Does Marriage Counseling Work?

Photo by henri meilhac on Unsplash

Is Marriage Counseling Worth the Effort?

By Sarah Miller

Does marriage counseling work? You may wonder if it’s worth the effort, feeling hesitant to hope there’s a way to regain the closeness you once had. All too often, couples who come to counseling say “this has been years in the making” or “we’ve known we needed this for a long time.” In the height of disconnection, during arguments or long stints of silence, helplessness sets in and your fears emerge: Can couples counseling even help us?

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What is Wrong with You!?!

by Kevin Hales, LPC

“What’s wrong with you?”

Has anyone ever said this to you? Have you ever said this to anyone you know?

We typically make this statement when something happens that goes beyond our current logical understanding and comprehension about what we deem as “normal and acceptable.” Someone said or did something that we deem stupid, irrational, illogical or just plain “wrong.”

As a society and people, we need to understand some things that surround this statement and why it is ultimately unhelpful at best and psychologically harmful at worst. Continue reading

How to Talk with Your Children About Anti-Semitism

by Sarah Miller

In light of the recent tragedy in Pittsburgh I have been reflecting on why this shooting, and this event, has impacted me more than others in the past. I have come to this conclusion: the world is a much scarier place now that I have a daughter living in it.

As someone who identifies as Jewish, anti-semitism has been a part of my story and experience. I have heard the jokes, seen the movies, and have directly been on the receiving end of anti-semitic remarks. I never considered the possibility that I would have a child go through similar experiences, and honestly, it terrifies me.

How do I explain to my daughter that there will be people in the world who hate her, solely because she exists? Because half of her is Jewish—the half I passed down to her.

I have come to the realization that these conversations are unavoidable because the history of our people is filled with times of adversity and challenges. However, they are also filled with stories of resilience and community. Continue reading

Unlocking Love

by Allie Quade

Attachment Styles: a Key to Understanding Your Relationships

Attachment is a buzz word you may have heard before, perhaps in Psych 101 class or mentioned in parenting books. But did you know that discovering what your and your partner’s attachment styles are can unlock the key to a greater understanding of your needs and theirs? Continue reading

But, are YOU in Recovery?

By Sarah Miller

When one works in the addiction field, it is common to be asked, “are you in recovery?” I remember the first time I was asked this; I felt flustered by the question because it didn’t feel like a simple “yes or no” to me, it was more of a “no, but…” or “yes, and….”

However, I’ve learned that when people ask this question, they are really asking: “Will you judge me?” or “Will you be able to understand me?” — because at the end of it all they’re just hoping to find someone who will listen and genuinely care.

Addiction 101

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Find Your Inner Strength

by Lisa Rosen

Waking Up Feeling Down

I woke up feeling down. I burned my breakfast (part of a new, flavorless diet), and I was just crabby.  I drove to the gym, seemingly hitting every red light. I walked into the group fitness room, late and water bottle-less.

This day was not off to a good start.

Rediscovering Inner Strength

Then, Melissa, our instructor, made eye contact with me.  Her eyes seemed to say, “yes, you can.” That sounds like a small thing, but it stirred something inside of me. My lost confidence started coming back. The class started, and I felt everyone’s energy around me. For the next hour, we were all in this together. Continue reading

On Scarcity and Being Enough

By Jessica Downs

Many of us walk through this world, lost in a hustle—we are exhausted, worn out, and often unsure of why we are where we are. With the ever-growing, ever looming presence of social media, and the pressure from our cultural values to perform and perfect, it’s hard to catch a break from all the things we are not, and that can work to create uncertainty and anxiety.

  • There are not enough jobs for me to find one that will make me happy.
  • I’ll never have the time to be the parent I want to be.
  • I’m not making enough money
  • My house is dated. My wardrobe is dated. My face is looking older—I’m dated!
  • I’ll never be as good-looking, fit, well-liked, successful, talented or witty as “so-and-so.”

And so we hustle. We pin, and we post, and we self-loathe because we are just not keeping up. Continue reading

Parenting & Secure Attachment

Photo by Roberto Nickson on Unsplash

By Marion Goodwin, LCSW

  • But Mooommmmmmm, when are you coming hoommmme???”
  • Do I HAVE to finish ALL of my homework before I watch YouTube?”
  • Feed the dogs? I feed them in the evening. It’s not my turn!

I’m the mother of two middle school students. Maybe you are also, or can remember when your kids were this age. Or your children are younger and you can envision how today’s tantrums could evolve to plaintive whines for attention and bargaining in the future. In any event, you are a parent or at least you have a parent, and can relate to these scenarios.

I find it interesting when others (insert Partner/Spouse/Grandparent/Friend) feel emboldened to remark on my children’s behavior:

“They don’t act like that with ME!”
“You need to nip that nonsense in the bud!” “Who’s in charge here anyway???” Continue reading

Rethinking Failure

Photo by Fernando Puente on Unsplash


By Kevin Hales, LPC

The Word that Shall Not Be Named

Failure is word that many of us don’t like to talk about. It typically taps into the inner shame that many of us feel when we have “failed.” Nobody wants to be a failure, no one wants to fail at anything they engage in. It is often our fear of failure that prevents us from engaging in new activities, careers and fields of study. Clearly the idea of failure has a powerful effect on all of us, whether or not we actually “fail” at a given task.

In my work as a therapist, I work with brave individuals who have mustered up the courage to call me up, walk through my door and to ask for help with whatever is currently getting in the way of his/her happiness and well-being. Sometimes it’s an individual struggling with addictive behavior of some sort. Perhaps it is a couple struggling in their relationship with one another. One way or another, these people often feel that they are failing in some way with their marriage or with their individual lives. They are stumbling and falling and coming up short, failing over and over again to “succeed.”

A Work in Progress

I believe it is time to rethink the idea of failure. Continue reading

Healing after Loss

Photo by Jordan Wozniak on Unsplash

What do you do when the person you rely on for shelter in life is no longer there? How do you deal with the tsunami of emotions that come with a break-up, a divorce, a death? When that person is no longer there, we feel sadness, anger, hurt, fear—sometimes all at the same time. Sue Johnson, author of Love Sense and originator of Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT) says that “we are wired for connection.” The anxiety and deep sadness we feel when we lose a loved one is not because we are “co-dependent” or “needy”, but because our partners matter to us. They impact our own need to feel accepted and loved. When a relationship ends, it is a loss. We are suddenly alone.

How do we make it through?

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