ways to cope

How To Get Over A Breakup-1

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.

Spring Book Recommendations- Teri

It is spring! Which means it is time for us to share some of our favorite reads as we look forward to nicer weather :) The Law of Happiness: How Spiritual Wisdom and Modern Science Can Change Your Life By Henry Cloud

We live in a world where people are always seeking happiness. Through medications, moving up the corporate ladder, and keeping up with the "Jones's", our society is filled with ideas of how to reach that feeling of true happiness.

So much of what people think will make them happy is through things on the outside, but Henry Cloud helps us see through research and biblical references that true sustainable happiness comes from the inside.

This book covers several different ways and character traits that people have to achieve sustainable happiness. Here are some of my favorite chapters:

  • Happy people are givers
  • Happy people aren't waiting for someday
  • Happy people connect
  • Happy people don't compare themselves
  • Happy people are grateful
  • Happy people have boundaries
  • Happy people forgive
  • Happy people have a faith

There are many more chapters and tons of powerful info that map out the road to happiness. Check it out for ways to overhaul your life towards a happy and fulfilling life!

Check in all week for more great books!

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.

Wellness 1

It is a new year which is often a time for people to look at their lives and set goals. Many pick goals to meet that involve health and wellness. Running the mini, eating healthy, doing an intense workout program, drinking less caffeine etc., each can work together to give you a goal of wellness. What is wellness?

Gerald Corey says the following about wellness in his book, "I never knew I had a choice":

  • It is a lifestyle choice rather than a one time decision.
  • Wellness is a process that involves identifying personal goals.
  • It involves prioritizing your goals and values.
  • Part of wellness means you have to make an action plan.
  • It is about committing yourself to following through on your plans to reach your goals.
  • It is a bridge between self-responsibility and love.
  • We are in one energy system with everything else in creation.

This week we are focusing on wellness with the hopes that you will be inspired to pick the lifestyle of wellness in your life. Keep checking in all week to learn more about it and ways to achieve it!

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.

Healthy Sexual Intimacy After Sexual Addiction

So far Teri defined sexual addiction and Tamara explained how to begin your therapeutic journey freeing yourself from an addiction.  When you are well on your way to healthy sexuality, you may feel the desire to begin a healthy intimate relationship.  It is often difficult to determine what a healthy intimate relationship feels like after an addiction.  Humans are sexual by nature.  Sex is part of a healthy balanced life.  Whether you, or your loved one who is in recovery, are ready to begin that journey, please remember the following information: Sex provides a feeling of well-being- Sexual relationships can provide feelings of safety, affirmation, and connection.  When you have an intimate partner, you share these feelings and connections.  Sex becomes something you no longer do to someone, but with someone. In addiction, sex can mean feelings of danger or shame.  But be patient, healthy connections through intimacy are rewarding.

You will feel emotional and physical sensations - In a healthy sexual relationship both intimate partners are aware of their own feelings of vulnerability and physical sensations.  In intimacy, you are open to having feelings, not trying to escape them. These are positive feelings, so there is no need to "numb out" or simply focus on your own physical pleasure.

Rediscover your creativity or passion- If you are in recovery, your brain may be healing enough to remember you once had other passions besides obsessive sexual thoughts.  While you can rediscover your passion for true intimacy, you may also rediscover your passion for other emotional outlets.  Be creative!  Pick up your old paint brush or take your old guitar out of the case.  Make time for your healthy passions in order to take care of yourself.

If you are struggling with sexual addiction, please remember you cannot have healthy intimacy until you begin addressing your addiction.  Please continue to check in with us this week as Natalie and Joleen talk about healthy sexual intimacy after addictions.

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

Adapted from Lust, Anger, Love: Understanding Sexual Addiction and the Road to Healthy Intimacy by Maureen Canning.

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

 

What Does It Mean to "Let Go"-3?

Some of us are better at letting go than others.  We all struggle with this concept at some point during our lives.  The sensation of holding on gives us this false sense of control, security, and drains us of our energy.  Sometimes, we hold on anyway because we do not know how to let go.  I hope this week gives you some hints as to how to make that happen.

  • Letting go means love more and fear less.  Choose love over fear.  Choose to love your spirit enough not to weigh it down with fear and regret.  To paraphrase a quote from His Holiness the Dalai Lama, “If you have fear of some pain or suffering, you should examine whether there is anything you can do about it. If you can, there is no need to hold onto it; if you cannot do anything, then there is also no need to hold onto it”
  • Letting go means not to regret the past, but to live for the present and the future.  How much time have you wasted going over and over a situation, punishing yourself for saying or doing the wrong thing?  How much time have you wasted thinking, “If only…”?  You cannot change the past.  It led you to exactly where you should be.  Right here right now.  To paraphrase a quote from Albus Dumbledor, “It does not do to dwell on regret and forget to live.”
  • Letting go means to focus on your own dreams and not regulate others.  We cannot control what others choose to do, but we can control ourselves.  When we focus on our own dreams, we lead by example.

One of my favorite quotes comes to mind when I think of letting go.  “Good Morning, This Is God! I will be Handling all Your Problems Today. I Will Not Need Your Help -- So Have a Good Day. I Love You!”  Keep coming back all week for more tips on how to let go.

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

Dealing With Difficult People- The Know-it-all

Do you have a difficult person in your life?  Perhaps it's a boss, or a relative-- or maybe a co-worker... or even a spouse!  This week, Imagine Hope is discussing the different types of "difficult people" and some ways to cope more effectively with each type.  Today we will cover the last type of difficult person:  The Know-it-all! The Know-it-all is a strongly opinionated, competitive, imposing, pompous and intimidating person.  They often try to make others feel foolish or dumb.  This type of difficult person might actually say demeaning or shaming things about you in front of others.  Their put-downs might feel not only overwhelming, but make it intimidating to speak up around this person.  No matter what you say to this difficult person, they can "top" you, and you don't ever feel like you can "win" with this person, much less feel heard-- they are always "right" (and you can't seem to do ANYTHING right in their eyes!!).  Dealing with this type of person in a group setting can feel like you are being squished like a bug!

What to do when dealing with a Know-it-all:

Realize that behind the know-it-all mask is someone who is very insecure.  Look at their arrogance as insecurity under the surface.

Know your facts.  Ask them to state their facts behind statements, and restate views if necessary.  Allow them to save face when they are inaccurate.  Deal with this person alone when necessary.

Don't take it personally, and don't take everything they say as factual.

Don't let them get away with things that do not add up based on the facts.  You can call this person out, but it's important to keep your fear on the back burner (don't let them see your intimidation).  Try to quiet your inner voice that makes you feel nervous or ashamed around this person, and keep reminding yourself that they are really insecure under all of that bravado shown on the outside!  Remember:  No one can take your personal power away from you unless you allow them to (under most circumstances).

Agree to disagree, or table the conversation for another time.  Getting into a power struggle will be draining and self-defeating.  Being able to say "I will agree to disagree", helps you keep your appropriate personal power, while still taking care of yourself.

We hope this week's blog has been helpful for you-- especially if you recognize that you regularly interact with a difficult person!  As always, thank you for joining us this week...

Resources:

"People Skills" by Robert Bolton, Ph.D.;   "Dealing With Difficult People" by R. Cava;  "Since Strangling Isn't an Option" by Sandra A. Crowe;  "Secrets of Dealing with Difficult People" by Mark Lauderdale, MD, FRCFC

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.

 

Dealing with Difficult People - The Sniper

Difficult people are everywhere in our life. It could be someone in our family, workplace or a friend. It could also be a distant acquaintence. It's easy to identify a difficult person, but harder to know what to do about them. Hopefully this week's blog will help with that! The Sniper 

A Sniper is someone who is great at taking pot-shots and making sneak-attack comments. This can come across as humorous put-downs, having a sarcastic tone of voice, or giving disapproving looks.

Being on the receiving end of this from a sniper is uncomfortable, and often people don't respond because they don't like confrontation, which allows the Sniper to get away with their angry comments.

What should you do with a Sniper? First of all, don't take it personally. Secondly, call their bluff. If they put you down in a humorous way say, "It sounds as if you're making fun of me, are you?" A Sniper will usually reply to such questions with denial of "I'm only joking", and this might reduce the chance of similar attacks in the future.

Other good tips in dealing with a Sniper is to remember not to defend yourself or withdraw. Defending will only get you into an arguement, and withdrawing will get you verbally abused. Ignore any malicious intent. If they say something along the lines of "Wow, do you just throw whatever food you have laying around and call it dinner?" Just respond and say, "Yes, I like to try new things around here". You have to pick your battles. Also, respect the fact that a Sniper has their own opinion too, even if you don't agree.

Maybe you're beginning to see some of the difficult people in your life, maybe not. Please check back in with us as we still have several personalities to share with you, such as Complainer & Busybody (everyone knows a Busybody!). Thank you for reading.

 

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.

Do You Know A Narcissist? 2

Narcissistic people are those who come across as selfish, mean and make the world all about them. This week we're talking about the patterns that these type of people tend to live. Here are 3 more personality characteristics: Inadequacy - this is a pattern you would see over time with a Narcissist:

  • feels that other people try to make them feel embarrassed or shamed
  • when others disagree with them, they believe that person is trying to show them that they're "wrong" or "inferior"
  • They will not give an opinion or information unless they are absolutely convinced it is correct in every way. This way they can avoid appearing stupid
  • They get great satisfaction when they can point out that other people are wrong or mis-informed

Arrogance - this is a pattern you would see over time with a Narcissist:

  • They only hang around people they believe to be considered equal or higher status
  • Disapproves of people who are uneducated & poor
  • Looks at people who don't have as much as they do as "lazy" or says they "didn't try hard enough"
  • Wants to be seen as superior in every way of life
  • Decides to join groups  because of the image it displays to others, not because they truly want to join the group

Unique and Special - this is a pattern you would see over time with a Narcissist:

  • They get impatient when they have to wait in line (because they think they shouldn't have to)
  • They bend or break rules they think are silly
  • They cut in line because they are in a hurry
  • Borrow things from people and don't return them promptly
  • They expect to receive special treatment from others

If you start to notice any of these characteristics in someone you love or someone who is close to you, we encourage you to read Loving the Self-Absorbed by Nina W. Brown, ED.D, LPC, NCC. The above information was taken from the book, but the book also shares how to live with & love a person who can be selfish. Thank you for reading!

 

Written by: Tamara Wilhelm MA, LMHC

*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.

 

 

The Masks We Wear...But Why?

Halloween can be so much fun to get dressed up and be whoever you want to be! At Halloween we give permission as a society to "pretend" to be someone else. It can be overwhelming to walk through the aisles and see all the choices! Did you realize that people wear masks every day of their lives and not just on Halloween? No not real masks- emotional ones! This week Imagine Hope is going to help you understand some emotional masks we hide behind and why.

Have you ever noticed how you might be one way around some people and put on a new "mask" in another area of your life?

Why do we hide from people? Why aren't we able to be our "real" self in all areas of our lives? Is it fear of judgment? Fear of getting hurt? An image thing? To impress others? To avoid conflict? Wearing masks keeps us from showing people who we really are and only let's others see who we want them to see.

When we find ourselves switching to a different mask, we need to slow down and ask why. When you tune into your internal self-talk, you can develop more self awareness. Understanding the messages you say to yourself will help you see the masks you wear.

If you want to have connected and fulfilling relationships with others, it's time to take off the masks and put your real self out there. Keep reading this week to hear more about the specific masks we see people use with others!

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.