Articles for the Month of August 2014

Couples, Has Love Faded? Revive it with Marriage Counseling!

marriage counseling

marriage counseling

How Seeking Help Can Keep Your Love from Disappearing for Good

Remember when it seemed like the sun shone brighter just because the two of you were together?

Has the light of your love gotten dim lately?

Is it getting difficult to remember what spark drew you together in the first place?

Often the joy, playfulness, and positivity of marriage can disappear into a background of responsibilities, resentment, and any assortment of life’s unexpected twists and turns.

When the love light fades, things can look pretty dark in your relationship. All your best efforts to reignite the friendship and passionate fire between you just don’t seem to hold much warmth. If this goes on too long, you and your partner may begin to worry that the dying embers of your connection may not be enough to last a lifetime.

What can you do?

Well, first, it’s best not to wait until everything goes dark. You’re in a relationship tunnel that still has a bit of light left. That guiding light is often a marriage counselor.

I can’t stress enought that the sooner you seek help, the better your chances for a brighter future together.

A marriage counselor is an excellent guide when your love looks bleak. He or she has the tools and know-how to help rekindle your fading union.

You, your partner, and your counselor can fan the flames of your love in the following ways:

Marriage counseling helps illuminate your relationship’s key problems.

You can’t fix what you can’t see. An objective, compassionate third party can be a really good thing when a couple is blinded by hurt, resentment, or even boredom. To breathe new life into fading love requires acknowledgement and an open mind. Counseling is an excellent opportunity to strike the first match and signal that you’re looking to rescue your love. Your love won’t fade if you and your partner commit to it.

Marriage counseling shines a powerful search light on your relationship’s big picture.

A counselor helps you gain perspective by refocusing your goals for the marriage. You are reminded of your partner’s more positive aspects. By emphasizing the core values of your marriage, you may find your commitment strengthened. A counselor is able to help remind you of what you have in common. This may help you feel less stuck and more willing to resume creating the marriage you always wanted.

Marriage counseling highlights ineffective patterns and restores areas of dwindling communication.

Marriage counseling helps you fuel new relationship skills, respect, and productive communication. The safe, positive environment of the counselor’s office is an ideal place to examine and interrupt negative patterns of interaction. What habits may have pushed your relationship to the background, caused you to retreat from each other, or kept more loving feelings in the shadows? Counseling gives you words and ways to help you disagree considerately and problem-solve productively.

Marriage counseling teaches you how to protect the rebuilt blaze between you and ward off inevitable changes.

Marital fade and subsequent relationship damage is effectively limited by a couple that’s actively maintaining their relationship. Counseling provides the tools to keep your love vibrant and brightly burning. Those relationship skills are yours to employ every day. Moving ahead, your counselor reminds you to stoke the fires of passion and appreciation. He or she supports your efforts to maintain a connection that keeps you warm and refuses to burn out.

Every relationship flickers and fades.

You, your partner, and your marriage counselor have the power to revive the spark.

Use the enlightenment of communication and commitment to revive and sustain your connection.

Find a marriage counselor and work together to restore your love and enjoy the glow.

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6 Things You Should Know About PTSD

PTSD

Do you so badly want to move on, but feelings of fear, powerlessness, shame, or anger keep dragging you back through one of the worst experiences of your life?

Have months, or even years, gone by, but you still feel stuck thinking about– and trying not to think about– that terrible time?

You may be struggling with post-traumatic stress syndrome or PTSD.

Here are some important things you need to know:

1. PTSD is real. You are not imagining the pain or overreacting. Returning to life after trauma is hard without help. PTSD is not a moral failing or weakness. PTSD is a common response to trauma, affecting millions of people, regardless of age, gender, or social background. You are not alone.

2. Certain risk factors make PTSD more likely. The nature of the trauma, whether it was intentional harm by another person or a more impersonal disaster, may affect the severity of PTSD symptoms. A family history of depression, lack of support, and high levels of stress in daily life can exacerbate trauma as well.

3. PTSD symptoms affect the way you do life. PTSD keeps the distress, terror, or victimization of your trauma fresh. Your current life may be interrupted in the following ways:

  • You relive the experience repeatedly. Nightmares and frightening, unwanted thoughts are common. Sights, smells, and sounds may trigger flashbacks or reflexes connected to your trauma.
  • You are constantly on alert. The world is a dangerous place now. Insomnia, panic attacks, and difficulty developing trusting relationships may accompany a need to avoid being caught off guard.
  • You don’t want to be reminded. You may find yourself avoid situations or conversations that label you a victim, a veteran, or a survivor.
  • Your response to the trauma is physical. You may have headaches, digestive trouble, or muscle aches when you recall or try not to recall the trauma.

4. PTSD responds to treatment. You don’t have to continue to suffer. There are some very effective treatments for PTSD, like psychotherapy, support groups, and medication. The earlier you seek treatment the better. A qualified therapist can help you develop a treatment plan.

5. PTSD is alleviated by improved self-care. According to the National Center for PTSD, intentional self-care is important for coping after trauma. Take these positive steps:

  • Relax. Use natural, healthy means of relaxing. Listening to music, breathing techniques, or massage may be good places to start.
  • Connect. It’s difficult to get out of your own head if you’re isolated. Try to spend less time alone; seek out loved ones.
  • Exercise. Physical activity is a key to improved health, strength, mood, and sleep. All of which can be problem areas for PTSD sufferers.
  • Rest. The recovery time your mind and body need is provided by sleep. Do your best to get seven to nine hours per night. Avoid caffeine.
  • Journal. Writing has been linked to stress reduction and is a healthy way to process your feelings.
  • Avoid drugs and alcohol. Attempts to self-medicate usually just compound the problem and delay recovery.

6. PTSD is hard for some people to understand. Some people, even those who love you, don’t get it. Family therapy may be necessary if your family is struggling with your symptoms. Your loved ones may need a safe place to discuss what’s happening and to practice communicating in ways that will foster supportive interaction.

You’re not weak or abnormal because you are still affected by past trauma.

You simply need help to get through it.

If you think you might be suffering from PTSD, reach out to a mental health professional who can help you move on.

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10 Signs You Have an Anger Problem

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anger

By Cathy Neville, LPC, and Aisha Simmons, on August 12, 2014

Do you really have your feelings under control?

A chronically angry person is like a roiling pot of mixed stew, randomly popping and snapping the hotter it becomes.

If the pot is too full, it soon bubbles over. Steam rises and the heated mix spills onto anything or anyone nearby.

What about you?

Are you overfilled, angrily spilling out, and messily scalding those in your way?

How can you tell if you really need help?

Consider the following 10 signs to help you identify whether your anger is reaching a boiling point too often:

1. Your anger is your sidekick. Are irritation and annoyance your go-to emotions when problems arise? For some people provocation isn’t really the issue. Perhaps you are highly defensive and always ready for battle. If so, anger may be overwhelming more subtle, painful emotions.

2. Your anger response is harsh, loud, and disrespectful. Do you verbally underscore angry feelings by yelling, swearing, or berating others? If you’ve been told you cross the line too often or regularly regret things said in an out-of-control discussion, communication will play a factor in reigning in negative feelings.

3. Your anger goes too far. Have you harmed another person during an angry exchange? Throwing things, shoving, slapping, punching, or worse is an unacceptable answer to anger and a definite red flag. Reach out to a counselor for safer alternatives for expressing your feelings.

4. Your anger holds you hostage. Does your blood still boil about a relationship that ended years ago? Continued outrage or bitterness about the past may be an indicator that you are emotionally stuck or unwilling to move forward.

5. Your anger is blamed on others. Is blame a game you frequently play? If it feels like people are always crossing you, criticizing you, or bad mouthing you, you may feel justified in your anger. Negative emotions might be skewing your perspective and hijacking your ability to resolve conflicts in a healthy manner.

6. Your anger leads to rebellion. Have you been accused of having “authority issues”? Anger problems can lead to resistance or attempts to control others. This makes it difficult to accept direction or correction. A run in with your boss or even a traffic officer can become contentious.

7. Your anger is turning people against you. Look around. Are you missing anyone? Your friends and family have had enough. Maybe you’ve been told that your anger is too much for them to handle. Perhaps they don’t call or include you in their plans, or invite you to social gatherings anymore.

8. Your anger makes you indirect. Are you the passive type? Look closely at how you manage anger. Passive anger results in punishing types of interaction, usually marked by heavy doses of sarcasm, prolonged responses, or cold silence, without getting confrontational.

9. Your anger is hiding. Who’s angry? Repressed anger can fool you into thinking that anger doesn’t exist. You spend a great deal of time stuffing, avoiding, and resisting an honest resolution to your resentment or rage.

10. Your anger is a lifestyle. Is your basic life mantra, “Life sucks, and it won’t get better?” Anger in this case, is general, and sometimes self-inflicting. It is always present, stewing, rather than boiling over. You are always down– maybe overeating, possibly drinking too much.

Don’t be afraid to call a counselor if you are more aggravated than you realize, more hurtful than you intend to be, or more retaliatory than is warranted.

Turn down the heat on your anger.

Simmer down.

Take a step toward happiness.

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