Marriage Doesn’t Make Everything Better

 

marriage is work

 

Some people, whether they’re conscious of it or not, believe that once they are married all of the problems in their life will disappear. This idea is often reinforced through pop culture, like in television shows, music, books, and movies. However, getting married doesn’t solve all of your problems. In fact, marriage can sometimes amplify certain problems or highlight underlying issues and be making things worse. Any problem you and your partner have together or separately prior to marriage you will still have even after you say your “I Do’s”. Fortunately, there are some things you can do to address the problems in your relationship before you commit till death do you part.

 

1. Be Real With Eachother

Couples at all stages of a relationship can struggle with being authentic with one another. However, this is most common early on in a relationship. Both partners want to seem desirable, pleasant, and favorable in the beginning stages. But, this kind of facade can create inauthenticity within the relationship and ruin honesty. Openness in all forms keeps both partners authentic and true to themselves and their partner. It’s true, just be yourself.

 

2. Pay Attention

In the beginning of love, red flags looks just like regular old flags when you have rose colored glasses on. Red flags can be a number of things. Additionally, red flags are often subjective to each individual, so they can look different. A red flag is a momentary lapse in judgement and once they are established, can set a trend for unsavory behavior. Keep your eyes open and be objective and honest with yourself when a red flag pops up.

 

3. Listen to Others

For some reason, our friends and family can usually see what we can’t when we first start a relationship. When they point out potential flaws or red flags, we are often shocked and annoyed that they would say something. However, if someone in your life who has earned your trust and respect comments something, give them consideration. This person is likely pointing out these things because they love and care for you. Outside parties often have a more objective view of your relationships than you do.

 

4. Make a Choice

Even with a large amount of emotional and past relationship baggage, many people still get married without having dealt with their own baggage. Too many people get married expecting for everything bad before and during the relationship to disappear. If anything, a bad relationship will only amplify the bad things in your life. It’s better to make the decision to not get married early on than to stick it out and see what happens. This is not an easy choice and you may not recognize negative patterns or issues right away.

 

5. Find Support

Throughout the decision making process of getting married or even considering divorce, it’s important to find help. Support can come in the form of friends and family. However, third party help, like from a professional counselor can do wonders for your relationship and personal life. Doing this alone isn’t always easy and it can get overwhelming at times. You don’t have to go through this alone. You can find the support you deserve and need.

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3 Questions to Ask When Marriage Counseling Isn’t Working

Photo by Ryan Franco on Unsplash

 

All marriages have their ups and downs. To enter into a marriage expecting it to be rainbows and butterflies for the entirety would be naive, to say the least. With that being said, there’s no shame in admitting to yourself, your partner, or your friends and family that you are going through a rough patch and need professional counseling. However, even if you and your partner are going to counseling, it doesn’t always seem like it’s working. Before throwing in the towel and giving up, here are three questions you should ask yourself and your partner.

 

1. Are You Both Ready?

Not everyone who goes to counseling is actually ready for counseling. Both you and your partner need to be ready and willing to begin counseling in order for it to be successful. In fact, it’s important that you and your partner are even enthusiastic about starting counseling. When both partners are invested in the success of counseling early on, it’s easier to overcome any resistance or challenges that may pop up along the way.

 

2. Is Your Counselor the Right Fit?

Finding the right counselor for yourself and your partner isn’t always a one and done situation. Counselors are not a “one size fits all” problem solver. Some counselors have certain specialties that others don’t. The best way to determine if a counselor is right for you and your partner is to do your research. Read over their website, call them and interview them over the phone, or read reviews online.

 

3. Are the Real Issues Being Addressed?

Sometimes in relationships, we think that only the small things are what are causing the problems. Small problems are often indicators of a much larger issue at hand. Some couples will pretend like everything is fine out of fear of being judged by their friends, families, and shockingly, even their counselor. The purpose of counseling is to break down those walls built up by fear so you, your partner, and your counselor can start rebuilding and resolving what needs to be done.

 

Even though marriage counseling offers no guarantees, it’s still worth a shot. Therefore, if you feel as if your relationship still has a fighting chance it’s time to take the leap and seek counseling. However, it’s important to remember that counseling takes effort on both sides. So, find out how our counseling services can help rebuild you and your partner rebuild and reconnect.

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4 Tips on Dealing with Difficult People During the Holidays

 

Photo by Larm Rmah on Unsplash

It’s the most wonderful time of the year and for some people the worst. Going home for the holidays are meant to be a joyous, relaxing, and pleasant time. However, the holidays can become a complicated time for those who may be dealing with difficult family members. These 4 tips will help you keep the peace and maintain your sanity during the holiday season.

 

1. Prioritize Self-Care

The holiday season is a physically, mentally, and emotionally demanding time. This is why it’s so important to prioritize self-care. First, self-care helps you maintain your sanity. This can include things like alone time, getting adequate and quality rest, making sure you are eating, and even treating yourself to things you’d normally deny yourself other times of the year. Additionally, self-care helps to prevent your loss of adult identity during the holidays. Being back with family at home can unintentionally cause you to feel like you’re slipping back into younger stages. Self-care helps to keep you in the present.

 

2. Limit Substance Use

The idea that having a few glasses of wine or a couple of beers will make being around a difficult family member much more tolerable. However, alcohol often makes things more complicated by lowering our inhibitions.Using substances to tolerate a family dinner is merely just a way of avoiding rather than coping. By avoiding heavy use of substances you can remain in control of your mind, body, and words.

 

3. Keep Conversations Neutral

The holidays are a sensitive time in many ways; ways in which you might not even be totally aware of. Simple questions like “when are you getting married?” “where are you going to college?” or “have you found a job yet?” can all be very triggering questions despite having innocent intentions. Try asking more open-ended questions. These are questions like, “what have you been keeping busy with?” “what are you up to these days?” and “what’s new with you?”. All of these questions show just the right amount of interest without seeming too nosy.

 

4. Avoid Strife

Shockingly enough, some people actually enjoy passionate arguments. Maybe that is you and maybe that isn’t. Either way, arguments are a really fast way to ruin a perfectly good meal for others. Instead of engaging in an argument, even just for the fun of it, end it before it gets too out of control. Saying this like, “let’s agree to disagree” or “let’s stop arguing so everyone else has something to be thankful for” can end an argument without ending the relationship.

 

Now that the holiday season is here, it can be difficult to manage all the thoughts and emotions that seem to bubble up around this time of year. If you are having difficulty mentally and emotionally preparing for the holidays with or without family, learn more about how counseling can help.

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4 Ways to Resolve Conflict in Relationships

 

relationships

 

In all healthy relationships, platonic, familial, and romantic, communication is key. Effective communication can help you better understand those around you. As a result of effective communication, you successfully develop stronger, healthier, and more mature relationships. Even though conflict is a normal part of any relationship, it can also be an indicator that things aren’t working as well. Here are four ways to resolve disagreements in a healthy and mature manner.

 

1. Set Boundaries

Even during an argument or disagreement, everyone deserves to be treated with respect. Cursing, calling names, or ridicule is not okay during an argument. If this happens, it is totally acceptable to ask the person to stop. If they are not willing to speak with you in a respectable manner then explain that you don’t want to continue arguing with them at the moment and walk away.

 

2. Agree to Disagree

Sometimes with conflicts there’s no real agreement to come to other than that you both disagree with each other. If you find that you and your partner or friend are struggling to come to an agreement, just drop the subject all together. Focus on what really matters, which is never some petty argument.

 

3. Find the Root of the Issue

Arguements or conflicts can often be the result of some sort of underlying or unaddressed issue. This usually happens when one person feels like their needs in a relationship or friendship are not being met. If your partner is feeling upset about a particular housework chore, perhaps they feel as if they are bearing the entire burden of keeping the house. Usually a small conflict that escalates into a larger one is a result of another, much larger issue.

 

4. Find a Compromise

Compromising is a major part of conflict resolution. A compromise offers a solution to appease all parties involved in the conflict. While this may be the most important part of conflict resolution, it is also one of the hardest. Being able to find a middle ground that satisfies both people can quickly end an argument and preserve a relationship or friendship.

 

Even though conflict is normal, an argument should never turn into personal attacks against the other person. If you are finding that you are having trouble expressing yourself during arguments, counseling could be of help. Effective conflict resolution isn’t always something that’s innate. There are many ways to end an argument or conflict, however, none of those include verbal, physical or emotional abuse. Learn more about how we can help you or a loved one develop positive conflict resolution skills through counseling.

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5 Things You Can Do To Decrease Your Anger

 

Anger

 

Anger is an emotion that everyone experiences at different points throughout their life. Unfortunately, there are times when it can become excessive and even dangerous. If you regularly experience getting “worked up” or are constantly stewing over something, you may be allowing your anger to control you and your actions. Fortunately, there are a number of ways you can modulate your reactions to situations that can decrease your anger.

 

1. Acknowledge It

One of the first and best things you can do about your anger is acknowledge that you are angry. When anger arises, we often get the sudden urge to act, which we may later regret. Whenever you notice the physical manifestations of anger such as a flushed face, shallow breathing, or tense shoulders—take a breath and verbally acknowledge that you feel yourself getting angry. This can be a helpful tool in reacting differently when angry or frustrated.

 

2. Take 5

The longer that you are in a triggering situation, the more likely you are to act irrationally out of anger. By temporarily removing yourself from a situation, like going for a five-minute bathroom break, you can take the time to allow your emotions to return to their baselines. This will help you to become a more effective communicator and prevent you from lashing out verbally or physically out of anger.

 

3. Have a Laugh

They say laughter is the best medicine but did you know that humor can help to diffuse you when you are angry? Humor can help you have a more balanced perspective. Additionally, humor can also help you realize when you are being a bit unreasonable. However, don’t just try to “laugh off” your problems. Instead, use humor to face your anger more constructively. Remember, don’t use humor, like sarcasm, as a form of aggression when dealing with others.

 

4. Consider the Alternative

Sometimes when we are angry it seems impossible to view the situation or person from any other alternative perspective but our own. The angrier we become, the more rigid our thinking becomes. Loosen up your thought patterns to help reduce your level of anger and consider alternative viewpoints. Consider things like what’s really important? What type of outcome do you want? and what are some points of your opponent’s position that make perfect sense? While this may be difficult, this helps you from acting out because of it.

 

5. Empathize

It may be hard to empathize with a person or situation that makes you angry. First and foremost, your feelings are always valid. However, so are the other peoples’ feelings. Practicing empathy during frustrating situations can help you balance your emotions. Also, practicing empathy can help you understand where the other person is coming from.

 

Knowing When You Need Help…

Anger is a perfectly natural emotion that everyone, young and old, will experience throughout their lifetime. However, when anger starts to control your life that’s when it is a problem. Anger should not totally dictate your actions or interactions with others. If you are having trouble controlling it please contact one of our highly trained specialists to help you manage your anger.

Cognitive Therapy for Depression

 

cognitive therapy

 

Most patients who are treated with depression respond positively to medication. However, there are a select few of individuals who do not respond to medication alone. There are also people who end up with residual symptoms from medications or who relapse frequently. Fortunately, CBT therapy, coupled with medication can help. Even those who do not take medication can benefit from CBT therapy.

 

What is CBT?

CBT, also known as Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is a type of “talk therapy.” It is a cognitive therapy treatment process that helps individuals correct false self-beliefs. These false self-beliefs can lead to depressed moods and negative behaviors. The purpose of this type of therapy is to help individuals replace false self-beliefs with new, more positive self-beliefs. The idea behind CBT is that a single thought can alter a mood, change in behavior, or spark a physical reaction. By replacing negative and false self-beliefs with positive ones, individuals can improve their mood, behaviors, and physically feel better.

 

How to Make the Most of CBT

In order to maximize each and every session, it’s important to have a solid understanding of why you want to be there. Start by making a list of issues that have been bothering you. These issues can range from family issues, relationship issues, career fears, anger, anxiety, or sleeping issues. Essentially, anything that you feel is bothering you. In your first few sessions don’t be afraid to do most of the talking. This is your time to get everything out so that you and your counselor can know how to move forward with a treatment plan.

 

How to Know if it’s Working

This is hard to pinpoint and can range dramatically between individuals. The best way to monitor your progress, along with your counselor, is to track your mood and thoughts from the beginning of therapy. This can help you track your progress in real time. Additionally, don’t be shy to ask your therapist our counselor how they feel like you are progressing. Finally, setting a list of goals that you wish to accomplish with the help of CBT can help as well. Reviewing the list of goals can help prove to yourself that you are in fact making progress.

 

What Type of Therapy is Best for Me?

The type of therapy that is best for you is the type of therapy that works! Only you can know if a therapy treatment is working or not. CBT therapy has been proven successful for many different individuals, though it isn’t for everyone. If you want to learn more about how CBT can work for you or which therapy treatment is right for you, call us today and make an appointment.

5 Steps To Coping With Depression

 

coping with depression

 

Dealing with depression can leave you drained, hopeless, and tired. There is no way to just “snap out of it”, which can make some days feel worse than others. Managing your depression is all about taking small steps to ensuring both your physical and mental health. It’s not a one and done type of treatment management. Here are five different ways to making managing your depression easier.

 

Stay in Touch

When a particularly tough depressive episode comes on, it can be easy to rationalize social isolation. However, withdrawing from friends and family can dramatically affect your mood. Socializing with friends and family gives you an opportunity to get out of your head. Also, friends and family can often be safe spaces for you to express how you’re feeling when you are feeling low.

 

Get Active

While this tip can be one of the more controversial ones, it is also one of the most beneficial ones. Easier said than done, getting active can help to lift your spirits and keep depression manageable. Exercise helps to release endorphins which boost your mood and make you feel good. Simple activities like walking, bike riding or yoga are all excellent ideas. Of course, you can always join a class which will help to ensure you actually go due to the accountability factor.

 

Avoid Drugs and Alcohol

It’s really quite tempting to come home after a tough day of “saving face” and drowning in a bottle of wine. However, alcohol is a depressant and will only worsen your mood. Additionally, drugs alter your brain’s chemistry and can make medication treatment much more complicated. After a rough day try going for a walk, taking a bath, or meeting with a friend for a green tea latte.

 

Stick to a Schedule

Depressive episodes can bring poor sleeping schedules, poor diet, and usually very little exercise routines. As hard as it may be, keeping a strict schedule can help you avoid from falling into a deep depressive episode. Things like waking up at the same time every day, eating at the same time, and going to sleep at the same time can save you from yourself. Don’t be ashamed to set alarms for things eating or drinking water as it can be easy to forget, especially during the busy workday.

 

Talk to a Therapist

Therapy can be a great way to get your thoughts and feelings out of your head. Therapy can help you adjust your life and schedule into ways that reduce stressors and boost confidence. Additionally, many people report that after seeking therapy they felt an improvement in their thinking and self-esteem. There are many different types of therapies out there, so it’s important to take your time and find the one that works best for you.

 

Some Final Thoughts…

If you have been experiencing depression or depressive episodes, it’s time to talk to someone who can help. While many of these tips are things you can do on your own, there are some things that just work better with the help of a professional. Needing additional help is no reason to feel down about yourself and many people find it beneficial to all aspects of their lives. If you or loved one are interested in speaking with someone, please call us today to make an appointment.

Finding The Right Treatment For Depression

depression

 

Depression isn’t a one size fits all illness, so that means there is no one size fits all treatment plan. What works for one person may not exactly work for you. The best and most effective way to treat depression is to become as informed about the illness as possible. Even the most severe cases of depression are treatable. If depression is stopping you from living the life you once loved, it’s time to speak with someone who can help. Learning about the different treatment options can help you and your doctor better decide which approach and treatment plan is right for you. Here’s how you can find the right treatment options that best fit your needs.

 

Learn as Much as You Can About your Depression

 

Depression can be caused by a multitude of factors. Just because it is considered a mental illness does not mean that physical ailments cannot play a role. Some underlying or undiagnosed medical condition could be are what is causing your depression. If this is the case, the physical ailment will be addressed first. The severity of your depression is also a factor and will determine how intensive treatment needs to be.

 

Individual Therapy vs. Group Therapy

 

Most people, when they hear the word “therapy“, they envision one-on-one sessions. However, there are a numerous amount of benefits that come with group therapy. Individual therapy can help you build a strong relationship with another person. This is beneficial for individuals who don’t feel comfortable sharing personal and private information with a group of “strangers.” But group therapy has its benefits as well. Hearing different viewpoints of others depression and their struggles can help you and the group build self-esteem together. Additionally, it’s possible to leave group therapy with new ideas, thought patterns, and tips on handling your depression. Some doctors may recommend a combination of group and individual depending on the person and circumstances.

 

It Does Take Time to Find the Right Treatment

 

The most important thing to remember and practice throughout your treatment process is patience. It may time some trial and error before finding the right treatment that works best. If you decide to pursue therapy, don’t be discouraged when it takes a few attempts to find a doctor you can really click with. The same goes for medicines. It may take a few different tries before you find the right medication combination that helps you the best.

 

Some Final Thoughts

 

Treating depression isn’t a one and done situation. Yes, you can take a pill and you might feel better rather quickly. Or you can choose to seek out therapy and feel better also pretty quickly. However, depression, like physical ailment or illness, isn’t cured overnight and does need to be managed. That’s why it’s so important to find the right treatment plan for you. The purpose of this plan is to be able to go back to it as many times as you need to. If you’re thinking about seeking treatment please call us today to set up an appointment to find out the plan that’s right for you.

Depression Help From Family

 

depression

Helping a family member deal with depression can be difficult for everyone. It can make family members feel helpless and lost with even broaching the subject, let alone providing guidance or help. Often times, depression can signal or worsen the negative aspects and dynamics within a family. This can cause further emotional, mental, and physical turmoil and push family members farther away. We have created a short guide to help provide assistance in handling and managing a family member who is suffering from depression. Here’s how you can help.

 

Learn the Symptoms

Depression isn’t just a “bad mood”. You can’t just “snap out of it”. Therefore it’s important to remember that depression is a physical but treatable illness. Depression symptoms manifest differently in individuals, however, they often become so severe the adversly impact day-to-day activities, social life, and relationships. If you notice a family member who has lost interest in activities they once enjoyed, are sleeping frequently or not enough, or have trouble thinking it might be time to sit down and have an open, honest discussion with them.

 

Stop the Blame Game

It’s no one’s fault that someone is suffering from depression. Therefore, playing the blame game isn’t going to make a situation better. When blaming stops, recovery begins. Cultivating a “we’re all in this together” attitude can relieve a depressed person from that cold, isolating feeling that frequently comes with depression. Fostering this teamworks attitude helps confirm that you are also willing to do whatever it takes to help them feel better.

 

Set Realistic and Expectations

When starting treatment and adjusting to new medications, there can be some interesting changes happening in the daily routine. Ultimately, this can impact all members of the family. While it’s important to remember to give your loved one some leeway, it’s also crucial to not let them totally fall off. Setting a schedule or small expectations can help families and its members retain some sense of normalcy and purpose. Patience, understanding, and compassion are most important keys to remember here.

 

We Can Help

These tips help to recognize the importance of self-care for both the family member and the person dealing with depression. It’s important to remember that the health of all family members involved are interconnected. At times, their distress may become yours and vice versa. Fortunately, we have compassionate and knowledgable specialists who can assist struggling care givers and those dealing with depression get the help they need. Call us today to find out more information on assisting a family member who is suffering from depression. Nobody has to be alone in this journey.

Dealing With Depression in New York

 

Photo by Joshua Newton on Unsplash

 

It’s completely normal to feel sad or down from time to time. Whether it’s because of a life tragedy, a series of minor inconveniences that continue to pile up to form one massive inconvenience or just the seasons changing, depression affects lots of people. Often times people will experience depression in different ways. Living in a big city, it can be easy to feel alone even when surrounded by millions. However, you don’t have to feel alone while dealing with depression. Here are a few ways to manage your depression symptoms while living in New York.

 

Join a Group

Having a close and strong network of individuals can dramatically improve your mood and lift your emotions when you are feeling depressed. Whether you join an exercise group, a reading group, or an art class, having an outlet and a support group helps to relieve depression symptoms. It’s also a great way to make new friends and have a reason to leave the house.

 

Take in Nature

While this may be harder to do as the weather turns cold, getting outside is so important to your physical and mental health. Getting fresh air and natural light can help to boost your mood and keep your spirits high. Sometimes in the concrete jungle, a little bit of nature can go along way. Don’t let the changing weather stop you from exploring parks, trails, and nature reserves.

 

Keep a Schedule

Maybe you meet a friend for coffee every Sunday or have dinner with friends or family on Wednesdays. A lot of people joke about “Taco Tuesdays” as a tradition but maintaining a schedule can help keep you going even when you feel like you can’t. As hard as it may be to reach out to friends or families sometimes, keeping those weekly traditions will go along way for your mental health.

 

Avoid Drugs and Alcohol

Using drugs or alcohol in the hope of feeling better will only prove to make you feel worse. The shame spiral that comes after a binge is not worth the temporary and fleeting feeling you might get from using these substances. Drugs and alcohol can be isolating and the last thing you need to be doing is keeping yourself away from friends and family. Of course, taking time to yourself is always encouraged, however, too much time in social isolation will only worsen your symptoms.

 

Depression prevents you from feeling any sort of satisfaction from the activities and people you once loved. Don’t let depression keep you from enjoying life, call us today to make an appointment and meet with one of our highly trained specialists. Take back your life today.

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