Category Archives: Couples Communication & Conflict

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

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/

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

Allie Quade

About Allie Quade

Allie Quade offers counseling services for individuals, couples, adults, and teens at Colorado Counseling Center. She specializes in helping people heal from depression, anxiety, and addiction. To learn more about Allie's counseling approach and specialties, visit coloradocounselingcenter.com/allie-quade.

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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Sarah Miller

About Sarah Miller

Sarah Miller offers marriage counseling, individual counseling, and family therapy for adults and teens at Colorado Counseling Center. She specializes in couples relationships as well as family counseling for those impacted by addiction.

Effective Apologies

Saying sorry is not that hard. Not when you’re pulling out your carry-on from the overhead compartment and you bump that unsuspecting passenger. Or when your colleague has been waiting for that email from you since yesterday morning. Not even when you’ve just cut off someone because you were in a hurry and they make sure to let their horn tell you how they feel.

But when it comes to those who live and interact with us more intimately, apologizing is one of the hardest things to do, much less do effectively. There is a price to letting others into the limited confines of our heart space—we will bump into each other. Given the inevitably of these collisions, I’d like to speak to a few principles outlined by Harriet Lerner, PhD, that can help in making effective apologies. The following principles are taken from her interview with Brene Brown. Continue reading

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.

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

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/

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

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

dont-be-a-stranger-2

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

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!

anger-is-a-gift

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

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

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

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.