Divorce Counseling

 

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“There is a plethora of emotions to work through, your living conditions are different, and even your daily routine has been completely altered. Life as you knew it will just never be the same. Healing from a divorce and eventually moving on with your life takes time and effort,” says Kurt Smith, Psy.D., LMFT, LPCC, AFC.

Nothing lasts forever, and even marriages that start out as a love-filled relationship between a husband and his wife can end in divorce. These days, it is seldom to find couples in their first (and only) marriage which lasts ‘til death. Divorce is so common, that in the United States at least 40% of married individuals break up permanently. Heartache is apparent, and even if one or both parties want the divorce to happen, still it is a painful life event to accept.

 

When you leave your spouse or partner, or if your spouse has left you, the emotions are too intense. It is not just painful; you will also feel grief, guilt, shame, stress, and anxiety, among others. If you two have children, the problem becomes more challenging. Divorce is never a walk in the park with the kids.

 

Couples Therapy Or Discernment Counseling?

 

With these possible complications, some couples resort to therapy just before they make their final decision. This time will be a trial period, and by then, they will decide if they want to stay in the marriage or to part ways. Discernment counseling aids in that service. Discernment counseling is a short-term therapy “designed to help couples on the brink of divorce gain clarity and confidence about deciding on a direction for their marriage,” according to Susan Lager, LICSW.

 

If couples decide to stay together, they will have to undergo couples or marital counseling. “Couples therapy is a positive, constructive opportunity to enhance any and every relationship, no matter what stage it is at. It gives you the tools you need to build a strong foundation, reach shared goals, and find lifelong happiness,” says Jane Framingham, Ph.D. This type of therapy program is to help them repair their personal issues for the betterment of their marriage. Now, if one of them or both the husband and wife want to cut their ties, it will be best to get involved with a divorce counseling therapist for help.

 

Reasons Why Couples Get Divorced

 

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There are many reasons why people get divorced. It can be minuscule or blown up – it really doesn’t matter anymore. Once they decide to divorce, time will get it done.

 

Here are some reasons why people sever their marital ties:

 

–    Early marriage and lack of commitment

–    Got hitched to the wrong individual

–    Problems with communication

–    Unequal division of responsibilities

–    Spousal abuse which includes physical, emotional, and financial

–    Unworkable expectations

–    Money troubles

 

Relationship Problems

 

John Gottman, a psychologist, reported along with firm shreds of evidence that relationship problems start with how the husband and wife interact with each other. He calls it the “Four Horsemen” and these things can lead to a divorce, if not repaired early on.

 

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  1. One spouse or both of them criticize each other to the point of insults and fights that bear deep scars.
  2. Disdain and utter disrespect can kill a marriage. Husbands talk with hatred to their wives and vice versa. This act is a difficult thing to undo.
  3. A defensive spouse or someone who doesn’t take responsibility for his or her actions can destroy their relationship.
  4. One spouse can also stonewall or sweep everything under the rug without having to fix the problems. How can an argument be settled when talking is not “allowed”?

 

Divorce counseling is offered for people who are in the course of getting a divorce. This form of individual psychotherapy can help some couples dissolve their marriage healthily and successfully without too much catfights and drama. A divorce psychotherapist can be a facilitator and can establish strategies to guarantee that the separation is accomplished with marginal aggression and emotional impairment. Counselors can also aid in dealing with relevant issues, like living provisions, economic commitments, and parenting duties.

Divorce Counseling: Making Things Easier For The Family

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Counseling is not only for couples that want to save their marriage. Ironically, it is also effective for those who have decided to go through a divorce and would like to go through it as smoothly and as easily as possible for the couples and the family as a whole. Divorce can be quite distressing and traumatic, especially for children. “There is a plethora of emotions to work through, your living conditions are different, and even your daily routine has been completely altered. Life as you knew it will just never be the same. Healing from a divorce and eventually moving on with your life takes time and effort,” says Kurt Smith, Psy.D., LMFT, LPCC, AFC. It is primarily for this reason that a divorce counselor is available to guide each couple and family through a peaceful and healthy divorce journey.

 

Benefits Of Divorce Counseling

The process of divorce is complicated even for the partner who filed for the divorce. You may still feel sad, guilty, and lonely, even though you have come to realize that your ex-spouse was truly not for you. Here are some of the benefits that you will see when you hire a divorce counselor to mediate the process.

  • A Better Understanding Of The Failed Marriage. Hiring a divorce counselor will make things easier for the children to understand why their parents need to separate. For the couples, the counselor is tasked to help each of you move forward, tackle life being single, or get into another relationship shortly. Knowing why your past marriage failed makes a whole lot of difference when you decide to marry again.

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  • Keeping Mental And Emotional Health Intact. When you are in a distressing situation such as a divorce, it is not uncommon to feel negative emotions, including depression, guilt, disappointment, sadness, and shame, among others. If these aren’t dealt with appropriately, they will definitely impact your mental and emotional wellness. With the assistance of a divorce counselor, you can cope with these emotions slowly and learn to let go of them through some useful tools that the counselor will walk you through.

 

  • Preventing Children From Getting Too Affected. “Unfortunately, many kids will experience divorce as traumatic in part due to the parents’ fighting, blaming each other, while the kids are in the middle. This can go on for months, maybe even years. When children see their parents portraying each other as monsters, they experience the kind of emotional trauma that lasts a lifetime,” says Michelle Farris, LMFT. For the children, the divorce of their parents would most probably count as one of the most traumatic times of their lives. Parents become too caught up with the issues that they often neglect to consider how their children feel about the whole situation. Most kids sadly feel responsible for their parents separating when, of course, it isn’t true at all. This is yet another aspect where the divorce counselor can help with. The counselor has the knowledge and capacity to walk the parents by helping them protect their children from getting hurt and overwhelmed in the process.

 

  • Making Sure That You Really Want A Divorce. “In many cases divorce isn’t a unanimous decision. One partner wants to end the marriage. The other partner wants to stay. This isn’t a good scenario for couples therapy,” says Margarita Tartakovsky, M.S. Not all couples go through with the process. In some cases, one of the partners may realize that he wants to give it another try. This doesn’t work for everybody, though, which is why divorce for them is the best resolve for both parties. Talking to a divorce counselor ensures that both partners are 100% sure that going through with the divorce is the best choice for them and the whole family.

Vital Reminders

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Divorce counseling can make a tremendous impact on the life of couples and children when it comes to managing the transition from being together to making certain modifications for the whole family. Keeping in mind the advice and pointers from the counselor will be extremely helpful, including believing in yourself to be able to bounce back and live a better life apart from each other, but with the same responsibility and love to show for the children.

Remember that whatever you’re going through, no matter how deep in the hole you are, you will get through it. If you think you can’t do it on your own, seek the help of counselors, friends, and other support groups who will make you a stronger and better person at the end of the tunnel.

 

 

Discernment Counseling

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Meet Sarah and Bill. They’ve been together for the last eight years, married for five years and they have a 3-year-old son. Life was great for them until Bill was in a work-related accident about two years ago. It almost claimed his life, but he survived. He has never been the same fun-loving Bill again.

 

The accident took his legs. Yes, he was paralyzed from the waist down, and since then, Bill was on disability. They had problems financially. Sarah was forced to work full time while Bill had to stay at home. The change in their roles and everything in their life because of the accident took a toll on Bill’s mental health. He became distant, non-responsive, withdrawn, and not the husband Sarah was expecting on him. It’s not about the money or the way their life is going now because of a shortage of funds. What Sarah can’t take anymore is Bill’s attitude and his stubbornness not to get professional help of any sort just to get better.

 

One day, Sarah talked with Bill and told him that she’s had enough. She gave him an ultimatum – fix himself and their marriage, or divorce. Bill was depressed and was torn of the idea that Sarah presented to him. He knew that they had to make a choice and that Sarah was about to leave him if he didn’t assess himself of what he wanted in his life. “In many cases divorce isn’t a unanimous decision. One partner wants to end the marriage. The other partner wants to stay. This isn’t a good scenario for couples therapy,” says Margarita Tartakovsky, M.S.

 

And so, the couple decided to undergo Discernment Counseling.

 

What is Discernment Counseling?

Discernment counseling is a short-term therapy “designed to help couples on the brink of divorce gain clarity and confidence about deciding on a direction for their marriage,” according to Susan Lager, LICSW.

Discernment Counseling is a therapy program designed by Bill Doherty, Ph.D. for the Minnesota Couples on the Brink Program. It is not similar to the traditional marriage counseling or couples therapy programs out there. The point of marriage counseling is to look for a way on how to save the marriage and keep the couple going strong amidst their issues and problems.

 

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Discernment counseling is not like that at all. It will not talk about patching up with your spouse to fix the marriage. From the discernment, which means judging, this type of counseling is done so that the couples will have the opportunity to “judge” their marital decisions with clarity. The therapists of the couple will not make an effort to put them back together unless they want to do it. Discernment counseling will provide a safe avenue for couples who want to talk about what is to happen to their marriage – to divorce or to start anew.

 

This counseling program is short-term, most likely to last up to six session maximum. Once the couple decides on what path they are going to take, the discernment counseling has done its purpose. But what are these paths that couples can choose after DC? The three paths available will still direct couples to a therapy program which is fit for their desires and needs.

 

Path 1 – Retain The Present Situation

 

This path involves retaining the life that they are leading now. Most couples don’t take this path because they are done with the “now” life, and they want something better. Example for Sarah and Bill – Sarah wants out while Bill is thinking of fixing himself. They both want action done to change the present situation.

 

Path 2 – Divorce

 

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Since Discernment Counseling is not about repairing the couples, it is likely that one or both spouses may say that they want to have a divorce. If this is the case, then, the discernment therapist will direct them to a divorce counselor for assistance and healing. The therapist will also make sure that both spouses come out of their decision with a clear mind and heart. Both of them have to be confident of their divorce decision.

“Counseling can help bring about resolution and get you through a time that is completely devastating. Divorce counseling can help you get back in control of your life and make sound decisions about your future,” says Kurt Smith, Psy.D., LMFT, LPCC, AFC.

Path 3 – One More Chance

 

If the couples decide to take path 3, then, they have to commit to a 6-month couples therapy program and work on their marriage without reservations. Separating from one another or divorce is off the table during the progress of this program. They cannot opt out within the next six months of therapy, and they need to finish it together, all efforts must be made. After the six-month program, they will go to a discernment counseling again to ask if they really want to stay together or divorce one another.

 

Discernment counseling is there to help so that you can make a significant decision regarding your marriage. It is not a magic wand that can take away all the problems you have with your spouse, but it can aid most couples who don’t know what to do with their married life – to stay or to go. This type of counseling will help couples with clarity so that the husband and wife can move on with confidence in whatever decision they take.

 

How Effective Is Couples Counseling?

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If you are one of the many couples who are currently troubled and broken, then undoubtedly you feel that there is no solution out of this distressed relationship. Misconceptions about the negative effects of couples therapy will only make you feel worse and helpless. But a seasoned New York Times publicist wrote that despite the most effective strategies, couples therapy still fail, mostly because couples seek therapy only when one or both partners have decided to give up. It is also a fact that the skills of a couple’s therapist are detrimental to its effectiveness.

Therapy approaches that have been proven and tested are crucial for effective therapy be it for couples or individuals. This only implies that counseling techniques that are implemented on your treatment have been tried through studies and trials. Psychologists similarly use different approaches and don’t use just one approach. They adapt to the changing times and follow the best evidence of both research and clinical. “Couples therapy is designed to bring out the best in you and your partner, strengthening the quality of your relationship, as a point of balance, allowing you to deal with issues in ways that support you to grow as individuals and a couple,” says Athena Staik, Ph.D.

Below are some of the primary benefits of couples counseling and why it is encouraged for those who feel that they want to give up, those who fear that they might lose the relationship but are not willing to lose it, or those who are happy and want to improve on their relationship.

  • Counseling Changes Couples’ Outlooks Of Themselves. Throughout the counseling process, the counselor tries to mediate between the couples and help them see their relationship in a more neutral angle. They learn to stop blaming each other and instead determine where the relationship went wrong or where it had gone astray. They are also taught how to deal with different situations, like money problems, for instance. The counselor observes how the couple interacts and gives them feedback, provides them with solutions as to how they can better deal with their problems together instead of against each other.

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  • Couples Counseling Encourages Emotional Expression. Most often, couples are used to keeping their feelings private when they are going through a difficulty. This further keeps the distance bigger, and they become emotionally and eventually physically more apart. Effective couples counseling brings out thoughts and feelings that partners are afraid of showing each other. This is particularly seen in attachment-based couples therapy, where partners are encouraged to express how they feel and communicate their needs to each other.

 

  • Couples Counseling Transforms Dysfunctional Behavioral Patterns. You’ll know when your couples therapist is efficient when he successfully teaches couples to change how they treat each other and guides them into appropriately interacting with each other in specific situations. These interactions are healthy and not harmful in any way.

 

  • Couples Counseling Helps Improve How Couples Communicate. Intimate partners have one of three things in common, and that is the ability to communicate with each other effectively. Counselors teach couples to talk to each other without any sign of abuse, judgment, or condemnation. They are taught how to show support and love. Most of all, they are encouraged to listen and be more compassionate with each other.

 

  • Couples Counseling Brings Out The Best In Couples. Counselors give partners more reason to be each other’s strengths by teaching them to be more appreciative of the things that they have and not focus on the things that they don’t have. They are taught to see their strengths so that they can better enjoy each other’s company while pleasing each other to build more love and intimacy.

“If you have had little success working through relationship issues, find yourselves avoiding each other, or using hostile words or actions that cause emotional or physical hurt, professional counseling may help,” says Jane Framingham, Ph.D.

Final Thoughts

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According to marriage counselor Gary Chapman, “Each of us speaks a different “love language,” of which there are five: words of affirmation; acts of service; receiving gifts; quality time; and physical touch.” Couples counseling can help with that.

Indeed, couples who feel broken now don’t have to feel hopeless forever, and those who are scared of getting into a relationship can be assured that even the most troubled relationships can be mended if the couples are willing to give it another try. By understanding these benefits and trying to follow some techniques mentioned above, you will be giving yourself and your partner a greater chance of achieving happiness in your relationship.

Counseling For Children: Helping Them Get Through Their Parents’ Divorce

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When parents decide to go through a divorce, it can have debilitating effects for the children. According to Amy Morin, LCSW, “Divorce creates emotional turmoil for the entire family, but for kids, the situation can be quite scary, confusing, and frustrating.” They may feel like their future is bleak, and they have nothing to look forward to. Parents sometimes don’t realize this because they, too, are going through a difficult situation and may not be functioning as well as they wanted to be for their children. However, parents must remember to prioritize the needs of their kids despite their decision to separate.

As the process of divorce progresses, children go through a whole gamut of emotions, which can include:

  • Anger
  • Rejection
  • Guilt that perhaps they have caused the divorce
  • Confusion as to which parent they will be staying with
  • A feeling of loss

Many factors may determine how affected children may be. This can depend on their age, the support that they are getting, and how they can take the whole situation. But definitely, it is the continuing conflict and feelings of bitterness and anger between the parents that can cause mental and emotional damage to the children. So it is very important that both parents set aside whatever they feel for each other and together find ways to reassure their children that no matter what happens between them, they still have two parents and they are still so much loved.

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Here are some things that parents can do for their children through this difficult time.

  • Be as honest and open as you can be about the situation. “If possible, both spouses should be together when telling the children of the impending separation or divorce,” suggests child psychologist Ruth A. Peters, Ph.D. Talk about where they might like to stay, or if their pets go with them, and how to go about with school, among others.
  • Do not, however, include them in discussion regarding adult obligations, such as finances or properties. These will only confuse them more.
  • Create a space for them that is comfortable, space where they are free to talk about how they truly feel without any criticism. Answer them as gently and as honestly as you both can, and let them feel that they are always top priority despite the situation.
  • Do not talk negatively about your ex to your children. You are still their parents, and they need to respect that – so don’t give them a reason not to respect you.
  • Continue with the usual school activities and keep practicing the usual routines if there are any, like visiting relatives on Fridays or eating out on weekends. If possible, don’t introduce big changes.
  • Do not, in any way, ask your children to take your side. There should be no sides for them but their parents, which means both of you.

Counseling For Children

Undoubtedly, divorce tremendously affects children. Fortunately, counseling can help them heal and experience less trauma as they go through this painful time of their lives. Counseling for children during separation or divorce offers them, someone, to talk to who is able and willing to listen wholeheartedly and will give them their undivided attention. They can talk about their parents’ divorce, or they can talk about anything for that matter. It can be about school or things that make them happy. Counseling provides a sense of normality for them.

When they have regular counseling, this can fill in that space and serve as a temporary safe base while the family is in some difficulty. During the sessions, the counselor can help foster unity and closeness between the siblings and guide them toward acceptance, forgiveness, and healing.

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Conclusion

Counseling children amid separation or divorce has proven to be an effective and helpful way to reassure children that they have other kinds of support while they are going through difficult times. It cannot erase the painful truth that their parents are no longer together, but it does help them realize that they are not at fault, they are worth the time, and that they are loved.

According to Sharie Stines, Psy.D., “Healing requires patience, understanding, safety, and validation.”

 

 

An Overview On Individual Therapy (Psychotherapy)

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Individual therapy is a combined process between an individual in therapy and the therapist himself. One of its goals is to promote change or to improve one’s quality of life further. People decide to go to therapy for different reasons that are difficult to face by themselves. Individual therapy is also known as psychotherapy, talk therapy, and counseling.

 

Therapy has been proven time and again to help people surpass their problems that are related to their wellness. It develops positive emotions like self-confidence and empathy. Those who are in therapy develop skills that they can use in dealing with complicated circumstances, achieving goals, and making wise decisions. In the long term, people in therapy find their journey to be therapeutic and very conducive for self-empowerment.

 

Indications For Psychotherapy

 

Individual therapy can aid in treating physical, mental, emotional, and behavioral complications. Other matters that may be tackled in therapy include stress, food, and eating disorders, rage and anger, addiction, anxiety, abuse, family and marriage issues, sleep disorders, and sexuality.

 

When To Seek Therapy

 

You can seek the help of a therapist if and when something you are going through causes depression and suffering, and ultimately if this has already interfered with your activities of daily living. Suffering means having negative thought patterns, behaviors, and body sensations like pain. If you have these symptoms, it is best not to wait for them to worsen before thinking of going to therapy. If you or your loved one has difficulty focusing on school or work or has suicidal thoughts, then these are also valid reasons for going to therapy.

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Some individuals, although they badly need to see a therapist, avoid treatment because they still worry about the stigma that comes with mental health. They are also hesitant to talk about their private life, especially if it concerns past relationships. Still, others do not want to accept the fact that something is wrong, and they attempt to deal with it on their own.

 

Standards For Becoming A Therapist

 

Most, if not all, therapists have a master’s or doctor’s degree. Some prefer to take units in psychological counseling. Students, on the other hand, who want to acquire an advanced degree, can provide treatment with the help of a licensed supervisor. As for titles, therapists can work as LPC (licensed professional counselors), LMFT (licensed marriage and family therapists), psychologists, psychiatric nurses, psychiatrists, and LCSW (licensed clinical social workers).

 

Individual Therapy Process

 

The initial therapy session would most likely involve data gathering. The therapist talks with the patient about his previous mental, physical, and emotional well-being. They also talk about the reasons why the patient is in therapy. Knowing the patient’s issues and fully understanding them will take more than one session for the therapist to finally come up with the best treatment plan.

 

The first session is also the best time for the patient to decide whether or not he will continue with the therapist or if he decides that he needs one with a different style and finds another therapist who can better meet his needs. Finding a therapist that you can be comfortable with is crucial to a productive working relationship and a successful outcome.

 

Most therapists encourage their clients to talk and express themselves fully, to not hold back. “We’re social creatures, fundamentally, so talking to people can be a real source of support and help,” Dr. David Spiegel, M.D says. “But it won’t happen if you don’t give it a try.” Initially, this is difficult for the client to talk about his life, and sessions may cause strong emotions like outbursts. Clients may become angry or depressed while being treated. However, therapists can deal with these, and from there, will help their clients build the strength and confidence that they need as the sessions continue.

“The benefits of therapy extend far beyond periods of crisis,” says Ryan Howes, Ph.D., a California-based psychologist and writer. “Many people want more than to be ‘not depressed.’ They wonder what they can do to be the happiest, most productive, most loving version of themselves.”

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Conclusion

Psychologist Leslie Becker-Phelps, Ph.D. says that people (in therapy)“Often come around to supporting treatment once they see that it makes a person happier.”

Individual therapy can involve different techniques, most of which are being used currently. If you are thinking of seeking therapeutic help for your problems or issues, do not hesitate to do so. It is always better to ask help while the problem can be contained. Talk to a therapist now.

3 Ways To Let Your Marriage Grow Stronger

Being married to the love of your life is not an easy thing to do. No matter how perfect the partnership or relationship is, there will always come a time when everything suddenly becomes dull and boring. Once you get married, there is a possibility that both of you will start to make efforts in making the relationship flourish. According to Kurt Smith, Psy.D., LMFT, LPCC, AFC, “Once we have made the decision that we have found the person we want to be with and commit to, the work begins. A big part of that work is making many other choices.”

Do not take this fact against yourselves. According to a therapist, it is only typical for married couples to be more comfortable as the marriage grows longer. The moment this happens, it is when they begin to become more expressive about their feelings, or they stop to make an effort in making grand gestures.

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In this article, we are going to provide you with a list of tips on how you can grow your marriage stronger as time progresses. Keep in mind that there is a necessity on your part to be fully invested in your wedding if you want to make it work. Otherwise, everything will go to waste if you are not committed to offering everything you go to have a new and long-lasting relationship with your husband. Below are the top things to keep in mind:

Be Intimate With Each Other

Just because you have been together for more than five, ten or more than twenty years with your partner is not an excuse is to let the intimacy die down between the two of you. Fortunately, there are a ton of ways on how you can remain intimate with each other. What is crucial at this point is to understand what the other person wants when it comes to intimacy. Do not hesitate to discuss matters relating to sensuality and sexuality so that both of you can solve intimacy-related problems. You can also seek or ask the help of a therapist to help you in this area of your marriage. Everything is going to be okay soon, as long as you are willing to make some improvements in your sex life.

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Communicate Effectively

Another thing that you must take into consideration is the significance of communicating well with your husband. “We can always make it our goal to hear everything,” says Lisa Firestone Ph.D. Make an effort to ask how the day of your partner went by. At the same time, let him know that you are interested in getting his views about some of the decisions that you need to make. It can make him feel more valued, which is going to be the driving force on his part to continue getting closer to you.

On the other hand, if you are hesitant in talking to him about interesting topics, then there is a high chance that he will start to seek comfort or solace from other people. The moment this happens, it is possible that your marriage will start to crumble down, and it can even lead to divorce or legal separation. As such, it is crucial on your part to continue reminding your partner that he can open up to you about anything that goes on his mind. Never make the mistake of dismissing his thoughts.

Spend Quality Time Together

Do you think you are too busy at work or in your office? Is your schedule too hectic to the point that you can no longer make time for your partner? If you answered yes to these questions, then it is time for you to take a moment to ponder your current situation. Keep in mind that you must never make your partner feel that he is not your top priority. Otherwise, you will only suffer the consequences the moment he realizes that he is already far away from you. The best or ideal thing to prevent this from happening is to spend quality time together. Make sure that you still go on dates or take vacations together. Always remember that no amount of money can ever buy back the time that you have missed spending with your loved one.

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A healthy relationship is one where both parties make an effort to inspire each other no matter what happens continuously. As much as possible, promise yourself to be the source of strength for your partner. Make sure that you are the first person that he can think of whenever he needs some to spend time with. There are many ways on how you can continue inspiring others. What is essential at this point is that you never forget the reasons why you decided to marry one another. Keep your love for each other grow each day. “If you’re in a relationship that you care about and want to last long-term you must decide if your relationship is more important than any power struggle or disagreement,” psychotherapist Stacey Kaiser adds.

 

 

Marriage Is A Two-Way Street (Psychology Discussion)

In any discussion in psychology about marriage and relationship, truths are told. It is not one man’s effort because it is always a two-way street. Relationship expert Dr. John Gottman of The Gottman Institute says, “A good marriage must have a rich climate of positivity” and advises that we make “regular deposits” to our emotional bank accounts.” Both individuals in the relationship have their obligations to make things work. Both of them are equally responsible for their actions, words, and behavior towards one another. Though perhaps some couples experience an imbalance, it doesn’t mean one should stop compromising.

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The Significant Other Is Not Everything

One misconception of having a fulfilled and happy marriage is the idea of looking at a spouse as someone who completes the individual. A lot of people believe that their partner should have to be their other half, their soul mate, best friend, best sexual mate, and sounding board. While these are good preferences, one should always remember that it is impossible for any individual to meet all those criteria. There are going to be other people who can fill up the void. It could be friends, family, and even one’s self. There is no sense in putting all the expectations on their spouses or partners.

Yes, it is okay to consider the significant others as one of the favorite people in the world. That is because each couple has a variety of dynamics that make them unique among others. But people shouldn’t have to focus all the attention on their other halves and assume they are the only ones that put sense in their lives. They have to remember that there are other people in their lives too that need them.

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Allowing Phones To Come In Between

In today’s era, there is no denying that almost all people in the world are now relying on technology. That includes doing the daily task together with their phones. The particular situation has now become one of the worst causes of marital argument. That is because one or both couples are currently having a hard time focusing on what the other one has to say. There is divided attention that puts the marriage in a cold situation.

Both couples should remind themselves that if the relationship is more important, they should share it. They should not let their phones come in between and become the reason of their undivided attention. Each person should put a conscious effort to put down their phones so a meaningful discussion can happen. It is vital to secure a 100% presence in a mental, physical, and emotional conversation.

RelationshipGoals Don’t Often Meet Expectations

It is okay to put effort into creating #relationshipgoals. Honestly, it is an excellent way for couples to consider their roles in the relationship. However, too much dependency on it is not healthy. Some of the expectations sometimes exceed, and others don’t happen at all. Marriage and relationship are not only about who’s willing to sacrifice for who, and who’s always there for whom. It is about focusing on what couples currently have, whether the one is giving or receiving. “Dealing with setbacks can be exhausting, so it’s important not just to push your way back too hard, but to rest and recharge along the way,” says Ellen Hendriksen, Ph.D.

Yes, it is true. All marriages and relationships are imbalanced. Meaning, there is an excellent chance that one of the couples will love and care more than the other. But it doesn’t mean they can’t meet halfway. If both persons are willing to compromise and consider each other’s feelings, all in between will mean nothing. And if they make sure that the goals are theirs and not a projection from someone else’s, they going to be okay.

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Letting Go Of The Bad Habits

Every individual has their flaws and imperfections. But in terms of relationships, people build resentments. There are times that couples will find it hard to adjust and instantly take away bad habits. Though in some cases, others just don’t let go. There is this mentality that individuals’ personality is what makes them who they are. But the truth is, they are only having difficulty trying to figure out which of their traits and characters are toxic.

Others may agree that it is okay to stay the way they are because that is how everybody sees and knows them. Perhaps they are used to it already. But when nobody wants to change their bad habits, it is a sign of immaturity. It entirely means that growing up and developing into a better person is nowhere near the picture.

The relationship is hard, and it is full of personal, social, and environmental battles. But what makes it amusing is the capability of those couples who can handle even the toughest decisions alongside with each other. “The key to surviving these times is to remember to be respectful, acknowledge our commitment, and work through whatever is at hand together,” says Kurt Smith, Psy.D., LMFT, LPCC.

 

 

15 Signs That Your Marriage Is Over

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Marriage is perceived to be a lovely relationship between a man and a woman. That is why single people would want to be married someday. Anyone could get married but staying married is not a simple thing. It takes sacrifices, patience and a lot of hard work. According to  Kurt Smith, Psy.D., LMFT, LPCC, AFC, “Once we have made the decision that we have found the person we want to be with and commit to, the work begins.” Some people can even develop depression or anxiety because of the issues that come with it.

Continue reading 15 Signs That Your Marriage Is Over

Aftermath Of Divorce: Does Your Child Need Therapy?

There comes the point in your life where you think: enough is enough. With marriage, the same principles apply. For whatever reason triggered your decision for divorce, you’ve probably also asked yourself—‘Will this affect my child? Should we continue to be together for the sake of our children?’ Thoughts such as these may cause feelings of anxiety and worry in you. You want what’s best for your family, even if you sacrifice your feelings along the way.

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According to Susan Winter, coaching professional, “relationships are organic. They shift and evolve due to circumstances. You can start off being in-love with someone, then falling into a comfortable pattern of loving them, but not necessarily feel that initial in-love spark anymore.” Deciding on divorce is a huge sacrifice for you and your spouse, but sometimes it’s also the ideal outcome out of any situation. A lot of things have to be dealt with and settled before the separation. From wealth and material belongings to the time you spend with your children should be planned and discussed beforehand. For most divorced couples workout their fair share in parenting before signing the papers because the welfare of their children always come first.

The days that follow a divorce is always rough. The magnitude of the event is just sinking in, your children adjusting to the reality of their parents no longer sharing a single roof. The cold atmosphere, tense situations, and the mood within your house are overall gloomy. It is perfectly normal. Going through a divorce isn’t a simple phenomenon. Everyone in the family is affected and involved. It’s naturally going to take some adjustments. “Divorce creates emotional turmoil for the entire family, but for kids, the situation can be quite scary, confusing, and frustrating,” says Amy Morin, LCSW. But after a month or so, you notice that your children still feel hesitant to talk to you. You realize something has changed. They might be distracted or sad all the time. What should you do?

Signs Your Child May Need A Therapist

Following a divorce, your child may feel lonely, a sense of loss, fearful and anxious, angry, rejected and even insecure. “Unfortunately, many kids will experience divorce as traumatic in part due to the parents’ fighting, blaming each other, while the kids are in the middle,” according to Michelle Farris, LMFT. How can you determine which symptoms are out of the norm and require special attention from a therapist? Here are some signs that tell you if your child needs therapy, or not:

  • Your child begins exhibiting extreme behavior.

Sudden emotional outbursts like screaming, yelling and getting mad at you which they’ve never done before is usually a sign that your child may need outside intervention. Depending on your child’s age, this might be his subtle way of dealing with the confusing pool of emotions suddenly locked inside of him after the divorce.

  • Your younger child shows regressive behavior.

When under extreme stress or undergoing strong emotional stress, children may regress to their childish behavior. For example, a potty-trained child may begin wetting his bed again, or a child who can feed himself chooses not to and refuses to eat until an adult feeds him. If your younger child starts showing regressive behavior, it might be a sign that he’s more affected by the divorce than he’s allowing himself to explain.

  • Your child acts out of line.

When your child starts doing things out of his character, then that’s usually a warning sign that something is wrong mentally and emotionally. When a mostly quiet child suddenly becomes hyperactive and talkative, be wary. Likewise with a chatty kid swiftly growing too shy to speak. Stress manifests in different ways, and children have it especially hard. With no prior experience of how to healthily let out their emotions, these children may adopt unhealthy coping methods and outrageous, risky behavior.

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  • Your child isolates himself/shows disinterest in his hobbies.

Though feelings of sadness and disorientation after a divorce is commonplace when your child suddenly separates himself and shows disinterest in most, if not all, of his hobbies, then that’s something you should look out for. These are warning signs for depression and anxiety and other mental conditions that require a therapist’s help. When your child starts rejecting the company of other people and the joy of doing his hobbies, then you know something is wrong.

Seeing A Family Counselor

Help your child find a healthy outlet for his emotions, and schedule weekly sessions with a family counselor. Trust your instincts. See if the normal off-put feelings your child has been experiencing for almost a month now consequents a visit to the therapist. Family counselors specialize in working families through the divorce process and find healing in each other. It might be hard to bounce back from the emotional turmoil the process of divorce puts you and your family through. But with the help of a family counselor guiding you through, you’ll get there eventually.

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Additionally, don’t wait for warning signs to show up before you take your family to weekly family counseling sessions. Therapy sessions don’t just strictly work with mental illnesses. But, attending weekly counseling sessions can also help you understand what you’re going through emotionally, mentally and psychologically. Through this, you can prevent the unresolved conflict from developing into the trauma.