Adult Play

Create Fireworks in Your Marriage When You Flirt!

Create Fireworks in Your Marriage When You Flirt!

You've heard the saying, "The grass grows where it's watered". As with grass and plants, so it is in our relationships. The more effort and time you give to it, the more it will grow and weather life's challenges. That's why I love this weeks topic. It's not just about sex, it's about keeping the relationship ALIVE!

Strategies for Dealing with Anger - Part 5

Strategies for Dealing with Anger - Part 5

As we have learned this week, anger is a healthy emotion, as long as it is channeled in a healthy way.  Dealing with anger constructively can actually help our marriages become stronger-- and closer.  In order to not allow anger to become destructive, it's important to learn how to deal with it effectively.  Today, we will finish up with two more ways to deal with anger that can actually help you improve your marriage:

Systematic Enrichment

Basic Human Needs Part 4

Basic Human Needs Part 4

It is never surprising to us when couples come in with challenges they are having that revolve around not getting their needs met. Besides communication, this is usually an issue in a struggling relationship. It's so wonderful to see the change in a couple as they begin to recognize each other's needs. It's universal- we all have needs. I hope this week you have been able to see how normal and healthy it is to have them.

Lessons from Kids Movies- How To Tame Your Dragon

How To Tame Your Dragon The main lesson from How To Tame Your Dragon is Be true to yourself! 

The main character, Hiccup, is a Viking who is supposed to learn how to fight dragons to protect the village. When he gets his first chance to do this, however, he ends up saving the dragon, Toothless, instead.  Hiccup says he isn't like the rest of the Vikings. He has the courage to stand up for himself and what he believes in!

Another important lesson is that what we think is going on, doesn't necessarily mean thats that's what  is happening! The dragons are hunted in the village because they keep attacking the villagers. We find out that the reason they attack the village is because they are taking food back for the big dragon that is bullying them. If they don't comply, the bully dragon will eat them! They aren't doing it because they are mean-- they are doing it out of fear. This teaches us that when we see someone 's behavior that seems unfavorable, often times, there is pain underneath what they are doing-- even if it's not okay!

What lessons have you learned from a children's movie?

We thank you for reading and look forward to seeing everyone after the Christmas Holiday!

Joleen Watson, MS, NCC, is a therapist at Imagine Hope Counseling Group. She enjoys doing marriage counselingrelationship counselingcouples 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.

Gifts That Say "I Get You"- Spending Time Together, Chores & Help, and Physical Closeness

As Teri mentioned in her blog earlier this week, one way that our spouse or significant other might feel the most loved is when we spend good, connected, intimate time with them.  This may take priority over a tangible present or gift.  Being connected with your spouse or loved one means no distractions, having good eye contact, and truly listening to what they are saying! Spending Time Together:

What are some ways you can give the gift of your presence to your loved one?

Turn off the TV, put away all electronics and distractions, and take them on a special date!  Plan an event for them that is a surprise.  Perhaps they love the theater or concerts-- buy them tickets to an event and wrap them, including a note inside that promises an evening (or a whole day if you are feeling generous!) of undivided attention.

Give your loved one coupons they can present to you at any time, when they feel as though something is getting in the way (e.g., your cell phone, Facebook, computer games, sports or fantasy leagues).  At that very moment, you would turn from the distraction and give them your attention.

Prepare a calendar for the entire year, marking off one day per month, for 12 months, that is going to include a date for just the two of you.  Take turns alternating who plans the date (and makes arrangements for child care, if needed).

These are just a few ideas of the gift that would say "I get you", to someone who truly needs your time and attention as the most important thing to make them feel loved.

Remember, you can be as creative as you would like with this... as long as you give undivided attention and time to your loved one, they will feel like it's one of the most thoughtful gifts you could have ever given them!

Chores and Help:

Some people would prefer the gift of your time in helping them out with things they are needing.  How do you know this would be a gift for your spouse?  Does your spouse ask you repeatedly to help you with laundry, vacuuming, loading and unloading the dishwasher?  Does your spouse say that the perfect date would be finishing the family "to-do" list (even if they say it in a joking way)?  This might mean your spouse needs your help DOING things, instead of a traditional gift.

How can you get creative with help around the house?

Give coupons that represent chores.  Much like time together (above), these coupons can be given in advance and used by your spouse to go towards things they need help with around the house.  Better yet, make your own list of things you remember hearing your spouse ask you to do (but that you haven't gotten around to doing yet), and do them without them asking or knowing about it.  Get up early on Christmas morning, and have the laundry done and put away, or cook breakfast and have the kitchen cleaned up before your spouse awakens.

Physical closeness, Hugs, Kisses and Touches:

Men are historically known to appreciate the gift of physical closeness, but women can also feel appreciated and valued by receiving these "gifts" as well.  How do you know that your spouse would prefer this gift?  Does your spouse constantly need to be touching you?  Do they feel most fulfilled when you are being sexually intimate with them (or complain about a lack of touch or sex)?  When they comfort you, are they most likely to touch you through a hug or embrace?  If so, they might need these things from YOU the most!

How can you get creative with the gift of physical closeness?

Plan a surprise weekend retreat for you and your spouse (even if you don't leave your house), where you take turns giving massages.  Take a bubble bath together, or give foot massages.   Bring your spouse breakfast in bed, followed by snuggle time for an entire morning (don't forget to line up a baby sitter so the kids can be out of the house for a bit!).  Make an plan to provide your spouse with some form of intimate touch every day for the rest of the year... it doesn't have to be long and elaborate, and they will definitely notice your efforts.  Again, coupons for back rubs, snuggle time or a spa day together are good ideas, but remember that your spouse might find more meaning if the touch comes from you than a massage therapist.

Again, remember to get creative with your ideas!

Have you recognized any "gifts" that would let your significant other know that "you get them"?

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.



Lessons from Inspirational Quotes Alexa

“Men do not quit playing because they grow old.  They grow old because they quit playing.”- Oliver Windell Holmes  

How many times has someone told you to act your age?  I always found this to be confusing since there is really no accurate model or measuring tool to judge what a person should act like at a certain age.  When it comes to play beyond age 10, there are no benchmarks, no way to measure what a 37 year old woman should act like.

As children, if we are lucky, we are allowed to and even encouraged to play.  Somewhere in the space between adolescence and adulthood (a debatable time frame indeed), we become focused on work and responsibility.  Play takes the role of a lesser priority.  There is simply less time and more obligations.  Like other self-care activities, like healthy eating, exercise and sleep, play has many benefits to strengthen and lengthen our lives.

Some lifelong benefits of play are:

  • Play fosters creativity, flexibility, and learning
  • Play is an inexpensive and drug-free antidote to anxiety, depression, and isolation
  • Play connects us to others
  • Play teaches perseverance
  • Play teaches us how to lose gracefully
  • Play makes us happy

Do you remember how to play?  Do you know what made your heart soar and brought pure delight?  Do you know what your partner loves to play?  Have you played with him or her since you were dating or since the kids came?  Playing with your partner brings joy, drops defenses, heals old wounds, fosters connection, and builds trust to try new things.  Play provides the context for learning about our partners and ourselves.

It is human nature to play.  When we are able to be in the moment and enjoy our play, there are no boundaries, no repression, just joy.  We are not thinking about the past or planning for the future. We are able to be present with that moment on our lives.

Do not spend time or money searching for the fountain of youth.  It is inside you.  Play in it!

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