Thursday, July 20, 2006

Behind the Scene at Life Works: The Wedding

Running an office filled with five therapists, hundreds of clients, three full time internal support staff, and the sole responsibility of community outreach and media event coordinator falls on the shoulders of our Business Manager Kristi. My often said assessment of her is that she is a wise woman of 40 masquerading in a 23 year old body! Kristi is our hub and we are the spokes that make up the wheel of the Life Works Group family.

From the moment Kristi sat talk with me about joining Life Works I knew she was special. Just how special would not be revealed until six months later.

Tim Hendricks impressed me the moment I enthusiastically transferred all my accounts from Sun Trust to the wonderful God centered Orlando National Bank. His warmth, genuineness, humility and dedication to doing what God sent him to do made me more than a little curious about the woman he mentioned he was engaged to. Many months passed with us exchanging friendly bits of conversation and information before he called with an inquiry. Did I know of any mental health counselors who might be interested in joining Dwight Bain’s Life Works Group? Without hesitation I heard myself say “I would be interested.” I hung up my cell with a phone number in my hand and a thought echoing in my head “where did that come from?” Not wanting to give myself a moment to second guess an action I was obviously being compelled to take, I called a strange number and made an appointment with a complete stranger for the following week. If nothing more, it was a chance to meet the woman who had piqued my curiosity months before. The stranger was Kristi Keaton; Dwight Bain’s Business Manager and Tim Hendricks’ very lucky fiancĂ©. After our meeting I knew both these young people were lucky and I knew luck had nothing to do with it. Tim and Kristi were both determined to live Godly lives and they were simply doing the will of God by marrying each other.

I was blessed to be asked to join Life Works and again blessed to be invited to Kristi and Tim’s wedding June 10th. Our whole Life Works Family would be going and the excitement in the office the week before was palpable. Kristi was the ever professional and didn’t bring her wedding plans to work very often so it became mm Eleanor’s job to keep us all filled in. I was grateful for our moments of “wedding talk” as it made me feel more a part of things and also gave me a chance to feel the love that existed in Eleanor for her first born child. Many times we spoke mom to mom as well as woman to woman. I learned Kristi’s values had a long tradition. Both her parents and grandparents married young but married right. They had all obeyed God’s rules and had all been faithful to Him, themselves, and their marriages. They took their vows seriously. I knew I was going to be a witness to a wedding unlike any other I had ever seen (yes, sadly, even my own). I was going to experience a joining together of two people who had had the moral courage to do it His way thus ensuring His everlasting blessing. The Church was full of family and the presence of God. The Life Works Team sat together and I, selfishlessly for a moment, feasted on the oneness I felt with my wonderful new friends and colleagues. We all turned to watch Tim and his groomsmen walk down the isle followed by the happy bridesmaids. I kept peeking at Eleanor graciously standing in her position as Mother of the Bride awaiting the arrival of her daughter being escorted to her new role of wife by the husband she has loved for over 25 years, Kristi’s adoring father. The familiar music caught my attention and I quickly turned to the back of the room. Looking more beautiful than I had ever seen her, Kristi started her walk just as the Bible states toward her new husband and away from her parents. She was doing it right. Every step she took brought me closer to an understanding of God’s rules of conduct for people in love. Both she and Tim had committed to remaining pure to God’s truth and I was, for the first time in my life, seeing and feeling the love that comes from obeying His word. Everything felt right everything felt good. And I recited the words from a poem I have remembered forever- “God’s in His Heaven and all’s right with the world.” When the time came for Tim to place the ring on Kristi’s finger I knew, without a doubt, it would never come off. The tradition continues. Another successful marriage in the family. Kristi and Tim are now Mr. and Mrs. Hendricks and I will always remember their day when I knew God was smiling and all was right with the world.

Written by: Deedra Hunter who is a Certified Eating Disorder Specialist and Licensed Mental Health Counselor who has also published a book called; Winning Custody: A Woman’s Guide to Retaining Custody of Her Children. She has been a mental health professional for over 20 years and specializes in the counseling and treatment of eating disorders. She received her Bachelor of Arts degree from Florida International University, and her Master’s degree in Counseling from St. Thomas University. She also holds a Certificate in Chemical Dependency from University of Miami’s School of Continuing Education


There is a gradual movement from the romantic stage, which can last from six months to two years, to disconnection. One of the biggest illusions in our culture is that the honeymoon stage will last forever, if you just find the right partner. We begin to discover this disconnection stage through disappointment with our partner which leads to disillusionment leading to coercion and then to an impasse.
Neil Diamond and Barbara Streisand sang “You Don’t Bring Me Flowers Anymore” which tells the story of couples disconnecting.
You don’t bring me flowers, you don’t sing me love songs
You hardly talk to me anymore when I come through the door at the end of the day
I remember when you couldn’t wait to love me, used to hate to leave me
Now after lovin me, let I now
When its good for you and your feelin alright
Well I’ll just roll over and turn out the lights
You don’t bring me flowers anymore
It used to be so natural, talk about forever
But used to be’s don’t count anymore, they just lay on the floor till we sweep them away
Baby I remember all the things you taught me, I learned how to laugh and I learned how to cry
Well I learned how to love and I learned how to lie
So you think I could learn how to tell you goodby
You don’t bring me flowers anymore
Well you think I could learn how to tell you goodby
You don’t say you need me, you don’t sing me love songs
You don’t bring me flowers anymore.
Couples do not want divorced, they want an end to pain. It is so difficult to understand how someone we could have been so in love with, a relationship that made us feel “brand new” could get to the place where “you don’t bring me flowers anymore”. We can learn how to have that dream relationship if we are willing to go through the work to find that.
The individual who is anxiously attached will appear as clinging, have difficulty with separation from their partner; need consistent contact; tend to idealize their partners and overlook their partners faults to avoid separation. An avoidantly attached individual will attach to objects and work as well on projects, be uncomfortable in social situations, will tend to withdraw and become defensive.
This state of impasse leads to disconnect from the person they were so in love with during the honeymoon stage of love. This is the point where the couple could decide to leave each other through divorce or evolve into an invisible divorce and stay married for the kids, church, God, or family. The problem with leaving the relationship is that we eventually meet someone else and start the whole process again or the couple stays in a passionless marriage. Neither is the will of God for He says in Deuteronomy that He wants our marriages to be like “heaven on earth”.
I really believe that what happens as we move out of that limerence state, we begin to see negatives that we could not see before. It is almost as if the “love cocktail” blindfolds us so that we are not aware of these negatives. Below the surface we are aware, but we do not want to acknowledge it. After a while the negatives seem to be overwhelming. I really believe that most of the positive traits are still there, we just cannot see them. That is why we can act a completely different way towards others outside of the relationship.
Often there is conflict about issues like control, neatness, doing one’s part, closeness or space, feeling unimportant or alone, etc. We often find ourselves needing to be right during conflict. The danger signs gradually begin to appear. John Gottman calls them the “four horsemen of the apocalypse”. They are criticism, defensiveness, contempt, and stonewalling. Through his over 20 year research of what makes marriages work, Gottman has been able to develop with 93% accuracy, a couple’s potential of staying away from divorce. He does this by hearing how the couple deal with conflict. When he hears communication style using the four horsemen, the relationship is on rocky ground if something doesn’t change.
Actually, this is the greatest opportunity to grow into the individuals God wants us to become. Harville Hendrix states that “conflict is growth trying to happen”. If we can learn to meet the needs of our partner the way they need them met and not the way we think they need, then we can have the dream relationship we have longed for.
The message we send in the “honeymoon stage” is “if you leave me I will die”. The message we send in the disconnect stage is “if you don’t leave me I’ll kill you”. The real answer is to evolve to the third stage of love, unconditional love.

About the Author: John Wagner, LMHC & Certified Imago Relationship Therapist, is dedicated to helping couples find the relationship of their dreams. He has received his Imago training from author, Pat Love, Ed.D. in Austin, Texas. Pat is the author of “Hot Monogamy” and “The Truth About Love”. John has received required training to become an "Advanced Clinician" in Imago Relationship Therapy. John has also received training from Pat Love in sexual desire issues, and is a workshop presenter for "Hot Monogamy."

The Bus is Here and I Can’t Pry My Child Off My Leg! Identifying Symptoms of School Phobia

Most parents can remember the traumatic and extremely emotional “first day of school” for their children. This moment in life is difficult for everyone involved; the parent, because it means that their little baby is growing up, and the child, because they have never been away from mom and dad like this before. The child is entering an unknown world, full of strangers (and aren’t they taught to not talk to them), adults who look scary, and a new set of rules and expectations. This day is also difficult for the teachers, as they must manage an entire class of emotional and fearful children. Even the bus drivers sometimes feel pressure as dad and mom follow them all the way to school to make sure that he/she is not a driving maniac. Yes, the first day of school can be very difficult for all of us…but what if the child is 14? Or 16? Or 18? What if the first day of school becomes an issue every year?

Believe it or not, going back to school always has some fear attached to it, but for some children, the fear is excessive enough to qualify as School Phobia or Social Phobia. For some, the idea of a seventeen-year-old young man crying because he has to go back to school at the end of the summer break might be humorous. But, for teenagers dealing with these overpowering emotions, there is nothing funny about it.

School Phobia is an active member of the Anxiety Disorder family. Unfortunately, anxiety disorders seem to be growing in frequency for children of all ages. Whether life is becoming too fast and stressful, or if it is the result of a breakdown in the family system, we don’t know for sure . But the truth is that lots of children are showing more signs of anxiety than ever before. One of these anxiety disorders is called Separation Anxiety, in which a child shows an excessive fear of leaving the home or of being apart from someone they are very attached to emotionally. School Phobia is like an extension of Separation Anxiety and even Social Phobia, where a child has great feelings of fear when in a social environment. Unfortunately, schools seem to be having increased cases of truancy and absenteeism and it also seems like more students are open to dropping out of school than ever before. Of course there is more than one factor to account for this but School Phobia has to be one that is considered.

There are many symptoms of school phobia:
- Refusing to go to school
- Frequent complaints of physical ailments such as headaches or
stomach aches.
- Clingy behavior towards parents
- Depressed attitude about school
- Poor hygiene or appearing “disheveled”
- Fear of something bad happening to them or to parents
- Sleep difficulties
- A drop in grades
- Skipping class or skipping school
- Unrealistic or excessive fears of burglars, dark, or animals

This list is not exhaustive but will hopefully be a starting point for parents to identify if there is a problem. Another issue to remember is that major life stressors can lead to anxiety or school phobia. Children who are dealing with divorce, moving to a new house or school, or grieving the death of a loved one can all be vulnerable to his kind of anxiety.

One thing to remember is that almost all children have some fear about going back to school each year. Most fears are completely normal and tend to fade away after a few weeks. School phobia represents a magnified and continual fear of the school environment. So, what is a parent to do? How do mom and dad reach out and help their child who is struggling with school phobia?

1. Parental involvement is essential: All the counseling and medicine in the world will fall short if the primary caregivers are uninvolved. Here are some basic tips for parents:
A. Security: Anxiety of any kind represents a fear that one is insecure, not safe, not in control or is in danger. It is very important for a parent (or parents) to implement a schedule or a routine for the household. Regular meal times, homework times, play time, and bed times really do mean a lot for every child; but especially a child that suffers from anxiety. This advice may prove challenging for a single parent or a parent who struggles to organize themselves. However, offering security is worth making the effort. A key to this is putting the schedule on paper and following it as often as possible. If this is not an area of strength for you, seek help with it. It means a great deal to the child; it not only helps them feel secure but it also shows that you love them enough to make the effort.
B. Empower them to face their fear. As parents we want to protect our children from harm or even their fear of being harmed. However, with this level of anxiety, the child’s fears are often unrealistic. If we shelter them from fears that aren’t really threats, we are in danger of reinforcing a fear that shouldn’t be a fear at all. Thus, don’t allow them to stay home from school every time they ask. Schools have attendance policies and many students fail because they miss too many days. Parents are not doing their child any favors by excusing those days or allowing their child to miss often for questionable reasons. This only reinforces their fear, because they have not attended school regularly enough to see that the fears are needless. Now, some kids have a good reason to fear school. Perhaps they are being bullied or harassed. This is a different case and should be taken up with school administrators. But when the anxiety is unwarranted, a child must face it. Show your child much love and confidence in them. Then, every day, touch base on how that particular day went. If it was okay, encourage them in it. If the day went badly, then show empathy and encourage them that you’ll keep facing each day together.

2. Seek a counselor who works with children/adolescents. Search for a counselor who loves kids and is comfortable working with them. A counselor can help come along beside the family and face the fears together. A counselor will help to confront the fears and challenge the cognitions behind the fears. The counselor is also an objective helper who is a great support for both parents and children; a teammate who will help the family establish and reach goals in overcoming the anxiety.

3. Medication
When anxiety interferes with a child’s daily functioning, medication may be needed; at least as a bridge to get from point A (stuck in anxiety) and point B (overcoming and coping with anxiety). Ask your counselor for the name of a trusted psychiatrist, who works with children.

Above all, pray for your child and love them with all your heart. Remember to put God first in your family and teach that to your children.

School is always a bit scary (especially back when spanking was allowed) but it shouldn’t be an issue that paralyzes a child with fear. If you see signs of school phobia in your child, talk to them about their fears and reach out for help.

About the Author: Aaron Welch is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor who has devoted his life to reaching out and helping people to grow and mature through difficult life situations. Whether it has been through clinical counseling, pastoral ministry, youth camps and conventions, public speaking, leadership training, educational instruction, athletic coaching or small group ministry, Aaron has over eighteen years of experience in assisting people through life struggles and personal growth. His genuine love for people and his outgoing personality combine to create a safe and caring environment for putting the pieces of life back together

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Moving Beyond Back to School Stress by Dwight Bain

Summer vacation ends with the first RING of the school bell, yet for many students it's not just the end to relaxing days, it's the beginning of major change and stress. Back to school stress is a common emotional reaction that every child has to deal with from elementary through college years. Most kids transition through this adjustment within a few days to a week and settle in for the challenges of the school year ahead. However, it's getting more common to see children developing stress related disorders that affect their sleep, diet, energy and mood. In extreme cases its possible that this build up of emotional pressure can grow and lead to other problems like childhood anxiety, depression and social phobias. Thankfully there are a number of things that you can do as a parent, (or teacher) to help a child move from feeling overwhelmed by back to school stress by building in some strategies to bring early academic success.

These principles will assist you in preventing your son or daughter from losing even a minute of the excitement of achieving the next level of academic success to the sometimes hidden, but still damaging effects of childhood stress and trauma. Remember, there are no simple answers to solve complex problems, but there are always options available to help you empower your son or daughter to turn negative pressure into positive performance. Think about the pressures facing your child this time of year as you consider each strategy to maximize the benefit to help them grow stronger by moving beyond back to school stress.

What is it about the school year beginning that creates so many problems for so many kids?
Think about it, you are facing a brand new sea of faces who don't know you, you don't know them and you are going to have to deal with them for almost a year of your life, whether or not you even like them or know if they will like you or not. Kids can be mean and aggressive to the 'new kid' so it's no wonder our children get stressed out. Most adults would run away as fast as possible to not have to deal with that kind of pressure, yet for guys and gals in most school settings don't have a choice. School is beginning and there's nothing that they can do about it. Who can't remember the pressure of facing new people and teachers who couldn't pronounce your name, while layering on the difficulty of trying to learn new subjects, while trying to fit in and find your place on campus without running into big bullies who cruise the halls looking for kids to intimidate. Face it, back to school time is a tough adjustment for everyone and sometimes can feel very overwhelming to even the most skilled student. It's normal to feel pressure in a new class setting, especially before an academic routine is established. Take this seriously and plan on directly addressing any issues that come up, because it's been my experience that by taking direct action on pressures facing your kids that it dramatically helps normalize the problems that may build up as a 'secret' weakness inside your child now by getting things out in the open. Better to take time to sort through the stressors facing your child now, focus on some positive strategies to over come the pressure and move forward in strength than to let the pressures go on to create problems for years.

Here are some strategies to guide you in helping your son or daughter to get past the' back to school stress' toward experiencing a new emotion, peace instead of stress and motivation instead of moodiness. Consider using the beginning of this new school year transitions as an important time for you to review with your kids as they begin to map out building the best year of their lives academically, spiritually and in their relationships with others. The formula is easy to remember because it spells out the word, "S.T.R.E.S.S." and following it will take this normal pressure off of your child so that they can quickly focus on using the strategies to build back to school success.

S- Schedule
This is an essential part of building stability and is the best place to start. Move everything possible to get things in your home onto a regular and structured schedule. This especially includes sleep time for kids of all ages, along with regular meal times, homework time, worship time, goof-off time, play time and on and on. The key here is to structure in the most important things first, so in case some of the lower priorities are missed, the main and most important issues are addressed in keeping your home environment the most stable and peaceful place possible.

T- Talk
One of the worst questions to ask a school-age child is this worn out line; "So, tell me what you learned in school today?" If your son or daughter responds by saying that the toilet water flows in the opposite direction in South America as it does here in the US, don't panic. A simplistic question can't generate a well thought out answer from anyone, but it can get a response, which may or may not be accurate, and often could even be inappropriate. Better to create an environment that will be dedicated to open and honest discussions than one that has 'pat' answers to poorly worded questions that says to a lot of kids, wow, you really didn't want to take time to bother with us today, or worse, 'just tell them what they want to hear because they don't really care anyway.' I'm sure that you want to know more about the pressures your son or daughter is facing than they could imagine, and as you better learn to think through the main issues to format questions ahead of time you will continue to see positive change and growth slowly replace the negative fears, which is what we want to see take place. Develop some basic questions about the back to school stress that is facing them ahead of time so that you can figure out the best way to discuss the fact that things are moving along quickly for them in lots of ways, which is normal, but still scary sometimes until you face it and grow past that fear.

R- Rest
We've already talked about the importance of regular sleep and maintaining a balanced lifestyle, however, this strategy is based on building in times to just kick back. Back to school is a challenge and for some kids, the daily disciplines are a continual challenge of deadlines, seemingly endless tasks and not feeling as if you fit in anywhere. Taking time to rest your body and mind with calming music, play time with pets or on a bike trail, or by playing with blocks to not make every waking second about homework, class assignments and daily chores. Remember that the Bible teaches that God created man on the 6th day, but that man didn't go to work until the 8th day. Do you know what happened on the 7th day? That's right, God rested as a role model for men to rest. Work came after rest, and the most focused work comes when we know how to maintain the timing of scheduled times of rest to 're-create' the positive energy within our soul to move forward in strength.

E- Equip
This strategy is about building in regular times to help a child develop confidence and strength, physically, emotionally, relationally and spiritually. Think about what a lot of parenting is really about anyway. Training up a child to go out into the world with the strength to make it and the confidence to try it. Equipping includes being able to help a child say 'no' because you were strong enough to move ahead and model self-discipline on issues that required a firm hand that was dedicated to you learning what needed to change first and then getting to work making those changes. Children who are well equipped tend to launch out into the world and accomplish early success because they know how to work hard, yet to keep things in balance like they saw their parents model for them.

S- Strengths
Anxiety and pressure tend to grow up in direct proportion to how in control, or how out of control we feel at the time. Prayerfully considering the strengths of each of your children, then testing or asking other teachers or parents for their impressions is actually quite valuable because so much can be done to help that child know how to dramatically remove the dangers of this dysfunctional patter, more stress = less control; less stress = greater control of the guidance needed to move your child from stress to success in the days ahead. That's good news for parents and great news for children. Take the time to understand your child's strengths and then the time to build on those qualities and you will begin to see more success and more success. That's how it goes when you build on strengths and work directly on a plan to break generational patterns and move to a new level of strength and peace. If you want to learn more about building on a childs academic and personality strengths, check out the parenting strategies to build strong kids at the website of Mel Levine, MD, a behavioral pediatrician and pioneer in this area of research on guiding kids past stress to achieve greater levels of success.

S- Spirituality
God put us on this earth for a purpose. We've all heard that, and we've also heard lots of things from people with very opposite, yet very strong opinions on lots of other topics. What makes a spiritual connection to God a key part of this strategic approach? Simple, God is real and I believe that He is everywhere and plans out our steps, even when we can't see what he is doing behind the scenes spiritually. Even when you can't be there for your child, God can and teaching this spiritual strategy to a small child will reassure them that God will never leave them or forsake them. That's comforting to the healthily people involved and brings hope to those who may have been burned by overly religious people with all the wrong reasons. This issue isn't really about a church service as much as it's about an honest and realistic relationship by reaching out to God through prayer no matter what stress you may be facing today.

Knowing that parents are involved in dealing with issues in a healthy way is always a key in gaining access into the heart of a child, which will aid in the increase of communication and trust as they see that you really do care about them and that you want their best. This trust grows through your investment into the life of that child in how you plan out your time with them as an important member of the family. Remember that they are learning more every day just by watching your responses to every day life than from anything that you will say to them. Dr. Dobson's sage advice rings true on this issue, "values are not taught to children, values are caught by children." Role model healthy ways to connect with them as part of a secure and loving family and you will see stress reduce as it's replaced with which is always what we want our family life at home to be like any time of the year.

Stay positive as you prayerfully plan for results:
Build strengths into your home now by focusing questions and seeking prayer for God's wisdom and guidance about which elements of back to school stress is most affecting your son or daughter so that they can begin to release pressure by directly dealing with the most important elements first. Every child is different, so if they see it differently than you, or whatever is described as a growing problem in his life seems to be of little consequence. Remember that if the child is struggling with some factor of back to school stress that moment, then that becomes your priority for that moment automatically. You need to work toward gaining a level of stability in order to move forward onto bigger and more complex issues in the future. Pick your battles as the old saying goes, since the school year will be long and some issues, (especially within peer relationships), can heat up pretty fast which can fill your home with conflict, difficulty and resentment. I like to tell clients in that type of stressful situation that the most important time is the next 24 hours and our initial goal is to not make a stressful situation worse with other impulsive decisions or words. This positive change occurs as you take time to study, understand and then apply the key elements you have learned to connect to your child in stressful times to build a connection to grow through the stress, as well as the confidence to know that getting through the stressful times now is the best indicator that your family will get through any other time well as long as you all are together growing into the family that God designed you to be. That confidence brings a peace that no stress can ever take away, which is the greatest gift a child could ever experience from their parents, deep and lasting security from being accepted and loved in the safest place on earth-their family.

About the author:
Dwight Bain is a Nationally Certified Counselor and Life Coach specializing in finding strategic answers to complex situations. He is founder of The LifeWorks Counseling Group and has been in clinical practice since 1984. Dwight is a Critical Incident Stress Debriefing Expert with the Orange County Sheriff's Office and a Florida Supreme Court Certified Family Law Mediator. He and his wife Sheila are lifelong residents of central Florida where they live with their two children and Yorkie. For more practical resources, visit his blog at

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For more information about positive strategies on solving conflict, managing major change or rebuilding after a crisis, contact the LifeWorks Group at 407,647,7005 or visit

Monday, July 03, 2006


Falling in love can happen quickly, unexpectedly and with little effort, but staying in love requires commitment, dedication and lots of effort. Great marriages rarely just happen they are co-created by the partners. So, if you are not happy with the relationship you have created why not seek professional help to create something that really works. All of the marital research clearly concludes that the best predictor of overall happiness in life is marital happiness. When people are in a happy marriage they perform better in all other aspects of their lives, such as; in their jobs and as parents. Happily married people live longer and are physically and emotionally healthier. As divorce has become more common ( 50% of marriages end in divorce) and therefore more socially acceptable couples expect higher levels of marital satisfaction to keep the marriage together. Marriage Counseling is not limited to severely dysfunctional couples it can also be an effective way to enrich an already reasonably happy relationship. Often people who do opt for divorce down the road regret their decision and believe they should have tried harder to make their first marriage work.

Here are a few symptoms that indicate your marriage is in trouble:
1. repetitive arguments or constant fighting and an inability to resolve conflict
2. one or both partners have a lot of hurt, anger and resentment build-up
3. feel negative or even hostile toward your partner
4. don't spend much time together or actually find yourself avoiding one another
5. feel like your partner doesn't really know or understand you
6. don't trust your partner or feel insecure
7. feel a sense of inequality in the relationship
8. rarely talk or listen to one another
9. little or no affection in the relationship
10. sexual frequency has radically declined

Some issues can be resolved in just a few sessions whereas others may require more extended therapy. Don't hesitate to begin counseling it can help you create a stronger and happier marriage.The difference between happily married couples and unhappily married couples isn't the problems they have but how they deal with them. Relationships are never stagnant they are always evolving why not take control of yours and help it change for the better now before it is too late.

Written by: Linda Riley, A Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist and Certified Sex Counselor who has counseled family's and couples for over 22 years. Her focus has been with enriching relationships and understanding relationship dynamics. Promoting personl growth and building healthy self-concepts to help her clients achieve maximum results in their personal and professional lives.