Adults

How To Love Your Family Better Than A Stranger | Orlando Individual Counseling

How To Love Your Family Better Than A Stranger | Orlando Individual Counseling

Somewhere in my decades old subconscious, I have a memory of being somewhere in the age range of 9 years old and throwing some kind of pre-adolescent temper tantrum. (Well, actually I’m sure that I had more than one of those, bless my parents). It was the kind of tantrum where I was determined to make everyone in the house as miserable as I was.   But in this particular memory, I must have been making every one in my home a little crazy that day. The situation must have gotten to a point of no return because my mom had to step in, but I don’t remember many other details. The only thing I clearly remember is what she said to me that day. It is a thought that is lasered permanently in my psyche. She said to me, “Zuleida, you would treat strangers better than you are treating your own family today.”

The truth of that statement hit me hard, in that moment, in a very good way. It stopped me dead in my tracks and gave me pause. Was what she was saying true? Yes! I would have been more polite and loving to someone who I didn’t know in those moments. Actually, if I were honest, I would probably have stopped treating my family so badly if a stranger had simply stepped in to witness how badly I was acting. I might have snapped to better behavior quickly! So what did that say about me? Simply, I cared more about what people who didn’t love me thought then the ones that did.

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How to Find Your Worth in Your Self & Not in Others

How to Find Your Worth in Your Self and Not in Others 

Many people struggle daily to build and maintain a positive self-esteem. Some struggle more than others because they have not yet developed a true sense of self. It is impossible to have self-esteem without a sense of self. How can you feel good about yourself if you don’t really even know who you are? When developing your sense of self, one of the key factors is to find your self-worth in yourself and not in others. Most of us are guiltier of this than we would like to admit. For example, if a girl is dating a guy who is verbally and emotionally abusive and tells her things like she is fat, worthless and disgusting, then she tends to believe this about her self and lose her sense of worth. She adapts his belief of her, which in turn affects her self-esteem.

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So, how do you find your self worth in yourself rather than others?

1. Set boundaries: Before getting into any relationship or friendship, be very aware of the kind of people you want to let into your life. You do not deserve to be belittled; therefore, you need to make that your own belief, so that it is easy to stick to your boundary. Start vague like: “I will not allow people that do not value me into my intimate life.” And become more specific as you become more confident in your ability to set and stick to boundaries.

2. Embrace your qualities and your flaws. No one is perfect. Everyone has flaws. The sooner you realize that it’s okay to […]

Christian Grey vs. Christian Husband | Orlando Relationship Therapy

Christian Grey vs. Christian Husband | Orlando Relationship Therapy

Well, it’s everywhere. Fifty Shades of Grey (The Movie) officially comes out this Friday, the day before Valentine’s Day, and everyone’s abuzz about seeing the steamy “love story” come to life. It seems like people are pretty divided about whether or not this is an erotic fairy tale or a story of abuse and power. The word “submission” is being thrown around a lot because of Christian Grey’s preference for BDSM; however, a healthy, Godly relationship also requires submission. But what is the difference between Christian Grey submission and Christian wife submission? Let’s take a look.

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The Bible says in Ephesians 5:22-24 and 1 Peter 3:7 “Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife even as Christ is the head of the church, his body, and is himself its Savior. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands.” God intended our marriages to look like His love for our church. The word submission can be taken of context; however, it is not meant for oppression, but to build a healthy, strong relationship.

A Christian Grey MANIPULATES, while a Christian husband EMPOWERS. Manipulation is used for selfish gain. A good husband empowers his wife for the gain of herself, her family and most importantly the will of God.

A Christian Grey INTIMIDATES, while a Christian husband ENCOURAGES. Christian Grey uses intimidation on a naive Ana to get what he wants out of her. A loving husband will encourage his wife to strive for better and go after her own dreams.

A Christian […]

Are You Settling in the Relationship? | Orlando Self-Esteem Counseling

Are you settling in the Relationship? | Orlando Self-Esteem Counseling

“Meg” is a 19 year old, beautiful, young woman. She is driven, funny, engaging, and kind. She has many qualities that guys would look for in a significant other and even, one day, a wife. But Meg’s boyfriend is not looking for a wife. He’s barely looking for a girlfriend. He doesn’t have a job, is still smoking marijuana and drinking almost daily and has dropped out of college. Worse than all of this, he never takes Meg on dates, doesn’t romance her in any way, and doesn’t speak her love language. (Click here for more info on love languages) Meg describes her beau as fun, and adventurous, but wonders if she can change the (many) behaviors that make him less than the ideal boyfriend.

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Unfortunately, “Meg” is a real woman…in fact, “Meg” is many women that constantly choose to settle in their relationships. When did we, as women, lower our expectations of men? When was it ok to be dating without ever going on a date? When did our self-esteems become so low that we forgot how valuable and worthy we are of having someone who adores us?

  1. Wanting a man that pursues you does not make you weak, it makes you desirable. Men like the chase. When you’re easy, guys get bored and stop trying. And when they stop, so does the excitement of the relationship.
  2.  You cannot change anyone except you. You are not the guy you are wanting to change and you are not God; therefore, you cannot change anyone. If you go into a relationship looking to tweak some things, take […]

10 Habits of Emotionally Healthy Families

10 Habits of Emotionally Healthy Families

As a young woman, I knew instinctively that I had some ground to cover if I wanted to one day live out my dream of being a part of a harmonious, happy family. My family gave me a great schooling in what not to do, but that left me very lacking and unsure about exactly what to do to one day have an emotionally healthy family of my own. Most of us have heard the statistics that over 50% of American families end up in divorce, and sadly that trend is not decreasing. So, it stands to reason that I have not been alone in my quest to understand how a healthy family functions.

When a person comes from a foundation of dysfunction, it can be easy to become so fixated on the dysfunction that one forgets to lift their head up and believe that there may be something better. Those of us who come from a place of longing for the safety and security of an emotionally healthy family because we’ve never known it, may want to know that it is possible to take concrete steps today. After over 10 years in various aspects of ministry and as a Licensed Mental Health Counselor, I want to share with you what I have observed about the habits of those couples who succeed in creating a lifelong, healthy, loving, and emotionally healthy family.

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Let’s face it. Family life is tough. Men and women have multiple roles and juggling acts to carry on their own. We live in an age where support systems for families are no […]

5 Indicators That You Need Relationship Counseling

In relationships it is normal to have ups and downs; moments when you feel close and times when you feel more distant. You may have heard the saying that couples fall in and out of love, I believe this to be true. However, there comes a time when a relationship may be facing more serious issues that if not dealt with will lead to the detriment of your union.

Below are five indicators that you may need relationship counseling.

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#1 – You are wondering if the grass is greener on the other side.

By this I mean you are entering into a dangerous zone that could lead to an affair. It is not uncommon for individuals to fall into temptation when they are not happy at home. Emotional distance can leave us feeling unwanted so when someone comes along showing interest and easily gives you attention it is easy to wonder if you could be happier with someone new. Before you make a decision that will have lasting effects on you and your partner it would be wise to resolve the issues within your current relationship and figure out if it’s really over before you start something new.

#2 – You think your mate may be having an affair.

It is easy to become suspicious or even paranoid about what your partner is doing when things are not good between you. However there is a point where things start to add up and you may begin to feel that your relationship is in real danger. Trust your intuition and don’t ignore the signs. It is time to do something before things get out of control.

#3 – He or […]

5 Reasons Women Stay | Domestic Violence

5 Reasons Women Stay | Domestic Violence

Did you know that approximately 15.5 million children are exposed to domestic violence every year; and a current or former intimate partner kills three women each day? This is more than just a statistic to my family and myself. I counsel individuals every day who are or have been in abusive/violent relationships and my family lost my eldest sister Carmen Rivera to domestic violence over 20 years ago. If we are to truly help those that are in domestic violence relationships, it is imperative that we understand the psychology behind those who choose to stay in these relationships.

Ray RicePeople who have not been in abusive situations find it very difficult to understand this level of dysfunction. Many times the victims are blamed for staying in this situation.  In my sister’s case, she was no longer in the relationship with the man who took her life.  In fact, she had a restraining order against him when she was murdered.

Below are a few of the many reasons why people stay in Abusive/violent relationships.

  1. Dysfunctional Emotional Connection. Those who use power and control with their partners are often verbally, emotionally and physically abusive along with apologies, promises, and affection to their victims. This often confuses the victim and they can start blaming themselves.
  1. Toxic Shame. A victim deep down often feels that something is wrong with them rather than the behavior of their partner. This results in a tremendous amount of feelings of shame and embarrassment. This, more often times than not, leads them to cope with denial of the reality of their situation.
  1. Safety Concerns. In […]

5 Questions To Choose The Best Orlando Therapist

5 Ways To Choose The Best Orlando Therapist | Life Counseling Solutions 

Did you know that most consumers of therapy don’t take the time to learn about what they need to know about partnering with the best counselor or therapist who can help them be successful in meeting their therapeutic goals?

Firstly, YOU are the consumer so ask questions and “shop” around to find the best fit for you.  It is also best to highly consider referrals from family and friends who have had experience working with a particular counselor or therapist.

ORLANDOBESTTHERAPISTLife Counseling Solutions like many counseling centers offer a complimentary phone consultation or face-to -face meeting. You want to take advantage of this opportunity to briefly explain your problem(s) and ask the counselor or therapist to share how they would approach the problem. If possible, try to chat with at least three different counselors or therapists.   Here are a few questions that you can ask in that initial conversation:

  • How many couples or individuals with similar issues do you work with per week?
    • For example, the more couples that a couple’s therapist works with per week, the more experience she or he has working with couples. Therefore, if you are seeking counseling for your relationship, then you want a therapist who primarily works with couples.
  • Do you work with a couple together or in separate sessions?
    • Life Counseling Solutions believes that it is imperative to see couples together. The therapist can miss the dynamic of how the couple relates when they are seen separately. While there may be a good reason to have one or two individual sessions with each person in the relationship, this should be more the exception […]

3 Questions To Ask Before Divorce | Orlando Divorce Counseling

3 Questions to Ask Before Divorce | Orlando Divorce Counseling

Deciding whether to divorce or not may be the most important decision you ever make in your life.  There are many questions to ask yourself in which the answers will make clear what is right for you.  Below are three questions and answers that will be helpful in guiding your decision.

1. Why do I want to divorce?

If you’re thinking about divorcing your spouse, there are a number of questions you first need to ask yourself before moving ahead. The initial inquiry is why?

  • What is going on in the marriage and maybe more importantly what is going on within you to want out?  Self reflection holds the answers to all the questions we could ever have about ourselves and about our life.
  • Have you taken the time to go within and understand what is driving your need to end your marriage?
  • Is there a need going unfulfilled?
  • Is there a desire going unnoticed?

Looking at your marriage and how you show up is another way to gain clarity about your thoughts about divorce.

  • Has the communication between yourself and your spouse broken down?
  • Have you talked about your feelings with your spouse?
  • Do you feel listened to?
  • Do you listen when your spouse wants to talk about their feelings?
  • Have you created a space of open and honest communication for both of you to share your feelings?

OrlandoDivorceCounselingThe answers to these questions will help give you clarity on why you want to divorce.  It may also bring up more questions as well as other reasons why you may be thinking about ending your marriage.  I invite you to take the time to inquire on the why and initiate a discussion with your spouse on […]

Four Ways to Combat Mean Girls | Teen Counseling of Orlando

Four Ways to Combat Mean Girls | Teen Counseling of Orlando

Very few young girls make it through elementary, middle, and high school without experiencing some kind of bullying. If only one girl in the entire school was being bullied, it would be too many. The trend of “mean girls” is on the rise. They may not kick, punch, or hit, but they know how to tear someone down with just a few sentences. There are ways that we can look out for each other, however. When we bolster those who are being picked on, the mean girls will have no one left to target. Here are four ways to combat mean girls.

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  1. Reach out. If someone is being bullied, they are often too embarrassed to approach an adult about it. If you think that your daughter or one of her friends might be a victim of mean girls in her school, sit down and talk to her about bullying. Create a safe environment for her to tell you about what happens in school and if she tells you something is happening, take real action.
  1. Don’t be a bystander. If your daughter is not being bullied, chances are that she has seen someone else being bullied, either in person or over the Internet. Teach her not to stand by while someone else is being bullied, and if you see someone being bullied online, on social networks, every social network has a way to report bullying and get those accounts blocked.
  1. Unplug. A lot of bullying goes on online these days. It’s easier, even for mild mannered children, to say something hurtful over the Internet, because […]