Imagine Hope Counseling Group

How to Forgive: Symbolism

How to Forgive: Symbolism

As Natalie discussed yesterday in Part 4 of our blog series on forgiveness, it's important to try and hang onto forgiveness, once you have gone through the steps of the process.  While she discussed some different ways you can make the commitment to forgiveness, what happens if you are struggling with this, and the memories continue to come back?

What is an Emotional Affair? Signs and Symptoms

What is an Emotional Affair? Signs and Symptoms

There are many signs of emotional affairs, if you know what to look for.  While these signs can also be related to other life issues, as well as physical or sexual infidelity, there are some common themes to look for when dealing with an emotional affair…..

How To Communicate Better Part 4

How To Communicate Better Part 4

Teri, Tammy, and Natalie have all shared some great tips so far to making our communication better. Here are a few more to add to your "relationship toolbox":

Remember that communication breakdowns aren't always personal.  Many times the issue at hand is linked to some deep rooted unresolved issues.  Try to empathize with your partner as they are trying to heal from a painful past.

How to Find Peace in Life Part 3

How to Find Peace in Life Part 3

This week, we are discussing the ever sought after goal of many of our clients— peace.  Peace of heart, peace of mind, a peaceful home, peaceful relationships, or a peaceful work environment. The issues we see in our office that bring couples, families and individuals to therapy may vary, but underneath the presenting problem is usually the same core struggle: Whatever is going on in their life feels chaotic, unsettling, insecure, or just simply without peace.

Tips for reducing stress in your life #4

Tips for reducing stress in your life #4

So, how many tips have you used this week to reduce stress in your life?  Looking for more?  Well, here they are!

  • Be optimistic
  • Visualize accomplishing your goals
  • Practice grace
  • Pray
  • Light candles

Decrease Holiday Stress-Part 4

Decrease Holiday Stress-Part 4

Teri, Tammy and Natalie have shared some really helpful tips so far in ways to decrease Holiday stress, which helps each of us to enjoy the Holiday season better.  Today I'm going to go over ways we can continue the tradition of giving during the holiday season without stressing ourselves and our bank accounts.  Tip number 4 is to watch your spending. 

Christmas Gifts that Say "I Get You"- Part 4

Christmas Gifts that Say "I Get You"- Part 4

This week we are reviewing different Christmas gift ideas for your significant other, based on the 5 Love Languages.  Do you know your significant other's Primary Love Language?  It could make a big difference this Holiday Season  in your S.O. feeling appreciated and validated!  Today we will review the last two Love Languages and gift ideas for each:

More Than Gratitude Part 5

More Than Gratitude Part 5

he month of November is often a month filled with gratitude... So, this week, Imagine Hope is sharing some of the more unconventional ways we feel gratitude in our lives! When reflecting on the things I feel grateful for, besides the most important things in my life (family, friends and loved ones), I often feel gratitude about:

All About Affairs- Healing From an Affair

All About Affairs- Healing From an Affair

The Imagine Hope ladies have shared some great statistics and information on infidelity, and how to affair proof your marriage, but what can you do if an affair has already happened?

  1. Seek out a professional counselor that has knowledge and experience in healing from infidelity.  This one is imperative, because if you can't heal from the affair, it will cause more damage to your marriage on down the road!  It's important to understand how your relationship got to this place, and without professional help, it can be difficult to do so.  We all have blind spots-- that's what makes us human.  Most of the time, it's necessary to have someone who is a neutral party help us understand things from an outside perspective.

How Emotional Trauma Affects Everyday Interactions Part 4

How Emotional Trauma Affects Everyday Interactions Part 4

This week, we have been discussing the subject of trauma-- Not the obvious kind of trauma that occurs due to a natural disaster or global catastrophic event, but the more subtle kinds of trauma that often go unrecognized.  These subtle forms of trauma impact our lives emotionally, though we often times might not recognize that is what we are experiencing. 

Tips for Positive Parenting Part 5

9.  The best way to parent in a positive way is to take care of you.  Make sure you get enough rest, good nutrition, and some time for yourself when possible.  This might require you actually scheduling time for yourself to make it happen. 10.  Have good parental boundaries.  Don't treat your child as a friend, confidante, or confess things to your child that are inappropriate.  This becomes confusing for a child and interferes with parental discipline.

11.  Don't expect to be a perfect parent-- there is no such thing!  Everyone makes mistakes, even the most loving parents.  If you do find yourself having continuous difficulty or feel yourself becoming out of control, please seek professional help.  Patterns of abuse can be prevented by early intervention.

 

Joleen Watson, MS, LMFTA, 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.

13 Essential Ingredients To A Healthy Relationship 11-13

13 Essential Ingredients To A Healthy Relationship 11-13

This week, Imagine Hope is going over the different ingredients that are needed to have a healthy relationship-- whether it's with a spouse, co-worker, friend, or family member.  Have you recognized any of the items from this week that might be missing in your relationships?

Introverts Part 5

Introverts Part 5

This week, Imagine Hope is discussing what it means to be an introvert.  

Some people assume that being an introvert means that you are shy.  That is not necessarily true!  Introverts can be very outgoing and sociable people.  In fact, many times, introverts love people-- learning about others, doing things for others, and can be very loyal, caring and loving individuals.

Taking Care of Yourself Through A Divorce Part 4

10.  Evaluate your relationships and make whatever life adjustments you feel are necessary. During a divorce, you might encounter many "Monday Morning Quarterbacks"... the people who feel like they need to give you advice on what you should have done differently, or those that might think you need to hear them repeatedly "bash" your soon-to-be-ex.  Perhaps there are people around you that encourage you do things that are self-destructive (like trying to set you up on a date, thinking it will ease your transition period... a definite no-no!), or maybe there are people around you that discourage you from doing things that ARE healthy (like shaming you for setting boundaries and taking time for yourself).  This self-care tip might also include letting go of friendships that were a big part of your ex's life or adapting to the changes in the friendships that were friends of the marriage.  At this point in your divorce recovery, it might be necessary for you to reevaluate your relationships and determine which ones are helpful and which ones are harmful.

11.  Remind yourself that you still have a future.

Sometimes when our pain or discomfort during a situation is high, it can be difficult to remember what might be on the other side of the pain.  You can say this to yourself or outloud, but either way, tell yourself that you WILL have a future ahead of you, regardless of what it feels like right now.  Divorce is a process of grieving MANY losses, not just the marriage:  a loss of relationships as you knew them, a loss of extended family and in-laws (at least a change in the relationship).  It could be the loss of what you have called "home", if you are the one leaving the primary residence.  Grieving these losses free's you up to look on down the road at some point, so allow yourself to daydream about your future and what you want to see for yourself and your life.

12.  Look at this as an opportunity for self-growth and development, and understanding of "self". 

Many times in therapy, we hear those going through a divorce trying to rush back into a relationship before they are ready (even when you think you are ready, immediately after filing for divorce is not the appropriate time for you to begin dating!)  How do we know this?  Because any time you have loss, even if it's your decision, there are many unresolved feelings to process and cope with, and unresolved feelings tend to make us unable to be "present" in our current relationships-- which means you aren't "whole" yet.  A relationship with someone who has unresolved pain and who isn't "whole" again, doesn't have a good chance of working out and isn't fair to anyone involved.  Would you want to be with someone who carries bitterness towards their soon-to-be-ex?  That will be a part of your dating relationship every day!  Or someone who is still pining after their almost-ex and still has secret hopes of getting back together or talks (or thinks) about them all of the time?  It's difficult to get to know someone if part of them is still in their old relationship.  This also starts off a relationship with secrecy and is a form of betrayal-- both to yourself and to anyone you enter a relationship with. Not a good sign for the future of that relationship-- and you don't want to go through this AGAIN, right??!! It's better to cope with it now.

Leaving a relationship means reconciling a part of you that is different.  It's important to reflect during this period and figure out what your role was in the loss of the marriage.  Were there any bits of truth in the feedback that you received from the relationship?  It' doesn't mean that you sit and stew in the negative stuff (or if there were bitter words, it doesn't mean that you take everything to heart).  It just means that you take the opportunity to see what you contributed to the relationship not working out.  Look inward and ask yourself what lessons you learned about yourself (and others) that could help you in relationships on down the road.   It truly can be a great opportunity to learn about yourself and make huge strides towards self-growth!  The most important part of this tip:  If you don't take the time to look inward and learn from the experience, you more likely to repeat the same pattern (or mistakes) over and over again.

If you or someone you know is going through a divorce, we hope that this week's blog posts have helped you in your journey towards self-care during such a difficult transition.  

Joleen Watson, MS, LMFTA, 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.