your fiancé. One of the biggest benefits of pre-marital counseling is the ability to learn how to communicate effectively with your partner. All relationships are based in communication. Yet often times with our most intimate relationships, we think that the other person “knows” or “understands” what we are thinking or saying. This is not the case. A counselor can give your tips and strategies to improve the communication in the relationship and make sure you understand each other’s needs. During the session, you will be asked questions to determine areas where you are compatible and non-compatible. While these differences may not be deal-breakers, by identifying them early on, you can help alleviate problems further down the road. Also, by knowing where these differences are, you can work to compromise in these areas instead of moving forward and possible causing areas of contention. Marriage is hard work. You need to [...]
Why change who you are to who you aren’t? Remember that first date you went on with your significant other? Yea, the night that you guys went out, shared a meal (or a movie), maybe held hands, possibly kissed? What was it about them that made you fall for them? A good amount of the time their personality and ability to click is what makes you fall for them (and of course, looks help too). But what happens when you start dating, and further down the road you begin to sacrifice little things (possibly big), and suddenly, you are not the person you were before? When you are in a relationship, so many people are willing to sacrifice who they are to make the other person happy. Stop right there. Rewind. Don’t do it. Why? Here’s some reasons why: - If you truly care for and love that person, and they you, there should be no need to change who you are for them. Is that not what made you click in the first place? - The fact that he likes Spiderman and you prefer Batman, that he enjoys gaming while you enjoy clubbing with the girls, or maybe that he likes going to the beach and surfing but you cannot stand the sun are what make each person unique. - Little things that you enjoy should not be sacrificed, you are giving up who you are to be someone you are not. I understand that there is a need to nix a bad habit or silly thing now and then, but do not under any circumstance shift your entire personality to be someone you are not. If anything, get to know each other more [...]
I have learned that when couples get engaged, they spend most of their time and energy planning the wedding. Frequently, forgetting to nurture their relationship now. The focus tends to be in the future since it is exciting to look forward to marriage and dream of how wonderful life will be, but it is also important to be realistic and talk about some of your expectations. Many married couples do not understand why the marriage did not turn out the way they expected. Taking the time to look at your present relationship and your expectations for the future will insure that your marriage is based on solid principles. Here are 3 steps you must take to keep your marriage alive and healthy: 1. Put your relationship first. Right now you can say that you are putting your relationship first, however, life will hit you – children, career, sports, hobbies, friends, church activities will take your time and attention. Couples need to consistently refocus and come back to each other and make time for the relationship. 2. Commit to grow together. To build a strong relationship it’s important that couples are committed to grow and change together. When a couple is not truly committed, it is easier to give up when problems arise. A commitment to growth goes beyond of “sticking together,” it’s a commitment to adapt to each other’s changing needs. 3. Work at staying close. The key to a successful marriage is entering the marriage with the attitude that it takes work to stay close. Many different activities will pull you away and it is important that when you find yourself overcommitted to pace yourself and say no when you need to. When trying [...]
All couples have differences and disagreements; conflict is part of life. However, many couples have difficulties listening and understanding each other, leading to many arguments, fights and even separation. Many studies show the amounts of disagreements are not related to marital happiness as much as how they are handled. The truth is that happy couples do not avoid disagreements; they resolve them while remaining respectful of each other, thereby strengthening their relationship. Many conflicts between partners become heated as levels of anger and frustration rise. And instead of them speaking assertively, couples begin to accuse, criticize, or yell. Rather than listening actively, they interrupt, belittle, and ignore. When we are in a state of escalation, we usually say or do things we later regret. Additionally, it is almost impossible to have a productive conversation leading to a mutually agreed upon resolution when partners are angry and frustrated. In instances such as this, a time-out plan can be beneficial. A time-out will give couples the opportunity to cool down, recognize their feelings and needs, and begin to think productively again about how to approach the issues they face. Once you had the opportunity to calm down you can use these ten steps that are simple and effective to solve conflicts. These steps will help you avoid the destructive patterns of the past. Set a time and place for discussion. Once you have requested a time-out for yourself, communicate to your partner how important this issue is for both of you and set a time and place to have the discussion. Define the problem, be specific. Analyze the current issue and stay on topic. List the ways you contribute to the problem. Think about how you might [...]
Are you thinking about getting a divorce? Have you tried different things to improve your marriage but nothing seems to work? In the beginning you were extremely happy before marriage and expected that the marriage would only enhance your relationship with your partner. For some couples, their marriage did not live up to the dreams they had about how life would be after marriage. Some couples experienced joy for a while, however, now they are living in a valley of pain, emptiness and frustration. You don’t want to divorce so you tried counseling, but somewhere along the way both of you gave up, you read books about marriage by yourself, and even tried to confront your partner in a gentle manner and your partner responded with silence making you react in negatively towards your spouse. In every marriage, both partners can take positive steps that have the potential for changing the emotional climate in a marriage. Here are six new attitudes described by Chapman (2008) you can adopt to start making positive changes in your marriage. Focus on reality by telling yourself: You are responsible for own your attitude: the reality is that you can’t control the environment. Some situations are inevitable; however, you can choose to focus on what is positive in your life. Attitude has to do with the way you choose to look at a certain situation. Your attitude affects your behavior: if you have a negative attitude, you will express it in negative words and actions. Chapman (2008) explained in his book Desperate Marriages that you may not be able to control your environment; however, you can control your attitude toward your environment. Your attitude and behaviors will greatly influence others. [...]
Alcoholism, known as “alcohol dependence syndrome” is a disease that is characterized by craving, loss of control and physical dependence. Alcoholics, as well as being victims themselves, have an adverse impact on those with whom they associate. Research has shown that children of alcoholics develop some personalities traits that may impact their lives as an adult. Here are 12 characteristics of adult children of alcoholics described by Woitiz (1988): 1.Adult children of alcoholics guess what normal behavior is. 2.Adult children of alcoholics have difficulty following a project through from beginning to end. 3.Adult children of alcoholics lie when it would be just as easy to tell the truth. 4.Adult children of alcoholics judge themselves without mercy. 5.Adult children of alcoholics have difficulty having fun. 6.Adult children of alcoholics have difficulty with intimate relationships. 7.Adult children of alcoholics over-react to changes over which they have no control. 8.Adult children of alcoholics constantly seek approval and affirmation. 9.Adult children of alcoholics usually feel that they are different from other people. 10.Adult children of alcoholics are super responsible or super irresponsible. 11.Adult children of alcoholics are extremely loyal, even if in the face of evidence that the loyalty is undeserved. 12.Adult children of alcoholics are impulsive. Research shows that adult children of alcoholics are at risk at becoming alcoholics, abusing drugs, attempting or committing suicide. Also, they may develop patterns of compulsive behavior such as overeating and other eating disorders. And adult children of alcoholics tend to marry alcoholics partners. If you are an adult child of an alcoholic remember that you are not alone. Millions of people have grown up in families with alcohol-related problems. Because of the environment you grew up in, you had to develop [...]
When was the last time you evaluated your list of priorities? We live a fast paced life that sometimes we even forget why we have made certain choices. This a picture of my brother and me. This picture was taken when we were really young, but when I look at this picture I am reminded of what is truly important to me and that is my FAMILY. At the end of the day it does not matter how much money I have in the bank, or what kind of car I drive, and if I am famous or not. What it;s truly important is that I have friends and family that will always be there for me. Every time I think about this I get a sense belonging and all anxiety and stress of my day simply goes away. Follow me on Facebook. Follow me on Twitter.
Hello! My name is Marta Rocha, I am a Mental Health Counselor in Orlando, Fl and I am writing this blog to share with you information, tips and ideas on how you can make positive changes in your life. Each one of us have the power to be and do anything we set our minds to and my goal is to give you some tools to find this power so that you can live your life to its fullest.