“First comes love, then comes marriage, then comes the baby in the baby carriage.”
Everyone that read that line knew exactly how it was supposed to end. Unfortunately this “ideal” is often not reality. Many grow up with this dream for their future. Find a partner who you choose to spend the rest of your life with, marry and eventually have children. In couples struggling with infertility, this dream can seem more like a reminder of how others have it so much easier than they do. Dreams have a way of motivating us at times but also give us a sense of being stuck when we struggle to bring them into reality.
More than 20 years ago there was a psychologist by the name of Arthur Aron. His claim: He could make two strangers fall in love. This modern day “Cupid” claimed he only needed a few things: 1 male, 1 female, a laboratory, a list of 36 questions, and eye contact.
Let me explain a little further. In this study, a heterosexual man and woman entered a lab through separate doors. They proceeded to sit face to face and answer 36 questions of a personal nature. Finally, they stared into each other’s eyes for four minutes. The result: Cupid’s arrow was right on target. They were married six months later. Hmmm…skeptical? Too good to be true?
What is the formula for giving your partner the BEST gift this holiday season? All you need to know is what their love language is. Never heard of love languages? I tell you all about them here. Don’t know what YOUR love languages are? Take the test here. Once you have that figured out…here is what you do…
Gary Chapman’s, The Five Love Languages is based on the idea that we each have our own ways we express and experience love. He believes unhappiness occurs in relationships when these ways differ than between partners. The different ways one can express love have been divided into five categories, or languages. Imagine you and your partner each spoke a different language, now imagine trying to tell your partner you love them. It might be a little tricky. Some of the message might get through, but the depth of the feelings gets lost. The same thing happens when you speak different love languages.
Below I have written a brief summary of each of the five languages. I have also included tips on what you can do if your partner’s language matches one of them. The idea is to try your best to express your love in ways that mean the most to them. Speak their language! You will get the most bang for your buck.
It is September and Christmas decorations fill the department store shelves. Children far and wide have started their lists for Santa, mainly because parents have been reminding them that “Santa is watching” for the last few months. If the thought of these things make you break out in a sweat, you are not alone. For many Americans the “holiday” season can be one of the most stressful times of the year. In fact, a 2008 poll by the American Psychological Association found that 8 out of 10 Americans anticipate stress during the holidays.
Why are the holidays so stressful? The holidays present a wide array of demands: office parties, purchasing gifts, baking, cleaning, and entertaining. For many, the biggest source of holiday stress is the obligations associated with family and family traditions. Having such high expectations and experiencing guilt at not meeting them, contributes to the stress and pressure of the holidays.
With the holidays right around the corner, here are some ways to cope with stress and have a pleasant holiday season.
It feels like things have reached a breaking point in your relationship. It isn’t just your typical marital fights anymore. You need to do something different, now. There may be a time in your relationship that you hit that wall. This is usually when a couple (or family) will decide that it is time to involve a professional. Sometimes they have connections and can get a personal referral, but other times they end up on the internet, consulting everyone’s best friend, Google.
Looking for a therapist or counselor can become overwhelming, especially with the variety of licenses and degrees out there. When deciding whether to see a marriage and family therapist (LMFT), psychologist, mental health counselor (LMHC), or social worker (LISW), it is difficult to know if they will be a good fit. While personality is always an important piece, that isn’t something you can assess before meeting with the therapist. One area that you can look at beforehand is at the therapist’s qualifications and license.
First consideration what type of therapy you are seeking. While individual therapy is the stereotypical route in many mental health fields, the research has shown couple/family therapy to be an effective treatment option for a variety of symptoms and disorders. For many issues, it has even become the preferred method of treatment. As the need for this type of therapy increases so does the concern of the amount of training mental health professionals have in this unique type of therapy.
Psychotherapy is a tool that many people find beneficial at some point in their life. The research is there to show its effectiveness in treating many of life’s problems. Sometimes a person struggles with knowing if they are experiencing a little struggle, or if it is something serious enough to seek help from a professional. Most people who come into our offices are not “crazy”. They just need a little extra help finding their way or managing life circumstances. Therapists can help with a variety of things, including, grief, trauma, anger, eating disorders, parenting issues, relationship challenges, and a variety of mental health concerns. So how do you know when things are serious enough to seek out therapy? Here are five signs that seeing a therapist may be a good idea: