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[From the Downtown Therapy blog]
I would be lying if years ago, upon hearing that a couple were considering relationship counselling, I didn’t hear a voice in the back of my head cry out: “Dead man walking!”. In other words, it seemed that couples therapy was the beginning of the end.
This is a bit of fatalism which is not helped by a dearth of positive examples in TV and film. North American society has lived under an implicit rule that admitting you need help is a sign of an underlying weakness of character. The reality is that, increasingly, couples are realizing that talking openly about their differences with a qualified therapist is in fact a marvellous way to discharge tension in the relationship.
When we enter a serious relationship, we bring our own ideas with us; ideas about money, sexual intimacy, communication, privacy. Many of these ideas are influenced by previous relationships. And sometimes, while individually each partner’s influences...
Sometimes couples come in to therapy with separation or divorce already an option that’s been laid on the table. As a therapist, this is one of the most painful situations to watch my clients go through. That’s especially true when one partner is still trying to save the relationship and the other isn’t sure whether they are willing to give it a shot. Couple’s therapy usually isn’t very helpful in these cases, because it’s almost impossible to help both people feel ‘heard’, as though their needs are being respected, when they're in such opposite corners. In any given moment, either the person on their way out feels like they’re being pressured to stay, or the person who’s still committed to the relationship feels like they’re being abandoned. It’s really raw.
In response to this, The University of Minnesota has developed Discernment Counselling, which is essentially a way to work with both partners to help them ma...
Most people enter into marriage with dreams of a lifetime of love, partnership, family, security, and happiness. Many times, it is the loss of these dreams that is the most painful aspect of the dissolution of a marriage.
Going through a divorce elicits a myriad of responses: anger, frustration, confusion, sadness, feeling of failure, exhilaration, worry, hopelessness, panic, euphoria, and guilt, just to name some. Navigating these can feel overwhelming, especially while negotiating new households, financial challenges, and heart-wrenching custody arrangements.
It is true that a divorce can be one of the hardest, most painful, and most stressful events in a person’s life. It can feel like a volcano has erupted, burning and destroying everything you have known. The wonderful news is from that springs an opportunity for tremendous insight, clarity, and personal growth. After the ash has settled what remains is a fertile soil, primed for the growth of your new, fresh life.
5 Things to Think about When Considering Divorce
By Nancy Fagan, www.Dyvorce.com
Considering leaving your spouse? You need a solid exit plan. Pre-divorce-planning involves carefully planning out often-overlooked aspects of your life before you announce you’re leaving. In 85 percent of divorces, it is the wife who initiates the divorce. Whether man or woman, if you are in this situation, starting a plan of action now is absolutely necessary. Just because your wife/husband wants everything, including the children, it does not necessarily mean that’s what has to happen. Learn how to get a fair settlement by playing smart and doing certain things that will help your situation tremendously.
Divorce planning is needed for both men and women. With that said, if you’re a woman, preparing in advance is even more important. In fact, most women are in a worse place financially after it’s all said and done. With this said, you don’t have to become a statistic. You have ...
As a registered play therapist and counsellor who specializes in working with families around divorce and separation, I get asked regularly how best to help children when parents are separated or divorced. My first response to parents who are asking these questions is the fact that they recognize how challenging this can be for their children is a great first step! Here are my 10 tips . . .
- Remember, unlike parents, children do not see parents separating as improving their lives. Most kids always hold out hope that parents will get back together.
- Kids need to know and hear that it was not their fault. It is common for kids to believe that if they were “good enough” their parents would have stayed together.
- Kids need to know they are still loved by both parents and extended families. Many children worry that if you can fall out of love with your spouse, you can fall out of love with your child.
- Kids need guidance and support for managing and understanding their behavio...
Mindfulness is a state of mind where the focus on the bodily sensations is at its highest peak. A mindful person is aware of how his/her body is reacting to the anxiety provoking thoughts and symptoms of anxiety.
In the practice of mindful art therapy one practices to be present and remain present to face distressing thoughts, fears, future, or expectations of others. Changing your responses rather than reacting is the aim of mindfulness art therapy.
The latter could be practiced with art activities, which we will introduce in future posts. Please follow our posts on www.montrealarttherapy.com
By: Reyhane Namdari/ Art Therapist
What often goes unacknowledged in the dating world is the trauma that can come with a divorce or a break-up. Trauma is an event or situation that causes great distress and disruption. This trauma can turn into what is known as Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.
Post-traumatic stress disorder symptoms typically start within three months of a traumatic event, and on occasion symptoms may not appear until years after the event. Post-traumatic stress disorder symptoms are generally grouped into three types: intrusive memories, avoidance and numbing, and increased anxiety or emotional arousal (hyper-arousal). While PTSD is usually associated with natural disasters, real physical danger, and war, it can be a side effect of a very stressful break-up.
Symptoms of intrusive memories may include: Flashbacks, reliving the traumatic event for minutes or even days at a time, upsetting dreams about the traumatic event.
Symptoms of avoidance and emotional numbing may include:
Trying to avoid thinking or...
This week there has been a lot of buzz from Jade Beall’s “A Beautiful Body” Book Project. As I, like millions of others, took in the gorgeous images of the mothers’ in the book with the curves, marks, puckers, and folds brazenly and respectfully revealed, it struck me how our expectations of what these bodies might or should look like deeply and profoundly affect our experience of what they actually are.
The images that are splashed on magazine covers, billboards, and in social media of celebrities “baby bump” bodies, we all know, are digitally altered. And yet, these images give us a quiet template where we drape our expectations of how things should be in our own lives.
These images, like storybook fairy tales and Disney movies color our perception of the world.
Similarly, we measure our relationships with a yardstick of how we expect or think that our relationships should feel. This yardstick is usually an amalgamation of family stories, movies...
Over the course of 20+ years of working with mixed sexual orientation marriages, I have found their existence to be far more prevalent than the nearly nil amount of professional research about them, or the rare portrayal of them in the mainstream media might lead one to conclude. My awareness of their marginalization was recently reinforced at the Baltimore and Capital Pride Festivals when I had the pleasure of meeting several of you. There, a handout about my work included the term, "mixed orientation marriages." This prompted one question, repeatedly: "What is that?"
Mixed orientation marriages, or MOMs, are "traditional" Carol and Mike Brady heterosexual marriages in which one spouse is, or learns that she/he is, non-hetero (for any readers under the age of 30, Google "The Brady Bunch" if you don't know Carol and Mike). MOMs are an important part of the hetero and non-hetero communities, but they are marginalized and hidden, to the extent of near-invisibility. It's not that people w...
According to the Canadian Mental Health Association, 3.2million Canadian youth between the ages of 12-19 are at the risk of developing Depression. Shocking? Right.
Children and adolescents can develop depression if they are/ have experiencing/ experienced:
- Huge pressure from school, society, or family
- Stressful transitions, such as changing school, neighborhood, city, or country
- A major loss, such as a death in family
- Being bullied
To read more, please visit http://blog.montrealarttherapy.com/?p=116
By: Reyhane Namdari/ Art Therapist
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