Showing posts from August, 2013

The Single Best Piece of Advice I Can Give You For This New School Year

By Laura Hull, LMFT
Coping Coach

I might as well disclose upfront that I am the proud mother of six wonderful kids.My two oldest sons started college last fall on the same day my youngest child started Pre-Kindergarten.It was the first time in 18 years that a school year had begun and I had an empty house for a few hours per day.I am not ashamed to admit to you that I was in the throes of a “woe is me” pity party.I am not one of those mothers who count down the days of summer vacation, eagerly anticipating and then rejoicing as the summer break comes to an end.I always miss my children when the school year begins.I miss them terribly.But last fall was particularly harsh.The realization that my first babies were in college and my last baby was not a baby anymore was like a cold smack of reality right in the middle of my mother worrying, stress-lined face.Friends, let me just tell you.I was in a bad way.I tried to drown my sorrows in greasy cheeseburgers and reality checks (and counsel…

Intentional Intimacy

By Aaron Welch, LMHC, NCC Recently, Ichiro Suzuki slashed his 4,000th hit in professional baseball.It was also revealed that he has the most hits in his 13 year major league career than any player has EVER had during a 13 year stretch.That is amazing, considering how many incredible hitters there have been in the history of the major leagues.Ichiro is supremely talented as a baseball player, blessed with great hand-eye coordination, blinding speed, and a rifle arm in right field.However, one doesn't get to 4,000 hits just because of talent.Ichiro has also been a tireless worker in honing his craft.

I heard a great story about Ichiro.It referred back to when he first came to America from Japan to play with the Seattle Mariners.He and his wife informed the Mariners that they were looking to purchase a 3-bedroom apartment to live in.The team was well aware that they had no children at the time and so they advised the newlyweds to look for a 2-bedroom apartment instead.Ichiro refused.He…

Hurting the People You Say You Love?

How to put out the fire of conflict before you blow up what’s left of your relationships By Dwight Bain You make me so mad! You are just wrong! You will never get it!You bring out the worst in me!
Heard these comments before? I hope not, because these are the comments that blow up relationships. Not in an instant way, rather little by little until the relationship erosion collapses the entire marriage or family relationship. You see, it’s not usually big fights that end relationships; rather, it’s small ones. Little conflicts, little disagreements, little resentments and little criticisms can build up into tsunami sized rage filled episodes. The sad irony is that people who say they love each other the most, and that they would even die for the people they say they love, are the very same people who use hostile words to crush the spirits of those same people. These type of conflicts aren’t limited to husbands and wife’s either. No, Parents can have major conflicts with tee…

Recognizing Exhausted Woman Syndrome

By: Christine Hammond, LMHC

“Burn-out” is an understatement of what you are experiencing; in fact it happened so long ago that it is now stored in long-term memory.What you are experiencing is beyond burn-out and feels more like a chronic condition for which physical symptoms of stress have become the norm.
If this sounds familiar, then you might be suffering from Exhausted Woman Syndrome (EWS).The symptoms are as follows:
·Over-annoyed – little things set you off like people who can’t use their debit card fast enough at the check-out aisle.
·Over-apologetic – saying, “I’m sorry” when you are not really sorry just to move past this item and on to the next one as quickly as possible.
·Over-attentive – fixation on potential problems, trying to keep them from exploding into bigger ones to the exclusion of taking care of you.
·Over-burdened – juggling too many balls in the air at one time resulting in a couple of them crashing to the ground.
·Over-committed – taking on responsibility for thin…

Turning Hopeless Back Into Hope

Brian M. Murray, MS

“I have not failed. I've just found 10,000 ways that won't work.” ― Thomas A. Edison

Hope can be a powerful force. It drives the future with a sort of romanticized vision with excitement and enthusiasm. Whether it is with marriage, having children, an exciting career or a certain lifestyle, hope and dreams drive the motivation and inspiration to achieve that dream.
Sometimes, however, those dreams get crushed. Reality steps in and begins to paint a bleak picture of that future and over time the anticipation begins to fade. The vision gets lost, the hope disappears, motivation wanes and life can feel stuck. It’s almost as if the color gets washed out of the dream and it loses its luster appearance and develops that sense of hopelessness.
How does someone who is feeling in despair about their life bring hope back into the picture? Feeling like being in a hopeless situation does not necessarily mean they have to abandon hope itself. How a person chooses to vi…

Dream Another Dream, This Dream is Over: Parents Wake Up!

Laura Hull, LMFT
Coping Coach

I borrowed part of the title of this blog from a song made popular by a famous group in the early 1990’s.It was a contagious little ditty, if not blunt and to the point.Songwriters throughout modern history have made a lot of money writing songs about broken hearts and broken dreams.Alas, broken dreams are a common experience; perhaps even a common thread in the human experience that binds us together like a stadium wave, with lit smartphone flame in hand.At one point or another, we all have ideas that are born in the form of a dream.We invest ourselves, if not physically (or financially) at the very least emotionally, in the making of those dreams coming true.I am a big believer in dreaming big.I am also a big believer in having a “dream big, plan B” and a “dream big, plan C”.I will explain why later.

Before I dive into the meat of this article, I want to make an upfront disclaimer.While the purpose of this article is to take a rather light-hearted yet info…

The Death of a Parent's Dream

By: Christine Hammond, LMHC
It seems like yesterday when you held your child for the first time and stared in to their eyes with wonderment, awe, and intense love.It was a magical, miraculous moment when all things seemed possible and they could become anything they wanted to be.You poured optimism into them daily and began dreaming of the adult they would one day become and all the accomplishments they would achieve.
But something happened.Perhaps it was a medical condition that would forever alter the possibilities of becoming an Olympic athlete.Or perhaps it was a behavioral issue that would preclude them from attending certain schools.Or perhaps it was a developmental disorder that would significantly change their interaction with others.Or maybe it was simply fear, anxiety, obsession, depression or an addiction that would leave a lasting imprint, forever revising your dreams.
Whatever the cause, the dreams you first dreamed about your child are now dead and the harsh reality of who…

Broken Dreams and God's Surprise

By Matt W Sandford
Everyone, I think, has goals and dreams: a great job where you are respected and with travel opportunities; finding “the one” to spend your life with; becoming a Mom or Dad; starting your own business. But many of those dreams are not realized and sometimes the dream is found and then lost. I know this personally. My wife and I had reached our dream, but then in flash, it was gone. Many times it’s not just that a dream has to be put on hold or doesn’t materialize, but that “life” interferes in cruel ways through hardships of all kinds, like injury, chronic illness or disease, death of loved ones, financial loss, crime, or natural disaster. A dream can be broken slowly over time or could go up in smoke in a flash, but the loss of our dreams is like experiencing a kind of death.
We seem wired to dream and make plans. When someone has no plan and has no interest in making plans for their life, most would believe that there is something wrong. Without dreams we feel we h…