Category Archives: Connection & Vulnerability

We’re Doing the Best We Can!

By Kevin Hales, LPC

Do You Assume the Worst in Others?

In the day in which we live, it can be tempting sometimes to assume the worst in others. The driver who cuts us off can suddenly become an enemy to us. The child who defies our direction can be seen as rebellious and troublesome. The spouse who ignores or lashes out can be seen in the moment as uncaring and hateful. Yet, the reality, as unreal as it may seem, is that we’re all doing the best we can, given the knowledge and experience we have gained up until that point in our lives. 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/

Plug Back into Life

Lost in Technology

Today, it’s common to see people lost in their smartphones, heads dropped, engaged in social media, emails, or games, ignoring everything and everyone around them.  This phenomenon is the new normal.

That’s why my recent experience at Impact-Sack Lunches for the Homeless stood out.  The organization utilizes volunteers to prepare and hand out sack lunches to Denver’s homeless population. As I stood there, slicing bagels to be passed down the assembly line, I noticed a new phenomenon. It was me, my friends, and strangers, families, kids…all joining and working together on the common goal of helping someone in need. The entire day, I did not see one person on their phone.  Continue reading

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About Lisa Rosen

Lisa Rosen, MA, LPC provides couples, individual, and family therapy for adults and teens at Colorado Counseling Center. Lisa cares deeply about helping her clients, and does so with compassion, patience, and understanding. To learn more about Lisa's counseling specialties, please visit coloradocounselingcenter.com/lisa-rosen/

I Shouldn’t Feel This Way

By Jessica Downs

The word “should” has become somewhat of a “bad word” in the counseling community. We often hear the playful warning to be careful not to “should all over yourself.” The push here is to let go of what you think you should do, in exchange for doing what you want: a practice that has allowed many to reduce shame and dissatisfaction and find a more meaningful path for themselves.

But the word “should” pops up in other nasty ways, outside of our “to do” lists and judgments around our motivation and priorities. In the same way we apply judgment and pressure to our actions, we can apply it to something we have even less immediate control over: our emotions.

“I know I shouldn’t feel this way.” Continue reading

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About Jessica Downs

Jessica Downs was a valued member of the Colorado Counseling Center team through the summer of 2018, when she moved to Grand Junction to be closer to family.

How Couples Go Blind to Goodness

By Joshua Downs

How Can Couples be So Wrong about Each Other?

As a couples therapist I have lost count of how often it becomes obvious that I am sitting across from two people who are genuinely good, sincerely love each other, and who have good intentions. Yet these same two people struggle to see each other in that positive light when they are experiencing emotional distance. If I can see their hearts even when I’m witnessing them at their worst, why can’t they? Continue reading

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About Joshua Downs

Joshua Downs was a valued member of the Colorado Counseling Center team through the summer of 2018, when he moved to Grand Junction to be closer to family.

Don’t Be a Stranger: Checking-In with Your Partner

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By Joshua Downs, LCSW

I have had a number of first sessions with couples where one of them ends up saying some variation of “I didn’t know.” Whether that is “I didn’t know you were so unhappy,” or “I didn’t know we were in such a bad place” or even “I didn’t know I was so miserable.” Sometimes this realization comes after a life-changing circumstance comes to light such as infidelity, addiction, financial betrayal, etc. Sometimes the realization comes too late and the relationship ends. While there are multiple issues and patterns that can leave a partner or partners in the dark, I would like to recommend one tool that can help to increase emotional connection and a couple’s ability to truly know each other: frequent check-ins. Continue reading

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About Joshua Downs

Joshua Downs was a valued member of the Colorado Counseling Center team through the summer of 2018, when he moved to Grand Junction to be closer to family.

Anger is a Gift!

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By Kevin Hales, LPC

Emotions are a normal part of being human

That isn’t a phrase you hear too often is it?  “How in the world is anger a gift??” you might find yourself asking…

When one stubs their toe, they aren’t likely to curse their nervous system for sending signals to their brain letting them know that their toe is hurting. On the contrary, we immediately adapt our behavior to avoid further pain. I might touch tenderly around the toe to find out where it hurts most, see if it’s serious or possibly broken. I might gingerly try standing on it, walking, possibly running to see just how badly it was hurt. All of this is a natural response to a part of our body that alerts us to something that needs our attention.

Likewise, our emotions are something that are not wrong or right, they just are.  They serve a purpose not unlike our nervous system, alerting us to something that needs our attention. 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/

Healing in a World of Hurt

Healing in a World of Hurt

By Joshua Downs, LCSW

Our Basic Human Needs

As a therapist I often find that my children teach me a lot about my clients. I don’t mean to say that my clients are childish, only that they have the same basic emotional needs as my children. To me that says that human needs do not change drastically over our lifespan. And this is encouraging because it tells me that instead of complicating our ideas about what we want and need out of our relationships, we can keep things simple by focusing on children.

One of the lessons I have learned from my children is that humans need their hurt to be acknowledged by people that matter the most. Continue reading

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About Joshua Downs

Joshua Downs was a valued member of the Colorado Counseling Center team through the summer of 2018, when he moved to Grand Junction to be closer to family.

Getting Past “Just Tolerating” Your Partner

Getting Past -Just Tolerating- Your Partner

It is easy to love people in memory; the hard thing is to love them when they are there in front of you.  —John Updike

Getting past “just tolerating” your partner

John Updike must have understood a thing or two about intimate partner, long-term relationships, and about the notion of “familiarity breeds contempt.” All of us probably know someone who spoke negatively and poorly about their spouse while that person was still alive, but once that person and relationship ended through death, the living partner is known to suddenly and vocally be extolling the beautiful virtues of their spouse.

If we could only keep those virtues and feelings about our partner at the forefront when “they are there in front of you,” as Updike so beautifully expressed. It shouldn’t take something like the death of a loved one to remind us that we need to be doing more than “just tolerating” our partner. So how do we survive and thrive in long-term, committed relationships, and still maintain that interest, presence and engagement with our loved one while they are still there in front of us? Continue reading

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About Shruti Poulsen

Shruti Poulsen, LMFT, PhD is a former therapist with Colorado Counseling Center. In the fall of 2016, Shruti went on sabbatical to teach and study in Istanbul, Turkey.

Living a Meaningful Life

Living a meaningful life

By Lisa Rosen

The Secret to Happiness

Robert Waldinger, a psychiatrist and Harvard Medical school professor conducted a fascinating study on the secret to happiness. Here’s what he learned:

“The quality of people’s relationships are way more important than what we thought they were—not just for emotional well-being but also for physical health. Close relationships and social connections keep you happy and healthy. That is the bottom line. People who were concerned with achievement or less concerned with connection were less happy. Basically, humans are wired for personal connection.”  

We need each other. This is both obvious and easy to forget. We can become obsessed with chasing “success” or being “efficient” or thinking too much about ourselves and lose sight of the fact that engaging in deep and meaningful relationships is what makes life worth living. Continue reading

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About Lisa Rosen

Lisa Rosen, MA, LPC provides couples, individual, and family therapy for adults and teens at Colorado Counseling Center. Lisa cares deeply about helping her clients, and does so with compassion, patience, and understanding. To learn more about Lisa's counseling specialties, please visit coloradocounselingcenter.com/lisa-rosen/

For men, sex isn’t always about sex.

For Men,Sex isn't always about Sex

By Joshua Downs, LCSW

In Brene Brown’s book Daring Greatly, she speaks of when she was conducting research with a group of students about vulnerability and the room became lively as they discussed how uncomfortable sex can be when you’re worried about how you look. Continue reading

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About Joshua Downs

Joshua Downs was a valued member of the Colorado Counseling Center team through the summer of 2018, when he moved to Grand Junction to be closer to family.