Marriage and Family Therapy Discussions
Gratitude seems to be the new hot word lately. I have to admit, I'm bought in.Yes, I do believe in the power of positive thoughts, affirmations and quantum attraction. Today, I decided to do some research on the science behind gratitude in relationships (being that I'm a relationship therapist) and came across a very interesting research study from the University of Georgia. The study revealed that a key ingredient to improving marriages is gratitude. Believing that your spouse deeply appreciates and values you directly influences how you feel about your relationship and your spouse in turn as well as your level of relational commitment. In fact, spousal expression of gratitude was the number one predictor of marriage quality.
I often get asked what my approach is to couples work. I always respond that I pull from many theories depending on the needs of my couple. One theory that I often use is EFT. Emotionally Focused Couples Therapy (EFT) is an approach to couples therapy that looks at the attachment bond between couples and instead of seeing the conflict as a problem, we look at conflict in terms of unmet need. For example, partner one complains that the other never has time for them and is always rushing about and partner b says that partner a does not really care about them and has no appreciation. Possible unmet needs in this scenario might be that partner a feels uncared for, unlovable and not good enough. Partner b may be feeling unseen, unappreciated and unloved. When I work with my couples I am looking for these unmet needs. I work to build a solid foundation of communication and then uncover these needs. Together, we heal these and work to see the challenge as a team. The challenge is healing one another's (each partner working to heal the others) unmet need.
Here is a resource for a great book, Hold Me Tight by Sue Johnson (founder of EFT) http://drsuejohnson.com/books/
Call for an appointment. We accept most insurances including Anthem Blue Cross and many Medi-Cal plans (530)913-5054
I wish you healing and health! Happy New Year 2018!
Therapy is a way to get in touch with yourself, get to know yourself and get to know other people as well. Another way is through personality testing like the Myers-Briggs personality test and the Enneagram.
The Myers-Briggs a few times to help direct me in career choices but not as often used as a tool for self-discovery.
There is a great book: The Road Back to You: An Enneagram Journey to Self-Discovery by Ian Morgan Cron and Suzanne Stabile. Reading this book, one can be better understood as to why they react in certain ways to life events, relationships, etc.
What Is the Enneagram?
The Enneagram is a model of human personality that involves nine interconnected personality types. Each personality is represented by a number.
The Nine Types
Here are the nine personality types as described by Cron and Stabile:
Type One: The Perfectionist. Ethical, dedicated and reliable, they are motivated by a desire to live the right way, improve the world, and avoid fault and blame.
Type Two: The Helper. Warm, caring and giving, they are motivated by a need to be loved and needed, and to avoid acknowledging their own needs.
Type Three: The Performer. Success-oriented, image-conscious and wired for productivity, they are motivated by a need to be (or appear to be) successful and to avoid failure.
Type Four: The Romantic. Creative, sensitive and moody, they are motivated by a need to be understood, experience their feelings and avoid being ordinary.
Type Five: The Investigator. Analytical, detached and private, they are motivated by a need to gain knowledge, conserve energy and avoid relying on others.
Type Six: The Loyalist. Committed, practical and witty, they are worst-case scenario thinkers who are motivated by fear and the need for security.
Type Seven: The Enthusiast. Fun, spontaneous and adventurous, they are motivated by a need to be happy, to plan stimulating experiences and to avoid pain.
Type Eight: The Challenger. Commanding, intense and confrontational, they are motivated by a need to be strong and avoid feeling weak or vulnerable.
Type Nine: The Peacemaker. Pleasant, laid back and accommodating, they are motivated by a need to keep the peace, merge with others and avoid conflict.
Each Type Has a Deadly Sin. This is because each strength often has weakness or can become out of balance into something possibly unhealthy.
Your Type and Your Marriage/Relationship
By looking at your type you can begin to look at how you interrelate in relationship to others. This often comes from early childhood modeling and/or possible traumas.
To test yourself: https://www.eclecticenergies.com/enneagram/dotest.php
Need Counseling? Contact us for therapy in Grass Valley and/or Nevada City area 530-913-5054
Research shows that 10-15% of teens report to being depressed. When looking into depression researchers discovered that the majority of adolescents reporting that they were depressed said that the number one reason was because of a parental conflict. Also, divorced parents who are still fighting have the highest rate of depressed children (18%).
Parenting is not easy and children who are depressed can be even more challenging to parent. For example, males tend to show their depression in the form of anger and this can create a vicious cycle of argument in the family dynamic.
What can you do as a parent? Talk about it. Just the simple gesture of showing that you care and are concerned can help alleviate your teens depression. Leave open room for communication and be non-judgmental. It is not helpful to minimize the experience of your teen (for example, “it’s not that bad” or “you’ll get over it” or “you’re fine). Also remember that you can validate feelings without validating the behavior (for example, “you must feel really sad but I’m worried that you are cutting”).
Seek counseling. Whether it is for your teen or your marriage (in the case of conflict), counseling offers a safe place to discuss feelings and thoughts without judgment.