What is a healthy romantic relationship?

This week we're discussing all types of relationships: romantic, friend, and family. Yesterday Teri introduced us to the styles we can get into with our friends and family, and today I'm going to discuss what a romantic relationship looks like in each of these stages. If you happen to be in a romantic relationship,

What does a Healthy Relationship Look Like?

It's Valentine's week and many people are focused on relationships. So Imagine Hope wants to help you discover what a healthy relationship looks like. This week we will not only address "Romantic Relationships", but we will also educate you on healthy family relationships and friendships. 

Signs of Adult ADD/ADHD -5

Today, we will finish up this week's blog topic:  Signs of adult ADD/ADHD. Impulsivity  Impulsivity in adult ADD/ADHD looks like the following: Difficulty in thinking about the consequences before making a decision or having a reaction, or reacting without thinking first.  Frequently interrupting others or blurting out comments before thinking.  Rushing through tasks without taking the time to read the directions and ensure that the task is completed properly.  Addictive tendencies.  Impulsivity with sitting still during important functions or meetings, which comes across as socially inappropriate or rude to others.  Overall poor self-control.

Signs of Adult ADD/ADHD- 4

Difficulty identifying, expressing, or dealing with feelings Adults who struggle with ADD/ADHD often struggle with handling negative emotions. Particularly if they are mad or feeling a lot of frustration. It can cause a lot of anxiety for them, often coming out as an angry outburst. Many times under that frustration lies feelings that they aren't aware of that can lead to challenging behaviors. Here are some common emotional struggles you may see with ADD.

H.A.L.T.- Tired

This week, we are discussing the acronym HALT- Hungry, Angry, Lonely, Tired.  As you've read, all of these can be triggers to both addictions, as well as a host of other struggles in life, such as depression, anxiety, and physical illness. 

H.A.L.T.- Lonely

H.A.L.T. is such a great acronym to use for recovery. We have been talking about recovery of addictions but we also use this for our clients who struggle with Depression and Anxiety. This is a MUST for their recovery: to not ever let themselves get too hungry, angry, lonely, or tired. 

H.A.L.T.- Hungry

H.A.L.T. stands for Hungry, Angry, Lonely, and Tired. When people use this as a guide they are saying "I should never get too Hungry, Angry, Lonely, or Tired". If they do, they could be susceptible to relapsing and/or finding themselves in a situation that they may look back and regret later.

Seeing Yourself in a New Way- 4

One of the things we help teach our clients is how to "reframe" something in their life from a negative to a positive.  This could be a characteristic of them, their spouse, or a behavior they do.  Most people become attracted to another person based on something specific, and end up in a marriage where that very characteristic ends up being something they complain about (for example, "He is so driven and successful" becomes "he is a workaholic... all he does is focus on being successful"!).  It's important that we learn how to reframe how we see things, to get us back to a better place in our relationships. But, what about our relationship with ourself?  How often do you say negative things to yourself, about yourself, for a certain characteristic you have?

When I was growing up, my parents would constantly say, "Joleen... do you have to analyze EVERYTHING??".  This didn't just stay in my list of characteristics as a child.  Throughout my entire life, I have needed to try and figure things out, to the point of it seeming to be either obsessive curiosity, or without the ability to let it go.  Only 5 or 6 years ago, I went to the zoo with my colleague (I will leave her un-named to protect her privacy), and at one point (I believe it was after my 10th question about the elephants), she finally said "Joleen, you are going to have to start using Cha Cha for these questions!!".

My relentless need to understand things can certainly feel obsessive to those around me, but it is also a curiosity that has fueled both my love of learning (I never stop), my passion for life, and my abilities as a therapist with my clients.  My clients appreciate the depth of my questions, in helping them explore different areas of their lives, and helping them gain insight and understanding into why they are the way they are.  This curiosity allows me to stay persistent to those things that might be uncomfortable to look at, but help my clients not shy away from difficult questions.  It also helps me address difficult things in my own life, and to examine them fully, which helps me find direction (and passion) in my life.

Is there a characteristic that you need to see in a new way?  We encourage you to look at yourself in a new way, and learn how to reframe that characteristic today!

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.

Seeing Yourself In A New Way- 3

Isn't it interesting to hear how other's view themselves? I would have never imagined that Tamara or Christy wanted to be any different. I LOVE their personalities. I think it is a special gift when we can see something we once saw negative in ourselves and now see it as positive. When I was little, I was often teased by my older siblings and family members for being so sensitive. It was kind of joke to see if they could get me to cry. I was sensitive to everything- animals, my stuffed animals, people hurting, the Underdog..... Don't even get me watching an episode of Little House on the Prairie. Cry a river, Natalie.

Naturally, I grew up seeing this as a negative thing and tried to talk myself out of being so sensitive. I tried to "toughen up" when I was in college. It always felt so unnatural but I kept trying. I finally gave up and gave in to it, realizing that's just who I was. But I didn't embrace it until a couple years ago.

I was sitting at a conference watching a World Vision video where they were encouraging attendees to sponsor a child. I had seen this several times before yet I still had to leave the room because I couldn't quit crying. I went out into a quiet area and cried, asking God, "WHY did you make me THIS way??!!??" I suddenly felt a calming over me when I realized He made me this way so I could do what I do.

To be an effective therapist I have to be able to empathize with others. To do some of the service I do outside of Imagine Hope I need to have a huge amount of compassion and find joy in helping others. I realized He made me this way so I could be who He wanted me to be. When we live out what we were created to be, we live with purpose. This is my purpose.

Since that day, I feel such peace knowing I'm being who I am meant to be. I also realize there are things I need to do to take care of myself to make sure I don't get "compassion fatigue." I make sure I laugh everyday, read inspiring things, spend time doing fun things, and I pray a lot. All of this helps me maintain my compassion as a positive gift rather than a negative dread.

Are you starting to notice something negative in your life that might be a positive?

Thank you for reading this week. Joleen will share with you tomorrow. Have a great day!

*Natalie Chandler, MA, LMHC, LCAC is a therapist at Imagine Hope Counseling Group. Natalie enjoys doing marriage counseling, individual counseling, and couples counseling.  We also specialize in family counseling, child, and adolescent counseling. Imagine Hope serves the Indianapolis area including the surrounding areas of Carmel, Fishers, Noblesville, Westfield, and Zionsville.

Seeing Yourself in a New Way - 2

As Christy introduced yesterday, we're taking a trait that we'd normally like to change about ourselves and spinning it into something we can see in a different, more positive way. It's interesting that Christy mentioned wanting to be a big personality....because that's exactly what I can struggle with in my life. (By the way, we love Christy and her soft, yet funny demeanor!) I was a pretty quiet and introverted girl until I hit 5th grade....and then it was like this personality explosion occurred. I became outgoing, boisterous and talkative. And. I. Haven't. Stopped.

Having a big personality means that I can be bold, straightforward, loud, ask lots of questions, speak up when I see injustice, and laugh... A LOT. But there's times I walk away from a conversation or a group setting beating myself up for having this personality. Some things I "hear" or say to myself are:

  • "You were too loud"
  • "You shouldn't have said anything"
  • "You're being selfish when you act like this"

As I've gotten older, I realize God made me to have a big personality. And it's good He made me this way! Having a big personality allows me to do many things I wouldn't do otherwise. It allows me to live life in a big, grand way. And I love that. I combat those negative, defeating thoughts with these:

  • "My straightforwardness is valuable. Others won't have to guess how I feel or walk on eggshells around me."
  • "Speaking up against things I know to be wrong protects others. I'd want someone to stand up for me in the same situation."
  • "Sometimes I am loud. It's not to get attention. I'm loud because I'm having a good time. I'm not hurting anyone."

We all have something we would like to see be different about ourselves. We challenge you to take that very thing you'd like to change and look at it in a different light, rather than wish it away altogether. Thank you for reading!

 

Written by: Tamara Portee 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.

Seeing Yourself in a New Way-1

This week on the blog, we are discussing how to reframe the way you look at yourself—and spin it into something positive! We all have character traits that we probably don’t like or wish we could change. We hope this week that you will recognize that positive can come from what we perceive to be negative: When I was younger, I wished I had a big personality. You know, the kind of personality that is loud, big, funny, and everyone loves. I wanted to have the confidence to walk into a room and be the center of attention. I wanted to be the one who had so many friends because everyone was drawn to them. I thought that if I could achieve this, everything else in my life would change too.

If you know me, you know I don’t have a big personality AT ALL. I’m an extrovert but I can be quiet. In big groups, I am not the loudest, funniest, etc. In fact, I often sit back and watch the dynamics occurring in the room between everyone (which probably explains why I’m a therapist).

I used to view my quiet extrovert-ness as a weakness. I thought it would hold me back both socially and professionally. The older I get, the more I recognize that it actually is a strength. I’ve been told that people are drawn to me, not because I’m a huge personality, but because I have a calming personality. The older I get, the more my confidence has increased—but so has my acceptance of who I am at my core. I am just not a big personality. And that’s ok!

I also have realized the value in the quality of friends I have versus the quantity of friends. The friendships I have are more about deep connection and support than about being “surfacey” or being plentiful. Also, I can be funny in small groups, but I’m never going to be the funniest—and I’ve learned to accept that.

What about you? What traits do you view as negative that you need to view as positive?

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.

 

Ways To Handle Change Better 4

Be able to see the bigger picture. Have you ever struggled during a big life change to understand why it was so painful, only to look back years (or even months) later, and feel gratitude for the change?  Sometimes we can't know why things are happening the way they are until much later.  

Sometimes, it's difficult to understand why change is taking place in the moment.  It helps try and keep a bigger perspective of why change might be happening, which could be leading us towards something better, despite the difficulty of change when it is occurring.

Being able to see a bigger picture of change helps it not feel so disorienting at the time.  It can help us be more positive and trust the process of something potentially painful.

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.

Ways to Handle Change Better 3

New Year's Resolutions. Have you given up yet?? We hope not. Change is hard and takes real intention. That's why many people give up on it and don't follow through. They don't plan the intentions. Hopefully this week you are finding some ways to handle change and stick with it. Accept Uncertainty and Be Optimistic

It's inherently within us to feel some anxiety about the future. It's the one time frame we know absolutely nothing about. We live in a constant state of uncertainty. It's how we handle it that's important. Especially when it comes to making changes. It's easy to try and guess or predict what's going to happen.

When making changes, it's good to see the possible obstacles that may come in your way. That way you can find ways to avoid or work around them. A plan is good. However, thinking of all the negative things that could happen will not do anyone any good. Think positive when thinking of outcomes. Be optimistic. Realize that if you truly give your best and what you are trying to change, most likely you will get the results you want. Accept this is a time of uncertainty, and that's okay.

One thing we try to teach is to remind clients to think of how they will feel if they follow through. For example, if de-cluttering your house is a goal, imagine what it will look like when you are finished. Or even smaller, think of how much better you'll feel taking 10 minutes each day to get rid of stuff vs. waiting until the end of the month and spending 6 hours getting rid of everything. This exercise helps you feel the outcome before you start, hopefully to motivate you to move forward with the change. It's simply being optimistic.

We wish you the best with any changes you may be hoping to make this year. Keep at it! Tomorrow Joleen will give us more tips on handling change. Thank you for reading.

*Natalie Chandler, MA, LMHC, LCAC is a therapist at Imagine Hope Counseling Group. Natalie enjoys doing marriage counseling, individual counseling, and couples counseling.  We also specialize in family counseling, child, and adolescent counseling. Imagine Hope serves the Indianapolis area including the surrounding areas of Carmel, Fishers, Noblesville, Westfield, and Zionsville.

Ways To Handle Change Better - 2

Ahhh, change. Sometimes it's welcomed, sometimes it's dreaded. I don't know about you, but I'd rather gracefully enter into change than trip and fall head first into it. This week we're offering up some tips to do just that... Think Outside The Box

Sometimes when we're facing change our vision gets near-sighted. We only see things from our perspective and from the view point of the here-and-now. We can get stuck in our heads and with our own limited thinking.

What's beneficial is to seek the perspectives of other trusted individuals who can share their own expertise and allow us to see this change from different angles. This may include discussing the change with other people or reading books by others who have gone through changes of a similar nature. Getting another's point-of-view challenges us to grow, flourish and thrive in an environment where otherwise we might have stagnated.

But this isn't all! There's still more ways to handle change better. We'll continue going over those ways in our blog this week. Thanks for reading.

 

Written by: Tamara Portee 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.

Ways to Handle Change Better-1

Happy New Year from Imagine Hope! We hope this New Year is a chance for you to reflect and grow from the last year. You may be considering making some changes in your life this year—whether big or small. Change can be hard! It’s never easy to make a change AND stick with it indefinitely. This week, we want to offer you some suggestions that may help you handle change better. We hope that these suggestions are useful as you begin your journey to a better you.

Be Persistent

With the changes you may be considering, there is always a question of whether you will succeed or not. Success is usually dependent on your persistence and not on your intelligence, education, or past successes/failures. Know what your goals are and what you need to make the change. Re-evaluate as needed. Don’t give up, even when it’s hard or you don’t see the results you want as quickly as you want. Anything worth doing takes a lot of time and persistence.

Be Flexible and Creative

It’s easy to look at a problem and only see one solution. Instead, you need to think outside of the box when you are looking at a possible change in your life. A good example is this: when it comes to weight loss, many people look at only changing diet OR only changing exercise. They put all their stock in one solution instead of seeing that success comes from hitting a problem from many angles. Any trainer will tell you that weight loss does not come from diets but from a lifestyle change—meaning you need to change everything about the way you live your life!

Check back this week as we offer more suggestions to help you handle change better!

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.

Joleens Favorite Christmas Memory

Christmas-time always brings up pleasant (and sometimes not-so-pleasant!) memories of growing up and celebrating the Holidays with my family.  One of my favorite memories from growing up is from when I was about 7.  My Grandfather on my mom's side of the family ("Grampie"), used to dress up like Santa Clause.  Every Christmas, Grampie would leave (little did we know... he was leaving to go change into his Santa costume because HE was Santa!), and not too long after he was gone, we would hear sleigh bells (little did we know... it was GRAMMIE who was ringing them outside of the back door!), and Santa would arrive.  That year, Grampie had a play microphone in his bag of toys for both my sister and I.  I remember later that evening, dancing around the living room with my sister and my Dad, singing at the top of our lungs to the radio (actually, I think it was probably a record... ha ha) and our new microphone, passing the microphone back and forth as we acted like "stars" on stage (with my Mom laughing with us in joy).  This memory is so fond to me because it is a memory of being completely carefree as a child, feeling the full presence of quality time with my Dad, sister and family.  Christmas was his all time favorite holiday, and he was all to happy to share his inner child through play with my sister and I.  My memory isn't of a gift or expensive present I received, but a memory of quality time when I felt the full presence of my family, as they helped instill in both my sister and I the true meaning of Christmas... spending time with family in celebration.  May your Christmas with your family and friends truly be a blessed one, full of love and good memories! 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.