All posts by Carole Vogt

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About Carole Vogt

As a counselor-emeritus at Colorado Counseling Center, Carole brought a great depth of professional experience to her counseling with couples and individuals.

HALT: A Useful Tool for Meeting Needs and Protecting Relationships

HALT: Are you Hungry, Angry, Lonely, or Tired?

HaltI have had many counseling clients over the years who have recovered from addictions by being committed to the truths learned in AA. The acronym “HALT” is a great AA teaching that I learned about early in my career as a therapist. When we are Hungry, Angry, Lonely, or Tired we are so much more likely to engage in behaviors that are not healthy, whether that manifests in addictive behavior, in our relationships, or in other areas of our lives. When we are “used up” and “frayed at the edges”, we find it much more difficult to stop and think and about what we say and what we do. When we are empty and we approach an interaction with a loved one, it takes all the effort we have not to “snap” at the other or try to illicit a reaction from our place of emotional pain. Continue reading

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About Carole Vogt

As a counselor-emeritus at Colorado Counseling Center, Carole brought a great depth of professional experience to her counseling with couples and individuals.

Repair Opportunities in Marriage

by Carole Vogt, PsyD

Opportunities to Repair in Marriage

repair your marriageThere are opportunities to exit from an argument with your partner before it becomes damaging to your relationship. Marital researcher and psychologist Dr. John Gottman has studied the difference between couples who are able to diffuse conflict and re-engage with each other and those who do not. He concludes that couples who have conflict and are able to re-connect in the midst of that conflict are able to navigate through the negativity and stay close. How do these couples do that? Continue reading

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About Carole Vogt

As a counselor-emeritus at Colorado Counseling Center, Carole brought a great depth of professional experience to her counseling with couples and individuals.

Life is Difficult

by Carole Vogt, PsyD

Wisdom for Living

I read “The Road Less Traveled” by M. Scott Peck, MD back in 1984. My mind often goes back to the first sentence in that book because it holds some of the greatest wisdom I have ever read. It goes like this:

Life is difficult. This is a great truth, one of the greatest truths. it is a great truth because once we truly see this truth, we transcend it. Once we truly know that life is difficultonce we truly understand and accept itthen life is no longer difficult.

Wow, what a concept!

Relationships are Difficult Too

pointing the finger of blameOur relationships are difficult too; but when we hold on to ideals that our loved ones “should” be perfect, we don’t allow for them to be human. We tend to be demanding and have irrational expectations of perfection from our partner that we don’t expect from ourselves. Is that why relationships are experienced as “so difficult”?

Acceptance and Compassion in Marriage

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About Carole Vogt

As a counselor-emeritus at Colorado Counseling Center, Carole brought a great depth of professional experience to her counseling with couples and individuals.

It’s the little things that keep us close

by Carole Vogt, PsyD

Daily Rituals of Connection in Marriage

My husband and I have found that for us to stay close and connected we needed to develop and stick to daily rituals. Marriage Rituals Set us FreeLike many of you reading this post, my husband and I are both busy; he owns his own business and works 6 days a week. I have a variety of activities and jobs that keep me busy. We could go for days without running into each other if we let that happen. When we don’t have time for each other it takes a toll on us as a couple. It’s too easy to just let that happen and then we both end up feeling distant and unconnected.

So, we have developed daily/weekly rituals that help us to stay close and connected. Another way to describe these are “intentional behaviors”. It’s a way for us to focus on our relationship and actively appreciate each other. An excellent book by  William Doherty, author of “Take Back Your Marriage” relates this concept as a method of staying close. I would encourage each of you reading this to find what is meaningful and works for you and your partner.

The following rituals are the ones that we have found to be effective for us…. Continue reading

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About Carole Vogt

As a counselor-emeritus at Colorado Counseling Center, Carole brought a great depth of professional experience to her counseling with couples and individuals.

Say Something…..

by Carole Vogt, PsyD

Couples Who have Lost Their Way

I have met with so many couples over the years who so desperately want to reach each other and have lost their way. I see it in their eyes and hear it in their voices. When couples find themselves in this lonely tragic place of disconnection it can feel futile, like there is no hope for them to regain a sense of love and trust.

How does this happen to two people who started out in a loving relationship where trust and connection were abundant? As a couples therapist it pains me to see a couple walk into my office and know that they have lost their way from each other and now feel despair and hopelessness. Sometimes they have even stopped talking to each other almost completely. It feels as if they are not able to speak the same language.

Marriage Therapy can Help

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About Carole Vogt

As a counselor-emeritus at Colorado Counseling Center, Carole brought a great depth of professional experience to her counseling with couples and individuals.

“Save Me, Grandma!” – The Power of Primary Emotion

By Carole Vogt, PsyD

In addition to being an Emotionally Focused Therapist, I am also a Grandma. I have taken care of my first grandchild on a regular basis for the past year. He is now 18 months old and is so full of life and confidence when he is feeling safe and secure. I am a primary attachment figure for him. He depends on me to be there for him and I am.

The other day while he was in my care at my home something terrifying happened for him. Scared child needing reassuranceYou are probably wondering, “oh no, what horrible event happened?” Here is an example of what happens when a baby, a child, or an adult is thrown into primary emotion in an instant. It wasn’t a huge event —it actually was nothing from my adult attached perspective.

The doorbell rang.

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About Carole Vogt

As a counselor-emeritus at Colorado Counseling Center, Carole brought a great depth of professional experience to her counseling with couples and individuals.

Surviving the Trenches of Parenting in a Second Marriage

When I became married to my husband we both had teenagers in our home. Granted, this is the 2nd marriage for us both so there was a long history prior to that where of course we both had earlier ages and stages of children. We both realized early on that there were going to be challenges to our new union. We both had different histories with ex-spouses and that required many hours of discussing how we would go forward in our new relationship as a united front in parenting our teens. At the time it seemed effortless, we were  “in love” and our romance was so powerful that nothing would get in the way of us staying emotionally connected!

Romantic Love in Marriage

We started our romantic love relationship as just about all couples do in our culture. We were passionate about being together and had grand expectations about how our love would get us through anything. We believed that we would be invincible in our love, able to face any obstacles seamlessly! We talked for hours about our connection and how we both were convinced that our love was “meant to be”. We didn’t know how either of us had made it this far in life without the other. Our views were the same in every area; we had the same love for reading and for music and for hiking and even our political and spiritual beliefs were identical. This stage of our marriage lasted for about a year or maybe two.
And then we both realized our relationship was changing.

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About Carole Vogt

As a counselor-emeritus at Colorado Counseling Center, Carole brought a great depth of professional experience to her counseling with couples and individuals.