How Feeling Leads to Healing

“The true meaning of being alive is not just to feel happy, but to experience the full range of human emotions.” –Edward Deci Sometimes people believe in the notion that all they want is “to be happy.” If this were really the case, then very few people would do anything challenging, risk-taking in relationships, or even go to a haunted house because they would probably feel feelings other than “happy.” Being happy can even get in the way when other emotions are more appropriate like being … [Read more...]

Helping kids through divorce

Unfortunately, despite many people who get married with good intentions there are a great many marriages that do end in divorce. Some stats predict that of all the children born last year, 50% of them will experience their parents divorce by the time they are 18 years old. Those same parents, with the same intentions to protect kids can accidentally make their divorce a great challenge on their children. I think the biggest NO-NO for parents divorcing is to give their child the impression … [Read more...]

How to Grieve as a Couple

My husband and I had the opportunity this past week to speak at the Share Parents support meeting in Cache Valley about grieving as a couple. Share is a national support group with local chapters who consist of mothers and fathers who have experienced infant and pregnancy loss. Together, my husband and I have lost two babies. Part of how we find meaning in our experiences is helping others heal and speaking with this group was a great experience. I'd like to share with you some of the topics we … [Read more...]

What Path Will You Choose? (Part 1)

One of the hardest things to do is staying in the status quo of a relationship that is mired in bad blood or resentment. Yet, there are couples that feel like they have to stick it out for their children and then they can leave the relationship and be happy. That is a long wait and an extended period of time that these people have been missing out on being happy. In this kind of situation there are three paths couples can take staying in the status quo, separation or divorce, and reconciliation. … [Read more...]

BIBLIOTHERAPY

It’s easy to recognize the value of literacy in our lives. Reading increases our access to education and broadens our social world. Reading develops emotional and mental strength that other modalities of sharing ideas and information cannot replicate. For example, watching a movie made from a book is a different experience than reading the book itself. When we watch a movie we surrender our own creative interpretation of the story to that of the filmmaker; we are removed from the potential of … [Read more...]

The Happy Life Challenge!

You have likely heard, or have been exposed to many health programs or healthy eating challenges. Does “The two-week juice cleanse” or “drop 20 pounds in two weeks” ring a bell? These challenges have some goal or “promise” stating that if you do this challenge you will get amazing results. Like the health food and exercise challenges, this challenge is for all that want a happier life. Try the happy life challenge for at least two weeks. It is simple. There is one basic rule. Rule: … [Read more...]

3 Relationship Tips for Successful Co-Parenting

The de-coupling process of divorce is a very difficult thing for most couples. Taking the time to process the loss and adapt to the lifestyle changes that accompany divorce can be individually painful and can feel like it takes a seemingly endless amount of time. Having children impacted, who may have limited understanding and capacity for coping, can further complicate the situation. If for whatever reason you find yourself in a co-parenting situation, here are some relationship tips to help … [Read more...]

Why we go cold on our partners

I recently came across this video by the School of Life. The video helps viewers understand the distance and cold we can sometimes feel for, or from, our partner. They don't use the word attachment in the video. Attachment is the idea that humans are born with an innate ability and desire to attach to a caregiver. Having a secure attachment to our parents creates a safe world where little human children feel safe and free to explore. Children with strong attachment regulate their emotions … [Read more...]

How to See Life from the Other Side

I saw a great quote the other day. It said, "Just because you are right does not mean I am wrong. You just haven't seen life from my side." This concept is very applicable in communication between partners. Even though most of us may not realize what we are doing, we often go into a mode of trying to defend ourselves and prove who is right in a conversation. Time and again in therapy (and in my own personal life!) I have seen that trying to prove you are right will usually get you nowhere. So, … [Read more...]

Courageous Conversations

I recently finished reading a book by one of my favorite authors, Atul Gawande, M.D., entitled Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters In The End. In his book, Dr. Gawande primarily discusses decisions related to end of life care and outlines the differences between the medical, information-providing model of addressing these issues and newly emerging, more humane ways of having hard conversations. The kind of conversations Gawande encourages readers to have are not just applicable to end … [Read more...]