Factors of everyday life can put an abundant strain on a relationship. Severe stressors may include resentment, infidelity, intimacy issues, lack of trust, and miscommunication. When problems go unresolved, or a partner is suffering from mental illness or health complications, one can feel helpless or have feelings of guilt or shame. Communicating effectively on both parts can alleviate emotional anxiety from subjects of all kind.

Couples often seek couples or marriage counseling when the relationship is at a standstill, or if they are unsure whether or not the relationship is worth salvaging. This type of therapy can benefit families with children who have been affected by relationship issues such as divorce, and confront the source of the conflict.

Treatment techniques may include the following depending on the therapist:

• Gottman Method

• Narrative Therapy

• Emotionally Focused Therapy

• Positive Psychology

• Imago Relationship Therapy

• Analyzing Your Communication

• Getting to the root of the problem

• Enhancing Intimacy

• Individual Counseling

• Couple Retreat

When a relationship is showing signs of addiction, emotional abuse, sexual abuse, and/or severe depression, seek guidance from a counselor immediately, for your safety and your partner.

 

EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) integrates elements of psychodynamic, cognitive behavioral, interpersonal, experiential, and body-centered therapies. The integration of these psychotherapies offers a structured protocol to maximize treatment effects. EMDR is an information processing therapy and uses an eight phase approach. What happens during an EMDR session?  During an EMDR session, the client pays attention to images, thoughts, feelings, and/or body sensations about a bothersome past and present experience (target memory). Bilateral stimulation can be done either by visual, tactile, or auditory movements while the person focuses on the various aspects of the memory. Often new memories (experiences) arise and it becomes the focus of the next set of dual attention. This sequence of dual attention and personal association is repeated many times in the session.

Who can benefit from EMDR?  Anyone struggling with PTSD, phobias, panic disorders, excessive grief, obsessive, compulsive or impulse control problems, victims of disasters, accident victims, dissociative disorders, marital and sexual dysfunction and enhanced performance in business, performing arts of sports.

 

Working through emotional, mental, peer, parent, family or even social media concerns is all part of this complex stage in building identity and having a competent and unbiased counselor allows for productive growth.  In an article published in the Journal of Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics, CDC researchers found that, as of 2011-2012, more than 1 in 20, or 2.6 million, U.S. children aged 6-17 years had current anxiety or depression that had previously been diagnosed by a healthcare provider. These parent report data showed slightly more boys than girls had a diagnosis of anxiety or depression. About 1 in 5 children with current anxiety and depression did not receive mental health treatment in the past year.

 

The number of situations associated with parenting and families is endless, but common conflicts can include in-laws sticking their nose your relationship, difference in opinion when it comes to raising children, and even trauma, such as domestic violence, or alcohol and drug abuse. It can be challenging to watch family members struggle, and in most cases, you may not know how to resolve the problem. Seeking support from a mental health professional can help parents and families develop acceptance and skills to repair relationships that may seem unsalvageable.

Other parenting and family issues may include:

  • Being a single parent

  • Divorce

  • Infidelity

  • Problems caused by divorced parents entering new relationships

  • Fewer opportunities for parents and children to spend time together

  • Deployment

Parenting and family issues are oftentimes intertwined. Treatment methods vary and will depend on an individual or family situation. The healing process may focus on improving communication between family members, as well as finding healthy ways of resolving a conflict. Setting clear boundaries and communicating effectively as a parental unit can set a good example for your children and/or your spouse. If a child is suffering from a genetic disorder or a mental health condition, these are topics that can be addressed with family or individual counseling. Couples counseling is effective at supporting parents in child-rearing.

 

Play therapy is a broad range of techniques used by qualified mental health professionals to accomplish therapeutic goals. Play therapy techniques can be used with clients of all ages, but is most often used with children and adolescents. Play is often referred to as “the language of children,” and therefore is extremely useful in helping a child to resolve the issues which bring them in for treatment. Whether your child is experiencing anxiety, acting out, coping with divorce, or bullying, play therapy works!

Janet Vessels, Imelda Bratton and Christopher Westerman are registered play therapist-supervisors! What does this mean? It means they have received specialized education, training, and clinical supervision in play therapy. They can offer supervision to new play therapists who are learning play therapy. Chris and Janet offer play therapy to children and families using play activities like games, art, sandtray, and helpful activities to help parent-child interactions.  An informative video about the power of play therapy is available through this link and sponsored by the Association for Play Therapy.

 

Throughout the course of our years, we all experience a loss at some point in our lives. In fact, statistics show that 1 in 5 children will experience the death of someone close to them before 18 years of age. Feelings of grief and loss are not always associated with death, however, but commonly surface after a loss of some kind – whether it is the loss of a loved one, a severed relationship, a pregnancy, a pet, or a job.

When a person loses something or someone valuable to them, feelings of grief can be overbearing. Grief can leave a person feeling sad, hopeless, isolated, irritable, and numb by affecting them mentally, emotionally, and physically. It’s important to understand that healing from grief is a process and everyone copes with this emotion differently.

Many people don’t know what to say or do when a person is grieving, but be sure to have patience with the individual (including yourself) throughout the entire process.

An alternative treatment method includes psychotherapy. Through psychotherapy, a patient may:

·        Improve coping skills

·        Reduce feelings of blame and guilt

·        Explore and process emotions