All posts by Kevin Hales

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About Kevin Hales

Kevin Hales, MA, LPC offers marriage counseling as well as individual counseling for adults and teens at Colorado Counseling Center. Kevin’s clients find that he wholeheartedly devotes himself to helping them heal and move forward in life. To learn more about Kevin's counseling specialties, please visit coloradocounselingcenter.com/kevin-hales/

Why Do We Argue So Much?! (Part 2)

Marriage Counseling Denver | Why Do We Argue So Much?!By Kevin Hales, LPCC, (with contributions from Paul Sigafus, LMFTPart 2 of 3

In our previous post (Why Do We Argue So Much, Part 1), we explored how triggers, emotional reactions, inner dialogues, and behavioral reactions can all add momentum to your marriage arguments, keeping you stuck in a negative cycle. Another key understanding that is essential to stoping this cycle is understanding your role as a pursuer or a withdrawer in your marriage. Continue reading

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About Kevin Hales

Kevin Hales, MA, LPC offers marriage counseling as well as individual counseling for adults and teens at Colorado Counseling Center. Kevin’s clients find that he wholeheartedly devotes himself to helping them heal and move forward in life. To learn more about Kevin's counseling specialties, please visit coloradocounselingcenter.com/kevin-hales/

Why Do We Argue So Much?! (Part 1)

Marriage Counseling Denver | Why Do We Argue So Much?!

By Kevin Hales, LPCC, (with contributions from Paul Sigafus, LMFT) Part 1 of 3

Here at Colorado Counseling Center, we work with a lot of couples who seek help with their relationships. With marital problems, certain topics tend to surface more than others—like sex, finances, parenting, division of labor within the home, etc. In reality, the actual topics don’t matter as much as how you resolve (or don’t resolve) these issues. This is what matters most in the grand scheme of things. Let me elaborate. Continue reading

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About Kevin Hales

Kevin Hales, MA, LPC offers marriage counseling as well as individual counseling for adults and teens at Colorado Counseling Center. Kevin’s clients find that he wholeheartedly devotes himself to helping them heal and move forward in life. To learn more about Kevin's counseling specialties, please visit coloradocounselingcenter.com/kevin-hales/

We are Wired to Connect!

by Kevin Hales, MA, LPCC

Survival Training and the Importance of Human Connection

I spent 9 years of Active Duty time in the Air Force. Although I learned many things during my time in the military, the best training I received during that time was survival training. We were trained what to do if we were ever caught by the enemy and made a Prisoner of War (POW). Wired to ConnectOne of parts of that training that sticks out to me even today was learning about other POWs that were caught during other wars, particularly Vietnam. The conditions of the Vietnam POWs were harsh to put it lightly. They were starved, tortured and treated in some of the most inhumane ways possible. There was often a no-communication policy put in place so that they weren’t able to verbally talk to one another. They were often kept in separate windowless cells as well to facilitate that policy. However, even with the conditions they lived under, they still found ways to communicate with one another. They developed a “tap code” in which they were able to tap out letters of the alphabet by knocking on the wall to one another. The prisoners over time became more creative and began communicating the tap-code through other means as well, such as coughing and sniffling (they were often perpetually sick in these unsanitary conditions). Bob Shumaker was one of those POWs and mentioned that it didn’t matter what they talked about, just that they were talking and connecting with one another. “We were focused on supporting each other, trying to make life a bit more bearable, and dreaming.”

The Transforming Power of Connection

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About Kevin Hales

Kevin Hales, MA, LPC offers marriage counseling as well as individual counseling for adults and teens at Colorado Counseling Center. Kevin’s clients find that he wholeheartedly devotes himself to helping them heal and move forward in life. To learn more about Kevin's counseling specialties, please visit coloradocounselingcenter.com/kevin-hales/

Harmony and Dissonance in Marriage and Relationships

A Harmony of Dissonance

Harmony and DissonanceOne of my passions in life is music.  I love listening to all types of music but particularly instrumental/orchestral scores. Because of this love of music, I (attempt) to play the piano and guitar occasionally as well, though I am hardly good with those instruments.  I play and practice them more in the hope that I’ll become good at them someday.

Because of my lack of expertise in playing the piano and guitar, in order for me to learn apiece of music, it takes dozens, perhaps even hundreds of attempts and practice sessions with an individual song in order to really master it and play through it smoothly and with minimal errors.  Throughout these practice sessions, I make countless errors.  I hit wrong notes consistently and the noise they make combined with the rest of the notes being played create what I call a harmony of dissonance.
A dictionary definition of harmony is “the simultaneous combination of tones, especially when blended into chords pleasing to the ear.”  Also listed are the terms “agreement, accord, harmonious relations.”  Dissonance on the other hand is an “inharmonious or harsh sound, discord.”  The paradox of the phrase “Harmony of Dissonance” then is the fact that while the combination of notes is creating music, it is music which is harsh and unpleasant to the ears.

Dissonance in Your Relationships

Have you ever experienced discord in your relationships? Do you desire to experience harmonious relationships with those you love and care about?

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About Kevin Hales

Kevin Hales, MA, LPC offers marriage counseling as well as individual counseling for adults and teens at Colorado Counseling Center. Kevin’s clients find that he wholeheartedly devotes himself to helping them heal and move forward in life. To learn more about Kevin's counseling specialties, please visit coloradocounselingcenter.com/kevin-hales/

Empathy = Connection

My youngest son is a bit of a daredevil. It’s not uncommon to see him jumping from 5 steps up on the stairs or diving headfirst off of our bed.  He’s bumped and stubbed and jabbed himself so many times that sometimes I find it hard to feel bad when he hurts himself. In fact, I often find myself rolling my eyes when he starts crying over having hurt himself yet once again! I find myself getting frustrated with him, annoyed by his clutziness and I often enter lecture-mode that I somehow expect my 2 year-old to find utterly interesting. Needless to say, my actions often don’t help the situation. At times, I find myself at least sympathizing with his plight, sorry that he’s hurt himself. The rarest moments however are when I truly empathize and connect with my son when he is hurting.
Brené Brown has done extensive research on the topic of empathy and has an informative video about empathy vs sympathy:

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About Kevin Hales

Kevin Hales, MA, LPC offers marriage counseling as well as individual counseling for adults and teens at Colorado Counseling Center. Kevin’s clients find that he wholeheartedly devotes himself to helping them heal and move forward in life. To learn more about Kevin's counseling specialties, please visit coloradocounselingcenter.com/kevin-hales/

Learning to Dance in your Marriage

When I was in college, I took a couple of dance classes so I could learn some of the basics of the more popular types of dance—and to improve my chances of meeting girls. As it turned out, dance proved to be quite difficult for me; I often found myself stepping on my partner’s toes, worrying about if my hands and feet were placed right and embarrassed by my excessively sweaty palms. Needless to say, I did not meet my future wife in dance class!

Relationships are like a dance

What I did learn though is that relationships are like a dance. In a dance, there is Learning how to dance in your marriagethe initial greeting and introduction, positions are taken on the dance floor with hands and feet in specific positions and then the music starts. Similarly, in a relationship, two people from completely different backgrounds come together and eventually form a pair. They get to know one another and over time begin to understand where each person stands in relation to the other. And then the music of the relationship starts.

Emotions are the music in the dance

Sue Johnson, the founder of EFT, teaches that emotion is the music in the dance of adult intimacy. Continue reading

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About Kevin Hales

Kevin Hales, MA, LPC offers marriage counseling as well as individual counseling for adults and teens at Colorado Counseling Center. Kevin’s clients find that he wholeheartedly devotes himself to helping them heal and move forward in life. To learn more about Kevin's counseling specialties, please visit coloradocounselingcenter.com/kevin-hales/