Author Archives: ccubillo

Every Day is Valentine’s Day

Isn’t it interesting how so many new relationships are made around Valentines Day?  When  this day of love and romance  comes up, that pending questions will we be celebrating it together with this new person in our life comes up? Does this relationship mean the same to each of us?  That thrill or surprise to know that some one is interested in you and you in them can feel great?  Valentines Day can often be a day of thrill and surprises, and for  other’s it can also be a day of closings and endings.

It is interesting to see how love can be in the air when we as a society and as an individual make  set our focus on paying attention and doting on another person by sharing our feelings of love in so many special ways.   Alternately if you have been in a long term relationship or marriage, could your relationship benefit with a little more intimacy or fun?

This month of Valentine’s  I am offering enrichment sessions for couples that feel they are doing well and are stable who might want to share and explore greater intimacy together as a part of their ongoing commitment.   Give the gift of an enrichment session a great unique Valentine’s  Day Gift. Please call and ask for an appointment at your convenience, Saturdays are available for sessions as well.

Make every day Valentine’s Day by focusing on the love that you have in your life, that many come in many forms and that we so often take for granted. Remind yourself every day to be thankful.

Happy Valentine’s Day to all.

If you wish to contact me, please call my office telephone 479-225-0055, & leave a message. Thanks

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10 Reasons Why Not to Get Married

10  REASONS WHY NOT TO GET MARRIED

  1. If you need to marry just to take the wedding ceremony and party off your “Bucket List”.
  2. If you need to marry as a right of passage to become or to prove you are an “adult”.
  3. If I need to escape current controlling or unhappy family situation.
  4. If you feel no one else will ever ask you to marry again.
  5. If all your friends are getting married and you do not want to be left out and slide into it.
  6. If your child custody will be affected and you feel obligated to marry to keep your custody rights.
  7. If you are escaping a troubled relationship or a prior marriage that you are still emotionally tied to and you believe it is unbearable to live alone.
  8. If you or your partner is drug or other addiction dependent and you are getting married in hopes of resolving that issue.
  9.  If you hope that marrying  will eliminate other major disagreements or value conflicts in your couple.
  10. If you hardly know each other and one of you is being deployed soon and feel the need to marry before deployment.

 

Communication Problems

Often times one hears of couples saying they have “communication problems”.  Such a term is very often used and can be for the most part rather nebulous.   It can sometimes be a description for many other problems and or underlying issues in a relationship that have not been explored.

Couples for the most part to communicate very well either directly or indirectly their unhappiness, disappointment, resentment, contempt  or anger for each other.  Sometimes they punish each other by using avoidance, manipulation or intentional harm that they might be less than willing to talk about or admit to each other.  Often times in couples therapy the process of discovering the source of the discomfort  or negative patterns might take some time.

Many times the presenting problem of what the couple labels as the issue soon gets overridden by past wounds, hurts or betrayals that have been buried between them and unresolved. Often times these other issues come bubbling up.

Couples who have issues with “communication”  sometimes have been carrying these wounds or unfinished business in an indirect way for months or even years.  These unhealed wounds are often dragged along unresolved in the relationship and/or marriage longer than is healthy and this can impact their current relational health.

If left unresolved the couple may find that the misunderstanding can escalate very quickly and eventually destroy their relationship. Exploring these resentments, patterns of attachment styles and past wounds every so often sometimes can reconnect a couple.  Sometimes the help of a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapists can be a good start for a couple to begin to tall openly and to reconnect once again and clear their communication channels.

How to tell your kids your marriage is over?

How do you tell your children your marriage is over?  Is  there a best way or worse way?  First of all make sure that both of you are certain that divorce is going to really happen and it is your final decision after exploring all other options.

Less than ideal ways are each for each  parent to  tell  the children at a different times and blaming the other parent, or doing some drastic changes in living situations without telling the children or their spouse. Also harmful is  passing messages through the children,, dating too early and not giving children time to grieve.   As a parent crying to or leaning on your children for emotional support for your separation or divorce because they are so “mature” and you feel they understand is not advised.  Showing your children your anger towards your ex is also not advised even if you feel you are in the right.  All these  are usually less than ideal and will put more stress on your children through the divorce and through the co-parenting  years that come after.

What might be better guide rules?  Having a joint  story that you both share together when you are both sure that divorce is inevitable is important.  Get  the story straight and stick to it,, and that should only be told  one time,  clearly and calmly, not every few months, or years.

Decide how to best tell children, when and where. Neither parent needs to be thrown under the bus in front of your kids.  Often times kids feel they are half of each parent  and the child begins to internalize that half of them is bad or if both parents insult each other they might feel that all of them is bad, so nothing they do is ok or matters.  Saying thing like you look or act just like your ex spouse is not helpful.  A child’s may worry that  they have some how have, or will in the future contribute to parental issue,  separation, or divorce  and feel guilty or sad. They are left in a loosing situation, that they feel can’t be resolved.

The divorce story should not include any thing bad about either parent, Try not to personalize and react to comments from your ex when negotiating or when setting up scheduling for your children. Let things fall without reaction. That is  easier said than done, and that is where a therapists might be able to help.  Anything you can do to reduce parental conflict is going to serve your children’s best interest and allow them to be happier and better adjusted after the transition.

A neutral  story,  may sound like …….”we do not love each other in ways parents  should or we do not get along any more and sometimes in adult love and in couples love thing can change..” Then emphasize that love for kids from a parent does not change, remind your children that  you both still love them now and will continue to love them always, followed by hugs or time to ask questions.  The children need to feel no sense of responsibility for the loss of your marriage. They also should not be made to feel  any responsibility to manage the relationship of their parents, keep you happy, be your confidant, keep your secrets or be your best friend.

That is why its so important to talk with a therapists who understands pre and post divorce issues.  The pain you might be  feeling , anger, animosity or maybe just a strong desire to move forward. Often times couples are not on the same page as far as wanting to divorce and this creates animosity, resentment and anger in the process of  the separation.  Children at different ages also may react differently.

So consider taking responsibility for your own actions  and for your language and reactions even in very difficult situations, in front of your children.   Love your children more than you hate your spouse , advance the needs of your children over your animosity , take a loving kindness approach.  Do it for your kids.

 

What is EMDR?

(Adapted From the EMDRIA Network website)

What is EMDR? 

EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) is a cost-effective, non-invasive, evidence-based method of psychotherapy that facilitates adaptive information processing developed by Francine Shapiro, PhD in the late 1980’s.  EMDR is a treatment which comprehensively identifies and addresses experiences that have overwhelmed the brain’s natural resilience or coping capacity, and have thereby generated traumatic symptoms and/or harmful coping strategies. Through EMDR therapy, patients are able to reprocess traumatic information until it is no longer psychologically disruptive.

How Was EMDR Developed?

In 1987, psychologist Dr. Francine Shapiro made the chance observation that eye movements can reduce the intensity of disturbing thoughts, under certain conditions. Dr. Shapiro studied this effect scientifically, and in a 1989 issue of the Journal of Traumatic Stress she reported success using EMDR to treat victims of trauma. Since then EMDR has developed and evolved through the contribution of therapists and researchers all over the world. Today, EMDR is a set of standardized protocols that incorporates elements of many different treatment approaches.

How Does EMDR Work?

No one knows exactly how any form of psychotherapy works neuro-biologically or in the brain. However, we do know that when a person is very upset, that individual’s brain cannot process information as it does ordinarily. One moment becomes “frozen in time,” and remembering a trauma may feel as bad as going through it the first time because the images, sounds, smells, and feelings haven’t changed. Such memories have a lasting negative effect that interferes with the way a person sees the world and the way the person relates to other people.

EMDR seems to have a direct effect on the way that the brain processes information. Normal information processing is resumed, so following successful EMDR sessions, a person no longer re-lives the images, sounds, and feelings when the event is brought to mind.

The client still remembers what happened, but it is less upsetting. Many types of therapy have similar goals. However, EMDR appears to be similar to what occurs naturally during dreaming or REM (rapid eye movement) sleep. Therefore, EMDR can be thought of as a physiologically-based therapy that helps a person see disturbing material in a new and less distressing way.

What Is An EMDR Session Like?

During EMDR, the therapist works with the client to identify a specific problem as the focus of the treatment session. The client brings to mind the disturbing issue or event, what was seen, heard, felt, thought, and what thoughts and beliefs are currently held about themselves and the event. The therapist facilitates directional movement of the eyes and/or other dual attention stimulation of the brain, while the client focuses on the disturbing material, and the client just notices whatever comes to mind without making any effort to control the direction or content.

Each person will process information uniquely based on personal experiences and values. There is no right or wrong way to process  the information or feel.  Sets of eye movements are continued until the memory becomes less disturbing and is associated with positive self-beliefs.  EMDR is often used for trauma, PTSD, as well as other situations.

If you feel  EMDR would be something you would like to try please call my office to set  an appointment.  I am an EMDR level two practitioner.

 

 

Valentine’s Day is Every Day

Not all counseling visits are to work on problems, sometimes they are just to make a good relationship better?  What a great way to celebrate Valentines Day than with a counseling for your couple to celebrate  and  reconnect in your commitment.  Why is it that we shower our loved one with unconditional love, sweet words, acts of affection and gifts only once a year?   Make every day Valentines Day!!

 

 

Marriage Therapy in Fayetteville, Bella Vista & Ft.Smith

As we start the new years many people have resolutions made to start the year new and they want to improve or change their relationships and marriage.  You don’t have to struggle with the same old marriage or partnership you can create something new with the important person in your life.  Going to  licensed Marriage and Family Therapists can be a good start to the new year or to a new marriage.

I have flexible hours including marital therapy on week ends in offices  in Fayetteville,  Bella Vista, and Ft, Smith.  Don’t give up those new years resolutions just yet.  My  sliding scale fee makes it more affordable. Look forward to serving your unique needs

Use it or Lose it, your best self as you age.

Getting older sometimes sneaks up on you and suddenly there you are and in part one needs to be very thankful for making it  as  far as you are in your journey in life, but some how doing what we used to do gets that much harder for some over fifty.

Some things one can do to enhance your bet self both mentally and physically is to keep your energy flowing and moving.  Keeping moving in one way or another can reduce the process of what we know or call  “aging” in both body and mind.

Increasing your movement increases your stamina and confidence in your ability to take care of yourself thus increasing your freedom.  Improving your balance through repetitive motions that many sport, dance, or yoga offer helps with right left /brain hemisphere balancing to reduce stress and it will also help you be more flexible as well as keeping your metabolism active.

The idea is movement helps keep your body’s internal functioning moving better and keeps your mind and memory sharper.  Movement can help prevent falls, accidents, improve digestion, improve sleep, it reduces the chance of cancer and high blood pressure and may prevent stiffness and many aches and pains that seem to sneak up on us.  Over all the idea of keeping your body in the movement to  feel better is not new,  nor is it  ever too late to start moving.  .

A good reminder to motivate your self can be to remember one of Newton’s law of physics,….

“A  body in motion stays in motion.”

Is your intuition faster than your logic?

Ever feel like that little guy in front? Literally running for your life in a whirlwind of danger and betrayal? Think, feel or flee?
Your instincts are powerful messengers that should never be ignored or over ridden by you rational brain.  More and more we are talking in terms of having 3 brains,  a gut brain, heart brain and logical mind.
For most of us this sensor is active and functions well.  Some times this system can go faulty for may complex reasons, such as trauma or dissociation and then it might give us false danger readings.  In this article, we will assume that your intuitive powers are well calibrated and functioning as they were meant to.
If your gut brain is sensing danger and it is at an all time high and your fighting for what literally feels like your survival most of the time, do not let the logical mind talk you out of  what your gut is sensing. Often time we rationally tell ourselves the following excuses to ignore our gut:
-that its not what we are thinking or seeing
-that there is a perfectly logical explanation for what is going on
-that it really can’t be, that we must be too sensitive
-that this would never happen
-that we do not have all the facts and need more
-that this is the first & last time
 or finally…. it does not matter what behavior I see, since, they said they said they care about me or love me.
Maybe your chest is tight and in a panic or your stomach’s in a knot and you cant breath or you feel like throwing up? Trouble seeping waking up with fears?  These are messages from your intuitive body to pay attention, that you might be in emotional or physical danger.
Did you ever ignore the signs only to later find your self shocked by unexpected betrayals, abandonments, lies, infidelities and/or by the outright unexpected brutalities and sucker punches that came later? Often times the impact is worse especially by some one who says they “love you”, “would never hurt you”, or “are trying to protect you”.
Do you find your self “rationalizing unacceptable” behavior time and time again that puts you in harms way? Reducing your expectations so low that you violate your own standards for your minimally acceptable behavior?  Are you overriding your intuitive gut brain by rationalizing what just happened, might not be as dangerous or as unloving as your intuition is screaming out, that it is?
You intuitively knew something was just “not quite right”! Assurances by the other person to the contrary can be false, controlling and manipulative with the goal to quiet your inner fire alarm and continue to put you into an unsafe acceptance of an ongoing dangerous situations and liaison wit them.
Your intuitive “gut” brain is quicker and wiser than your other brains because it does not ponder to think and elaborate,  it works a million times faster and it is there to protect you from danger …..so honor it and RUN.
Carmen Cubillo, LAMFT, LAC, EMDR
NWA Marriage & Familly Therapy

Kindness (Poem by Naomi Shihab Nye, 1952)


 

Before you know what kindness really is

you must lose things,

feel the future dissolve in a moment

like salt in a weakened broth.

What you held in your hand,

what you counted and carefully saved,

all this must go so you know

how desolate the landscape can be

between the regions of kindness.

How you ride and ride

thinking the bus will never stop,

the passengers eating maize and chicken

will stare out the window forever.

Before you learn the tender gravity of kindness

you must travel where the Indian in a white poncho

lies dead by the side of the road.

You must see how this could be you,

how he too was someone

who journeyed through the night with plans

and the simple breath that kept him alive.

Before you know kindness as the deepest thing inside,

you must know sorrow as the other deepest thing.

You must wake up with sorrow.

You must speak to it till your voice

catches the thread of all sorrows

and you see the size of the cloth.

Then it is only kindness that makes sense anymore,

only kindness that ties your shoes

and sends you out into the day to gaze at bread,

only kindness that raises its head

from the crowd of the world to say

It is I you have been looking for,

and then goes with you everywhere

like a shadow or a friend.

 

-Picture credits:

Westwind Studios
Hand Crafted Web Design
http://westwindstudios.net