Category: Counseling Blog

Pursue a Successful Marriage with Premartial Therapy

You’re getting prepared for the wedding, but what are you doing to prepare for the marriage? Marriage is a beautiful union between two imperfect individuals. As much as you may feel that your significant other is perfect, they just aren’t and neither are you. You may know this from previous experiences in relationships. There are arguments, disagreements, let-downs, and frustrations. However, you can pursue a successful marriage with Premarital Therapy.

Pursue a Successful Marriage with Premartial Therapy

We understand that new marriages come with past hurts, disappointments and require a new level of trust. Due to previous relationships, it can be difficult to move forward. With the help of a professional counselor, you can have a successful, happy marriage. No matter your past.

At Family Restoration Counseling, we want to set your marriage up for success with pre-marital therapy. We understand the statistics. Sadly, they are not in the marriage’s favor. 41%-50% of marriages, 60%-70% of second marriages and 74% of third marriages end in divorce.

Whatever category you may find yourself in, we are here to support you. We are here to walk through the difficult questions with you. The topics are not easy, including money, kids, gender roles, living arrangements, in-laws, etc. Allow yourself to let go of the fear, learn new communication skills and pursue love again.

It isn’t fair to you or your new spouse to carry past hurts into a new marriage. Letting go, moving on and believing in your marriage once again is possible.

Contact us with any questions you may have or to meet with a counselor.

3 Ways to Help Prevent Marital Infidelity

Every marriage has its ups and downs, and a concern about infidelity is not entirely uncommon. If you’re reading this article, kudos to you. This is an excellent step in actively working to maintain a happy and healthy relationship. Here are three preventative measures to help keep your marriage free of infidelity.

3 Ways to Help Prevent Marital Infidelity

1. Prioritize Your Marriage

Life can be hectic and often gets in the way of personal or family time. Still, it’s important to find a moment to make your spouse feel valued and appreciated. Consider taking them out and enjoying some alone time together. Recapture the magic that made them choose you as their life partner. If ever you feel distant from one another, it’s vital that you find a way to reconnect. You may even need to make a few sacrifices in order to ensure your spouse is one of your top priorities. You’re certainly not solely responsible for their happiness, but you definitely want to try your best to be loving and supportive to keep them from feeling neglected. They should also strive to do the same for you. A home filled with this type of love leaves very little room to stray away.

2. Communicate Openly

No human being has the power to read minds, so this makes communication all the more important. If you feel certain concerning emotion, speak up about it and encourage your partner to do the same. Try to create a safe environment, free of mistrust and criticism. One that encourages honesty. If your partner is experiencing temptation in, let’s say, the workplace, they should be able to express this to you without fear, and vice versa. Open communication increases love trust, respect, and understanding.

3. Know When To Seek Help

If you’re struggling with communication and trust in your marriage, these tips may not be as effective. It’s important to know that therapists are here to help better your marriage as well as your overall quality of life. There may be some deep-seeded thought patterns or feelings in the mind of you or your partner that need to be dealt with before progress can be made. We would be more than happy to sit down with you and sort through any problems you may be having. Please contact us today to make an appointment.

Hitting Rock Bottom: Addiction Recovery

Addiction Recovery is something that you should be proud to say you are in.  Addiction, like cancer, is a disease in which the word “cure” does not really exist.  Instead, the word remission is used to describe someone who is no longer using what they were once addicted to.  The truth is, recovering from addiction is a lifelong process.  It does get easier with time, but the truth is that the urge to use may never completely die.  Accepting this fact is an important step in the journey to being clean.

Hitting Rock Bottom: Addiction Recovery

Addiction

Addiction is not just a disease that affects the addict; it affects the entire family.  At Family Restoration Counseling, we understand this and can work with everyone involved to help you and your family through this difficult time. Please contact us for more information and to schedule an appointment.

What is Addiction

Addiction is defined by Merriam-Webster as a strong and harmful need to regularly have something (such as a drug) or do something (such as gamble.)

What Causes Addiction?

Research has shown a link between addiction and genetics.  However; addiction can strike anyone at any given time.  The causes of addiction can vary from person to person.  Some common reasons why people become addicted are to numb emotional pain, to fill a void, seek a thrill or ironically to feel in control of something.  Most drug addicts do not fit the stereotypical mold; they actually can maintain a job, have good families and look well put together.

A lot of people diagnosed with addiction also have a co-morbid condition-meaning another mental illness.  Post traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD, has a high rate of substance abuse as well as anxiety, depression and other mental illnesses.

Feel to Heal

We tend to get addicted to whatever numbs the pain.  So naturally, when we take away what is masking our pain we are forced to feel it.  It is important to remember that while drugs may make you feel good for the moment, it is only short lived.  Once your high wears off the demons return full force, maybe even worse than before.

One of the hardest parts about recovery is experiencing the pain that you used to have returned.  Often times, it feels like it is returning ten-fold.  The fact that your body is probably going through physical withdraw does not help.

When we start to recognize old feelings return, we go into crisis mode.  The urge to use will be strongest during this time.  It is a great idea to seek professional help from a therapist during this phase. Do not go it alone, there is an easier way contact us for more information. We can help you and your family get through this difficult time.  Remember, it will pass.

Old Habits Die Hard

It is unrealistic to think that you will not have moments, even long into remission, where you are tempted to go use again.  Maybe you think, “just one time will not hurt me.”  That mentality will lead you quickly to a relapse.  Instead, think about how far you have come.  You are clearly a strong person to have made it to this point.  Also, do you want to go through the whole process of recovery again?  This would be a great time to launch into a new activity.  An exercise is a great option, plus it releases endorphins.  Calling a friend who is supportive will help.  Also, your therapist or counselor understands what you are going through and can talk you through it.

One of the hardest parts about addiction recovery is that you are not always sure you want to recover.  That is OK.  It is healthy to admit that.  You will have good days and bad days.

Find Purpose

Purpose and meaning are what makes life great.  If you can find meaning and purpose out of your journey through addiction I guarantee you will be able to stay clean for the rest of your life and you will actually have the desire to remain drug-free.

The best way to help yourself is to help others.  Try and find a support group who has members that you can sponsor, or coach.  Trust me, talking to people who understand first-hand what you have been through, and are going through still, is the best way to keep on the right track.

Writing may not be for everyone, but nearly everyone can do it.  You would be surprised at how therapeutic writing can be.  Write your life story.  Talk about your struggles and strengths.  What makes you, you.  Show yourself in a positive life and show off how strong you are.  Who knows where it will take you.

You are Strong

Addicts in remission are the strongest people I know.  Remember, not everyone has what it takes.  Not everyone can do what you are doing.  The temptation is everywhere and you still do not give it.  Think about it, who doesn’t want to take a pill, snort, inject or whatever it was you did, to feel better?

Take this experience for what it is.  Learn something about yourself.  If you are wise enough to know that you have a problem and need help and brave enough to go get help, you can accomplish anything.

You are strong enough to continue on.  Maybe you were given this burden for a reason that you do not yet understand.  You can take your weakest and lowest moments and turn them into defining moments.  You can get through anything if you can get through this.  Write about it, talk about it or help someone else through it.

Recovery

Anyone can recover from addiction.  The secret is wanting to get well.  Addiction recovery is a process and it may take some time to feel back to your old self, or maybe even better than you did before using drugs.

“I understood myself only after I destroyed myself.  And only in the process of fixing myself, did I know who I really was.” Unknown

Christian Counseling in Marriage: How is it different?

The American Psychological Association reports that 40%-50% of marriages in the United States end in divorce. Even with headlines screaming the messy details of Brangelina’s breakup or the end of the Blake Shelton/Miranda Lambert marriage, these statistics are still staggering. How many marriages could be saved if the couples sought marriage counseling? The answer doesn’t exist. Neither does the data to show how many couples try counseling before divorce. Marriage counseling is an ambiguous concept and depends on a couple’s personal beliefs. However, Christian counseling will differ from any type of secular advice. What can a Christian couple expect while attending marriage counseling? Below are a few key concepts.

Christian Counseling in Marriage: How is it different?

Marriage is a Covenant

For Christians, the concept of marriage is not based on a paper contract that is easily torn up and thrown away. Instead, marriage is a covenant. Merriam-Webster defines covenant as a serious agreement or promise. For a Christian couple, marriage is more than that. Theopedia gives an alternate, Biblical definition based on the Hebrew and Greek origins of the word. For a Christian couple, marriage is a promise made to each other and God. It implies a commitment that will remain in the worst of times, allowing death as the only entity ending the covenant. It is not simply a contract, but fusing two lives into one.

It’s Not About You

Humans, by nature, are selfish creatures. Individuals focus on what they gain from others. This selfish attitude bleeds into marriage as well. Many spouses enter the relationship for what they can get out of it instead of what they can contribute. Scripture contradicts this selfish attitude. Living the Christian life implies that the individual models their behavior after Christ. As indicated in Ephesians 5:1-2, he focused his actions on giving to others. The writer goes on to discuss the specific roles of a husband and wife in marriage. These scriptures indicate that marriage is about honoring, edifying, and giving to each other. It is not about self.

No One Is Perfect

A Christian couple must also accept that no one is perfect. Scripture speaks this truth in Romans 3:23. Everyone makes mistakes and couples should anticipate their spouse’s failures. Christian counseling will reiterate Christ’s call to offer grace and mercy instead of anger or resentment. No human can achieve fulfillment of the soul from another person. A Christian must seek fulfillment through a relationship with Christ, not from their spouse.

Christian Counseling involves many more in-depth topics than those listed above. If you are a Christian couple interested in building a healthy marriage, please contact us and request one of our Christian counselors. Family Restoration Counseling Services strives to serve the entire Dallas community, strengthening the lives of both individuals and families.

Life Abundantly: How Christian Counseling Can Help You to Break Free

 

When it comes to helping, there are so many things that we Christians do and do quite well. However, if we are honest, one of the things that we do not do well AT ALL is receiving the same help that we give.

Life Abundantly: How Christian Counseling Can Help You to Break Free

Though we know that our churches and fellow Christian friends would be more than happy to help us navigate problems in our lives, we are all still incredibly human. Sometimes our unwillingness to share is an unfounded worry. Other times, we may have been conditioned to keep things to ourselves because sadly, even Christians can be judgmental though we all already know that this kind of judgment breaks the heart of the very God that we serve.

In most cases, it boils down to this – we fear the stigma that comes when we let people see into the spaces of our lives that hurt most – the lonely places, the angry corners, the dark halls that lead to the ugly stuff… These are the things that we dare not speak.

However, it is where we fail to shine the light that will always remain dark.

Jesus Himself said it best…“The truth shall set you free.”

We love that quote here because the truth is not always spewing your deepest wounds for the world to see, but just faithfully letting them out into the air someplace where you feel safe, somewhere where a friend is on the other side of those words to hear and, then guide with wisdom. This breaking open of ourselves was always what Christ had in mind when He spoke about bearing one another burdens. It is not, perhaps, that we need human support… but that these supporters are a visual sign to us that God is already holding us up on every side. This is all a very vital part of the Body of Christ – that together we are His hands and feet.

If we truly want to take up our crosses daily, we should not only be willing to give help but also to receive it. We must speak our truth and let God work behind the scenes for us… because whether you know it now, He is. Whatever you are going through, whatever is keeping you from living life to the fullest, remember Whose you are and why you are here. You, us and every child of God knows better than anybody else that Jesus paid a great price for us not so that we could live in fear, shame, guilt, condemnation, sadness or anger…

But so, that we could have the life He died for us to share in because He wanted us to have life and have it abundantly.

If you need that helping hand to help you navigate the rough waters, our Christian counseling can help. It would be a blessing to us to help you on your journey in a way that is in line with The Way, The Truth and The Life. Together, we can find that “abundantly” Jesus spoke so much of. It is out there and it’s waiting.

3 Steps To Dealing With Depression

The United States reports more than three million cases of depression each year.  Chances are, that you or someone you know is struggling with depression.  Far too often, those struggling with depression do not know where to begin to get help.  Here are three helpful steps in dealing with Depression.

3 Steps To Dealing With Depression

1.  Take the time to get healthy.

Depression is frequently linked to many physical causes.  A first step toward dealing with depression is a visit with your family doctor.  Get a physical and be sure to honestly share your feelings with your doctor.  Your doctor may suggest a number of ways to improve your overall health and he or she may also prescribe you a medication.  He or she may also refer you to a Psychiatrist in order to address the medical causes of depression.  Taking the time to get healthy is a great first step.  Address your diet, your exercise, and any medical problems you may have.

2.  Identify your support group.

Who can you be honest with and have them love you just the same?  It is wonderful if this is your family, but it is important to find a group that can love and support you.  Churches, clubs, and depression support groups are a great place to start looking for that place.

3.  Find a good counselor.

Just like anyone else, counselors come in a wide range of personalities.  They also have different approaches to counseling.  It is important that you find one with whom you can be honest and with whom you are comfortable. To begin your journey, contact us today!

Depression seems overwhelming, but with good health, good support, and the right therapy, there truly is hope!

Counselors: Helping People Regain Their Quality of Life

Are you or a loved one suffering in the aftermath of loss? The loss of any significant attachment can result in painful feelings of grief. Grief resulting from the death of a beloved is well-known. Importantly, grief can also be a natural reaction to divorce, separation, job loss, and many other types of losses. Losing one’s health, whether through chronic illness, terminal illness, or accident, is also a significant form of loss that can result in grief.

Counselors: Helping People Regain Their Quality of Life

Counseling

Most people don’t need a professional counselor to help them navigate loss. However, there are times when people can feel stuck in their losses. This sense of being stuck can interfere with a person’s quality of life. Importantly, an individual may not know why he feels stuck, wherein the adjustment process he is, how to move beyond being stuck, or even recognize being stuck in his loss. When this happens Professional counseling can help empower a person to regain and maximize a meaningful quality of life.

Awareness

Awareness is central to the process of adjusting to the loss. Lacking awareness, possibly a protective buffer zone, can restrict a person’s adjustment to loss. A counselor can safely encourage an individual to explore and recognize her feelings. As her awareness increases so too do her emotional strength.

Regaining a Meaningful Quality of Life

You may have heard the saying, “Loss is a part of life,” which is true, but it doesn’t go on to share how challenging the associated pain can be. At Family Restoration Services we have empathetic compassionate counselors dedicated to helping people adjust to their losses. If you or someone you care about is struggling with regaining a meaningful quality of life after a significant loss, we are here to help.

Common Misconceptions About Marriage Counseling

When a marriage is threatened by various relationship difficulties, counseling is often not considered a beneficial option due to a number of misconceptions.

Common Misconceptions About Marriage Counseling

It Is A Couple’s Last Resort

Most believe that when a couple is undergoing marriage counseling it means that their problems are so irreparable, they are only doing so as a last resort before filing for divorce. Because of this misconception, a great number of couples don’t consider counseling as soon as marital issues occur. In fact, counseling early on when difficulties arise is highly beneficial and can increase a couple’s chances of success.

It Is Ineffective

Thinking that counseling does not have a positive effect on a suffering marriage is also a misconception. Counseling is recommended even for healthy relationships to continue to prosper. It can improve spousal communication methods and teach effective conflict resolution strategies.

It Proves The Weakness of The Relationship

Just because a couple is exploring the possibility of marriage counseling, does not mean they have a weak relationship. In fact, it proves the opposite. The couple is investing in keeping their marriage intact, displaying their mutual respect for each other and their desire to devote time and energy to improve their life together.

It Is A Perfect Solution

When experiencing marital hardships, counseling has the potential to prevent divorces and separations, but it is not a perfect solution every time. Determining the need for counseling early on and consistently putting forth their best effort at solving their problems as a team is the best ways for couples to accomplish that goal.

Marriage problems can occur in any relationship at any time for a variety of reasons. Contact us today to learn more about how to pursue marriage counseling, how it can help you and your loved ones, and if it is the proper treatment method for healing your relationship.

Help Restore Peace When Living with a Personality Disorder

Living with another person poses challenges and often results in joy, but it’s particularly challenging to live with a person with a personality disorder. Receiving counseling from a trained psychologist often helps when struggling to understand a person who seems suspicious, emotional or impulsive and anxious. Some people in relationships are co-dependent but not everyone married or dating a person with a personality disorder has co-dependency issues. At the same time, receiving relationship help from a psychologist empowers you.

Suspicious personality disorders

Some of the personality disorders that fall in the suspicious category include antisocial, schizotypal, schizoid and paranoid. If your partner seems odd or eccentric, he or she could have a disorder that falls in what therapists call “Cluster A.” Some of the challenges of living with a person who has a suspicious personality are dealing with their distorted thinking, social withdrawal, and social awkwardness. If are an outgoing, social and warm empathetic person who likes feeling close to someone, it’s confusing to live day-to-day with a cold partner.

Emotional and impulsive disorders

If you live with someone who is emotional or implosive, they could have narcissistic personality disorder or exhibit borderline or histrionic types. Cluster B types often exhibit dramatic and erratic behaviors. With the help of a trained counselor, you learn to cope strategies to protect yourself. People with narcissistic personality disorder often seek narcissistic supply or attention the way drug addicts seek drugs. Histrionics tend to see attention by using his or her body, which could cause jealousy issues in the relationship. Some people with NPD withhold sex or affection to manipulate a partner. Other warning signs include pathological lying, cheating, and excessive bragging.

Anxious disorders

Anxious disorders include dependent, obsessive-compulsive and avoidant, which is part of the fearful “Cluster C.” A relationship counselor gives you insights into the thinking of a persona with a dependent, avoidant or obsessive compulsive personality. After receiving individual therapy, you will likely invite your partner in for couples’ counseling. Even if you end up going solo with therapy, you begin to understand how to make healthy decisions for yourself and your family.

At Family Restoration Counseling Services, we provide individual and couples counseling for a variety of issues including anxiety and depression. For relationship help from an experienced and non-judgmental Dallas area psychologist, please contact us.

3 Tips for Talking to Children About A Psychologist

Kids are often uncomfortable with new situations, and it is common for parents to discover that their normally accommodating child digs in their heels at the prospect of visiting a child psychologist. While you may know that getting to the root of issues such as depression is important for your child’s health, it is possible that they just don’t understand why they need to talk to someone. Fortunately, you can ease your child’s anxiety and discomfort during those first few sessions by using these simple strategies.

3 Tips for Talking to Children About A Psychologist

Let Them Know What to Expect

Before your child’s first appointment, speak with the staff to find out how they conduct the initial consultation. For example, your child’s psychologist may want to meet with you alone first, or they may encourage you to stay in the room for the first few sessions. It is also important to let your child know that they can be honest during their sessions. When your child understands that their counselor is not seeking to get them in trouble, they will be more willing to open up and let them help.

Compare It to a Medical Need

Unfortunately, some kids have heard negative things about going to counseling. They may insist that they are not crazy or in need of any help. Be honest with your child about the reasons why you set the appointment, and compare going to a psychologist to visiting a doctor. Just like you would take your child to see a doctor if their leg hurt, it is sometimes necessary to see a psychologist when something such as a divorce has caused hurt emotions. Seeing their sessions from this angle helps kids understand that nothing is wrong with them as a person. They just need help learning to cope with a life situation.

Make It a Special Time

Although they may not always show it especially as they become teenagers-kids crave time with their parents. Make visiting the psychologist something your child looks forward to by planning for some special time together afterward. Going for dinner, indulging in a scoop of ice cream or listening to your kid’s favorite music in the car are all opportunities to turn counseling days into bonding experiences.

Our counselors often discover that the most reluctant kids often turn out to be the most involved in their sessions once they have a little encouragement. Our counselors are trained to assist parents with transitioning their child into therapy so don’t hesitate to contact us with any questions you have along the way.