Month: November 2013

10 Common Marital Problems that Marriage Counseling Addresses

As a marriage and family counselor, I’ve worked with couples that present to Marriage Counseling with a wide variety of issues disrupting their marital happiness.  Every couple that comes to Marriage Counseling is different and faces a set a circumstances unique to them.  I will say however, that there are a group of very common problems that couples who come to Marriage Counseling encounter that can cause stress and discord in the relationship.  I feel it is important to recognize some of these common marital problems so that couples may understand that they are not alone in their struggle and that Marriage Counseling can help them address these issues.

These 10 common Marital Problems include:

  • Issues of Money
  • Issues of Sex
  • Issues with Division of Responsibilities
  • Issues of Children and Parenthood
  • Issues with the Involvement and Influence of In-Laws and Other Extended Family
  • Issues of Boredom
  • Issues with Work Stress
  • Leading Separate Lives
  • Issues of Infidelity
  • Problems with Communication

1.    Issues of Money

One of the most common problems in marriage is the issue of money.  Countless couples find difficulty in managing their finances.  They fight about how to save it, how to spend it, who makes more, who makes less…you name it!  Especially early on in a marriage or before a couple marries, talking about finances and sorting out a plan for how money will be managed is extremely important for the health of the relationship and could highly benefit from Marriage Counseling if these conversations are not going smoothly.

2.    Issues of Sex

Another common problem is sex.  Though frequency of sex is the most common issue within this topic, there are also a multitude of other issues sex can bring about.  The sexual relationship between a couple changes and adapts over time and often needs a tune-up.

3.    Issues with Division of Responsibilities

The division of responsibilities within a couple can be a significant source of contention, especially when communication and agreement about how responsibilities will be divided and shared has not taken place.  Communication is a key component of this issue as without it, it can turn into a resentment-filled free-for-all!  This doesn’t need to be this way and can be relatively easily worked out through Marriage Counseling.

4.    Issues of Children and Parenthood

Children and parenthood bring a long list of potential problems to the table for couples.  First and foremost, the desire for and decision to have children and when can bring about disagreement.  What comes next could be difficulty with infertility, adjustment to parenthood and how it changes the relationship, differences in approach to childrearing, and how many children to have.  These examples only scratch the surface and Marriage Counseling can make these conversations go smoother.

5.    Issues with the Involvement and Influence of In-Laws and Other Extended Family 

The involvement and influence of in-laws and other extended family can be another problem for couples.  The over or under-involvement of in-laws or interference in the relationship can cause stress between a couple.  Also difficult are extended family members with a dependency on the couple or inappropriate or unwanted behavior that affects the couple.  This is a complex area involving a lot of people and feelings and Marriage Counseling can help a couple navigate through this in a more comfortable way.

6.    Issues of Boredom

Boredom, though it seems harmless, can be a major problem for couples.  If one or both members of the couple find themselves bored with the relationship and do nothing to change or remedy the situation, it can lead to a separation within the marriage that only gets worse over time and can lead to poor decisions that can be detrimental to the relationship.

7.    Issues with Work Stress

Work stress can have a huge impact on the relationship if boundaries are not well-established between the couple to have a clear separation between work and marriage/family.  Stress that comes home from work and impacts the marriage can create resentment, dissatisfaction, a breakdown in communication and more frequent arguments.

8.    Leading Separate Lives

Marital relationships can suffer significantly when partners begin to lead separate lives.  Though individual independence is a good thing, couples need to have shared interests, engage in joint activities, and spend quality time together in order to maintain a strong connection.

9.    Issues of Infidelity

Infidelity is an issue that is not only common, but can also range in definition.  Infidelity can present as directly as engaging in a sexual relationship outside of the marriage to an online emotional affair.  Whatever the situation, infidelity of any kind can cause exceptional damage to a marriage and Marriage Counseling should be sought immediately to sort things out.

10. Problems with Communication

The final and most common marital issue on this list is problems in communication.  It can present as the only issue in the marriage or it can be the underlying cause of every issue described above.  However it may present in a marriage, solid communication is the basis of every good marriage and without it, the marital bond can start to unravel.  It doesn’t need to be this way.  With Marriage Counseling you can learn the skills to communicate better.

 Why Marriage Counseling

Each of the above-mentioned common marital problems described, and many others, can be addressed and resolved in Marriage Counseling.  Through Marriage Counseling a marriage counselor can help a couple work through their differences, enhance their existing strengths, and find true satisfaction and happiness in their relationship.  If you and your partner have or are experiencing difficulty of any kind in your relationship, Marriage Counseling may be a step that can help you find the resolve you are seeking.

How to Help Loved Ones Suffering from Mental Disorders

When a loved one is suffering from a mental disorder, it affects the psychology of the entire family.

As the family member or friend watching this suffering, many feelings can arise to affect ones psychology, such as helplessness, confusion, fear, frustration, and sadness.  It is important to not only have an educated understanding of the specific mental disorder but also recognize how you can be of help.

When family members and friends find acceptance for the mental disorder from which their loved one suffers, it is the first step to improvement.  This improvement is seen for the suffering individual’s psychology, the relationship between you, and your overall perception of this person.  Denial is a very common response to mental illness within a family or social circle and can have a significant negative impact on the mental health or psychology of the patient.  It can prevent the individual from recognizing a problem, therefore delaying or eliminating treatment as an option to improve this person’s psychology.  It also decreases the system of support they have to help them through their battle with mental illness.

Another common reaction to a loved one suffering from a mental disorder, is to turn away from the individual as a result of the array of emotions associated with learning of the diagnosis that affects their psychology.  Unfortunately, similarly to denial, isolating the suffering individual decreases their system of support.  Detachment from family and friends can also exacerbate the illness and psychology of the individual, making their struggle even more difficult.

Given the above information, acceptance, support and love are key components to providing the help needed to improve some of the symptoms of mental illness and the psychology of the individual.   Communication with the suffering individual can also be a source of support to their psychology challenges.  Ask questions about their experience if this level of comfort is present.

Ask what you can do to help.

Show compassion and understanding as they describe how this disorder affects their daily life and psychology.  The more you communicate, the more that individual knows that he or she can confide in and trust you as a true supporter.

It is also important to recognize the need for appropriate and healthy boundary setting in relationships with individuals suffering from mental disorders and ill psychology.   Establish as soon as possible what role you are willing to play in this individuals experience with mental illness and psychology, as well as how much support you are able to give and through what means.  Without appropriate boundaries, lines can be easily crossed, causing detrimental effects on the relationship.

Finally, it is important for you, as a family member or friend, to also have support through your associated experience with mental illness and its effect on your psychology.  In some cases, it may be beneficial to seek psychology counseling in either an individual, family, or group context.  There are a variety of psychology support systems available for friends and family members in the same position and very often, help is just a phone call away.

The Roots of Separation Anxiety

Separation Anxiety in Adolescents

Separation anxiety is a disorder most often affecting children and adolescents.  It causes severe distress when the individual is separated from their parent or caregiver.  Though most children experience difficulty at some point being away from their parent or caregiver, what constitutes a disorder is the child or adolescent’s ability to participate in age-appropriate activities or behavior due to their distress.  The disorder is mainly diagnosed in children and affects approximately 4% of children.

Some signs and symptoms of separation anxiety include an extreme over attachment to a parent.  A fear of what could happen in the parent’s absence may also persist.  This fear and distress makes it difficult for them to say goodbye, be left alone in any capacity or go to sleep at night.  Children may feel a need to monitor their parent or caregiver’s safety by shadowing them in their presence or constantly checking on them through phone calls or texts.  Physical symptoms may include stomachaches, headaches or dizziness.

The above symptoms of separation anxiety may cause a child or adolescent to have frequent absences from school, difficulty behaving appropriately in social situations, frequent nightmares, and/or defiant behaviors such as tantrums.  Research has shown that separation anxiety may be hereditary but it is most likely triggered by changes to the child’s environment such as a move, a new school, or a divorce within the family.

Though separation anxiety can seem overwhelming, treatment is available.  Psychotherapeutic and psychopharmacological treatments are widely used to treat this disorder.  Psychotherapy is mainly focused on behavior modification with some exposure therapy.  If a child’s distress exceeds the psychotherapeutic approaches available, medications such as SSRI’s and anti-anxiety medications can be used to manage distress and better facility therapy.

If your child is displaying some of the above-mentioned symptoms, he or she may be suffering from separation anxiety.  The best course of action is to visit a qualified mental health professional to make a proper diagnosis and develop a course of treatment.  If you have questions about separation anxiety disorder and its treatment, contact Proliance Center today!

How to Address Hyperactivity in Children

Hyperactivity in Children can be Addressed

At Proliance Center, one of the things we get asked a lot is about how to address Hyperactivity in Children.  However, the answer to addressing Hyperactivity in Children is not as simple as it may sound and depends on several factors.  Firstly we have to consider the child’s age.  Understandably a hyperactive 3 year old who is constantly running around the house is not the same as a ten year old doing the same thing.  So not only do we take age into consideration age, but also the level of Hyperactivity in Children compared to others of the same age.

Secondly we must consider nutrition and sleep.  It is very important that most kids get 9-12 hours of sleep per day, depending on their age.  If they don’t get it they can become cranky and hyperactive.  Poor nutrition also leads to Hyperactivity in Children and studies abound of how dyes and the lack of nutrients in the diet can cause this.

Then there is environment and general medical health.  A stressful school experience or home life can lead to Hyperactivity in Children as they become anxious and insecure about their surroundings.  This is very important to address and resolve.  Additionally, some medical conditions such a hyperactive thyroid can lead to Hyperactivity in Children.  For this reason it is important that kids undergo a thorough medical examination and blood work if this is suspected.

Lastly there are several psychiatric and psychological conditions that can lead to Hyperactivity in Children.  Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, Tourette’s Disorder, Depression, Anxiety, and the list goes on, can cause this.  Once this is narrowed down the treatment will depend on what is found or suspected to be the cause.  In the end, while the process may seem simple to some and hard for others, know that at Proliance Center we are here to help.  Give us a call today.

A male and female interlocking hands in what appears to be a strong, happy relationship.

Building Communication with Relationship Therapy

Most couples will argue from time to time. For the most part, this is normal behavior, because loving someone doesn’t necessarily …

Man sitting on couch holding hands over his face as his partner walks away angrily.

The Five Stages of Ending a Long-Term Relationship

Sometimes relationships just aren’t meant to be. Love has plenty of ups and downs, but increasing negativity can be a sign …

Vintage photo of a peaceful, beautiful nature scene with river and trees.

Smell The Roses: The Benefits of Nature Therapy

With the hustle and bustle of our daily lives and responsibilities, it can be hard to remember to take time to “stop and …