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Inspiring Hope for Life & Relationships

Divorce takes a child’s normal and flips it upside down.

There is more research today available about the impact of divorce on kids than when my parents divorced when I was 10. “Helping Your kids Cope With Divorce the Sandcastles Way” is THE best resource I have found for parents as they navigate their way through parenting after divorce.

Many parents worry about the kids and want to do what is best for the kids, but they struggle with dealing with their own emotions about with the changes in their lives.

David John Berndt reminds us that “parenting is a lifelong job…you don’t divorce your kids.” If you are considering divorce, going through one, or know someone who is, we suggest you read this week as we share tips that will help your kids deal with real and/ or imagined problems they face going through divorce.

Tip #1- Stay Consistent

Kids going through divorce are dealing with a world of change. It is important for you to minimize some changes to help them feel stable.

Simple things that are easier to stay consistent with are: bedtimes, meals, chores, daily routines, etc. Also be sure to discipline and reward your kids the same as you did before the divorce. This will help kids know that YOU haven’t changed just because you got divorced. It feels safer to them to have things feel familiar.

Some change will be out of your control. Moving, school changes, and splitting time might be inevitable. But do your best to reduce the amount of change, at least in the beginning to help them establish a new normal.

Also be sure not to lie to your kids about upcoming changes because you don’t want them to worry. If you aren’t sure, or aren’t ready to tell them, simply say, “I don’t know what all the details look like about that yet, but I will let you know as soon as I have it figured out.” Also don’t make promises you can’t keep. This will cause trust issues for your kids, which will create more instability.

Read tomorrow for more tips!

Source: David John Berndt, Ph.D. www.divorcesource.com

Teri Claassen MSW, LCSW, LCAC is a licensed therapist at Imagine Hope Counseling Group. Teri does virtual therapy for residents of Indiana and Florida using videoconferencing technology. Teri enjoys doing marriage counseling, individual counseling, couples and relationship counseling. Teri also does family counseling and adolescent counseling.

How To Get Over A Break Up-3

September 25th, 2013

Participate in Hobbies

Keep up a routine of participating in hobbies you already enjoy, or find some new ones.  Hobbies can help keep you from dwelling on your feelings and focusing on the negative.  Whether it’s gardening, a dance class, painting, volunteering, or a sport, these activities give you a purpose.  Make sure to not only participate in hobbies on your own, but also hobbies you do with friends or a social group.  Be cognizant that you are not overextending yourself with hobbies in order to avoid how you are feeling about the break up.  It’s important to find a balance that works for you.

Self Care

Take care of yourself!  After a break up, you may feel little motivation to shower, eat, or go out in public.  Make sure that you are continuing your normal routine, despite how you feel.  Get up, shower, get ready for the day, plan meals, go to the gym, and make plans with others.  Do things that make you feel good-whether that is getting a massage, pedicure, haircut, buying something new for yourself, taking yourself out to a nice dinner, etc.  You may have to push yourself at times, and it may take some extra effort, but try to keep things as “normal” as possible.

Source: How to get over a break up by Nathan Feiles

 

Written by: Christy Fogg, MSW, LCSW

 

Christy Fogg, MSW, LCSW is a licensed therapist at Imagine Hope Counseling Group.  Christy enjoys doing marriage counseling, individual counseling, couples and relationship counseling.  Christy also provides family counseling, child counseling, and adolescent counseling.

Imagine Hope serves the Indianapolis area, including the surrounding areas of Carmel, Fishers, Noblesville, Zionsville, and Westfield.

How To Get Over A Breakup-1

September 23rd, 2013

Most people have experienced a hard breakup at some point in their life. The loss of the “norm” of being in a relationship can rattle you and cause strong emotional reactions. After all you are used to being connected to that person in some way, positive or negative, for a part of your life.

Even when we know that the break up might be a good thing and healthy for us, or if you are the one breaking it off, there still is a grieving period as the loss settles in. You might notice emotional spirals, irrational thought patterns, and even depression after a break up.

Know that the emotional pain is normal and expected after a break up. But be careful to not loose yourself in the pain and find yourself at a deep emotional low if you don’t push through the pain to the other side.

The Missing Piece Meets The Big O by Shel Silverstein is a great and simple reminder of what it means to be healthy in a relationship (by becoming a Big O) and stop trying to complete others by being their Missing Piece. Click Here to watch a short video of the kid’s book.

Are you a Missing Piece or A Big O? After a break up, it is important to become a Big O and roll through life in a healthy way.

Keep checking in this week for tips to follow after a break up. Remember to work towards being ok being alone and become a healthy and complete “Big O”!

 

Source: How to get over a break up by Nathan Feiles

Written by Teri Claassen MSW, LCSW, LCAC

Teri Claassen MSW, LCSW, LCAC is a licensed therapist at Imagine Hope Counseling Group. Teri does virtual therapy for residents of Indiana and Florida using videoconferencing technology. Teri enjoys doing marriage counseling, individual counseling, couples and relationship counseling. Teri also does family counseling and adolescent counseling.

The subject of ambiguous loss is a relatively new one to me, as it relates to therapy, but is one that we frequently see with our clients (as well as in our own lives!).  Pauline Boss’ book “Ambiguous Loss:  Learning To Live With Unresolved Grief” is one of the most amazing books I have read so far this spring!

What is Ambiguous Loss? 

Ambiguous Loss is when you have no closure with loss, or when loss is surrounded by uncertainty and ambiguity– examples of this are divorce,  addictions, infidelity, dealing with an aging parent, coping with the loss of a missing child, dealing with a relationship breakup, just to name a few.  Unlike death, which has finality and an ending, ambiguous loss can be traumatic in that the survivors of this type of loss still have to deal with so much uncertainty in the healing process.  The two ways Boss explains this type of loss:  When a person is present physically, but is psychologically or emotionally absent (e.g., divorce, relationship break up, mental illness, alzheimer’s disease)– or when a person is physically absent, but is still psychologically or emotionally present (e.g., a missing child, a soldier who is missing in action).

This book not only explains ambiguous loss, but helps the reader to recognize how this type of loss is surrounded by fluctuating feelings of hope to hopelessness, while trying to make sense and find meaning in such loss. 

If you recognize an area where you might be dealing with ambiguous loss, this book is highly recommended!

For clinician’s working with Ambiguous Loss in therapy, Pauline Boss’ book “Loss, Trauma, and Resilience:  Therapeutic Work with Ambiguous Loss” is a great reference in working with clients, as well.

Joleen Watson, MS, NCC, is a therapist at Imagine Hope Counseling Group. She enjoys doing marriage counseling, relationship counseling, couples counseling, and individual counseling.  Imagine Hope also specializes in family, child and adolescent counseling and serves Indianapolis area including the surrounding areas of Carmel, Noblesville, Zionsville, Westfield, and Fishers.

Before you give up on your marriage, it is important to isolate and identify what is making you feel so upset.

Why Do You Get Upset?

Are you feeling hurt, angry, resentful, abandoned?  Did your spouse ignore your request?  Did your spouse break the trust in your marriage?  What is really behind your feelings?  The main reason we feel so upset and argue is due to fear and vulnerability.  We fear disconnection, rejection, failing, feeling worthless to someone we love.  These relational fears can make us feel out of control.

When you do the hard work and realize what has you feeling so upset, you will have the power back and will be able to use it with your most heated arguments!  Once you identify what gets you upset, or your triggers, you can change the way you respond in arguments.  You can have calmer discussions, not fear fueled escalations.

Insight into your true feelings is powerful way to avoid being reactive.  You can identify your “hot button” topics and begin to be conscience of what and why you feel the way you do.  You can be mindful of your own actions and responses to your spouse.

Stay tuned tomorrow as Natalie talks more about “hot button”issues.

*Source: Why Good Marriages Go Bad by Gary Smalley www.gosmalley.com

Written by Alexa Griffith, LMHC, LCAC, NCC, RPT

Alexa Griffith, LMHC, LCAC, NCC, RPT  is a licensed therapist and Registered Play Therapist at Imagine Hope Counseling Group. Alexa enjoys doing marriage counseling, individual counseling, couples and relationship counseling. Alexa also does play therapyfamily counseling, child counseling, and adolescent counseling. Imagine Hope serves the Indianapolis area, including the surrounding areas of Carmel, Fishers, Noblesville, Zionsville, and Westfield

 

It is sad to say that the following are America’s divorce rates: 50% percent of first marriages, 67% of second and 74% of third marriages end in divorce, according to Jennifer Baker of the Forest Institute of Professional Psychology in Springfield, Missouri.

Why is that? Why do so many marriages end in divorce? At Imagine Hope we see couples on the verge of divorce all the time. Many couples are “tardy” to therapy- meaning they have waited way too long to get outside help which has caused more damage in the relationship.

Other couples come to therapy as a last resort. They start therapy with one foot out the door and only come just to said “they tried”.

Let’s be real…EVERY marriage goes through hard times. Communication gets hard, feelings are hurt, disconnect happens, and pain occurs. Most people will experience a time in their marriage that they consider getting out. But just because it gets hard doesn’t mean that you can’t fix things and have a fulfilling relationship.

The key is about reaching out for help before it is too late. Learn new ways to communicate, heal the wounds, and change painful habits. It takes dedication and commitment. The road will be bumpy at times, but in the end things can turn around as long as you don’t wait until it’s too late.

If you feel like your marriage could use a “tune up”, I encourage you to reach out. Changing things now will be easier than waiting until it’s so painful you want out.

Check in tomorrow for reasons you don’t want to abandon your marriage. Thanks for reading!

Source: “Why Good Marriages Go Bad” from gosmalley.com

Written by Teri Claassen MSW, LCSW, LCAC

Teri Claassen MSW, LCSW, LCAC is a licensed therapist at Imagine Hope Counseling Group. Teri enjoys doing marriage counseling, individual counseling, couples and relationship counseling. Teri also does family counseling, child counseling, and adolescent counseling. Imagine Hope serves the Indianapolis area, including the surrounding areas of Carmel, Fishers, Noblesville, Zionsville, and Westfield.

 Myth #2 – Love Is Fleeting

There are some people whose feelings change for their significant other very quickly.  They may be in love with Partner #1 on Tuesday, but in love with Partner #2 on Friday. This isn’t real love.

In long-term relationships, there will be periods of boredom, frustration, conflict and feeling “stuck”. These emotions do not indicate a need to end the relationship. In relationships with real love, you care enough about your mate  to figure out why you’re feeling this way, and stay in the relationship to work on getting past the rough spot.

If you’re the type of person to quit after the first conflict arises, then you’re not experiencing real love. Real love sticks though tough times and doesn’t leave at the very first sign of trouble.

Myth #3 – Love Implies Constant Closeness

Some couples mistakenly assume they must be by each other’s side constantly. They rarely do things without the other, and often don’t have friendships outside the relationship. We would also call this relationship Enmeshed. (To read more on Enmeshed relationships, visit http://www.imaginehopecounseling.com/fullarticles.php?ID=55 )

Sometimes this type of couple shows jealousy when they are apart, or when one of them wants to do something without the other. Often, there is an “all or nothing” frame of mind when they view their time spent together: Either they are constantly together & happy, or apart and fighting (because one of them is jealous or feeling rejected).

In a healthy real love relationship, each person is able to have privacy and friendships outside of the relationship. Separation is viewed as healthy and encouraged by both parties. In fact, each person understands that if separation does not occur, strain will be felt in the relationship due to the constant closeness.

We hope that everyone experiences real love and is able to throw all myths out the window. Thank you for reading, please come back for a visit as we have several more myths to uncover!

*Source: “I Never Knew I Had A Choice” by Gerald Corey

Written by: Tamara Wilhelm MA, LMHC, LCAC

*Tamara enjoys doing marriage counseling, individual counseling, & couples counseling  at Imagine Hope. We also specialize in family counseling, child & adolescent counseling. Imagine Hope serves the Indianapolis area, including the surrounding areas of Carmel, Noblesville, Zionsville, Westfield & Fishers.

People love love. Romance can be like a drug to many. But the danger of this is that people don’t truly understand what love is. They bring misconceptions about love into their relationship and end up with hurt feelings, confusion, and sometimes the ending of the relationship.

Because society has such an impact on how we view love (and we know how twisted our society’s lens of the world can be!), we want to help our readers understand the myths about love that could be doing damage in their relationships.

We are sharing from Gerald Corey’s book, “I never knew I had a choice”, and how the thoughts we have about love might keep us from feeling loved. When we have false beliefs about love, they might block the ability for love to sink in.

Myth #1- Love is Eternal

The intense feelings of love at the beginning of a relationship can be awesome, but sometimes people believe that stage of love should happen all through the relationship.

When you believe that the love shown on chick-flicks and heard on the radio must be sustained, you set yourself up for disappointment. It is unrealistic to keep up the love struck feeling long term.

As a person grows and matures, we expect them to change, right? The same is true for a relationship. As a couple grows and matures in their relationship, their love will change.

The love can deepen through good times and through conflict. You can experience a richness that is much more intense than the beginning phases of a relationship.

Some couples struggle with the changes. They fight for the love struck feeling and end up growing apart in different directions. They miss out on the chance to experience the depth that love can change into by believing that love is eternal.

Make sure you adjust the expectation of love as you grow as a couple. It will be much more fulfilling in the long run!

We hope you are able to see how your ideas of love are impacting your relationship. When you view love in a realistic way, you are much more likely to get the love you need in your relationship. Check in tomorrow for more!

Source: “I Never Knew I Had A Choice” by Gerald Corey

Written by Teri Claassen MSW, LCSW, LCAC

Teri Claassen MSW, LCSW, LCAC is a licensed therapist at Imagine Hope Counseling Group. Teri enjoys doing marriage counseling, individual counseling, couples and relationship counseling. Teri also does family counseling, child counseling, and adolescent counseling. Imagine Hope serves the Indianapolis area, including the surrounding areas of Carmel, Fishers, Noblesville, Zionsville, and Westfield.

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