• Why Men’s Depression So Often Looks Like Anger or Rage Why Men’s Depression So Often Looks Like Anger or Rage

    Why Men’s Depression So Often Looks Like Anger or Rage

Why Men’s Depression So Often Looks Like Anger or Rage

By: Mike Martinez

Oftentimes you will see men getting angry and exhibit rage-like symptoms. What does this look like? Throwing things, violence, yelling… power? It’s highly unlikely that it will look like sadness. More often than not men will choose to express themselves in ways that show power and control versus the vulnerability and hurt that is associated with depression.

Depression causes us to feel the opposite of powerful and in control. It cripples us. We feel weak. Useless. Weakness and uselessness are unacceptable in our society – especially for men. Depression can be extremely frustrating. In times of frustration we may choose to exhibit anger. This may look like blowing up at friends, family, and co-workers. One reason that we may act like this is because in a way, we’re taking control and power back. If we cannot control how we feel then you better believe we will try to control that other person!

Another reason that is closely related to this is avoidance. In order to avoid feeling our depression we will act out instead. Men don’t want to feel… why would we? It’s much easier to throw something across the room or throw a punch than to throw ourselves into our psyche. We also really don’t want to let anyone in to see what’s really going on (see paragraph above). As men we would like to keep our vulnerability to ourselves, thank you.. not that we have any or anything…

Fear can also be a motivating factor in why depression so often looks like anger in men. We may be experiencing depression that is related to a fear we have. Instead of saying something like, “I’m so awfully terrified of losing you. Please […]

Start Fresh and New Beginnings | Orlando Life Coach

by Mike Martinez

As the new year begins I can’t help but think of the many new beginnings that it will bring. Maybe you’re starting a new job this year. Perhaps you’re moving into a new apartment, house, or maybe even a new city. Maybe this year you’re becoming a Mom or a Dad for the first time. That’s quite a new beginning! Or maybe you’re aching for a new beginning of some sort but it hasn’t seemed to happen yet. Here are few steps to help you open yourself up to the endless possibilities this new year (and your life!) can bring.

anxiety, stress, depression, affairs, betrayal, cutting, abuse, self-esteem, blended family, divorce, anger

Step one

Be open to new possibilities by stepping out of your comfort zone. There are many quotes about the negative consequences of staying in your comfort zone. One of my favorites is, “A comfort zone is a beautiful place, but nothing ever grows there.” So if you stay in it, you will not grow. It’s that simple. Get out of your comfort zone by taking risks and trying new things: new foods, new places, new people! You’ll never know what amazing things can come from it! So open yourself up!

Step Two

PURGE! New beginnings. What’s the opposite of new? Old. What might you not want or need any more? Old things. Old habits. Old behaviors. Old negative thoughts! Purging can be mental. Get rid of it all – get rid of negativity to make room for positivity. Purging can also be physical – get rid of some of the clutter in that room or closet; (Yes, I know all about that room you […]

  • How to Make a Happy New Year How to Make a Happy New Year

    How to Make a Happy New Year

How to Make a Happy New Year

How to Make a Happy New Year and Accomplish your Goals!

Happy New Year! Let’s analyze this expression that we hear and say so often. Happy. That’s the goal for the New Year isn’t it? I mean, we have goals and New Year’s Resolutions but the ultimate goal that we aim to achieve if we achieve our goals is that first word, happy, right? 2nd word, New. Yes, renewal. NEW. We’re done with the old: old ways of thinking, feeling, old way of looking, old habits. New! New is what we want! Year. Yes, we have one year to make this happen. (Only one year? We better get started!) This is the YEAR to make it all happen! So how? We often give up on our resolutions after a few weeks, so how do we keep them going strong for a whole year? These tips and tricks can help you have a truly Happy and truly New Year.


Commit and re-commit.

Commit to your goal. No matter what it is, commit. How? Every single day commit to your goal in three ways: first, define the goal. My goal is _____________. This keeps the goal fresh in your mind DAILY. Second, imagine what it would be like to have the goal. Feels good doesn’t it? Third, imagine NOT having the goal done. Ask yourself, how would I feel for this year to end and not have achieved this? If it’s not a big deal you may have to re-evaluate your goal. It’s important to do this daily so you don’t (conveniently) forget your goal one day.

There are no short cuts.

Success doesn’t happen overnight. Success is the accumulation […]

By |January 5th, 2017|Adults, Articles|0 Comments

Beat the Holiday Stress for Blended Families & Time Sharing

Beat the Holiday Stress for Blended Families & Time Sharing

The holidays can be a stressful time for blended families. Whether your family has gone through a recent divorce/separation, or not, it’s easy to become overwhelmed with stress and anxiety about the holidays and making it all work. Here are 5 ways to beat the holiday stress for blended families and time sharing.

blended families, holiday stress, anxiety, families, orlando


Be open and honest in discussing upcoming holiday events and time sharing. Discuss the time share schedule, drop off and pick up times and locations. Set a doable budget for holiday spending and who will be doing the actual shopping.

Accept what you can’t change

In most cases, one parent may not be able to spend time with the children, due to the time-sharing schedule which can be hard. Be realistic that this is not the ex-spouses fault.  If possible make plans to call, face time or email the children on the given holiday.  Accept that this is not the end of the world you will see the children during your scheduled time.

Avoid Acting Out

Remain focused on the well-being of your children for the holidays. Do all that you can to avoid arguing or saying negative comments about the other parent. You know what conversations could trigger you to act out therefore avoid those traps at all cost.


If gift giving is a family tradition, be sure that all the children receive gifts, those living there full time and part time. There should also not be a major difference in the gifts that the children receive. Splitting the cost […]

By |November 17th, 2016|Articles|0 Comments

Overcoming Challenges in Blended Families

Overcoming Challenges in Blended Families

In blended families there are numerous challenges in becoming a family in harmony. The first relationship that must have a firm foundation is between the biological and step parents. In blended families there tends to be issues of anger, resentment and bitterness in the beginning. As step parents face these challenges strife can come in the marriage which in turn causes emotional separation. Below are a few tips that you could implement today to start a new path to bring unity within your blended family.

1. Be Intentional.

Make the decision that the two of you will support each other. In order to do this the two of you must have ongoing consistent communication.

2. No Visible Arguing.

Disagreements may occur, but do not allow the children to see or hear the two of you arguing with each   other.

3. Understanding.

Commit to having family meetings to resolve conflict by having a mutual understanding within the family unit. This can sometimes best happen with a counselor or mediator present, to allow everyone the opportunity to speak and feel heard.

4. Communication.

Be mindful of your communication with your step children and spouse. ie: words and body language.

5.  Understand that you are the step parent and do not need to validate your position.

In place of trying to validate who you are in your step children’s lives, simply show them love and acceptance through action.

Remember, you and your spouse are on the same team. You both want to see the family grow and have safe and healthy relationships. If you find that […]

By |November 1st, 2016|Articles|0 Comments

3 Ways Men Grieve Differently Than Women | Orlando Mens Counseling

3 Ways Men Grieve Differently Than Women | Orlando Mens Counseling

It’s no surprise that men grieve differently than women. However, it’s important to note that not all men grieve in the same manner. This article, talks a little bit about the male and female models of grief. Here, I would like to quickly present to you some of the ways men may grieve differently than women. Please note that everyone is different and no one fits in a box. What is considered normal for one man may not be considered normal for the next.


1. Avoidance: Many men who are grieving will turn toward work and keeping busy. Men may do this for two main reasons: one reason is to simply avoid the pain they are in; the other reason is because the expression of such pain is rarely expressed by men due to their own upbringings  and expectations placed upon them by their families and society. This may come off as being insensitive but it’s just the person’s natural tendency.

2. Anger & Rage: Men may also be more likely than women to express anger and rage toward the situation. This again stems from society’s expectations that anger is more acceptable than grieving and mourning for a man. So if a man is expressing anger and rage following a traumatic event or loss, it could be that person’s own way of dealing with it.

3. Do Something! Many men are seen as strong “protectors” to their families. Being protectors, they may have the urge to do something about the situation. Doing something may include things such as starting an investigation about […]

By |October 5th, 2016|Articles|0 Comments

How to Set Boundaries For Your Parents | Orlando Teen Counseling

How to Set Boundaries For Your Parents

By DeAnn

Do’s and Don’ts For Parents and Children Going Through Separation or Divorce

No. You didn’t misread the title. Unfortunately, in today’s day and age, more and more children and teens have to be the ones that take on the responsible role of setting boundaries in the family. This is the most common when parents are going through a separation or divorce. Here are some usual scenarios that happen in this family dynamic along with what the parents and kids should be doing.

Scenario 1: Parents are going through trial or legal separation and one parent is dating someone. The opposite parent wants to find out who this other person is; how long they’ve been dating, etc. The parent asks the child to find out for them.

PARENT: Do NOT let your child be your personal spy, this is crossing a line and involving your child in inappropriate behavior. Instead, keep communication open and find out for yourself. If your partner is lying or communication is next to impossible, then implement adult help such as a therapist, lawyer, etc.

KID: Tell your parent no if he or she asks you to interject in a subject you are not comfortable with. This is not disobedience since what they are asking is out of line. Be respectful in your response, but say something like, I do not feel comfortable asking mom/dad about that and do not believe it’s my place to do so.


Scenario 2: Parents have gone through a legal divorce and nearly hate one another. Each parent constantly belittles the other parent and talks poorly about one another.

PARENT: Keep in mind that your child […]

By |August 31st, 2016|Articles|0 Comments

First Step to Communication: The Lost Art of Listening | Orlando Couples Counseling

First Step to Communication: The Lost Art of Listening | Orlando Couples Counseling

The number one thing I hear as a counselor is that couples want to improve their communication. They want to be understood and be able to talk to their partners in a healthier way. In order for that to happen, however, couples first have to learn how to listen. Keep in mind that communication is something learned, but not in a classroom. It’s not like algebra or anything, but it might as well be! Our communication patterns are something we pick up from our environment and experiences, and many times we find ourselves communicating on “autopilot.” Maybe it’s the time you yell back at your kids just the way your mom did. Or maybe you find yourself receding to your man cave to avoid conflict, because this is what you saw your father do. Now we aren’t saying this is how we learn ALL communication, but the point is the way we communicate is often reactionary and based on our life experience, not on an actual skill that is taught, like driving or riding a bike. The way we begin to alter this is to challenge our previous way of doing things, and by adopting new behaviors that represent HEALTHY communication.

So first, we are going to talk about listening, probably the first GOOD step to bettering communication. We all get caught up in our own responses when communicating and “winning the argument,” and many times we miss the real message that is being conveyed. You can’t […]

By |August 9th, 2016|Articles|0 Comments

5 Steps to being a Smarter Stepparent | Orlando Children and Family Counseling

5 Steps to being a Smarter Stepparent | Orlando Children and Family Counseling

I never imagined my life would include me being a stepparent. Never. If you would’ve told me I’d be sharing vacations, Christmas’s, and parenting styles while raising a child other than my own, I would have told you you’ve lost it. In fact, quite the opposite was my expectation. It would look something like this: I’d meet a wonderful man at the age of 23, get married in lavish ceremony, and have my first son or daughter two years later. The world taught me from a young age that family was a mom and a dad and their happy children with a white picket fence, BBQ’s on the weekends, and holiday traditions. Funny how life throws curve-balls at you. As a person who went through every emotion in the book when I met my now husband, who had a four year old at the time, I can speak to the challenges that come along with being a step mom.  Here are some simple steps that helped me on this unexpected journey to being a smarter stepparent:


1.    STAY IN YOUR LANE. We all have the desire to pass on our knowledge and to raise our children in the way we want. When you become a stepparent, the first thing to recognize is the authority and position of mom and dad. They are the parents of this child and have the responsibility of making the important choices that go along with that, not you (at least at first). As difficult as it can be, at […]

By |July 20th, 2016|Articles|0 Comments

5 Inexpensive Things You Can Do to Enjoy the Last Drops of Summer | Orlando Parenting Counseling

5 Inexpensive Things You Can Do to Enjoy the Last Drops of Summer | Orlando Parenting Counseling

One of the most important things to maintain your mental health is to have a little fun! It’s sad to think about school starting just around the corner. As stores start preparing for back to school sales, here are some ways you can enjoy summer with the family without breaking the bank.


1. Go camping in your living room! Make it like a slumber party. Throw down blankets, sheets, pillows, or perhaps have sleeping bags. If you have a spare mattress or an inflatable one you can use that too. Have a little fun! Make pillow forts! Make it a movie night. You can go as crazy as you want with this one. If you have kids they will definitely enjoy this time and so will you. If you don’t have kids, then why not do this with your significant other? It can be romantic. Go for it!

2. Go to your local splash pad. This is a fun summer tradition that you can begin with your family and it’s free! You can google “Splash Pad” for some suggestions of some in your area. Make a picnic out of it since you’ll be at the park. Don’t forget to bring sunscreen and towels. The kids will love running through the water to cool off.

3. Also related to water activities, have fun with water in your own backyard. Have a kiddie pool? Fill it up and have fun! If not, make some water balloons and have a battle! You can also get a Slip n’ Slide or if […]

By |July 14th, 2016|Articles|0 Comments