Counseling Tips & News

Marriage Counselor Dallas

Summer has arrived in the Dallas area and that means it is also wedding season. Did you know the average cost of a wedding was $27,000 in 2011. As Americans we spend a significant amount of money on our marriage before it even begins. But, we spend it all on flowers, photographers, dresses, venues and the list goes on. Not many couples make an investment in their marriage before or after the wedding.

We not only recommend premarital counseling before your marriage, but we also recommend marriage counseling once you are married. The reason we recommend marriage counseling once you are married revolves around communication. It takes a fair amount of communication to have a successful and fulfilling marriage. This isn’t something that necessarily comes easy, and this is an area that marriage counseling can assist with.

Marriage counseling can provide ways for you to bring about change in your marriage that you normally wouldn’t have accomplished on your own. It provides a safe and supportive environment for you to identify and communicate issues, behaviors and feelings that are bothering you. These conversations help facilitate positive change.

Less than 5% of divorcing couples seek marriage counseling. Couples aren’t willing to try, it would appear, to resolve whatever issues they are experiencing. Maybe they’ve tried themselves and have been unsuccessful, which is why it is important to seek a Licensed Professional Counselor for marriage counseling or any type of therapy.

It is reported that the average couple waits six years before seeking marriage counseling for marriage problems. Six years! The earlier you seek help, the better chance your marriage has of being successful.

Family Restoration Counseling has experienced, licensed counselors ready to assist you in your marriage counseling needs. Contact us today for more information or to schedule a counseling session.

Fears of Counseling

As Licensed Professional Counselors in Dallas, we encounter many different types of fears related to seeing a therapist or counselor. We provide a variety of counseling services for the Dallas area. In this article we’ll discuss some of the common fears of counseling we see and provide some facts related to those fears. Fears are different depending on the area of counseling needed. For example the fear of Marriage Counseling is usually significantly different than the fear of Grief Counseling. Although seeing a counselor or therapist can be a little uncomfortable for some individuals, ultimately it can provide a solution for the issues they are experiencing.

Some fear counselors because they fear their issue is too vague, disturbing or embarrassing to talk about with a therapist. Regardless of your individual and unique situation or concerns, we have a professional counselor who is willing to listen and to help in the situation.

Others fear that seeing a counselor or therapist means they are crazy, weird or somehow sick. This is definitely not the case. There are some cases that may require further attention outside of counseling. But, many consider counseling because they are stuck in some area of their life; socially, in their marriage, in an addiction, or a loss of a loved one. Most of us experience times in life that are harder than others. Seeking help during these times is a sign of strength and is a very good step in resolving the hardships.

Some of our patients fear that talking about attempting to deal with the issues they are experiencing will only make the situation worse. It is true that the counseling process can be challenging. However, the benefits of resolution, learning about oneself and uncovering items to be aware of far outweighs the effects of not dealing with the issues.

Many individuals don’t know how to start and fear taking that first step of contacting an LPC or therapist. It is common to feel uneasy about any new situation. A new job, marriage, a new family member, etc. But, our counselors are capable of taking you through your situation slowly and thoroughly. Deciding to try counseling is a big step, but a very important one in the recovery of your situation or experience.

Family Restoration counseling has counseling offices available in Dallas and Mesquite. Contact us today for any of your counseling needs: Marriage Counseling, Addiction Recovery Counseling, Premarital Counseling, Christian Counseling, Life Stage Counseling or Grief Counseling.

Dallas Premarital Counseling

Spring is nearly here and summer is just after it here in the Dallas area. Spring and summer are popular seasons for weddings. And with weddings comes Premarital Counseling.

Premarital Counseling is important to the beginning of a marriage and can provide tools and information that will be useful and relevant throughout your marriage. Premarital Counseling will help you identify and prepare for potential stressors in the relationship. Planning and knowing how to troubleshoot can be crucial to early growth and success in your marriage.

Our experienced therapists offer helpful insights and tools to help you prepare for this exciting step in life. Premarital counseling helps couples enter marriage with an understanding of each others expectations regarding roles, parenting, sex religion, finances and more. Premarital Counseling is also a great time to enhance communication skills, conflict resolution and examine any ongoing family stressors.

Premarital Counseling helps couples prepare for marriage. If you aren’t prepared, the chances of having a lasting, healthy relationship are much less. Premarital Counseling is designed to help you and your spouse have a happy, satisfying marriage.

Conflict will arise, tough times will come and premarital counseling can help you prepare for those times and offers great methods of how to navigate your marriage through those times when they come.

Preparation for a wedding involves more than picking out a wedding dress, invitations, a guest list, flowers and all the other pieces that make up a wedding. Take the time to build a solid foundation to start your marriage on.

Family Restoration Counseling offers Premarital Counseling in both the Dallas and Mesquite offices. Contact us today to learn more about our premarital counseling services, scheduling, fees and topics we cover. Our therapists are all licensed professional counselors ready to help you prepare a solid foundation for your marriage.

Dealing with Distractibility – And Who Doesn’t Really?

Are you an adult student with ADHD? Do you need help focusing on the task at hand? This article is aimed at adult students with ADHD. We have put together some helpful articles and our own advice concerning adult students with ADHD.

Have you recently gone to the refrigerator to grab the milk and wondered why that new can of shaving cream you bought yesterday was there?  Did you then dismiss any further thought of it when remembering, “Oh well, I forgot razors anyway.”?

Perhaps you are one of the millions experiencing . . . umm. . . Oh yeah distractibility.  Here are a few helpful suggestions.

One of the first things I would recommend is that you set your study environment up in a way to minimize distractions.  Turn off instant messaging, email, and your cell phone when you are really trying to grasp concepts.  Here are links to some articles that will help explain the rationale for this:

NY Times Article 1

NY Times Article 2

NY Times Article 3

NY Times Article 4

Essentially, we don’t really multi-task well and the world of technology is tricking us into thinking that we can.  The constant stimulation of emails, tests, instant messaging, etc. serves to exacerbate any underlying issues with attention.

Secondly, I would urge you to become a student of yourself.  What on earth does that mean?   Get to know your best times, settings, and spans (lengths of time) for study.   Use your schedule to optimize your efforts.  If you determine that you study best in the late afternoon in the presence of a friend to help keep you focused (not necessarily interacting, but being accountable to keep on studying) in increments of 40 minutes at a time, then maybe you schedule 10 hours per week in the library with friends after class and attack the material that way.  Reward yourself for each 40 minute increment with a 20 minute break to walk around, visit, get something to drink etc., and then hit the books for another 40 minutes.  Remember that the absence of structure is the enemy of distractibility.   Left on our own without a plan of attack, the distractible mind can stay “occupied” for an amazing amount of time on an amazing amount of material and accomplish / retain next to nothing.  There has to be a focused plan of attack.

This site (Adult Strengths) has several books listed on the left hand side of the page.  Each link takes you to Amazon where you can look inside and peruse a few portions of the book.   Perhaps one of them will be helpful.

Counseling Services Dallas & Mesquite

Family Restoration Counseling of Dallas and Mesquite offers a variety of counseling and therapy services. Some of the most common services are: Marriage Counseling, Premarital Counseling, Christian Counseling, Re-Marital Counseling, Addiction Recovery, Family Counseling and Adolescent Counseling. You can view a full list of our Counseling Services in Dallas and Mesquite on our Professional Counseling Services page. Below are a some summaries of our most popular counseling services.

Marriage Counseling

Marriage Counseling, or couples therapy, can have a variety of purposes. It can be used to help recognize and resolve conflicts, help examine key issues related to personality, values, history and perception or help enrich an already healthy relationship. Marriage Counseling can be short term or it could be several months of therapy depending on the circumstances. Whatever the time frame, Marriage Counseling is not to be taken lightly and requires specific training. Our counselors have training in a Family Psychology program wherein they learned to work with individuals, families, children and adolescents.

Premarital Counseling

Premarital Counseling is crucial to preparation for marriage. This service focuses on identifying potential stressors and planning. Premarital Counseling ensures that couples enter marriage with a clear expectations regarding roles, parenting, religion, sex, vision and more. It is also a great opportunity to enhance communication skills and improve conflict resolution. Don’t overlook the importance and value of premarital counseling.

Re-Marital Counseling

Re-Marital Counseling helps with pain caused from previous relationships. With 41-50% of marriages, 60-67% of second marriages and 74% of third marriages ending in divorce, re-martial therapy is often needed for individuals to have success in new relationships and marriages. Pain from previous relationships and feelings of failure can carry over to new relationships causing them to fail. After re-marital therapy, marriage counseling may be of benefit in new relationships.

If you are interested in learning more about our Professional Counseling Services, please contact our Dallas or Mesquite office. Our counselors are all Licensed Professional Counselors with extensive training in Family Psychology and Personal Treatment.

Benefits of Family Counseling

Family Counseling or Therapy can be very beneficial for all parties involved. The benefits of family counseling can not only impact the family, but also co-workers, friends and other people those participating in counseling interact with.

In Family Counseling two or more family members can address and evaluate issues with the guidance of a licensed professional counselor. Family Counseling can help increase communication and strengthen the bond between family members.

Our therapists are trained on treating issues within a family context. A few areas of common family therapy are: Parenting, Family Violence, Family Rituals, Change in the Family and Divorce.

Benefits of Family Counseling

Our Family Therapists are able to help solve problems by addressing issues in a structural manner. During counseling families will learn how to communicate better, helping prevent future issues and strengthening relationships.

Children can be involved in these sessions which can benefit the children immediately and also in the future as they grow and develop.

Family Therapy provides a venue for everyone to voice their problems or feelings. This helps family members feel that their thoughts and feelings matter. Our licensed therapists guide the family through conversation and assist in helping everyone express their feelings regarding the issue. During family therapy there is a great opportunity for everyone to express their feelings, something that probably wouldn’t happen if the issues were ignored by the family.

Our counselors can provide helpful advice, practices and methods after listening to the family express their issues and feelings. Family Therapy can include Marriage Counseling, Blended Families, Re-Marital  Counseling and other important areas.

To summarize, Family Counseling can:

  • Improve Communication
  • Enhance Relationships
  • Improve Self-Esteem
  • Improve Job Performance

Family Restoration Counseling provides Family Counseling in Dallas and surrounding areas. Contact us today to schedule your first session at our Dallas or Mesquite office.

Family Restoration Counseling provides Licensed Professional Counselors (LPC) for all sessions.

 

Benefits of Christian Counseling

Could you benefit from Christian Counseling? Christian Counseling can be a great benefit to a marriage, personal struggle or family issue. The Bible teaches that Biblical Christian Counseling is important. It isn’t so much about doctrinal methods or content, but about Jesus Christ’s teachings and how we can apply those to our life. The foundation for this counseling is the application of God’s truth to the heart. Christian Counseling is one avenue God can use to help you walk through the process of healing and change.

Christian Counseling is for those that want to abide by the teachings and traditions of Christianity and desire to gain full reliance on God. There are many areas where Christian Counseling can help. Some examples are: depression, marital problems, family issues, addition and grief or loss of a loved one.

Christian Counseling isn’t about overcoming the pain that is caused by life’s difficulties, it is about using the truths of the Bible, the tools of the mental health profession and life experience to help those in need. God is the ultimate healer and Biblical Christian Counseling is simple one avenue that God can provide the needed healing and life change.

We offer a rich climate of professional Christian Counseling and offer this service to all of our clients, upon request.While some pastors may provide counseling as it pertains to their role in the church, it is always a good idea to seek professional counseling services by a Licensed Professional Counselor.

Family Restoration Counseling provides a variety of counseling services in Dallas, Mesquite, Plano and Garland. We have two office locations for your convenience. One located in Dallas and the second in Mesquite.

Call us today to setup your initial assessment. Family Restoration Counseling is a member of the American Association of Christian Counselors.

Why Try Counseling?

Why should you try counseling? For some it is because of a new situation in their life, others have been battling a situation or problem for years and finally decided to try family counseling, marriage counseling, addiction counseling or one of our other therapy services.

Through our practice in Dallas and Mesquite, we’ve found there are several reasons people say “no” to counseling.

1. “Talking about their problems makes things worse.” – Talking about your problems can help you understand your problem more completely. This brings a better understanding of choices and options, and helps lead to better decision making. Talking is exactly what needs to be done.

2. “I’m betraying my family.” – Deciding to see a counselor isn’t betrayal. We are respectful of your family traditions, beliefs, and loyalty to your family. Any concerns can be discussed in the first session.

3. “I don’t believe talking helps my problem.” – Emotional pressure can be relieved by talking about your problems in a nonjudgmental environment. Counseling and therapy is more than talking, it is a way of understanding who we are and how we relate to the world. It provides a new way of looking at your problems and opens up new choices.

4. “I can talk to my friends, why should I talk to a stranger?” – Although friends can be helpful, they are not properly trained in the psychological dynamics that we experience as humans. In addition friendships work both ways, each person puts effort into the relationship and therefore a mutual exchange of talking and listening takes place. In a counseling environment, the focus is on you.

5. “Seeing a counselor means I’m crazy.” – Counseling isn’t about being crazy, sick or any of those things. It is about helping you address a situation that you are having trouble doing on your own. In the case of pre-marital counseling, it is more about what to expect in marriage, common problems seen in marriage and how to develop a healthy way of dealing with those. People haven’t started their marriage yet, so the problems are few if any, it is preparation. Just like you would prepare for anything else.

6. “Counseling is a sign of weakness.” – This is just not true. It takes courage to go to counseling and it provides a way to resolve your difficulties. In many cases it is the best decision you can make and will only benefit you in your journey.

Contact us today to setup your first session and begin the journey to resolving your difficulties. We serve Dallas, Plano, Garland, Mesquite and Richardson.

A Crash Course in Making Marriage Counseling Work for You

Marriage counseling is a big commitment.  Aside from the time and money committed by couples to attend sessions, there needs to be a strong sense of commitment from both parties to better the relationship.   Obviously time and money are tangible ways to assess commitment, but what do the other aspects of a commitment to having a better marriage look like? Here is some food for thought:

Are you willing to do some things differently?  It’s not enough to have a laundry list of changes that you hope your spouse will make.  You have to be willing to make some changes as well.   If you are coming in for counseling to have a better marriage, you may have to give up some patterns of interaction that are identified as obstacles to that stated goal.

Are you willing to be transparent with the counselor?  Research shows that a large percentage of couples start counseling after one or both partners has secretly decided that divorce is the best option.  Imagine how this scenario plays out.  We often ask couples who are thinking of divorce to take that option off the table for a while in order to fully work on the marriage.  After all, if there is a viable plan B it looks better and better as plan A gets harder.  That brings up the next point.

Are you prepared for things to get worse along the road to things getting better?  Growth in any major area of life does not happen in the absence of trials and setbacks.   When you begin to alter the structure of a long term relationship, you should expect that the results will include some growing pains along the way.

Are you willing to take responsibility for yourself and your actions and decisions regardless of what your spouse does?  No one goes into marriage because “it just feels so good to know that someone loves you conditionally!”  We all want unconditional love and expect that to be the case. Yet many couples get locked into a sort of scoring system wherein one only feels compelled to treat the other rightly if the other’s actions warrant it.  How crazy is it really to expect an environment of unconditional love and acceptance while exercising such a calculated approach to the decisions we make on how we respond to and treat our spouse?  Marriage counseling works best when you decide that you will take full responsibility for your own actions and make the choice to respond to your spouse in a manner consistent with your original (hopefully) hopes and dreams for your marriage.

Do you know who the true expert in all things pertaining to your marriage is?  Marriage counseling works best when you utilize the therapist as a resource for helping you to achieve the goals that you have established to make your marriage better.  While a marriage therapist has great experience and exposure to many kinds of marriage and family situations and potential solutions, you cannot expect that he or she will be the agent of change for your marriage.  That responsibility lies with you.   No matter how talented the counselor, until you are ready to change the way things work at home and make genuine efforts to do so, you will be wasting your time and money.

We offer our counseling and therapy services at our Dallas and Mesquite offices. Call us today to setup an consultation that will help your marriage.

When Date Night Just Isn’t an Option

The pace of life and never-ending list of priorities combine to sap the time from each day.  Work responsibilities, home maintenance, parenting and other responsibilities often seem to keep us on the brink of exhaustion.  It is very easy to begin to view one-on-one time with our spouse as a wonderful notion akin to other luxuries that we have conditioned ourselves to forgo in light of the current situation.   The idea of a date night can begin to seem frivolous and even irresponsible, but it is necessary for your marriage.  After all, we often don’t even finish those daily To-Do lists before our exhausted bodies tell us we have to go to bed. 

That said, there are those who maintain that it is irresponsible not to engage in regular on-on-one time with your spouse.  Couples therapist Willard Harley has observed that couples “usually replace their time together with activities of lesser importance… but time alone with each other should still remain your highest priority.  It is essential to spend time away from children and friends to meet the emotional needs of affection, conversation, companionship and sexual fulfillment of each other.” 

Relationship expert and couples therapist Dr. John Gottman’s research has suggested that it takes five positive interactions to each negative one to maintain a healthy relationship’s need for positive interaction.  Purposely having regular time together away from the demands previously mentioned is necessary to facilitate such a high number of positive interactions. 

Date night gives a couple a common goal.  It’s something to look forward to.  It’s a mini-vacation from the urgent to focus on the important (and there is a difference).  In short, date night just isn’t an option.  It’s an absolute requirement. 

If you would like more information or are in need of marriage counseling or therapy, contact our Dallas or Mesquite office to schedule a session.