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Carmen’s Blog

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

Premarital Counseling Benefits

Premarital counseling can be a benefit for couples who choose to make this investment before marriage. It can help couples build a foundation for their relationship, improve communication skills, and reduce the risk of future conflicts. Working with a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (MFT) can provide a safe and supportive environment for couples to explore their expectations, values, and goals for their future together.

One of the primary benefits of premarital counseling with an MFT is improved communication skills. Couples learn how to effectively communicate their needs, feelings, and concerns, which can reduce misunderstandings and promote deeper intimacy. Couples also learn how to listen actively, empathize with each other’s perspectives, and express themselves in a non-judgmental way.

In addition to communication skills, premarital counseling can also help couples explore important issues that they might not want to talk about otherwise in a safe space. This exploration can help couples identify potential areas of conflict or unforeseen circumstances and develop strategies to manage those conflicts in a constructive way.

Premarital counseling with an MFT can also help couples develop a stronger sense of commitment for a long-lasting relationship. By working together to identify shared goals and values, couples can create a vision for their future.

Ultimately, premarital counseling with an MFT can help couples build a strong, relationship. By investing in their relationship before marriage couples can set themselves up for a better chance for success for a fulfilling future together.

Call today to schedule an appointment with a licensed MFT, please leave a voice mail at 479-225-0055. Offering 60 min. sessions on a sliding scale fee to fit most schedules and budgets in the NWA area or anywhere in Arkansas.

Thank you.

Rebuilding Relationship Trust After Addiction Issues

Rebuilding relationship trust after addiction issues is possible. This can be a long and challenging process, and here are some tips:

  1. Honesty is best policy: Honesty is crucial in rebuilding trust. It is essential to be open and honest about your addiction, struggles, and your recovery journey. It may be uncomfortable, but it’s important to share your thoughts, feelings, and concerns with each other.
  2. Stay Consistent: Consistency is important to building trust. Show your partner that you are committed to your recovery and that you are maintaining your sobriety. Follow through with your promises and commitments.
  3. Communication : It is vital in any relationship, but it’s especially important when rebuilding trust. Talk to your partner regularly and openly about your progress, challenges, and on going goals.
  4. Take your time: Rebuilding trust takes time, and it won’t happen overnight. Be patient and understand that it may take some time for your partner to trust you again.
  5. Find a supportive community. Find support groups, therapy, trusted friends and safe family members. Having a support system will help you stay accountable, motivated and committed to your recovery goals.
  6. Actions speak louder than words. Show your partner that you are committed to making positive changes in your life by staying sober, making healthier choices and treating them with respect and kindness.

Remember, trust is easily lost and not easily earned. Trust can be rebuilt with time, willingness and consistency. If you would like to talk about your own situation, I am offering a sliding scale fee for 60-minute sessions. Please call NWA Marriage & Family Therapy at 479-225-0055 and leave a voice mail.

Thank you.

Healthy Relationships

Building and maintaining healthy relationships is a journey that requires effort, patience, and commitment, to a likeminded individual. Whether you’re in a romantic partnership, a friendship, or a family relationship, the following tips can help you establish and nurture healthy connections.

Effective communication is key to any healthy relationship. This means being open and honest with your partner or friend, expressing your needs and concerns in a respectful manner, and actively listening to their perspective. Communication also involves being mindful of your tone and body language and avoiding behaviors that might be considered negative.

Trust is another essential element of healthy relationships. This involves being reliable, consistent, and transparent in your actions, and respecting your partner’s boundaries and privacy. Trust also means being vulnerable and sharing your thoughts and feelings with your partner and being supportive of them in kind.

Healthy relationships also require a willingness to compromise and work through conflicts. This means acknowledging and addressing issues when they arise, and seeking out solutions that work for both parties. It also involves being patient and empathetic and understanding that relationships are not always perfect or easy.

Finally, self-care is crucial for maintaining healthy relationships. This means taking care of your own physical and emotional needs, setting boundaries to protect your time and energy, and prioritizing activities that bring you joy and fulfillment. When you take care of yourself, you are better equipped to show up as your “best self” in your relationships.

Please call NWA Marriage Family Therapy at 479-225-0055 Office V. M. to make a 60 min. appointment. Offering an affordable sliding scale fee for clients who live in the NWA area or anywhere in Arkansas. Weekends are available..

Thank You.

Enhancing Relationship Tips

These enhancing relationship tips may help you trouble shoot and avoid relationship confrontations in healthy well attached relationships. These tips sound simple and commonsensical enough and they are.

The challenging thing for most couples is to implement them regularly and to take timely action. Small steps that are consistent and regular are more effective than large unfulfilled promises. So keep working on developing your skills and keep your love active.

Tip 1) Fulfill any communication agreements you have made if you have a disagreement. For example, agreements to take time outs, cooling off periods, or other prior de-escalation rules you have made. When conflict heats up sticking to these agreements is very important.

Tip 2) Share the intentions of your actions. Actions can be better understood by your partner or accepted, if the intentions are clearly explained beforehand to the other person. Assume that your partner has good intentions. (Note: only in safe, securely attached relationships).

Tip 3) Follow the golden rule, it truly is golden. Show your authentic appreciation, regularly through words and actions, that connect and make sense to your partner.

Hopefully your actions will be noticed and appreciated, and your partner will reciprocate their appreciations with time. These enhancing relationship tip skills take practice, so stay consistent.

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NWA Marriage & Family Therapy has been serving the NWA for a decade and in the last two years, I have been serving couples at your convenience. electronically anywhere in Arkansas.

If you would like a couple’s session to talk about your specific situation, as a couple or on your own, please give me a call anytime. Leave an office voice mail message at (479) 225-0055 (no text).

Thank You

Valentine’s Day Intimacy Fears?

Valentine’s Day is almost here. For some people this day brings about fears around intimacy. How soon is too soon to celebrate Valentines Day as a “couple”? Maybe just celebrate as friends? lovers? or celebrate love in general?

Do you ever think, “I want to be close, but just how close is it comfortable for me? ”

Are you comfortable with the idea of being close and staying close? Are you comfortable with the idea with giving as well as receiving over a Longterm relationship? Will you be testing your love often? How comfortable are you with commitment? If you move forward into a relationship, will you feel obligated, trapped or controlled? Will you feel like you will be losing your freedom or a part of you?

Exploring these questions is important for you to know where you are as far as desiring and maintaining long term intimacy.

Finally, knowing where your lover is as far as their intimacy abilities? Are they open and available to being intimate? Are they willing, capable and as vested as you? Are you well matched as far as your expectations and abilities? It’s good to think about these things on your own, as well as talking together.

There can be so many ways to celebrate and to create a meaningful intimate relationship on Valentine’s Day, as well as other types of friendships. Taking the opportunity and time to celebrate love in its many forms, is a day well spent.

So…..Happy Valentines Day!

Please call NWA Marriage & Family Therapy at 479-225-0055 to schedule an online appointment, if you would like to talk further.

Thank you.

Gaslighting the 2022 Word of the Year: Exploring Relationship Gaslighting

What is Relationship Gaslighting?

“Relationship Gaslighting” refers to when one person in a relationship intentionally distorts their partner’s perception of reality for their own manipulative advantage. This can manifest in many ways and can cause the partner to question their own judgement, values, or perceptions.

Signs of Relationship Gaslighting

There are signs to notice when you are being gaslighted. Fault will be assigned to you when you attempt to question explanations or when you feel most vulnerable or powerless from the confusion fallout and insecurity that gaslighting eventually causes.

Questioning to attempt to clarify may bring on statements that you are too sensitive, jealous, or overall unworthy in various ways. This can cause you to feel isolated and confused, and begin doubting yourself.

The Impact of Relationship Gaslighting

Gaslighting can have a significant impact on one’s emotional and mental health. Enduring continued gaslighting is unhealthy and will emotionally unbalance you. It is important to distinguish between real and genuine relationship difficulties and manipulative relationship gaslighting.

How to Address Relationship Gaslighting

As a Marriage and Family Therapist, I have seen relationship difficulties and manipulative relationship like gaslighting. It is important to explore the different ways the relationship may manifests and the many nuances. To balance the discomfort caused by gaslighting, many people try to talk themselves out of their feelings with positive self-talk. However, usually these actions are not effective, and the gaslighting will continue.

As a Marriage and Family Therapists, I have seen both and have helped individuals and couples explore the different angles and nuances so they can see clearly for themselves.

Call NWA Marriage and Family Therapy to discuss a counseling appointment. Offering sliding scale fee at your convenience. Serving clients virtually anywhere in Arkansas.

Office voice mail 479-225-0055. Thank you.

Long Term Relationships and Reconnection Techniques

What is the “super glue” that holds long term relationships together? Even though these things are often overlooked, it is the little things that you do for each other that make a big difference when keeping a long term relationships together.

Taking a moment to recreate habits of reconnecting are important for all couples. If you remember back, your couple probably did these things naturally when you first met. With time and busy schedules some couples might have lost their natural momentum. Sometimes if all momentum of reconnecting stops, couples can feel stagnated, or stuck. Maybe you feel somewhat complacent? Maybe you are just on auto pilot in your relationship? Many couples become emotionally complacent and then begin to feel sad or feel alone.

Taking a moment to recreate habits of reconnecting are important for all couples. If you remember back, your couple probably did these things naturally when you first met. With time and busy schedules some couples might have lost their natural momentum. Sometimes if all momentum of reconnecting stops, couples can feel stagnated, or stuck. Maybe you feel somewhat complacent? Maybe you are just on auto pilot in your relationship? Many couples become emotionally complacent and then begin to feel sad or feel alone.

The little, ongoing attentive, things that may make a big difference in how couples feel in the long run about each other and their relationship. Taking a moment to recreate some of the old and/or new habits to get in touch with your partner are a worthwhile investment.

A few suggestions for reconnecting are to;

Give and make good eye contact when speaking and listening.

Give gentle a touch, hug or kiss during day or when leaving and coming home.

Checki in by asking about their day and listen with interest.

Routinely offer food or drink when you prepare something for yourself.

Remember to smile and feel small moments of joy, even in your most difficult days.

Small reconnections keep the relationship steady and give signals to your partner that you are aware, care and that you are indeed present. Practice and observe the changes.

Call NWA Marriage and Family Therapy at 479-225-0055 to talk about setting up a relationship session in the comfort of your home via your computer or smart phone with a licensed marriage therapist if you need more help.

Thanks for visiting and Happy Thanksgiving

4 Relationship Abilities

Four, simple yet powerful abilites that need to be nurtured in your relationship are:

RESPECT: To ability to consider, admire and appreciate with high regard the value of your partner. The ability to refrain from interfereing or intruding by showing warm deference to the other’s actions or thoughts.

RECIPROCITY: The ability in a relationship for mutual influence, exchange of healthy dependence of mutual behaviors, thoughts and feelings. The ability to exchange these in a naturally way between partners, for the benefit of their relationhsip.

REMORSE: The ability to feel anguish and distress that arises from a sense of guilt for having comitted past wrongs that impacted your relationship. Especially, for those acts that can not be remedied. This ability also includes a sense of deep regret for the consequences, created by the actions taken that impacted your partner.

REPAIR: The ability to renew, restore and remedy in part or in full past harms, so as to come together, to reunite, reconnect, and eventualy be able to function anew.

NWA Marriage & Family Therapy offers affordable, 60 minute virtual sessions anywhere in Arkansas. Offering Relationship, Couples, and Marriage counseling with a sliding scale fee. Apointments are at your convenience using your smart phone or computer. No special techincal or software know how needed, super simple.

Call 479-225-0055 to set up an apointment or to answer any questions.

Thank you.

Quote “3 Classes of People”

“There are three classes of people;

Those who see.

Those whos see, when they are shown.

Those who do not see”.

-Leonardo da Vinci (1452-1519)

This is an interesting quote to ponder. I was wondering how this could be applied to therapy in general. I would say all three types come to therapy at some point for different reasons. Those who see, may struggle with their knowingness, unable to feel others really understand, or they struggle when sharing their sights. Those who see, when they are shown often have many “aha” moments. Suddenly things begin to make sense to them in a way unlike before. And then there are those who do not see. They usually visit for a while, with no ability for insight or change. Non seers, are either unwilling or simply just unable to see. They for the most part, remain the same.

All three types vary in their own personal abilities and mingle equally in a variety of socioeconomic and ethnicity groups.

This quote offers yet another model for “seeing” the world.

Making the Case for Marriage Therapy: Why It’s Important for Your Relationship

Marriage therapy is becoming more widely accepted as an essential tool for couples who want to improve their relationship. In fact, making decisions about your long-term relationship or marriage without the benefit of marital therapy maybe now seen as less than ideal. Despite this growing recognition, many couples still hesitate to seek out a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (LMFT). In this article, we’ll explore why marriage therapy is important, and how working with a licensed LMFT professional can help couples navigate the complexities of their relationship.

While most models of therapy focus on individual work, about 70 percent of therapists work with couples. However, treating one person is different from treating the complexities that a couple brings. Licensed Marriage and Family Therapists or LMFTs have special licensing requirements in addition to couples training and experience that many individual therapists often lack. This is why marriage therapy has gained popularity over the last decade – it provides support and a better understanding of the issues that can develop in relationships.

NWA Marriage and Family Therapy works with many types of couples and is here to serve you explore your relationship issues. Please call 479-225-0055 to ask any questions or to make an appointment, or please leave a voice mail.

Thank you.