Tips on how to communicate with your partner when the conversation is heated!

  1. Ask questions and don’t make assumptions
  2. The aim of communication is a solution, not to “win”.
  3. Never label your partner when fighting. For example: Don’t call them a child or a coward. If you really feel they act childish you need to talk to them when you’re not upset and in a positive, caring way.
  4. Don’t believe that you know what the other person is thinking.
  5. Don’t just complain about your partner. Be specific in what it is you would like for them to change or work on with you.
  6. Ask for and give feedback of the major points to make sure you heard your partner correctly and understand what he/she wants.
  7. Only discuss one issue at a time. Otherwise, you may go back and forth, causing discussion to be too overwhelming and frustrating
  8. Do not use past events as weapons. Stay with the here and now.
  9. Always consider a compromise
  10. Take time to check you thoughts and feelings before you speak. Don’t be afraid to close your eyes and take time to process what’s going on.
  11. Remember: Your partner’s viewpoint is just as real to them as yours, even though your views may differ.
  12. There is never a single “winner” in a fight. You either both win by making the relationship better or you both lose.

If you and your partner continually have heated conversations and make these mistakes, you can do harmful and lasting damage to each other and your emotional health! Call us today at 317-569-0046 or send us a comment card. A therapist will respond within the business day. We would love to help you and your partner find peace in your relationship. We are experts in relationship and marriage counseling in the Indianapolis areas including Carmel, Fishers, and Noblesville.

The Secret to Keeping New Years Resolutions

One of the most difficult challenges faced by a therapist is initiating lasting change in our clients. We are all creatures of habit. Some of us are uncomfortable but are comfortable being uncomfortable because it is familiar and a habit. Almost everyone I know has struggled in keeping their New Years Resolutions, myself included. We are forced to break those difficult habits to see real change in our lives. A few years ago I felt discouraged when I reviewed my resolutions and sought to find out how to make REAL change. Change that I could commit to and change that would….well, change my life. I wanted to share what I have found to be helpful.

The Devastation of a Miscarriage

I never imagined a few years ago I would one day write about my own experience having a miscarriage. I had heard of women who had one or multiple miscarriages, but you can never fully understand the loss until you experience one yourself. My hope is that in sharing my experience, it will normalize and help others understand the pain that comes with such a devastating loss.

Suicide: An Increasing Risk for Teens

Imagine Hope Counseling Group extends our hearts, thoughts, sympathy, and prayers to all the family and friends of James Dungy, as they grieve such a monumental loss. The death of the son of our beloved Indianapolis Colt’s head coach, Tony Dungy, and the alarmingly high rate of suicide in the U.S. really emphasizes the need for continual education on suicide for our youth. Suicide rates in adolescents and youth remain unacceptably high in the United States. It is our hope that through continual education to the public on the statistics, risk factors, warning signs, and possible intervention strategies for suicide, that we will collectively work together and begin to see those numbers decline. Statistics and Facts:

SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS OF ADDICTIONS

You might be wondering why your friend or loved one is choosing drugs over friends and family. Or perhaps you are struggling with emotionally supporting someone you care about as they go through legal problems due to drug or alcohol use. Maybe you are even worried about yourself, and wondering why you can’t seem to stop using drugs or alcohol, when you promised yourself a few hours or days ago that you would cut back or stop.

Sexual Addiction?

Sexual addiction is becoming more recognized by society as a disorder and extremely serious condition. Sexual addiction has been around for centuries. Long before today, many children have been molested, many women raped, and many “Peeping Tom’s” caught. Along with these acts, comes the devastation that a sexual addiction can have on a marriage. 

Prevention is the Best Cure

Getting married is one of the biggest decisions you will ever make. It is a very exciting time for you, your family, and your friends. Too often, many couples spend more time, money, and energy planning the wedding then they do preparing for the marriage. We want to help prevent that. Chances are if you are reading this you are engaged. Hopefully this article will help you think about some things to discuss with your partner before the wedding day.

PREMARITAL COUNSELING: What To Discuss Before You Get Married

There are so many things that need to be discussed about marriage before the wedding, and unfortunate as it may be, sometimes couples can get so caught up in the planning stages of the wedding ceremony, they forget to keep the focus on what it’s really all about—the marriage and relationship after the wedding ceremony. In marriage counseling, we often hear couples talk about what they would go back and discover about each other and their relationship if they had the opportunity to turn back the clock, so to speak. Many marital issues can be prevented simply by awareness of the potential issues, along with quite a bit of hard work. Here are some of the most common issues that need to be addressed and questions that need to be discussed prior to the marriage taking place:

PLANTING THE SEED OF INTERDEPENDENCE

So often, when individuals take the first step to working on their relationships in therapy, though the issues at hand may seem very different, the end goal is the same: Interdependence. At heart, the couples we see in therapy want a deep, close, genuine, caring connection. The problem is that their own issues and emotional pain are getting in the way of their ability to grow and to work on their relationship. 

IS YOUR LIFE BALANCED?

What is the best behavioral treatment for depression, anxiety, and a host of other issues? Taking care of your self through living a balanced life! The balance in our lives is constantly shifting based on the transitions we face, whether it’s a job loss, career change, relocation, having a child, ending or starting a new relationship, or the loss of a loved one. It certainly is a lot easier said than done, but it’s absolutely achievable to lead as close to a balanced life as possible. Before you can lead a balanced life, however, you need to recognize the different areas that make up our lives:

How Your Thinking Impacts Your Relationships

There are many unhealthy patterns of thinking that we learn over the course of our lives. These unhealthy ways of thinking are called cognitive distortions- or “stinkin’ thinkin’ ”. Often times, cognitive distortions will emerge during conflict in a marriage or relationship, or during periods of emotional difficulty, such as struggles with depression, anxiety, or loss. There are a number of ways that your thoughts can become distorted. Recognizing and refuting these distorted thoughts can often alleviate unhappiness in any given situation and open new avenues of change. It is essential for individuals to recognize and work on distorted thought patterns to make significant and life long changes, or else the same patterns in relationships will emerge over and over.

Helpful Tips for Reducing Anxiety

BREATHE!

  1. Expect, allow and accept that fear will arrive.
  2. When fear comes: STOP, WAIT, and LET IT BE!
  3. Focus on and do manageable things in the present.
  4. Label your level of fear 0 to 10. Watch your level go up and down.
  5. Function with fear. Appreciate your achievement.
  6. Expect, allow, and accept that fear will reappear.

BREATHE!

If this has been helpful to you, we may be able to help you with your anxiety. Feel free to fill out a comment card or call us at 317-569-0046. We have specialists in Anxiety as well as Depression. Get help today!

Healing the Loss of Hurricane Katrina

As most of you are aware, at last count, there are 2,600 evacuees in Indianapolis from Hurricane Katrina. We welcome and embrace them as they attempt to start over in our communities. 

 

Some of us may be concerned about how to help or what to say or what not to say. We are hoping this article will relieve that anxiety and give you some direction in helping with the healing process.

Focus on Feelings

DEFINITION OF A FEELING A feeling is an internal sensation or emotion. It is an involuntary response to a mental or physical stimulus! Since feelings are involuntary, they are neither right or wrong. They just are. However, what we DO about our feelings—our reactions—are right or wrong, appropriate or inappropriate. Our actions, even including our thoughts and attitudes, do have morality; we may do good deeds or bad ones. Even what we allow ourselves to dwell on in our thoughts may be good or bad, or we may think of ways of doing good out of something bad happening—but what we feel has no morality. What you feel can’t make you a “bad” person (shame). What you feel also can’t make someone else a “bad” person. Feelings are simply spontaneous responses to some situation, either inside or outside of ourselves.