If you are unhappy in your marriage you may think there are only two options:
1.Stay together and be miserable.
2. Get a divorce.
Here is a third option...
You can have a great marriage! If you ride out the “lows” and learn from them, the relationship can be strengthened. If your relationship is at a low point and you wonder what happened?!? Here is the good news... It’s not too late to revitalize your relationship! Your relationship can improve with time and few simple strategies. Learn how to Revive your marriage.
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“Life is All About How you Handle Plan B
Plan A is always my first choice.
You know, the one where
Everything works out to be
But more often than not,
I find myself dealing with
The upside-down, inside-out version --
Where nothing goes as it should.
It's at this point that the real
Test of my character comes in..
Do I sink, or do I swim?
Do I wallow in self pity and play the victim,
Or simply shift gears
And make the best of the situation?
The choice is all mine...
Life is all about how you handle Plan B.”
by Suzy Toronto
Maybe you’ve always wished your partner would be home more (or maybe not) but, now that they are, this much time together is challenging. Why not take the free time you have right now to work on your relationship. Take this opportunity to make your marriage thrive! Come out stronger, more connected and better than you started.
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About marriage counseling
Deciding to start therapy is a huge milestone in life. What could be more important than committing to work on yourself and become the best version of you? Who you are and who you become influences every part of your life. This is why choosing the right therapist is so important. It’s essential you and your therapist are a good fit and that the person you choose has the experience and expertise to get you to the next level in life, whether you’re working on career goals, relationships, self-exploration or all of the above.
One of the considerations you might take into account when looking for a therapist is whether that therapist accepts your insurance. For many people, this is a deciding factor when choosing someone.
After all, you’re paying a premium every month for your insurance so why wouldn’t you want to use it? It can save you money on your session costs and it can help you narrow down your search by ruling out therapists who don’t accept your plan. You use your insurance for all other doctors so why not do the same for therapy, right?
New therapy seekers with this belief are often confused and frustrated by the number of therapists they find that do not accept insurance. It can be really difficult to find someone that specializes in your area of need, is close to home, fits your personality, and accepts your insurance.
Why are there so many therapists out there that don’t accept insurance?
Many consumers don’t realize that there are several downsides for both therapists and clients when using insurance to pay for therapy. Here are a few of the downsides of using insurance to pay for therapy.
1. Less Confidentiality
Everyone knows that what happens in therapy stays in therapy. Your therapist is required to keep everything you say confidential no matter what, right? When you use insurance to pay for therapy, your therapist is required to provide your diagnosis and treatment notes to your insurance company in order to get paid. This undermines the basic premise of therapy and also gives a lot more people access to private health information about you. (Out of network benefits require a diagnosis, but notes are not shared) If this is news to you, you’re not alone. It’s all written into the HIPAA document you get when you start therapy or any Dr's office but most people don’t read all the fine print.
2. Insurance-Driven Treatment Plan
When therapists take insurance, they are required to use treatment methods that are covered by your plan. This means they have less say in how to treat you based on your specific and individual needs. The people who work for your insurance company and decide which methods of therapy can be used, are usually not therapists, they have not met you and do not know what you need.
3. Quality and Quantity
Most insurance companies pay therapists a fraction of the session fee which must include time spent writing notes, treatment plans and billing.
Submitting insurance claims is time-consuming and confusing, it requires a lot of paperwork and usually takes months to get paid by insurance companies. Many therapists have to hire a billing professional to help them manage insurance claims to make sure they actually get paid. Sometimes, insurance companies decide they will not reimburse for sessions and the provider is left unpaid. Therapist who accept insurance have to see more clients which may tax them emotionally and insurance companies will only pay them for 40-45 minutes which means shorter session times, these factors effect you as a consumer.
People who pay more for therapy are usually more invested and it shows in their results. They make the most of every session, they do their homework, and they get great results. You are worth it. If you take the work seriously, you will see your investment pay off in every area of your life.
What if you can not afford to pay the full fee but you also want to make sure you get a great therapist? Fortunately, there is sometimes an in-between option.
Depending on your insurance, you may be able to get reimbursed for out of network benefits, which can mean a savings of up to 80%. This is typically available with PPO plans. To find out, call the number on the back of your insurance card and ask how much your plan pays for out of network therapists.
Then, if you do have out of network benefits, ask your therapist if he/she can provide a superbill for you to submit to your insurance for reimbursement. You will pay your therapist for the sessions up front but your insurance company will reimburse you for some of the session fees. Not every insurance plan has this benefit but it’s definitely worth a phone call to ask.
The other option is that you can use your Health Savings Account (HSA) or Flexible Spending Account (FSA) to pay for therapy. This allows you to save money because you are paying with pre-tax dollars.
Therapy with the right counselor often does not take as long as you think and is a worthwhile investment.
Make a point to stay connected with your spouse on a weekly basis. Dedicate time for some real conversation. Here are a few questions to get you started:
What are some of our best stay at home dates?
Describe your ideal date night.
How important is physical affection in our relationship? How am I doing?
What are the things you are most grateful for in our relationship?
What do you remember about our first kiss?
Relationships need time and attention. Be sure to give your relationship the time and attention it needs to thrive.
As a therapist who works with addictions, I am often asked, "Aren't there good addictions?" Great question! On the surface it seems to have a ring of truth to it. The thought behind a good addiction is that behaviors such as exercise, eating healthy, working, recreating, playing sports etc. are good, add value to life and are therefore beneficial.
In the addictions field, experts identify a true addiction by the following basic components:
1. A pattern of repetition.
An addiction, is a pattern of behavior that is repeated at various intervals. Example, an alcoholic may drink daily, just on weekends, only on days off or every few months but the behavior is still repetitive. This pattern by itself of course does not constitute and addiction.
2. Progressive degeneration.
An addiction will intensify over time. There is a tolerance effect associated with an addiction. A person will require more of the activity or substance to achieve the same effect. The food addict will need to increase intake of carbs, sugar, etc. A pot smoker will need to smoke more to relax or relieve their anxiety. Some folks believe behaviors that don't involve a substance (i.e. sex or exercise) can't form a tolerance because you are not taking a substance into your body. On the contrary, both sex and exercise create a flood of neurochemicals to the brain that are highly potent and do in fact over time create a tolerance. The implications again are the same, more is needed to achieve the same result.
3. Progressive unmanageability.
Have you ever promised yourself that you are, never going to do "it" again and found yourself unable to keep that promise? "I'm never going to drink that much again", "I am done eating ice cream!" "I am not going to work that many hours anymore." In spite of your best effort, you find yourself down the same road time and time again. The eventual outcome? Feelings of despair, shame and powerlessness.
To some degree, most of us use substances or behavior to alter our mood from time to time. When my children were younger (and sometimes now) I would find them standing in front of the pantry staring. I'd ask," Is it possible you are confusing your feelings of boredom for hunger?" Mood elevating behaviors may include shopping, eating, working, gambling, exercise and sex. When medicating emotions becomes the main go to for someone, it robs them of the growth and development that happens when a person works through difficult emotions in a healthy way.
Is my dedication to work, the hours spent and the energy invested causing me to neglect my spouse and or kids?
Does my life revolve around my hobby to the degree that I am often putting my needs/wants above those most important to me?
Do I spend large amounts of time fantasizing about .................to the degree that I am less productive at home or work?
Are my food choices causing my health to suffer?
Is my level of present exercise damaging my body but I am unable to cut back or stop?
Is my emotional well being tied to my team winning?
In the end, addictions can create devastation; emotionally, relationally, spiritually, mentally and physically. If you or anyone you know has ever struggled with an addiction you know this to be true. Conflict, divorce, legal consequences, physical ailments, ruined vocations, the list goes on.
Often, when people speak of "Good Addictions" they are referring to positive outlets in their life. These outlets may serve to enrich relationships, improve physical well being as well as provide positive focus and drive toward a productive goal if enjoyed in proper balance. Keep a healthy awareness that it is possible to have too much of a good thing!
If you or someone you love is dealing with an addiction, there is hope. There are many resources in the community that offer assistance. The first step to getting help is to acknowledge there is a problem.
Christmas. It is supposed to be the “most wonderful time of the year,” and yet it has a way of turning into the most stressful time of the year.
Maybe it’s because the family is staying with you for a week or you’re anxious about over-spending on gifts but want to be generous, or maybe you’re spending the holidays alone this year and are feeling a little lonely. Whatever the source —family, finances or painful memories—you’re not alone.
The stressor : Change
Loss of a loved one, loss of a job, a divorce, illness, empty nest for the first time. Even at the best of times, the holidays are stressful -- but when there's an additional emotional burden, they can be especially difficult.
When there's a loss or a change in our lives, our traditions change -- and that's hard because we will miss our favorite things. Anticipate how changes will affect those traditions. It's important to be open to new traditions. Take the best of the old, borrow from new people in your life, and create new traditions.
The stressor: You like things perfect — and things aren’t perfect
So you want everything to be perfect, but inevitably, something goes wrong. How can you let it go and just enjoy your time with your loved ones?
Many of us have a tendency to set unrealistic goals for ourselves, especially this time of year. Striving too hard will only further cause stress and anxiety.
Write a list of what you're going to focus on today — the stuff that deserves priority in your life — and realize that stressing over the little things isn't necessary.
The stressor: You’re lonely
Being single, especially during the Holidays can be difficult.
Between Disney fairy tales and Hallmark, it's no wonder so many singles think finding the right one is the be-all and end-all. Remind yourself that you're OK on your own.
Being alone is sometimes a choice—maybe you’re single because you broke off a relationship with someone who was selfish or non-attentive or who just didn’t make you feel as special as you deserve to feel. If that’s the case, solo is definitely the better option! Reach out to friends, do not isolate.
The stressor: Your bank account balance is dwindling
Are you totally stressed over how much you spend during the Christmas season—and who you should spend it on? You don’t want to leave anyone out but how can you give without going overboard?”
Money is tight for just about everyone this time of the year, so odds are the people in your life are experiencing the same kind of stress over gift-giving that you are. So why not take the worry out of it for both of you by acknowledging it and making a date to spend some time together instead.
Research suggests we often derive more lasting happiness and satisfaction from experiences than from material items, so you’ll both get more out of it—without putting a serious dent in your savings accounts. It’s a win-win-win!
Have a very Merry Christmas and happy New Year.
adapted from Self Magazine
Social anxiety is defined as an intense, persistent fear of being judged, negatively evaluated, or rejected in a social or performance situation. Those who live with this may struggle with school, work, church and other social situations such as parties, weddings, and family celebrations. Are you constantly self-aware, scared of doing or saying the wrong thing?
In social anxiety, words and gestures are often blown out of proportion, you may fear that the smallest thing that you have said or done may impact the way that others see you. This fear can become debilitating and prevent you from attending events that others take great pleasure in.
There are methods that can help you to keep social anxiety manageable, so you can begin to relax and enjoy yourself this Holiday season. Things to Start Doing if you Have Social Anxiety.