Thank you for stopping by and welcome to my blog. I hope to share useful information and experiences with you here.
A great Holiday gift idea. So many times around the Holidays I hear clients say their work on their relationship or themselves needs to wait, till after they pay off their holiday bills. That is understandable, I say.
However, I began to think of what material possession might be more important than your relationship with your loved one? Clothes? Jewelry? Cell phone? Well maybe a cell phone. All joking aside, really what material thing can you buy that can supersede having an authentic relationship. A relationship that you can feel really good about? I was hard pressed to come up with any answer, and you?
Unique Holiday Gift Idea
What about this year giving a few sessions of couples therapy as a unique or unusual gift? Couples therapy as a holiday gift for both of you, is a novel, unique and probably a truly unexpected holiday gift.
It might be a great way to initiate that first visit, that for some couples may be difficult. Do not wait for a catastrophe to get you through the door.
Your partner might be more likely to want to go for a session or two when it was given as a gift. It might just be an interesting experience for both of you that breaks the ice of any stigma or preconceived ideas about what couples therapy is, in fun way.
A couples session a great Holiday gift idea.
Happy Holidays to all my past, present and future clients.
For more information see Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ’s)
Welcome to the age of Google and information. I see more clients more confused now about their situations with all the information they research or read in an attempt to apply everything to themselves, in hopes of a quick resolve. Information sometimes applied correctly and successfully and sometimes applied very inaccurately and excessively with unexpected consequences, or not with the desired results
Younger folks are much more willing to rely and use the internet to self diagnose or treat others. If its accurate and effective, you might save some money but since the biggest predictor of any one getting better is the relationship a client forms with their therapists, all the information in the world can not substitute face to face sessions with a professional. As well as not all therapists follow the medical model, even thought all insurance companies do, and that is the bulk of what most people find.
Even experts in the mental health field can disagree as to the how’s and why’s of diagnostics and therapy or of the various mental health issues, which are in a constant state of change and advancement as they are approached from many view points and with new advancements in the filed.
Often times clients self diagnose or diagnose others in their family with various personality disorders without ever having gone to see any one in the mental health field. Google has made their decision for them. Everything can sound so similar too, clients tell me. Sometimes finding issues they did not know were even issuesSo you may consider trusting the face to face process of using a therapists in real time, hanging in there and seeing what happens, rather than amass information that leads to many clients to feel less than or more anxious.
Counseling and mental health therapy in one form or another, through various healers has been around since ancient times, even before the mental health field developed to what it is today.
Even thought face to face therapy is still considered the gold standard, its good to know that other options now exists.
NWA Marriage and Family Therapy
Below are links to find my services and other free and useful counseling information. Marriage therapy, couples counseling and individual clinical counseling provided in the NWA area and Ft. Smith in a private practice setting. I have an affordable sliding scale fee for a 60 minute session, depending on your income.
I am a clinical member of the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy. see https://aamft.org
I can be found on their www.therapylocator.com listing.
My private practice is going on its seventh year in business serving a variety of clients from all walks of life. I have offices in various locations and it is sometimes hard to get google maps to cooperate with a business that has more than one location. In addition to Fayetteville Arkansas, I also serve Bella Vista as well as the Ft. Smith area
You can also find my verified services listed as well as other valuable counseling information on Psychology Today. See…
My services are also listed at Goodtherapy.org
Any of the above web site links might help you in finding a face to face therapist and are good sources for free information as to counseling or therapy in general.
Calling the office at 479-225-0055 and leaving a voice message is the best way to reach me to make an appointment or simply talk and answer any questions you may have.
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
10 REASONS WHY NOT TO GET MARRIED
- If you need to marry just to take the wedding ceremony and party off your “Bucket List”.
- If you need to marry as a right of passage to become or to prove you are an “adult”.
- If I need to escape current controlling or unhappy family situation.
- If you feel no one else will ever ask you to marry again.
- If all your friends are getting married and you do not want to be left out and slide into it.
- If your child custody will be affected and you feel obligated to marry to keep your custody rights.
- 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.
- If you or your partner is drug or other addiction dependent and you are getting married in hopes of resolving that issue.
- If you hope that marrying will eliminate other major disagreements or value conflicts in your couple.
- If you hardly know each other and one of you is being deployed soon and feel the need to marry before deployment.
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 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.
(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.
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.
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.
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.
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!!
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