Divorce

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 […]

5 Signs of a Codependent Relationship

Tracy has felt like just an extension of another human being, at a loss of her own personal identity, and a doormat to her husband Bill of 23 years.  She describes her marriage as “all giving and not much getting”. She is frustrated, drained, alone, and so aware of his constant wants that she no longer knows what she wants out of life.  She admits to feeling sorry for herself often and has sought help but has never really followed through with anything. She admits that her fear of his anger or rejection dictates much of her decisions and accepts the relationship for what it is because she is “already too invested”.  The real investment here is her codependency with her husband.

Have you found yourself in a similar situation as Tracey? Do you find yourself constantly giving and giving, trying to please your partner, and/or trying to resolve your partner’s problems? Although it is normal for there to be moments in the partnership where you don’t feel a reciprocal amount of effort, it begins to get unhealthy when it is more the norm than not. It gets harmful and destructive when you find yourself in the codependency dance in your relationship.

Codependency is often associated with that of partners of alcoholics.  However, today we can see this same dysfunctional dynamic in any type of relationship.  Codependents get their label by finding their self-worth and value in their ability to give to others.  We see this in the alcoholic and codependent relationship because while the codependent is giving, pleasing, and fixing the alcoholic is taking, draining, breaking, and taking some more.

OrlandoCodependencyTherapy

Here Are 5 Signs You […]

Performance Based Self-Identity

Self-identity is the recognition of someone’s potential and qualities as an individual. When we have a balanced view of our self-identity, we can find the worth and value in the many facets that make us human. For example, a person can say I am smart, I am kind to others, I am attractive, I have a great sense of humor, I have a good work ethic, etc. However, many people find their self-identity, and their self-worth, not in who they are, but what they do.

This is called Performance Based Self-Identity.

Performance Based Self-Identity creates two types of people: perfectionists and avoiders. Both of these types of people have the same mantra of “I must meet certain standards to feel good about myself” (taken from “The Search for Significance by Robert S. McGee- highly recommended!)

self-identity, performance, failing, workaholicBeing a perfectionist is often viewed as a good trait because perfectionists work hard, get things done, and are reliable; however, being a perfectionist means that impossible standards are set and never obtained. No one is perfect; therefore, setting out to be is impossible and frustrating when not achieved. The perfectionist’s thinking of him or herself looks like, “Today, I got a 100% on my AP test; I got the highest promotion at work; I am a mom who has it all together…therefore, I am good/valuable/worthy/etc.” While these are all wonderful achievements, situations and circumstances change on a daily basis, so if a perfectionist feels valuable because he got the highest promotion, what will happen to his self-worth if he gets fired or laid off? This is when the perfectionist spirals into a state of devastation […]

6 Ways to Combat Holiday Social Anxiety | Orlando Social Anxiety Counseling

Halloween has come and gone and now we are starting to see Christmas trees, Santa Clauses, and retailers decking the halls with sales and specials. Thanksgiving has gotten lost amongst the hustle and bustle of it all, which means one thing: The Holidays are upon us. The Holidays are a time when people enjoy Christmas parties, family gatherings and work events. ‘Tis the season to be jolly, right? Well, not for someone suffering from Social Anxiety Disorder.

Orlando Social Counseling

The Holidays can be one of the most stressful times of the year for someone who suffers from Social Anxiety. This may even be a time that he or she finds dreadful. Here are Six Ways to Combat Social Anxiety During the Holidays and make this season a merry one.

Six Ways to Combat Social Anxiety During the Holidays

1) Inform Yourself: Anxiety comes from the unknown: “Who will be at this party?” “What if everyone thinks I’m stupid for bringing this gift? What are we even supposed to bring?” “What time is everyone showing up?” If you ask the host these questions and get this information beforehand, it may alleviate a lot of that anxiety.

2) Stick with the least threatening situations: If you are the most comfortable at a small family gathering or an intimate dinner rather than the annual corporate Christmas party, then go to those events. You do NOT have to go to every event that you are invited to, but you DO need to remain social during the holidays. Avoidance will only fuel your social anxiety.

3) Avoid/Limit alcohol: You may think that a few glasses of wine may help calm your nerves, […]

“Her Story” Orlando Infertility Counseling

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Orlando Infertility Counseling with Life Counseling Solutions highlights an Orlando woman who is stepping out as an advocate and writing about “Her Story”.  She is a voice for other women who are feeling alone and struggling with infertility.

“Her Story”

 When my husband and I started trying to get pregnant, we just assumed it would happen naturally and quickly…the way that 50% of women get pregnant within 3 months, 75% within 6 months, and 90% within a year.  After about 9 months of no success, I finally got a referral for a reproductive endocrinologist, and that is when our journey began.  We learned that we had some mild male factor infertility and a low ovarian reserve.  That was a blow to find out, because, at only 32, I still considered myself young and healthy.  Our doctor encouraged us to get started on fertility treatments soon since “time was not on our side.” We started our first round of IUI a few months later.  Despite everything seeming ideal that cycle, we did not have success.  I remember crying the morning I got my period and thinking that it might never happen for us.  It seemed that everyone I know was getting pregnant.  I dreaded going on Facebook because I just knew that someone else would be announcing her pregnancy, but yet I couldn’t resist checking anyway.

We did another round of IUI two months later and at the end of the month, we got the news we had been praying for…a positive pregnancy test!  My beta levels were rising just as they should and we quickly spread the word among our […]

Trash Talking Your Ex:The Long Term Emotional Impact For Children

There is an old saying “There is a fine line between love and hate.” You understand this now.  You never thought you would be so confused, full of anger and overwhelmed by feelings.  Being a divorcee and co-parenting never crossed your mind. You are hurt, angry and trash talking your ex. You try to not to say anything in front of the kids but you have a million passionate words to describe your ex and you were done wrong. The attorney and judge stressed the impact negative comments about your ex partner would have on your kids. So what is the long term emotional impact for your children when trash talking your ex?

We all know kids of divorce. Some of these kids are adults now who have commitment problems, poor self esteem, trust issues and don’t know what a healthy relationship looks like. Maybe this is you or your ex? You may have parents who divorced and trash talked each other. Was this your normal? Did this impact you as a child?

Our childhood experiences and behavior modelled by our parents teach us how to interact, trust and develop relationships with those we love. It is doesn’t make sense but we often seek out partners with whom we can play out our unresolved childhood experiences.  So at times we try to re-enact our childhood and heal from the experiences we had as children.  You were impacted as a kid by what your parents said and role modelled for you, the good and the bad. We can’t help it.

Marina Sbrochi an author and writer is researching trash talking […]

4 Warning Signs of Sibling Bullying

A new study published in the Journal of Pediatrics from researchers with the University of New Hampshire brings light to a very talked about subject in a very different environment. We are all aware of the unfortunate situation of bullying occurring at school. Name calling, physical aggression, and children taunting each other are the common methods used by bullies towards their victims in the school setting. Depending on the severity of the bullying that an individual has experienced, it can have lasting impact on their emotional and psychological well-being.  But what about being bullied at home? Is it possible to be bullied by your own sibling? The aforementioned study finds that sibling bullying is real and can be harmful to a child or adolescent’SIBLINGBULLYINGs mental health.

Surely if you have grown up with brothers and sisters, or have children of your own, you are aware that various forms of sibling rivalry can occur. Maybe you argued over who the best athlete is or constantly fought over who would ride in the front seat.  Sibling bullying is different from sibling rivalry in that its main purpose is to hurt the other child. This can occur physically or emotionally.  Sibling bullying is different from peer bullying in that siblings have the ability to get at each other quickly. Parents, listed below are a few warning signs and advice to use if you suspect that sibling bullying is going on in your home. While this is not an exhaustive list, it exists to give parents a starting point to help assess the relationships between their children.

WARNING SIGNS

1. Harsh insults are forms of sibling bullying and can take […]

7 Ways To Stay Sober When Traveling | Addiction | Life Counseling Solutions

Have you heard the old adage that “when the cat is away the mice will play?” When children are left unsupervised it doesn’t take long for them to find, or create, a little mischief. Who can blame them? Our brains quickly process the situation: no one’s around, this doesn’t happen too often, let’s take advantage of this opportunity and have some fun. As we grow out of childhood and even adolescence into young adulthood, not a lot changes in regards to “opportunistic situations.” For some men, and perhaps women as well, the struggle to not view pornography while at home or throughout the week in daily routine can be a real internal struggle. Now take that same individual and send them out-of-town to work and you have a potentially hazardous situation. Here are seven healthy tips that should help protect you when leaving the comforts of home for work in another city or country.global_professional-career-dining-etiquette-business-dinner-iStk

  • Everyone who struggles with pornography addiction or any other sexual compulsivity should have an accountability partner. If you don’t have one, get one! If you can’t find one, I’ll be yours until you can. Inform him or her of your work trip plans and increase the number of contacts over this period of time. This will help you to not take this trip in isolation, which can be a disaster if you’re in the hotel room all by yourself.
  • Try and book a hotel that doesn’t offer HBO type channels or offer pornographic videos. If you can’t find one simply request that the television be removed for the duration of your stay. Nothing is more important than your sobriety. Another option is to […]