Getting Through Divorce #divorcehelp #divorcetherapy


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Divorce. Not easy for anyone. I see many people that need help and counseling through the changes that divorce will be bringing to their lives. They often seek the support of therapy to help them move forward with their lives and be happy. Many want to understand how they can be better versions of themselves so they won’t make the same mistakes in their next relationship.

But what I see again and again is a fear of being alone.

After years of being married and having a partner by your side, being alone can feel overwhelming and bring out feelings of loneliness, anxiety and even depression. The same thing that many people fear in the beginning of their divorce often ends up being the best part of their new life.

Here is how to enjoy your newfound time alone:

1. Create a new “family” tradition.

Family doesn’t have to be a traditional structure. Family can consist of good friends and people that you love. Spend time with people you are close to. Don’t wait for the invite- ask to stop by, cook out, go for coffee.

2. Help others

Nothing is more grounding than helping people in the community. If you have a service, provide it for free to someone that couldn’t normally afford it. Help at a food bank or something that appeals you. You will be surprised at how energized the body and mind feel after being generous with others.

3. Focus on the positive.

Notice your tendencies and when you feel out of alignment with “joy”. You can change your interactions with others by slowing down. You can even change your interactions just by focusing on the good and positive. Cooking for one can be lovely when you focus on how great it feels to make a great meal just for you with all your favorites in it.

4. Do what you love.

You are the decision maker now. How do you want to fill your time? You can spend a whole Saturday reading a book. If you are doing what you love, being alone feels really good.

5. Get outside

Go for a walk and contemplate the beauty of your surroundings. A guided hike is a great way to meet other people, too. Or really go for the great outdoors and plan a solo trip- there are tons of group travel options where you could meet other people like on a yoga retreat.

Just because you are single, does not mean you have to lonely. There are so many ways to get involved and connect with others. The thing about being single is you get to choose when to be with others and when being by yourself would be great. You are meeting your own needs and that is really, really rewarding.

Joyful Living: Where to Find Love


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When it comes to dating, where do you even begin? Maybe when we were in our twenties, the bar scene was the most obvious option. But after you sign on for your first real job and have more responsibilities, the thought of going to a bar to meet Mr. or Mrs. Right might seem less interesting. It is natural when we are in our twenties, to find connections more easily. We tend to be more involved with others at this period of our lives.

That is the keyword: INVOLVED. Because- I know where you won’t meet someone….sitting on your couch! While you might want to spend some time investing in online dating, the majority of your time should be spent socializing and creating friendships with others. The biggest mistake you can make is to just go home every day after work and do nothing. Being single is not a waiting period. Enjoying the friendships and the freedom you have to explore, can lead to more possibilities of making a lasting love connection.

The first step to dating is to get out into the world with a sense of exploration and humor.

Here’s how you open the doors to finding love:

1.Get involved

Think of the activities that you love. Create a list and then find local options for you to do what you love. Love yoga? Start going to a yoga class. If you see a cute man or woman in the class, put your mat near them and make small talk. Joining a social club, running club or any club can also be a great way to grow a new network of friends and possible dates.

2.Consistency to Build Community

Make a schedule that creates consistency. If you are a “regular” somewhere, you are more likely to find someone else that is too. Seeing someone at the same place and the same time, might make it easier for both of you to start a conversation.

3.Give yourself enough time at places

If you rush in and rush out of somewhere, like that yoga class I mentioned above, you miss out on the possibility of conversation with others. Build in “lingering” time into every activity you do. If you look like you are rushing, other people that want to chat with you will think you are too busy and leave you alone. You don’t want that!

4.Get online

After you have spent time connecting and being involved with activities, then get online. Online dating sites can deplete your time and even lead to feelings of depression. Look at it as a supplement to your already busy social life, not the lifeline. The book, DATA: A Love Story by Amy Webb, has some great tips on how to be an online dating PRO.

5.Make eye contact

Looking into someone’s eyes might seem so simple, but eye contact is how humans create intimacy. If you find someone interesting, let your eyes hold for a second or two longer than you might normally do. You might start to feel the electricity just from that!

Let me know how these steps work for you! Find me on Facebook at Joyful Dating!

How to Be A Happy Mom: Parenting Advice from a Therapist


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Being a mother is one of the most joyous experiences in life. But it can also be insanely overwhelming. Each day, the experience shifts and changes making it a road of constant learning and new territories. There is little outside recognition for your time and effort. You don’t get a raise when you’ve done a good job mothering, there’s no award ceremony at the end of the year that recognizes your achievements, and there’s certainly not a cash bonus for the extra hours you’ve put in. Only you and your circle of friends and family will know what you do each day.

The writer, Mary Anne Radmacher says, “Courage doesn’t always roar. Sometimes courage is the little voice at the end of the day that says I’ll try again tomorrow.” That is mothering.

It is not easy taking this difficult path of parenting day in and day out, often without even a pat on the back for your work. What you will get is to lock eyes with your baby and share a connection of love that is beyond any tangible reward offered.

Even with this, we mothers can still feel overwhelmed at times. One of my therapy patients once described the feeling she was experiencing in that first year of mothering. She said, “I would be moving from task to task trying to make everything right and I would have this moment of just feeling like I could collapse, like my feet would give underneath me, like a character fainting in a movie.” Yet, we usually don’t faint, we just keep chugging and chugging.

This constant chugging along can begin to take its toll. Here are some tips to help you in the journey of mothering:

1.       Make time for tenderness.

Tenderness is the ultimate “Mom” reward we get, so make time for it. Don’t rush through story time or those moments of cuddling. The most important thing you can do for your child is to make them feel loved. Even though this might not be something you can check off your to-do list, such as a task like folding the laundry is, it is important. If someone puts pressure on you to finish a chore, remind them of where you are directing your time and why. Tenderness will also recharge you and reinforce why you are a mother.

2.       Resolve relationship issues.

When families begin to grow, there becomes a new dynamic within the relationship. No longer are you able to just do whatever you want, whenever you want. Responsibilities and pressures grow which can strain a relationship. You need to keep communicating- don’t let discontent fester. Life Coach, Brian Johnson says, “Unhappiness is like a slow leaking tire. At some point it deflates”. Keep in mind that your partner and you both have the same goals. Set dates with each other- even if all you can afford is a coffee date. If you are unhappy in a relationship, it is a distraction that takes you away from being present with your children and giving them the attention they need.

3.        Get enough sleep and eat healthy.

Getting good sleep and eating healthy will help control major mood swings from throwing you off balance. Catch up on your rest whenever you can. Lower your expectations of what you can accomplish so that rest becomes a priority. Certain vital systems within your body, like your liver, only work effectively when you rest. Along with rest, the body needs good food to keep the energy level high. The food you are putting in your body is fuel- high quality, real foods will sustain you longer.

4.       Seek out help.

You can’t do it all alone. Look at your day and write down the things that make you cranky and the things that overwhelm you. Always ask yourself, “How can I make my day easier?” For example, if dinner time is when you feel most frazzled, try setting aside a cooking day on Sunday afternoon. Write down your menu for the week and prep all the food you will need- veggies chopped, the salad made, meatballs put in the freezer, etc. Your partner can watch the kids and you just made your weekdays easier. Remember: where there is a problem, there is also a solution.

5.       Set aside YOU time- and commit to it.

As a mother, your day revolves around giving to others and making sure everyone is happy. Well, you are a person that deserves to be happy too! Find one exercise class or an art class, whatever it may be that you can go to without the kids, and go every week. Go when it is raining, go when you have company in town, go when you are tired. You get the idea- just go! Don’t let yourself out of the routine or make excuses. When we do something just for ourselves, it sends a powerful message to your brain, that you are important too.

Mothering is a wonderful journey filled with unexpected twists and turns. Keep your mind focused on the big picture and it will make the trip that much more rewarding.

Breakup Advice You Need to Hear


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If you are suffering from the anguish of a break-up, here is a quote you need to hear and really think about:

Breakup Advice

This is a quote from Helen Keller that can relate to so many trials and tribulations in our lives, but is wonderful advice for the post break-up individual. We often lament about the past, often even re-creating it with a rosier glow, and wishing for a different outcome. The more time we spend looking at the closed door (the past relationship), the less likely we are to see the possibilities of the future.

I encourage you to look forward at what doors might be opening for you with the freedom of being single. You may be surprised at all the good you can experience once you let go of the past and move forward with a brave, open heart and mind.





Dating Advice: Know Yourself To Find The Right Relationship


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BESTAs I work with my clients, I help them find and revel their true selves. During this process, they become able to clarify and embrace their goals for both personal and professional lives and make those “changes” that support their search for a partner who fits best with their lifestyle.
“Susan” came to me trying to understand why she just couldn’t find a man who would be stable enough to continue a relationship. As we talked, it became apparent that she was choosing the same type of person time and time again without realizing it. They all had different degrees of personality, education, and career, but, ultimately,  none of those men could sustain the early weeks/months of “behaving well”, so to speak.
Susan began to look at her history and reasons why she chose the men she did. We worked to create a profile for her and the man she hoped was out there for her. Not an “online profile” but rather a personal inventory of who she is, what she wanted in life and future goals.
It became clear that she sought out men who did not fit her “ personal inventory and dreams”. Once she began narrowing down the type of person she really wanted, she found someone! Her new boyfriend is a better fit better than anyone she previously dated. The result is that Susan is happier because her needs are being met. Together, we continue to focus on what is different this time around.
Having that clear vision helps.  Self-discovery is an eye-opening experience, and the rewards are great.
The service I provide helps you to figure out what has worked or not worked, who you are, what you want out of life, what your values are, and what you future goals are. Sometimes this also includes financial goals, and if you chose someone with different financial habits, you might find yourself extremely frustrated. 
I see many people hanging onto unfulfilling relationships only to experience anger, anxiety and frustrations.
As a relationship consultant, who also happens to be a licensed clinical therapist, we will talk through six major points that influence your relationships.
Expectations, what are yours, and your partner?
Understanding yourself and who your partner is, is an important factor healthy relationship. We must remember there are differences in outlooks, gender influences and the realization that both our families and our upbringings have had a huge influence on our outlooks on life and relationships. 
My relationship counseling will help you understand yourself so that you can pick the right person. Developing the skills to a build healthy relationship is not uncommon. Most of us learned by watching our parents’ or parent’s relationship(s), so we may have seen the red flags, but ignored them. But, by really getting to know yourself you learn to identify the red flags and not ignore them!  I will give you the tools to help you see a positive future, take chances, move forward, and let go of the past.
Please feel free to comment, or ask me questions. 
I’m passionate about helping people find a better way to a satisfying and happy future. See you soon!

How to Celebrate Valentine’s Day Without a Partner


Posted By : Sally Dee 0 Comment (1)Valentine’s Day is often looked at as the holiday for dating. Restaurants want you to dine with them on their special menu, romantic comedies premiere, and it can seem like everyone is planning out their day of love.


But what to do if you are single? Do you pine away, hoping someone, anyone, will ask you out so that you too can experience the joy of a Valentine’s Day date? Think about it…is this what you want? A date with any Joe Schmoe or Jane Doe can easily become a qualifier for an “America’s Worst Dates” show and seem like the longest night of your life.
Instead, think about how great it is that you are in charge of your date with yourself. You don’t have to sit anywhere and pretend to enjoy someone’s conversation. You can do whatever you want to do. What do you want to do- what makes you happy??? Valentine’s Day is your day to shower yourself some self-love. Do you love flowers? Buy yourself some! I guarantee you will still love to see those flowers on your dining room table even if they didn’t come from a date.


Being content can be a product of perception. This Valentine’s Day, begin with feeling content by thinking of three things that you are grateful for and writing them down. Then start the pampering process! A walk through a museum or outside in nature can be deeply soothing and supportive to the bio-rhythms we experience when we feel loved.


Call a friend that you haven’t spoken to in a while. Or volunteer somewhere for a few hours. Helping others is one of the best ways to increase your happiness.


The point is to celebrate! Plan out your day so that you honor yourself with a sense of love and appreciation. Your self-worth is not linked in any way to having a date. But self-worth is linked to how well we care for ourselves. As John Lennon said,, “There are two basic motivating forces: fear and love. When we are afraid, we pull back from life. When we are in love, we open to all that life has to offer with passion, excitement, and acceptance. We need to learn to love ourselves first, in all our glory and our imperfections. If we cannot love ourselves, we cannot fully open to our ability to love others or our potential to create. Evolution and all hopes for a better world rest in the fearlessness and open-hearted vision of people who embrace life.”


Love yourself first and enjoy your very special, totally self-guided Valentine’s Day!


Why You Need To Feel Again- Therapy Advice for the New Year


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Human beings are hard-wired to “feel”. We need to touch, talk and connect with each other to maintain optimal health, both physical health and mental health. In fact, if babies do not get enough cuddling and love within their first year of life, it affects the development of their brain growth.

Feelings are natural, and yet complex. To feel emotions requires a “give and take”. Sometimes it hurts to feel something. Sometimes it takes great courage to feel and to express what we feel. Sometimes others do not reciprocate our feeling, and that hurts.

To avoid feeling emotions that cause discomfort, we may begin to create barriers for ourselves. For example, we may not talk about our emotions, or be as tender with our loved ones, or we avoid intimacy in a number of other ways.

When we block ourselves from feeling; we are also limiting our ability to feel positive emotions, like joy and happiness. While at first it may seem scary to be so open, but allowing ourselves to feel vulnerable and then honestly evaluating our faults, fears, weaknesses, can offer true liberation.

The Law of Attraction states that what you give out is what you get back. So if you act reserved and closed off, others will mimic that energy. So let the walls crumble, and let your authentic self shine, and others will do the same.

Drugs and alcohol are another way people numb themselves from feeling and fool themselves into thinking this kind of connection is authentic. When you start to accept and understand your feelings, the desire to numb is diminished. Instead, you want to enjoy every blessed moment you have on this planet.

If you don’t even know where to begin to connect with feelings again, I can help. If you have been finding relationships never seem to work out for you, this might the reason. If your conversations with others always seem shallow, I can help. If drugs or alcohol usage is interfering with your life, I can help.

Don’t let another year pass where you hide away. Step into the world and FEEL again. You might get hurt, yes. But you will allow yourself to feel the wonder of closeness, joy and love in a way that nourishes you in every way.

Finding Holiday Joy


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We often see the “marketing” side of the holiday season. The media blasts photos of people happily shopping, cooking comforting foods and doing fun things together. But as a therapist, I know that this isn’t the whole story. I see people that have deep sadness and grief throughout the holiday season as it reminds them of a loved one they are missing. I see people that are crippled by anxiety as they wish to provide presents under the tree. I see people who feel alone. I see people that feel trapped in family roles that they can’t seem to break free from. I see people who have been stressed throughout the year, reach their breaking point.

But before YOU reach your breaking point, let’s try to change the story here. We can make the holidays better, if not even like the marketing geniuses deem it “JOYOUS”. In order to do this, you have to commit to yourself that you are going to tell a different story this year.

It begins with recognizing what exactly are the feelings you are having and why- sadness, anxiety, fear, anger, loneliness, etc. Once you identify your true feelings, here some very broad tips for helping you find your joy this season.

1. Be mindful and focus on the positive

Notice your own tendencies and when you feel out of alignment with “joy”. You can change your interactions with others by slowing down. You can even change your interactions just by focusing on the good and positive. Do more of the good and positive.

2. Set boundaries

Your enjoyment of the season is just as important as everyone else’s. Make sure you are happy too.

3. Help others

Nothing is more grounding than helping people in the community. If you have a service, provide it for free to someone that couldn’t normally afford it. Help at a food bank or something that appeals you. You will be surprised at how energized the body and mind feel after being generous with others.

4. Enjoy the outside

We tend to spend a lot of time indoors this time of year with shopping and eating. Even if your area of the country is cold, bundle up and get some fresh air. Go for a walk and contemplate the beauty of your surroundings. Plant a tree for someone who is not with you this year.

5. Plan a trip for during or after the holidays

It can be a simple weekend away where you get to enjoy a new city or a seaside adventure. Travel opens doors to relaxation and can shift us out of our unhappy states- as long as it is in the budget!

You have to decide that you want your holiday story to be a good one. You may need extra counseling to get through the month- professional or through talking with close friends. But you can do it and you can make this a time of year that feels cozy, warm and joyful.

Tips to Bringing Happiness into Your Everyday Life


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Tips to HappinessMake Your Typical Day… A Happy Day

It doesn’t take much to reset the course for happiness and give yourself a fresh start. Any decorator will tell you that the quickest way to change the feel of a room is to repaint the walls. The philosophy can be applied when creating new habits and routines for your life. Renowned business writer, John C. Maxwell says, “You will never change your life until you change something you do daily.”

First you need to look at what your typical week entails, so create a spreadsheet or list of your activities:

-Record your daily schedule (Monday – Sunday) for each hour you are awake. What do you do on a daily basis? Where do your errands take you? Who is with you? These are your “Routine Events.”

-Record your typical mood during each of the “Routine Events.” Be honest! Do you feel mad, frustrated, happy, tired, anxious, restless, content?

-Record the foods you eat each day, the hours you sleep, and your exercise routine.

-Record your ”Soul Thriving” experiences. How do you recharge? What makes you feel pampered, loved and happy each week?

Now that you have a written record, you can see where to make changes in the routine. Here are some ideas to help you initiate necessary changes:

1. Plan your week out
Our bodies and minds perform better with a balanced diet, proper rest and some “me” time. Plan time to write emails, text messages and check out social media…then stop when the period is up. Otherwise, these tasks can distract throughout the day and bog you down. Planning well will go a long way in helping you achieve balance.

2. Recruit help
The areas of your day where you are moody or fatigued usually indicate a need to recruit some help from people you trust, even if you have to negotiate a trade or pay a fee.

3. Make your mental outlook a priority
The goal is to live with enthusiasm and joy. When you feel depleted, everything seems to get out whack. Managing stress levels, exercising, getting outside and eating right all have a positive affect on your mind.

4. Practice mindfulness
When you are doing a task, do it wholeheartedly- instead of worrying about the next thing you have to do. Try taking a deep breath and staying in the moment.

5. Reward yourself…often
Buy yourself fresh flowers or have a cup of tea, go for a walk around the block or meet a friend for a latte. All of these things will help you recharge! (No donuts or junk food..that’s not a reward, it’s a punishment for your mind and body!)

It is important that no matter how full your schedule seems that you make “YOU” a priority, so you have the energy to handle the demands of your day. Reorganizing your day in small ways can make a huge difference in the levels of stress you feel each day.

Four Mantras for a Healthy Relationship


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Four Mantras for a Healthy Relationship

The Four MantrasFrom the time we are just teenagers, we come to understand that relationships are hard. We get wounded from cycles of love, from the passion and to the heart-wrenching break-ups. Sometimes we are the one causing the pain while other times we are on the receiving end. Until at some point in our adult lives, we may find the person that we want a long term relationship with, the kind of relationship that fosters growth, acceptance and true love. And then we realize that this too is hard. Feelings get hurt until emotions get pushed deep down inside leading to a relationship that doesn’t feel as fabulous and authentic as it did in the beginning. Thich Naht Hahn, a prolific writer and peace activist, nominated by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. for the 1967 Nobel Peace Prize, asserts that there are four mantras that can help build healthy relationships of love. He uses the word “mantra” for these statements because they are not just one-time thoughts, but questions to bring into your relationship over and over again. The key is repetition. The next time you are having some difficulties in your relationship do not suffer in silence. Draw your partner near you and follow the guidance of Thich Naht Hahn:

I am here for you.

How comforting is it to know someone is there listening to you? And do just that- LISTEN. You don’t need to add your perceptions or judgments, just be there.

I know you are there, and I am very happy.

How reassuring it is to know someone is beside you! This comfort will soften your partner and let them know you appreciate them.

I know you are suffering. That is why I am here for you.

How good does it feel to know that someone understands your hurt? Be there with understanding and compassion.

I suffer. Please help.

How hard is it for you to ask for help? Don’t let pride stop you from voicing this need. Even the strongest people need help. These four mantras can lead to a compassionate relationship built on love, openness and honesty. They may help you to go deeper than you ever imagined was possible in the connection of two people. For more relationship counseling please call and schedule an appointment today.