Are you or a loved one looking for a Psychotherapist who specializes in Marriage and Family relationships? Do you or a friend need help with a sticky social situation?
Photo Credits: iStock
Are you or a loved one looking for a Psychotherapist who specializes in Marriage and Family relationships? Do you or a friend need help with a sticky social situation?
Photo Credits: iStock
Coming to the realization that your partner cannot live up to your expectations or ideals can be devastating. Couples can feel disappointed, frustrated, betrayed, or resentful and move to end the relationship because of unmet desires and unfulfilled expectations. Frustration can also be a signal that a boundary of yours is being crossed.
SO… What can you do?1. Own it. That’s right- Take ownership for your needs and desires! The truth of the matter is – we know what we need better than anyone else. Ultimately, it is our responsibility to get our own needs met. If we give ownership to someone else for getting our needs met, than we can feel dependent, powerless, and misunderstood. Taking ownership also inspires action. We realize we have the power to create change. Also, we have the opportunity to nurture ourselves in the ways that we need it most. This is a difficult practice, but it can be very empowering. 2. Express. Yep. Communication is KEY. Express your needs, desires and expectations to your partner. Have you ever consciously expected something from someone, but didn’t voice it? Usually, this is a recipe for disappointment and disaster. How is someone suppose to know what you want if you don’t tell them? Even if they get it right once in a while, it sets up a dynamic were two people are operating on assumptions, which leads to miscommunication and frustration. Trust me, I see this ALL THE TIME! We often hide our expectations, needs, and desires because we fear that we will be rejected or that our partner will not be able to meet our needs. But how do we experience resolution if we cut ourselves off before we even try? This may seem scary and vulnerable because it requires you to open yourself up and acknowledge that you have needs to your partner. But imagine being able to ask for what you need in a clear and clean way (to own it, without making it someone else’s responsibility) and then to receive it from someone who genuinely wants to give it to you. This can truly be a transformational experience. By taking ownership of our needs, desires, and expectations, we can work with our partners. We can help teach them what works and doesn’t work for us, and then we have the opportunity to learn and grow together. 3. Empathize. Give people the benefit of the doubt. Usually, people are doing the best the can. And your partner is probably loving you in the best way he/she knows how. This is important to remember when you are holding your partner up to an expectation or an ideal of yours. It may be helpful to consider, the question “How would I respond to the situation if the roles were reversed?” This is often easier said than done, especially when one feels hurt and protective. Trusting someone and giving them the benefit of the doubt can be extremely difficult if you have experienced a lot of hurt and betrayal. It is important to keep track of your boundaries and needs. If you are taking responsibility for your needs, then you will be more likely to take care of yourself. 4. Seek. Reach out for support if you need it. Expressing your needs and giving someone the benefit of the doubt can be tricky, especially if you didn’t get your needs met when you were young. It is a natural process to attempt to fulfill these unmet needs. However, you may not know that you are doing this. If you feel a strong reaction, feel threatened, or really protective- than this may be a good indication that there is an underlying hurt. There are many opportunities to heal and grow, through self-help books, articles, groups, and psychotherapy. It’s never too late to learn new skills and to start practicing them. 5. Allow. Allow for some S P A C E. Without a ton of expectations, you can allow yourself to be more in the moment, receive, and be pleasantly surprised. You can receive your loved one’s expressions and gestures as genuine and authentic gifts. You can start to appreciate them with a sense of newness. Allowing space for people to meet you in the best way they know how is truly a beautiful and powerful experience.
Are you or someone you know looking for a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist who specializes in relationship issues?Contact me HERE! I offer face-to-face sessions in Orange County as well as Online through eTherapi.
Dealing with a family member, parent or friend who needs to feel in control can be really tough. Rather than reacting to being controlled, step back and switch gears in order to think about what the other person really needs. It is helpful to stick with the facts and never hurts to reassure the person that you love them. If need be, set boundaries so they know not to step over the same line next time.
Are you or someone you know looking for a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist who specializes in all Relationship issues? Contact me HERE! I offer face-to-face sessions in Orange County as well as Online through eTherapi.
Incorporating the self-soothing techniques takes time and practice. Forming new habits is not an easy task for anyone, but with patience and continued effort, people will find relief through the self-soothing methods taught in DBT.Some of you may recognize these techniques as things that you already put to use. But many people have never learned how to self-soothe, or how to do these often simple things that make us all feel better. These are mostly very physical techniques, that use different body senses. I urge you to experiment with these techniques until you find some that are comfortable and helpful for you. And when you find something that works, and makes you feel GOOD— practice it. Use them when you are feeling distressed; when emotions feel overwhelming; when situations feel like you can’t stand them any more. Instead of doing something harmful OR that simply doesn’t work for you (like reaching for food, alcohol, TV, shopping – whatever your vice may be)—- try something that gives you pleasure and comfort, such as an example from above. Are you or a loved one looking for a Psychotherapist who specializes in Marriage and Family relationships? Do you or a friend need help with a sticky social situation? Contact me HERE! I offer face-to-face Psychotherapy sessions in Orange County, as well as, online through eTherapi. I am also offering FREE online sessions for first time clients @ Google Helpouts. Photo Credits: iStock
TEXTING. We all do it. But there are a lot of assumptions being made along the way. This can lead to confusion for many people and a lot of interpreting and misunderstanding. Not good stuff. And more-so, challenging stuff- especially for people who have a tendency to overthink.It is obviously is a very popular form of communication in both the business and personal communication arenas. However, it can often lead to major problems if the underlying tone of the message is misinterpreted on one end. If the parties involved are in different emotional states of mind, the slightest disagreement via text can quickly spiral out of control leading from a semi-disagreement to a full blown argument. The texting communication breakdown occurs because… Let’s face it- we all aren’t poets. Seasoned poets can clearly exhibit brilliant emotion in their text writing, but the average texters intended written emotion, very often, gets lost in translation.
How can we solve texting communication issues? There isn’t one correct answer, but here are 4 bullet points that may help you out: Be Brief. Write short text messages only —-with a crystal clear point. Be Clear. Do not write long winded confusing paragraphs that leave room for misinterpretation. Save these for conversations… in person or on the phone! Proofread. Proofread your message. If you’re in a rush, don’t send it! This can give you added perspective on how well it will be received by the intended recipient. Pick up the phone! While texting can be a convenient communication channel, certain discussions need to be handled over the phone, or if possible, in person. If you notice that the situation or relationship is starting to deteriorate, don’t send another text. Instead, pick up the phone or arrange a face to face meeting. I cannot emphasize enough— How often I see clients become frustrated, confused, and even enraged when sending and receiving texts. Don’t get me wrong, the text message is a super versatile medium with which the possibilities are endless. It just seems important to note, that texting is most definitely not a replacement for a good old fashioned face-to-face encounter. If you notice yourself ruminating or wondering what/how etc. to reply to a text… PICK UP THE PHONE! Need help with a sticky social situation or relationship issue? Contact me HERE! I offer face-to-face sessions Psychotherapy in Orange County, as well as, online through eTherapi.
Photo Credit: Shutterstock
What can you do to get back to a place of mental clarity and relaxation?In an age of fast paced lifestyles and heightened commercialism, everywhere we turn is a demand for our attention. On top of the information overload, we are working longer, and taking less time off. The result? More stress and less time to ourselves. Juggling between work, children, family and our personal needs, it’s easy to get sucked into the never-ending list of to-dos. Trust me, I get it! This blog will look at 5 simple stress management techniques to overcome this sense of overwhelming anxiety in order to live a more relaxed and stress-free lifestyle.
Sounds simple, I know. But sometimes, we can become so engrossed in what we are doing and trying to make things just right that it becomes hard to step away. However, you can’t get away from feeling overwhelmed from a place of overwhelming confusion. You have to step away to be able to view your circumstances from a fresh perspective.
Suggestion— Move to a different room, get up from your desk, go out for a walk/yoga class or go sit in a café. Stepping out from the current situation and changing your environment will help you gain clarity, and shift you away from your overwhelming state of mind.
When we are feeling overwhelmed, our mind becomes clouded by the task at hand, and by the thoughts that cause us to feel stressed in the first place. Many times, we get so caught up in the doing, that we forget why we are doing it. Instead of being busy and simply hoping it will lead us to where we want to go.
Suggestion — Start with asking, “How do I want to feel?” And then focus on feeling that way. Set your intention! You might ask yourself, “What is truly important to me?” And then focus on doing things that are important to you, instead of the multitude of tasks that are overwhelming.
Whenever we are feeling overwhelmed, there is likely a lot going on inside our head. Ideas and thoughts swimming in our minds, cluttering up our mental space. The best thing to do is to get these thoughts out on paper. I cannot emphasize this step enough- it is by far the number one suggestion I give to most of my clients.
Suggestion — Grab a pen and a piece of paper, a notebook, scratch paper — whatever! Start jotting down everything on your mind. Write without editing and write out every thought. If you have a bunch of to-dos running in your head — list them out. If you have an idea —brain storm on paper. And remember not to worry about keeping things looking neat and perfect. This will only limit your freedom to get whatever it is out — the stuff that’s keeping you feeling overwhelmed in the first place!
People are amazing. Often, we are the problem that is disallowing help from happening through our limited thinking. We think family or friends will say no, and so we don’t ask.
Give it a try. Ask for help, and be prepared to be amazed at the generosity that others are willing to provide. The key is to be open to receiving what others are willing to provide. Just imagine the worst case scenario—They say no. Not a biggie.
Time is our most precious commodity. So be mindful. Spend it wisely and consciously. Suggestions — Start with asking yourself what is most important to you and identifying how you want to feel. Then figure out what activities will support those feelings and things of importance. How much alone time do you need to re-charge? How much time do you want to spend with the kids, family, community etc? How much do you want to engage in creative endeavors/spiritual evolvement? Once you’ve decided what’s important and how long you want to allot, create boundaries around important activities and do not budge with any incoming distractions. Do not allow unimportant noise and activities to creep in. Because both email and Facebook can be such a time suck, set boundaries such as only checking it once a day for 30 minutes. In other words, do only what’s absolutely necessary, and anything that doesn’t get done during this time will just go on the list for a future time.Remember, you simply cannot answer every email that comes in, or get to every chore on your list. And that is okay. You are not obligated to do everything. You have the ability to design the life you want and the freedom to create the rules. Another suggestion — Everyday, make sure to do at least one thing for yourself by yourself. Alone time is of utmost importance and not enough people realize this. Take a hot bath with candles, or sit with a cup of chamomile tea while reading a few pages of something inspirational.
Are you or someone you know looking for a Psychotherapist who specializes in Marital & Family Relationships? Contact me HERE! I offer face-to-face sessions in Orange County as well as Online through eTherapi.
The following 3 steps will help you stop focusing on your problems and make room in your life for your true purpose to reveal itself. These ideas may seem silly at first glance~ but give them a try and see how you feel and if anything shifts or opens up in your life.
Clear your mind for a moment by finding someone or some organization that needs a skill you have, and offer it for free, even if it’s just for an hour. This may sound like you are being irresponsible~ I mean, shouldn’t you be spending all your free time finding a solution to your life ~ a job perhaps? No. Take a break and step away from the spinning mind; it will be there when you get back. I promise. Result? Volunteering makes you feel grateful for what you do have what you can offer. Plus, you may even gain some new perspective about life, purpose and/or current troubled situation. Perhaps you will network, or be inspired for something you have not thought about before.
People get immobile when going through a crisis. Choose an easy workout ritual to follow daily and force yourself to stick to it. Move through the uncomfortable or painful feelings and get into your body. Yoga is generally my recommendation~ but if a yoga class isn’t an option for you, do a few pushups or jumping jacks. Even a simple walk will do… Heck, turn on some music and dance! No excuses and no equipment needed. Result? The energy in your body gets shaken and shifted, and endorphins start to flow. You may begin to crave healthy food & think positive thoughts~ which in turn, all helps lead you to a clearer mind.
Go to a place where you can sit in solitude and connect with yourself. Your soul is your partner forever and it needs attention; it will give you back as much as you give it. I promise. Sit on your couch with some calm music, or under a tree if you are outside. Breathe. Deeply. Result? You are allowing your soul to guide you to the answers that your mind cannot seem to find about where this chaos is leading you.
Whenever I find myself stressed, anxious and feeling lonely among the chaos of life in our digital, fast-paced world of wonderful technology~I know I need a shot of some serious rest and radical self-care. This is also by far the number one suggestion I give to most of my clients. Slowing down is learning to say “yes” to new priorities.
Enjoy the process!
Photo credit(s): Getty Images / Shutterstock / Mario Covic Photography
Sure~~~ Wanting to strangle your husband from time to time is perfectly normal. But if you’re constantly coming up against the same relationship problem- and experts say most couples do- then you’ll have to get to the root of the conflict if you want to move forward as a happier, healthier, more connected couple. No partnership is exempt from these patterns, but they can most definitely corrode perfectly loving bonds over time.
A healthy relationship~ just like everything else in life, needs care and attention.Figuring out how to fix a relationship is the challenging part and where my expertise comes in. There are so many different dynamics involved and it’s really difficult to know where exactly the balance went off. It can often be helpful to get a third party involved to help couples see the deeper issues and begin to untangle their unhealthy web. But nevertheless, arriving at couples therapy really doesn’t have to be the end of the relationship. Even the unhappiest of relationships can be fixed with a bit of understanding and love. If you are still very much in love with your partner and willing to work on your relationship~ it may be helpful to read these four simple pointers on how to nurture your relationship that may feel off balance from time to time.
Ask yourself honestly- How did I deal with the situation the last time I disagreed with my partner? Most couples I see, prefer to just end an argument with silent evenings rather than face the situation. There’s also the option of giving each other some space for a a few days and wait for the issue to get sorted out by itself. But- by avoiding a confrontation, you would end the fight but you really can’t understand each other or help each other. Problems that are brushed under the carpet always have a way of creeping back up.
My suggestion? The next time you’re feeling frustrated, irritated or lonely- talk about it with your partner and try to get over the issue in that moment.
We’re all human- and all of us make mistakes, even the most perfect of people. If you want to know how to nurture a relationship and be successful at it, you must learn to forgive one another. If you feel something’s wrong in the relationship or if your partner’s done something unacceptable, talk to your partner without accusing or shouting at them. Help your partner understand how you feel about the situation. And, unless an inexcusable mistake is repeated, learn to forgive and move forward.
Learn to give in. It’s as simple as that. It’s surprising to see that so many individuals struggle in a relationship because of this one thing alone. Over 10 years of working with couples in private practice, I’ve noticed both men and women becoming more and more stubborn with one another. It’s really difficult for people to give in. Here’s what I like to point out when I see this… If you truly love your partner~ seeing them smile or have a good time would make you happy too, wouldn’t it?
4. Grow.Relationships need to grow constantly, similar to how individuals need to grow. When a relationship stagnates, you start to lose interest in it and soon, you stop caring about it. Learn to improve a relationship, by learning from each other and giving each other enough space to grow as individuals. Only by becoming better individuals can both of you become better lovers. These 4 fixes on how to nurture a relationship can seem trivial and easy- But that’s the whole point. Sometimes, the most complicated of knots need only a small tug where it matters. Are you or someone you know looking for a Couples Therapist who specializes in Relationships? Contact me HERE! I offer face-to-face sessions in Orange County as well as Online through eTherapi.
There are many different characteristics of toxic friendships. Some are overly-competitive to the point of being hurtful. Some make snide remarks about your looks, weight, relationships, while acting like your friend. Some only want to talk about themselves and their problems without ever asking about your life or offering support. Whatever the type, maintaining a toxic friendship is an unhealthy situation.I’ve listed 7 questions below to help you identify if you’re in a toxic friendship.
My advice? Focus on the friendships that sustain you and help you be the best, happiest person you can be–and move on from the rest. Remind yourself that friends are supposed to be a source of support and kindness, and that you are supposed to leave social interactions feeling happy and grateful for the loved ones in your life.
Photo credits- Shutterstock.
Photo credit(s): Shutterstock.