Category Archives: Communication

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.

 

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

Power of Images, A Picture says a 1,000 words

That is an often used phrase.  So why is that? How is it that an image can be so powerful? Because we use only about ten percent of our brain power to process data, and to analyze. The subconscious mind and the other parts of our brain operate using emotions, pictures, stories, metaphors and images and connects and processes information at a much faster speed.  Some times this manifests as an intuitive sense in our “gut feeling” or a swelling of particular emotions after seeing an image or seeing some one.  Often times we are not paying attention to all of the images that we are exposed to on a daily basis that end up in our mind.

This is the reason that they say our first impressions of some one is so strong and lasting, and it is often made quickly with little verbal information mostly through the use of non verbal cues and often stays with us. Start noticing your first impression messages that you hear when you first meet some one.

Thus the importance of images and symbols to represent groups, cultures, religions, etc.  The media and advertisers understand the power of the image or logos better than most, when they use images and logos as marketing tools to reach us in ways we often do not even notice.  Researchers are using MRI scans to explore which areas of the brain light up when we are shown different images, in hopes of being able to recreating this stimulating effect in certain part of the brain in order to excite and influence our purchase selections.  There are many images that have become recognized throught history, like the swastika and the peace sign,  some are specific to a generation and or an epoch, some span a longer time period or are even reused or rebranded to have different meanings in later generations

The picture of this woman and her child came to symbolize the great depression and the hopeless poverty and difficult life people  were leading, it summed it all up in a moments glance and will for many years.

The image below even though it looks natural, was a staged for the picture, it was meant to emote  the joy of post war celebrations of having troops back home after WW ll.  A classic picture that has become a symbol for many people of that generation. Looking at this picture instantly brings back a flood of emotions  at a specific  time and place, without having to think logically or analyze any information for people of that era.  Many future generations can understand the message as well.  Images and pictures bring back eras, feelings and memories quickly inside us.

What images and pictures are important for you?

Drawing, and creating them even if we do not think we are artistic is nurturing and healing for us.  Having important images or pictures around us that can give us inspiration, solace, or strength, and as reminders of staying mindful of our intentions, aspirations, and beliefs while staying in our present moment experience are helpful reminders.

Use the power of images to help you set goals for your self and to know what it is that is important in your life.  Maybe use them to say sorry in a different, special and unique way.  If you are dating or in a relationship using images can be a fast way to connect and communicate with some one,  how you are feeling.  Share your feelings with pictures, artwork, symbols to those important ones in your life and connect in a fun way that can be uniquely yours.

Image result for picture of a heart cartoon

Having trouble asking for help?

Wow that was an unexpected surprise!

So are you having trouble asking for help? Yup, there you are, and yes every is thing is just fine and thank you for asking.  You have it completely under control and in fact its not going to change any time soon, with out you reaching out and asking for help.

So how long to wait is the question? Days, months, years? Many people wait in anger or in silence till its sometimes too late, they end up loosing their job, relationship, opportunities, or their health.  Sometimes they wait till later in life to make changes when they could have made many years earlier.

So why is it so hard saying, I need help or I need support?   Or life threw me a real curve ball and I am having trouble adjusting?  Getting a new perspective or adding a few new tools or maybe just being listened to and sharing the story and understand it a different or new way?

That last bump in the road was a tough one and there you are, and it’s ok to ask for help to get back on your feet by going to counseling.  It is not a sign of weakness, but of strength to know when to ask for help.

Road is long ….you are moving right along, back on your feet now, carry on!!

 

Anger & Idioms, our colorful expressions.

Anger seems to be one of our most  often used emotions and often our only “go to” emotion.  Real anger is rarely a primary emotion. Anger is so often expressed  that we have many idiomatic expressions in our language that describe how some people  may feel when they become angry.

We say expressions  like:

  • driving me up the wall
  • driving me nuts
  • hot under the collar
  • blowing off steam
  • blowing our top
  • hitting the ceiling
  • flying off the handle
  • blowing our stack
  • mad as a wet hen
  • rage quit
  • hissy fit

Do any of these sound familiar?  These are all colorful ways that have been weaved into the fabric of our vocabulary and that we use to communicate our frustration, fear, or thoughts of being overwhelmed.  Try for a moment to really notice where anger resides in your body when your feeling over the top angry?

Are you able to visualize any of these expressions? Can you see yourself literally driving up the wall? Seeing that in your minds eye might bring some level of humor to the situation . Ask yourself how important is this really now? And in 25 years?  Is it really about this situation now or maybe there are some unresolved feelings from past that you might not have even been aware of?

You might find that “seeing red” does not always have to be the end result of your anger once you are aware of having anger notice where it resides in your body and of your triggers, and how to release it …. noticing this mind body connection might open up the possibilities to seeing aqua blue, emerald green, sunshine yellow and many more. Take a moment to consider all the other different emotions that we choose from, or at least allow.

Image result for free downloadable images of driving up the wall

 

Carmen’s Blog

CarmenThank you for stopping by and welcome to my blog. I hope to share useful information and experiences with you here.