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.


  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 […]

Three Things You Need To Know About Suicide | Robin Williams Death | Depression Counseling of Orlando

Three Things You Need To Know About Suicide | Robin Williams

 Shock, Disbelief, Confusion…. those are a few of the words that I heard in reaction to the untimely death of Oscar winning actor Robin Williams.  Two of his films are on my list of favorites: Ms. Doubtfire and Good Will Hunting.   His characters made me laugh as well as cry as I watched them.  Sadly, for most individuals like Robin Williams suicide is preventable if there is appropriate intervention.  There are a few common risk factors for suicidal individuals.   The three things that you need to know about suicide are the following:

1)    History of Mental Disorders. Often times when an individual suffers from reoccurring mental disorders such as depression or bipolar (manic-depressive) disorder, addictions (alcohol or substance abuse or dependence), schizophrenia; borderline or antisocial personalities disorder to name a few they can be vulnerable to suicidal ideations. Usually there has also been a previous suicide attempt and/or a family history of attempted or completed suicide and at times a serious medical condition is present.

2)    Inescapable crisis. There are some individuals who view their life circumstance or dilemma as unavoidable and feel a complete loss of control. In these cases, there are some feelings and thoughts that they may experience and even communicate to those close to them (ie. Can’t see themselves as worthwhile, can’t see a future without pain, can’t seem to get control, can’t make the sadness go away).

3)    Prolonged Isolation. Often times this is more of a “feeling” of being cut off from other people over a sustained period of time. The individual can also feel that the “black internal hole”  or emptiness that they feel is so deep and […]

5 Tips to Survive End of Summer Blues | Orlando Family Counseling

Summer break is a time when families get to slow down, enjoy quality time and relaxation by getting out of the normal rigid routine associated with school, homework, sports, etc. When “back to school” rolls around it can be tough to get back into a normal routine. Kids and parents alike often show signs of stress and anxiety as they prepare to get back to the hustle and bustle leaving them feeling deflated. Are you suffering from the end of summer blues?

Here are 5 tips to help you get on track and eliminate the unavoidable stress!

summer, vacation, back to school,

1. Get your kids to bed early NOW. School will be starting soon so don’t wait till the Sunday before school starts to begin the early to bed routine. Kids typically need a good 10 plus hours of sleep so get them well rested this will help when early morning rolls around.

2. If you want to be ahead of the game have a plan. This means figuring out what your kids will be wearing the next day, what they are having for lunch and prepping the night before. The more you have done before you go to bed the less you have to rush around getting done in the morning. A few minutes in the evening can give you a much better start to your day.

3. Get up earlier. If you are like me it takes me a long time to get ready and adding another person just amplifies the morning rush. I have found it extremely helpful to get up at least 30-45 minutes before if I want to have a stress free morning […]

4 Ways To Prevent Teen Isolation | Orlando Social Anxiety Counseling

As I continue to work with teens in counseling, I’m constantly learning their new trends, ways of life, and outlooks on everything from family, to relationships, to friends. The newest sentence that keeps popping up in my sessions is: “I like my internet friends rather than my real life friends.” When I ask why the response is usually something like: “My internet friends don’t judge me” or “I feel comfortable talking to my internet friends because it’s not a face to face conversation” or “my internet friends are niceteens, online friends, anxiety, isolationr, more accepting and understand what I am going through.”

While these conversations always raise a red flag for me (i.e. online pedophiles, etc.) I remain calm and retrieve some information about these “friends” they are referring to. Back in my day, chat rooms were a big craze and you really didn’t know who was chatting on the other end. Today, apps like Instagram and Skype are used more often for online friends to connect and chat. This makes teenagers feel like they know the person on the other side of the screen because they can see their pictures or speak to them in real time. Texting apps are also a huge way that teens are “socializing” with their friends they meet online. Obviously, still, there can be predators on the other end.

What concerns me, mentally, though is the social wall that these teens are building. I have seen numerous clients push their “real friends” out of their life so much, that they are left with nothing but an online presence. They shut the real world out, and let the cyber world in. It’s […]

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.


Here Are 5 Signs You […]

Are You A “Nomophobic”

I’m nomophobic…and chances are, you are too.

Nomophobia is a new disorder that is defined as “the fear of being without your smartphone.” This phobia actually affects 40% of the population. Studies show that “aside from sleep and sex, the urge to log into social networking sites is stronger than any other, including drugs and alcohol.”

How many times have you caught yourself saying, “What did I do before I had a smartphone?” or scrambling to plug your smartphone in because you cannot think of anything worse than it dying, thus not having access to “the world.” When we think about it logically, it is silly how much we depend on this technology, but when push comes to shove, leaving the phone at home, just because, is almost unheard of!

young-fashionable-woman-reading-sms-10086812Many people claim that the last thing they touch at night and the first thing they touch in the morning is their cell phone. As a married woman, this makes me sad, mostly because I am often guilty of it, but also because when I was a teen, I used to dream about how wonderful it would be to wake up next to the one you love and get a good morning and goodnight kiss every day. Now, we are more concerned about the latest posts on Instagram and Facebook, or what our calendars look like, rather than living and being in the present.

Personally, it drives my husband crazy how often I am on my phone (especially when he is driving), and vice versa when we are watching TV, but we are both trying harder to “be present” and enjoy life through our own eyes rather than through […]

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 […]

4 Healthy Boundaries in Social Media | Orlando Counseling Services

Strength Behind the Screen

In a world of selfies, hashtags, and tweets, social media and the pressures it brings have bombarded our lives. It is well understood by now that social media can be used to bring harm, heartache, and even “acceptance” to its users, but it is surprising how often we gain “strength” behind the screen to promote, defend and process.


The most common types of statuses and comments that we come across (or have posted ourselves) are ones like the following:

The passive aggressive, not so passive status: “I usually do not post statuses like this, but I just have to vent with how frustrated I am with…”

The vague, not so vague, post about someone, who knows that they’re the someone that the post is about: “I want to unfollow you because I see you with her, but I can’t because it’s my only connection to you.”

The posts that are fishing for compliments: “Feeling frustrated because I can’t seem to shake these last few pounds” which are usually followed by “What are you talking about?! You look amazing!”

The outright fights that people have via comments, which doesn’t need an example. We’ve all seen it!

While social media can be fun and even beneficial at times, it is important to understand when to limit yourself and your thoughts to the entire world. Here are some helpful tips to keep healthy boundaries online and to take that strength that you have behind the computer or phone screen into the real world.

  1. Do not pick fights over the Internet – When you are upset with someone social media is not the place to hash things out, even if they start the […]

5 Tips For Overcoming ADD/ADHD Without A Prescription

5 Tips For Overcoming ADD/ADHD Without A Prescription

BY: Dwight Franklin, AP

 In today’s world it is very common to address a child’s problematic behavior through the use of pharmaceuticals. While this can be a helpful tool to aid your child’s ability to function and concentrate in school, it is not without its side effects. I have heard many complaints from parents that their child seems to lose their unique personality while taking ADHD medication and/or that they sleep most of the day away. Many others have told me that while the medication helps it does not completely correct all the symptoms that their child is experiencing. I have yet to come across a parent that tells me how ecstatic they were about putting their child on medication even if it was effective. So why do parents go for the medications when they have such anxiety about doing so? It can be for many reasons but the two main reasons are the pressure from outside forces (teachers, medical doctors, family members) or it may simply be that the parent is not aware that there are other ways of handling a child’s behavioral issues. Here are 5 tips that can help a parent have the most success with their ADD/ADHD child.


  • Cut out all processed sugars!  This by itself can make a huge impact on the behavior of the child. While foods such as cookies, cakes, white bread, and soda are bad for us all, they are especially damaging to a child. As adults most of us have learned right from wrong and appropriate from inappropriate. A child is still learning these things and when excess amounts of […]