Month: December 2016

Couples in Crisis: What to Do When You Can’t Even Begin to Describe What’s Wrong

There’s no way around it. Relationships are hard, and there are so many things that happen along the way that interferes with the love you once shared. Couples in crisis often come to counseling completely confused about what has happened in their relationship. After all, how can you fix something when you don’t know where you went wrong? Fortunately, it is possible to identify the challenges in your relationship so that you can begin to renew the bonds you share with your partner.

Couples in Crisis: What to Do When You Can't Even Begin to Describe What's Wrong

Name Your Emotions

Over the course of a relationship, it is common for personalities and reactions to change. Often, this is due to a series of unresolved events that cause one or both people in the relationship to shut down. Resentment, anger, apathy and even jealousy can all creep into a relationship and slowly chip away at your bond. Identifying these emotions is the first step toward recognizing the behavior patterns that affect your relationship.

Acknowledge Your Role

Do you turn on the television to escape your partner’s nagging, or maybe you continuously work late so that you do not have to face being turned down at bedtime? Escaping is a common way couple try to cope with problems in their relationship, yet refusing to work through issues just allows them to fester. We often discover that many problems couples still struggle with have been going on for years, and acknowledging your part in allowing issues to continue is important for learning how to take action.

Learn to Communicate

Almost every issue in a relationship comes down to a breakdown in communication. This is because truly listening and responding to each other takes courage and a specific technique. With professional counseling, it is possible to learn effective communication strategies that will help you discover the best ways to change your relationship so that both you and your partner are happy.

Knowing that your relationship is in trouble but not being able to pinpoint why is a sure sign that you are heading toward a crisis. Contact us today to begin getting to the bottom of your relationship distress so you can revive the love you know is still there.

Could My Senior Loved One Benefit From Counseling?

Life after retirement is often viewed through the optimistic lens of younger generations who yearn for the freedom that comes with ending a career. However, the senior years are often filled with challenges that can leave seniors struggling to find a sense of purpose and overcome feelings of depression. As a family caregiver, your loved one’s best interests are always close to your heart. Watch for these signs that a senior may be in crisis and capable of benefiting from professional counseling.

Could My Senior Loved One Benefit From Counseling?r

Losing a Spouse

The loss of a spouse is devastating for seniors who not only lost a beloved companion but who may also be left living alone. Although grieving is normal, your senior loved one should still have occasional moments of happiness break through the sorrow. If your loved one seems to have given up hope or struggles with isolation, then it may be time to encourage them to seek help with learning how to move on.

Facing a New Health Diagnosis

The likelihood of developing a health problem increases during the senior years, and a diagnosis that involves long-term challenges can lead to depression. Spend time with your loved one, and observe how they manage their daily activities. Giving up, expressing frustration and anger during daily tasks or feeling anxiety about future problems are all signs that counseling will help them adjust to their new lifestyle.

Moving to a New Residence

Aging in place is a goal for which most people strive, yet it is not always possible for everyone to achieve. Moving at any age is stressful, and it is possible that your loved one may struggle with adjusting to their new home. This is especially common for seniors who have transitioned from an independent living situation to one that provides assistance. Counselors are trained to help seniors identify the positive aspects of moving, and talking about their experience helps seniors make a better transition.

Life events tend to occur at a rapid pace in the senior years, and it is common for a senior adult to experience multiple changes in a short period of time. Help your loved one adjust and enjoy positive wellbeing by contacting us today.

4 Ways Parents Can Help Their Adolescents Thrive

The adolescent years of one’s life are undoubtedly the hardest. Emotional, intellectual and social skills are in the process of developing to their mature capacity. There are a few things that parents can do to help their teens handle their journey to adulthood in a safe and healthy way.

4 Ways Parents Can Help Their Adolescents ThriveModel Positive Behavior

Parents need to be the models for positive behavior. According to Sue Shellenbarger of the Wall Street Journal, parents should be warm and affectionate towards their teens as much as possible. When parents are able to keep their cool, it not only teaches the adolescent how to do the same but it also may help keep them calm in that moment as well. Additionally, parents can teach self-soothing skills to their teen to help them de-stress. These can include yoga, exercise, or listening to music.

Support Friendships

Friends are an important part of an adolescent’s life. “Parents and caregivers should teach teens that real friendship involves two people who understand and respect one another, care and take responsibility for each other, expect good things from each other and solve problems together without blaming or manipulation,” says Terri Clark-Jones of the Michigan State University Extension. Encouraging positive friendships and discouraging negative ones can have a great impact on what kinds of activities teens choose to participate in.

Provide Social Options

Giving teens constructive extracurricular options can help them to develop socially and explore their own identities. Ron Dahl, a neuroscientist and professor of human health and development at the University of California, Berkeley, says, “At a practical level, you want to create a context that gives them a range of options and let them find something relatively prosocial and healthy to explore.” Parents need to be positive role models for their children, but not the only positive role models their kids encounter. Sports, 4-H, or any after-school clubs are all good options for teens to experience a variety of meaningful relationships and valuable mentors.

Be A Parent!

Parents still need to be the parents. Setting boundaries, monitoring the teen’s activities both online and in real life and providing a stable home environment are all important for helping kids thrive. When expectations are not being met by the adolescent, parents should show respect and talk through the issue with the teen with the absence of yelling and arguing. Using positive tones helps the parent to connect with the child and be heard. “You want the relationship between a parent and a child to be close enough and warm enough that the child discloses behaviors and what they are thinking, and the parent can offer advice that reinforces rules but doesn’t disparage the child,” according to an interview with social psychologist William D. Crano at Claremont Graduate University in Claremont, California.

The parent-teen relationship is a complex arrangement.  Developing this relationship successfully can lead to a healthy, fulfilling life for the teen and a life-long closeness with the parent.

For more help parenting a teenager, or questions about our counseling services, please contact us!