Getting Help

Game Night

Do any of you watch games shows on TV? I swear, it doesn’t matter what I’m doing, but if I’m flipping channels and Wheel of Fortune is on, I have to stop and watch for a few minutes.  I have no idea why, but that show always hooks me in.

And honestly, there’s nothing better than a good Family Feud montage.  You know…where they put together all the outrageous clips of what family members have shouted out under pressure.  I find them absolutely hysterical.

I Hope You Know.

I Hope You Know.

I was sitting with a friend at lunch the other day, with a perfect view of the walking path and park.  A sweet little toddler and her dad were walking and for whatever reason she started getting frustrated (we all know how toddlers are) and the dad got on his knee, slowed down and started to calm whatever frustration baby girl was struggling with. My friend turned to me and quietly said, “I hope he knows how important he is to her…he’s her whole world.”

Her words took my breath away, because it’s so true. 

And so today, in honor of Father’s Day this month. I want to remind all of the fathers, uncles, grandpas, and best friends….You SO make a difference.  And I HOPE you know how important you are.  You see we model relationships after what we see. NOT what we hear, NOT what we believe, but what we SEE.  And the most important relationships we SEE are those that are right in front of us. 

I know you’ve all heard me say this before, but I believe that you can model very healthy relationships to your children, even if you’re divorced or separated. The determining factor is how You show up. Are you respectful? Are you kind? Do you think two steps ahead of how your words/actions/behaviors potentially injuring others? 

Your ability to positively impact your children is not determined by whether or not you stay married. It’s determined by how you treat each other.

And the role model of a father is hugely important. I know that many men see their primary job as provider. And I’m not here to argue or dispute that. The intention of this blog post is to inspire those fathers that discount the important role they play in their children’s lives or think their presence is best served by sitting on the sidelines. 

My encouragement to you is to get in the game.

You are a vital part of your children’s lives and every moment that you’re there, championing them, supporting their mom, building up their self-esteem, encouraging their successes and unconditionally loving on them as they fail has a tremendous ripple effect on their future relationships.

No matter how small the moment is, take it.  No matter how silly it may seem, slow down.  No matter how worried, stressed or scared you are, know that you have the ability to reassure the little ones in your life.

And no matter what, I hope you know how important you are. 

Happy Father’s Day from one really appreciative mom.

Yours,

A

916.955.3200 or info@lifeunscriptedcounseling.com

Fighting For Each Other or Fighting Each Other?

We’re in our intimate relationship for a reason.  Hopefully reasons.  And despite all the amazing reasons.…sometimes we need to take a step back to be sure we’re really fighting for each other and not accidentally fighting each other.

I believe in love, both personally and professionally, and sincerely believe that there are SO many reasons we should fight to make our relationships work.  (Side note: I also think that there are some reasons not to fight to make relationships work…but I digress).

Are You Free Of Clutter In Love?

Spring is in the air and it’s that fun time of year when I start to go through closets and drawers to create some extra breathing room. I’m a big believer in getting rid of the old in order to allow space for the new to come into your life.  And with my home and office being “lightened” of stuff, it makes me think about all of the areas of life we hang onto things.  Can we be cluttered in love?

Let It Be About Each Other.

Valentines is fast approaching and I feel like it’s one of our most controversial holidays….well besides whether the day after Super Bowl should be a National Holiday, but that’s a debate for another blog post.

 

Celebrating Valentine’s Day feels like it has become polarizing because of this expectation for it to be a big to-do with grand gestures while potentially neglecting the importance of small but consistent acts of love throughout the year.

How To Rock Couples Therapy

So in an effort to help, I’ve put together a list on the best ways to rock couple’s therapy and make some real change happen in love.

If you’re thinking about couple’s therapy in Sacramento and are ready to make some real changes in your relationship, here are some tools to use to get the most out of it.

1.    Be Up For The Challenge- some couples come in really skeptical and reluctant.  And I get that, it’s really overwhelming to reach out for support and allow a stranger (aka therapist) into your relationship.  Coming into therapy with an open mind and willingness to dig in and do the work is going to make it a really successful experience.

The Biggest Secret To Success in Love

Because when I learned this one, it absolutely changed the way that I looked at, experienced and showed up in love. 

It’s the power of being a great apologizer and a great forgiver.  Now by no means am I saying this is something I excel at in every given moment in my relationship. But it created an incredible shift for me once I realized how valuable these two traits were.

Are You Grading On A Curve In Love?

Grading on a curve allows us to justify our negative behavior and actions because our mate isn’t showing up the way we expect them to.  Lowering our bar on our own choices impacts our relationship more than we may realize.  It starts a steady decline that we need to pull out of quickly.

Buckling Up In Love: Are You Practicing Good Seat Belt Safety?

I mean an unfastened seat belt does nothing for you.  And lord knows, racing to buckle up mid-crash doesn’t do anything to minimize the injury. 

 

So with that logic, I have to ask if you’re practicing seat belt safety in love? Are you putting on the seat belt mid-crash or did you secure your belt well before you started the journey?

Gratitude Changes Everything....But Can It Help You Get Unstuck In Love?

In my teen years,  I so wanted my mom to respond to any crappy situation I was describing with “oh my, that’s bad, really bad.  And it’s always going to be bad. Nothing will ever change it from being so bad”.

Taken or Taking....Can We Change The Tides in Love?

But I want to flip the coin here, so stick with me for a second.  Now one of the things I’m always curious about when I’m working with couples is how they’re showing up in love. When I say “showing up”, I mean how are you behaving, acting, talking, etc? What are the ways that you create disconnection or trample connection between the two of you?  Are you sharing or withholding? Are you reaching out or shutting down?  How are you showing up?

How To Apply Therapy Skills At Home.

In my line of work, there are probably 8000 reasons for why folks put off asking for help.  Whether it’s ridiculous stigmas against mental health treatment, the taboo of actually asking for help or just plain old denial of the problem, reaching out gets delayed over and over again.   

Life Would Be Better If... We Were All A Bit More Like Charlie Brown

I never asked her why she liked Charlie Brown so much, but knowing the woman that she was, I like to think it was because Charlie Brown never gives up hope, no matter if things didn’t go his way.  That pretty much describes my Gram. She lived by the motto, “make each day count” and it was reflected in how she loved, forgave and cared for others

Who’s Not Being Heard The Most

Have you ever had one of those arguments that is going absolutely no where, but God help you if you’re actually able to step out of it?  You know the ones, when about half way through you lose track of what you’re even arguing about?  Yes friends…I’ve been there too.

It’s honestly like the argument evolves into a “who’s not being heard the most” debate and it’s toxic.  Because as far as I know restating your point with more examples, louder voices and greater repetition never got anyone anywhere.

Repair It Or You're Doomed To Repeat It.

Honestly, sometimes it sounds much more enticing to just bury the issue rather than work to repair.  But if experience has taught me anything, I know that burying it is just another way to repeat over and over again in our relationship.

And one really important thing we know for certain in relationships is, it’s not whether you have issues in your relationship (sorry folks, that’s a given), it’s the quality in which you repair those issues.

Drought Proof Your Relationship

Droughts in our relationship can be really lonely and disheartening and it’s pretty normal to wonder if we can drought proof our relationships.  

Are there things we can do to prevent our love connection from going dry?

Simply put, yes we can. But it takes some careful planning. 

 

Un-coupling: Can You Do It Successfully?

It’s often really intense work, because these couples have waited so long to come to therapy and so much damage has been done to the relationship that it becomes unrepairable.  It can also be extremely painful, especially if one partner is still holding out hope that the relationship can be healed, but the other is clearly done. 

And I applaud this work.  In fact, I welcome it in a lot of ways.  The reason? Because it takes a hell of a lot of courage to come to therapy to find a way to break up in the healthiest way possible.  

But It Worked On The Playground!

Because as a couple’s therapist, I know that long term I’m setting up my kids to fail if I tell them to “shake it off “or “don’t let it bother you” or any of those other things we may have heard growing up.

I know that the hard shell they may need to survive on the playground is actually one that’s going to do them a disservice in relationships down the road.

Caught vs Confessed. Does It Make The Truth Any Different?

For the record, the truth coming out when you’re caught is not the same as you confessing it yourself.    

The internet is blowing up right now over the Ashley Madison hack and I think you have to be living under a rock (or away from mainstream media) to not be hearing the news stories about the fallout of this.   

Yellow Light… Speed Up or Slow Down?

And after many, many years of marriage it’s a debate I don’t see being resolved any time soon.  So last weekend when this “debate” came up again, aka, my seat belt locked up on me as my husband brought the car to a screeching halt, I realized that this yellow light is pretty similar to what I see every day in my Sacramento therapy office.