Relationships

Developing Compassion after Trauma, & Heartbreak | Orlando Substance Abuse Counseling

Developing Compassion after Trauma & Heartbreak

by Jessica Candelaria Lipsey

Individuals who have experienced tragic or traumatic events in their life often struggle with self-hatred or intense shame.  These core feelings prevent self-love and compassion, ultimately postponing healthy, desirable relationships.  Furthermore, if someone has experienced trauma and lacks healthy coping skills, they are more likely to use alcohol or other substances to self-medicate.

Over 80% of individuals with alcohol or other drug problems have experienced trauma or abuse in their past. Part of gaining long term recovery often means working through the effects of trauma or abuse.  This is a process effectively mastered in the counseling setting.  Bringing up any trauma or abuse can be re-traumatizing (if not done correctly); therefore, it is vital to do this with a professional. This is especially true for individuals trying to stay clean and sober, as it can be a major trigger for relapse.

One major component in healing from past trauma is learning how to develop compassion.  Most importantly compassion and love for yourself.  Once we learn how to love ourselves, and accept ourselves entirely, then we are capable of truly caring for others. We can’t fill anyone else’s cup if ours is empty.

Compassion is absolutely necessary in successful relationships.  Let’s say our partner has said something hurtful but genuinely apologized, and we just cannot find it in ourselves to forgive this behavior.  The hardest time to have compassion for another is usually when they have done something unkind.  Hurt people, hurt people; but when someone has hurt us it is helpful to remember they are not […]

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 things you need to do to 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

  1. 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!
  2. 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 […]

3 Things to Consider after a Break Up | Orlando Relationship Counseling

3 Things to Consider after a Break Up | Orlando Relationship Counseling

by Cherlette McCullough

You’re single now. Has it been really difficult to move on after the break up? Have you found yourself consumed with your Exe’s life? Break ups are hard emotionally. No matter what kind of relationship whether it was short term or long term. Here are three tips to use quickly after the break up.

single, break up, relationship, anger management

  1. Exes can’t be your Friend after the Break Up

Being friends with your ex can be extremely confusing for one of you or both. This type of friendship is different because it started as a physical relationship. These relationships often make you stay in the past resulting in you not moving on to the right relationship that you deserve. When it’s over; let it go.

  1. Delusions after the Break Up

Stalking your ex by going to their social media pages, calling their family asking about them and their new love interest, showing up to places at times you know they are there, making excuses to call them, making situations with the children bigger than they are for attention. All of these will keep you stuck. It’s important to know if your ex has moved on its time for you to shift your focus to you and your children…not the ex and their new love interest. Also because you have custody or more time with children it may seem like your ex has more free time, but that doesn’t mean that your life is less full filling. You too can have friends to go out to […]

Fighting the Holiday Blues | Life Counseling Solutions

Fighting the Holiday Blues | Life Counseling Solutions

It’s the most wonderful time of the year. Is it really? For many, the holiday season is a somber time where we remember loved ones lost or the scarcity and pain in our lives. Here are some ways to combat the holiday blues.

holiday blues, depression, christmas, alone, stress,

  1. Reach out! As human beings we need to be with people. Making new memories is a great way to combat the holiday blues. Don’t have plans for the holidays? You still have time so start making some! Ask around to see what others are doing or create your own event by inviting friends. You’ll never know the fun you could have.
  2. Closely related to the first suggestion is this second suggestion: Lend your time. Do some volunteer work! Go serve food to the homeless. Look for ways to brighten someone else’s day. When you do these things you will see the joy in others’ eyes and in turn that joy will return to you. This will also enable you to spend time with others.
  3. Watch some funny movies. There is nothing like a good comedy to lighten your mood. Go for a classic or perhaps a movie you’ve seen recently that really had you laughing. The more funny movies you watch the better you’ll feel. They may or may not be holiday related, that’s entirely up to you and whatever will make you feel good.
  4. Read. Pick up a good book (or two). There’s nothing like getting lost in a good book. Go to your local library, bookstore, or look online for suggestions on books […]

Real talk on Sexual Assault versus Trump’s “locker room talk” | Orlando Sexual Abuse Counseling

Real talk on Sexual Assault versus Trump’s “locker room talk” | Orlando Sexual Assault Counseling

The head-line this week was all about Trump’s leaked conversation with Billy Bush in 2005. A large group of people consider Trump’s words to be deemed as sexual assault while others consider it just “locker room talk”. A recent article by CNN titled “Trump’s ‘locker room talk’ stirs real talk about sexual violence” highlighted the domino effects Trump’s conversation had on several women. In the article, women tweeted story after story of their first sexual assault experiences.

According to the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network (RAINN), every 109 seconds, another person experiences sexual assault and one out of every six women has been a victim of attempted/completed rape in her lifetime. Trump’s conversation may have been just “locker room talk” but sexual assault is very real for many people, particularly women.

Sexual assault is a devastating and tragic occurrence that happens more frequently than what most people realize. People who have been sexually assaulted often times want to forget and move past the incident without letting it affect their lives. However, there is a series of long-term effects that can occur to individuals that have been sexually assaulted.

Here are just a few long-term effects:

  • Have more likelihood to use drugs than the general public
    • One way people choose to cope after a sexual assault incident is to numb themselves from the pain or […]

5 Ways to Better Self-Care | Orlando Individual Therapy

5 Ways to Better Self-Care | Orlando Individual Therapy

I have often heard that we are our own worst critics. I’ve also heard that we talk to ourselves worse than we would talk to own worst enemy! Maybe it’s time to show yourself a little bit more love and respect. Here are five simple things you can do to improve your self-care, to enable a healthier you.

happy young woman relaxing at home, self-care

  1. Get more sleep! Yes, late nights can be very productive but your body and mind need sleep to recover and rejuvenate. You’ll be glad that you did and getting a full night’s sleep will lead to an even more productive tomorrow.
  2. Meditate. Take the time to meditate at least once daily. Clearing your mind can work wonders in your day. It doesn’t matter if you do it before you start your day or at the end of the day. It is a natural way to relieve stress and give yourself a much needed time out.
  3. Laugh. They say laughter is the best medicine. Take some time to laugh! Maybe watch a tv show that you find funny. You can also laugh at yourself. Instead of feeling bad about that mistake you made earlier in the day, try to think of it in a bigger picture and how it looks in the great scheme of events. It’s okay to laugh at yourself. Don’t take yourself so seriously.
  4. Get (or do) a hobby! Working on your hobby has many benefits. It’s a good way to release stress. While doing a hobby you would be able to relax and find some enjoyment. […]

An Open Letter to My (Adult) BFF…on Valentine’s Day | Orlando Counseling and Therapy

An Open Letter to My (Adult) BFF…on Valentine’s Day | Orlando Counseling and Therapy

            February 14th is usually reserved for lovers, spouses and significant others; but there is another relationship that should be recognized on this day of love: your best friend. As an adult, your best friendship looks very different from when you were in high school, but it is just as, if not more, important to have this kind of love in your life. So, whether you are single, dating, married or widowed, take time this Valentine’s Day to remember one of your truest loves.

 

group of friends on beautiful beach at sunset going back to home

Dear Best Friend,

Today, and everyday, I want to thank you. Friendship has changed from when we were fifteen, but I value you now more than I ever have and I don’t think life would be the same without you. Here are a few of the many reasons why you are my BFF.

  1. We no longer have sleepovers; but we cherish the hours we do have together. Back in High School, we could stay up all hours of the night eating, talking, laughing and being silly. Now, we are too tired for all that. Whether it’s due to kids, work, or just life in general, anything past midnight is difficult; but the dinner dates, wine nights, or random hang outs that last just a few hours seem to be more precious. The conversations are deeper and more meaningful. The advice is wiser and the life experience is more valid. So maybe we don’t spend a solid 24 hours together, but the 2-4 hours hold much more […]

3 Ways To Break Patterns of Toxic Love | Orlando Relationship Counseling

3 Ways To Break Patterns of Toxic Love | Orlando Relationship Counseling

 “I’m so sick of that same old love, feels like I’ve blown apart — I’m so sick of that same old love, the kind that breaks your heart,” are the words from the popular Selena Gomez song titled, “Same Old Love.”  Have you ever considered your pattern in love relationships?  Have your relationships left you feeling empty, angry and lonely over and over again? The painful reality is that many people find it difficult to stop to observe what they accept, tolerate and come into agreement with in their love relationships.

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This could not be a better time of the year to examine your love relationship patterns as we approach Valentine’s Day.  If you discovered that you are sick of that same old love and that you have had enough, then here are three ways to break your pattern of toxic love:

1)        Take A Relationship Inventory:  We cannot break toxic love relationship patterns until we first become an observer of them.  It is important to stop and assess what relational repetitions you have continuously recreated throughout your history. This can be a very difficult and painful step to take in looking at your own behaviors in your relationships, and to also recognize the emotional template that you may be unconsciously reinventing.  The help of a trusted friend or a professional therapist may be very helpful in working this step because they can look at your relational history with an objective view point.

2)        Create a supportive network: When you are trying to make life-changing decisions to break old […]

4 Things You Need to To Know When Becoming a Dad | Orlando Parenting Counseling

4 Things You Need to To Know When Becoming a Dad | Orlando Parenting Counseling

In the short span that I have been a father I have discovered and come across a few truths that every new or soon-to-be Dad should know. I have compiled them here and I hope they help you as much as they have helped me.

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1. Aside from breast-feeding and actual child birth, there is NOTHING that Mom can do that you cannot do. Probably the most profound piece of advice ever given to me relating to becoming a dad. Don’t be afraid to get your hands dirty and never shy away from your duty as a father. You can do anything and everything for your baby (with the exception of those first two, physically-oriented tasks). Don’t let anyone tell you that you don’t know what you are doing. You know just as well, and perhaps even better, than they do.

2. YOU WILL GET UPSET/ANGRY/FRUSTRATED WITH YOUR NEWBORN. Don’t feel guilty, it happens to everyone. What’s important here is to remember that the baby is just that – a baby. Your baby is helpless and cannot verbalize what’s needed. They will scream and they will cry. Add a sleep-deprived male in the mix and frustration is unavoidable. Have systems in place – if you feel you are becoming too angry to deal with the baby it is okay to gently put your baby down in the crib (or other safe place), take a step back and take a few breaths. You can then re-approach with a calmer mind. Some couples have a code word they use when they […]

Can Divorce Be Healthy For Kids? | Orlando Divorce Recovery

Can Divorce Be Healthy For Kids? | Orlando Divorce Recovery

Divorce is not an easy process to go through but children fare better if parents can limit conflict associated with the divorce or at least minimize the child’s exposure to it. Children who live in the custody of at least one well-functioning parent do better than those who are living in high stress high turmoil environments with both parents. The ideal situation for a child is to have two healthy parents working together in a shared custody agreement. As a divorced parent of an 8 year old I have seen firsthand that it is possible to raise a child who is happy and well adapted in spite of a divorce. Regardless of how her father and I felt about each other we made a decision to work together and put her needs at the forefront of our decisions. It has not been easy to keep peace and take the high road because there is a reason we are divorced but I’m glad we have treated each other with respect for her sake. I’ve had to bite my tongue and smile at times but I decided to be motivated by her and not my own pain, anger, disappointment, etc. You get the picture. At first I was concerned about her going back and forth between two homes but she needs both of us and we both meet a different need in her life. The back and forth has not been as much of a disturbance as I had feared. What is important to her is that she has time with both her parents and the divorce although difficult has actually given both of us […]