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Showing posts from 2013

5 Ways to Help Manage The Stress of The Holidays

By Laura Hull, LMFT Coping Coach This time of year is filled with lights, laughter, and loads of activities.From the week of Thanksgiving through the end of New Year’s celebrations, this is the most active/busy time of the year for many people.Though many regard this as a time of happy celebration, there is no doubt it is also a demanding time of the year.Between decorating, holiday parties, shopping, wrapping, food preparations, family visits, etc., it can be stressful to navigate the expectations that come along with the holidays.Sometimes the stress is enjoyable.For some people, the stress is more anxiety provoking than pleasurable. There is certainly an added social pressure to “enjoy” the holidays.After all, why would anyone be anxious or depressed when everyone else is partying and enjoying the festivities of the season, right?We are “supposed “ to be happy during the holidays.But what if we aren’t?Depression and anxiety during this season can be an intensified problem for indi…

Hurt for the Holidays

Managing the major grief of those who have major loss By: Dwight Bain Holidays are not always happy days, especially if you have experienced major loss. Think about it – if you lost a job or a house through foreclosure can you still have a Merry Christmas this year? Some people can manage the loss of material things because they rely on their savings, or extended family for support. But what about those who don’t have access to those resources – what do they do? What about the wife of a man who cheats and leaves the marriage with another woman before the holiday. What do you say to someone who won’t have a happy family memory on December 25th, because she will be sharing her children with a new woman and her relatives while she sits in the marital home (which is missing half the furniture) alone. Or think about the family who have to say goodbye to a beloved family pet because of age or illness. How can they celebrate a happy holiday without a trusted animal companion? Think…

The Relentless Pursuit of Grace: What I Learned From My Little Boy

By: Aaron Welch


This will not be a fun article for me to write.In fact, my heart hurts to even sit down and begin typing.It's because I screwed up.I mean.......I royally screwed up tonight.If I could go somewhere and hide under a rock, I would.Honestly, there was a moment tonight when I thought about packing a bag and just taking off to some hotel, rather than face my family.In the past fifteen years or so, there have not been too many moments that I've been ashamed of....but tonight was one.

If you ask anyone who knows me they will tell you that one of the greatest passions of my life is being a dad.Honestly, it's the ONE thing I've always wanted to be.....a father.I grew up idolizing my dad and the love and support I always felt from him was an anchor for me as I moved into adulthood.I believe God used my dad to instill in me a deep, fiery passion to invest in the lives of my children and, additionally, into the lives of other kids as well.To that end, I have been …

There's No Place Like Home for the Holidays...Unfortunately

By Aaron Welch, LMHC, NCC


For much of the world the holidays are a time of joy, peace and goodwill towards men.We have songs like "It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year," "I'll Be Home for Christmas," and, as the title says, "There's No Place Like Home for the Holidays."However, for more people than we'd like to admit, this last title reflects the emotions of sadness and anger, rather than peace and good will.The truth is that a high percentage of people see the holiday season as a time of year when they battle depression, when old feuds re-emerge, and when they feel more stressed than any other time.

It is safe to say that the holidays are a time when all emotion tends to get amped up to new levels.If you're happy, you tend to get happier during the holidays.If you are struggling with anxiety, what time of the year can be more anxious than a season where traffic is a nightmare and finances are tight?If you lean towards sadness, the…

"Mean People Suck" : Bumper Sticker Wisdom & How it Applies to The Holidays

By Laura Hull, LMFT
Coping Coach

I remember driving down the road a few years ago, coming to a stop light behind a car that bore the bumper sticker that read “Mean People Suck.”I remember thinking “wow, I hope my kids can’t read that…how crude!” My secondary thought was “wow, that’s just so true. Mean people really do suck.” Though I probably would have chosen a less direct, less crude phrasing such as “Mean People Are An Unfortunate, Unpleasant Reality We Must Deal With.” I guess I could never make a living coming up with clever bumper stickers, but I can make a compelling blog argument for why mean people really do suck and you aren’t required to be around them just because it’s the holiday season.

In a perfect world, everyone would get along nicely, and treat each other with respect.But inevitably, we run across those people in our social circles, sometimes in our own gene pool, who are deeply miserable and seem to lack the capacity to be pleasant, civil or at least neutral.If the…

The Elephant That Comes for Thanksgiving: Family Secrets

By Matt W. Sandford, LMHC
Elephants will be dining at Thanksgiving dinners all over the country, won’t they? Our culture has used this concept of an elephant in the room when it comes to the things that are awkwardly not spoken about. Families are known to control what is spoken about and what are considered acceptable topics and are able to make it known what is off limits without ever putting it into words. And anyone who has experienced this type of thing, particularly in family situations, knows what that awkwardness feels like. If you’re the one whom some kind of wrong has been perpetrated against you feel strangled by the way your hurts have been invalidated and you just can’t acknowledge it. You are wounded again every time you are back with those people, as they continue to invalidate your hurts, communicating insensitivity, rejection, ostracism, betrayal, judgment, callousness and a lack of love. It could have been sexual or physical abuse or emotional abuse, it could have bee…

A Day That Changed Everything

By Laura Hull, LMFT

Coping Coach


I remember life before “the diagnosis.” It’s been over 15 years now, but I remember the cold chill that ran down my spine when the doctor told me that I had an autoimmune disease that would challenge my life going forward. Life changed that day. It was day one of a journey in the re-defining of “me.” Priorities changed, perspective changed, and I found out quickly that the volume of stress, much of it self inflicted, that I had allowed in my life up to that point had contributed, as least in part, to the situation I found myself in….it cost me something in terms of my health. I hope what I will share challenge you to consider the risk and potential consequences of unrecognized/unmanaged stress.

I counsel people to consider the consequences of stress on both their physical health and emotional health.While no one can avoid stress completely, I think most of us, at times, blindly sign on for things that introduce more stress into our lives than is absol…

Stress Solutions for Busy Families

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By Dwight Bain Feeling Stressed Out? You are not alone. In fact, families are more stressed, more pressured and more exhausted than ever before. The problem is that stress usually brings out the worst in our lives, making already complex situations overwhelming or worse, shouting matches to prove who is ‘right.’ Is there a better way? I believe there is and it involves moving from focusing on the stress, (or source of the stress), to focus on managing it successfully. Here are some rapid strategies to use to make your home a place of happy memories and peace, instead of a panic filled environment where everyone is ducking for cover. 1.Speak up instead of Stuff it. Often we follow the simplistic advice of Thumper’s father in the Disney film, “Bambi” who has the classic line, “If you can’t say something nice, don’t say nothing at all.” However, remember this was a young rabbit quoting his cartoon rabbit father. Not the best source of advice. Better is to Speak up when you …

Has Your Sex Life Changed After Years of Marriage?

By: Christine Hammond, LMHC
Has your sex life changed after years of marriage?Are you struggling with mismatched sex drives?Sometimes the solution is right in front of you.
Take a moment go over to lamp and unplug the cord from the electrical outlet.Does the light go off?Of course it does, now plug it back in.The energy created between the connection of the outlet and the plug causes the light to go back on.The outlet by itself cannot cause the light to go on any more than the plug by itself.Both parts are needed to generate the electrical current.
The plug fills an opening in the outlet just as the outlet receives the plug.Sex works in the same manner: a husband fills his wife just as the wife receives her husband.The connection between the two generates powerful energy and excitement.But this energy and excitement is not just reserved for sex, it can be generated in everyday life as well.By focusing on your own role of either filling or receiving, you can generate greater sexual desire…