How to Heal After a Break-Up


Breaks-ups are hard and they are painful.  So often people just want us to move on, forget about the other person, and drown our sorrows in a pint of mint chocolate chip ice cream.  But if you’ve ever been through a bad break-up, you know those things are impossible, and that ice cream only puts a temporary Band-Aid on your hurt. Today I’m going to talk about moving on after a difficult break-up.  I know these words may not “fix” how you feel, but I hope that they give you some validation and hope that things will be better eventually.  I also want to provide you with some simple tips to help cope with your big feelings and pain right...

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How to Love Yourself

love yourself

Happy Valentine’s Day from Journey to Joy!  As wonderful as this Hallmark holiday full of love can be, it can also be really painful for some.  Sometimes expectations are not met, no effort is made, and you may feel hurt, let down, or disappointed.  It’s hard to be single this week, and it’s hard to be in a relationship/married if you have a partner that doesn’t try.  If you feel sad about this week, it’s okay.  You aren't alone. What I want to remind you, is that you have to take care of you.  This blog is not about others loving you, it is about you learning to love yourself. A lot of people struggle with loving themselves.  We are...

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Why I Think You Should Consider Premarital Counseling Before Your Wedding


Pretty soon we will be starting wedding season!  It’s hard to believe that spring will be around the corner.  This is also the time of year when many couples have gotten engaged and are also planning a wedding for this year or next.  If you find yourself engaged, I want to take some time to advocate for the importance of Premarital Counseling.  So much time goes into the planning of the wedding, but what about planning for the marriage?  What if you spent time planning for your lifetime together, in order to address any problem areas before you say “I do”?  I think it’s important, especially with our marriages, to be proactive versus reactive with addressing problems. Why Premarital Counseling?...

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Do You Live in a Depressed House?


This time of year can be especially difficult for those who are prone to Depression.  Lately, I’ve noticed an influx of clients who are really depressed and struggling with the cold, dreary days we’ve been experiencing.  Whether it’s Depression, Seasonal Affective Disorder, or both—it can be hard to function when the days are so short and gray. Have you ever heard of a depressed house?  It’s a household that has one or more people who struggle with Depression.  When even one person in a house struggles with Depression, it changes the whole dynamic of a house.  So how can you help your household? When You Are the Depressed Person Depression can look very different from person to person.  For some,...

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“It’s OK That You’re Not OK”: A Book Review on Grief


Last fall, one of my clients recommended a book to me.  My client had suffered a humongous loss, and someone had given her this book entitled “It’s OK That You’re Not OK: Meeting Grief and Loss in a Culture that Doesn't Understand” by Megan Devine.  So I grabbed a copy and read it on a flight, often with tears streaming down my face. Megan Devine is a therapist, just like me.  We both have around a decade of experience.  And like Ms. Devine, I thought I understood grief and loss.  Until I experienced 2 major back-to-back losses in a span of 10 months. Ms. Devine lost her partner, Matt, in a drowning accident in 2009.  None of her training, experience,...

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Why January is Called “Divorce Month”


January is a hard month for multiple reasons—it’s cold, dreary, there is not a lot to look forward to, and the holidays are over.  January is also known unofficially as “divorce month”—the month where more divorces are filed than any other month of the year. The first Monday after New Year’s Day sees a significant hike in divorce filings.  For some couples, they stay together for the holidays to create one last “normal” Christmas.  Oftentimes this is done for the sake of the children and/or extended family.  Sometimes it is because the couple wanted to give it one last push at the end of the year to see if things could be fixed.  Also, since the New Year is associated...

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The Long Goodbye: Grieving Someone with Alzheimer’s


My husband and I have been binge-watching the TV show The West Wing.  If you don’t know about this fictional show from the late ’90s, it’s awesome!  It’s about the behind-the-scenes of the presidency, including the staff and their roles, and all the many stressful things the West Wing deals with while the rest of us go about our day.  Recently, one of the episodes we watched was about the Press Secretary and her father’s battle with Alzheimer’s disease.  The name of the episode was “The Long Goodbye”. This episode not only made me think about my own experiences with Alzheimer’s, but also my clients.  I have so many clients who have loved ones that have received this diagnosis.  Caring...

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Why I Think You Should Start Therapy this Year


Happy New Year from Journey to Joy Counseling! Are you one of those people that sets goals for the New Year?  I’m not talking about just making New Year's resolutions, but setting actual goals.  A resolution is only a desire to do or not do something.  Resolutions, while good in theory, don’t usually (statistically) work out.  According to Forbes, around 8% of New Year’s resolutions are actually achieved.   That means 92% fail! Setting goals can help you hone in on a specific achievement.  Goals represent ambition, and they are dreams.  They create direction and guide us to the desired outcome.  Goals often bring along permanent changes.  Goals are often more likely to be achieved than just resolutions. This New Year,...

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How to Take Care of Yourself During the Holiday Season


Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays from Journey to Joy!  As wonderful as the holiday season is, it can also be really, really hard on people.  Today I want to take some time to address ways to take care of YOU during this season—despite what may be going on around you.  I firmly believe that we can all not only survive this holiday season but also thrive during it. Boundaries About a year ago, I wrote a blog called How to Set Boundaries During the Holidays.  I talk so much about boundary-setting during the holiday season because boundaries are so incredibly important.  If you don’t set boundaries you end up frustrated, anxious, hurt, and disappointed (at yourself and others).  When you...

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What Does it Really Mean to Have Gratitude?


Happy Thanksgiving from Journey to Joy Counseling!  This week is full of cleaning, shopping, preparing, and cooking for many people.  It’s easy in the busyness to get lost in the planning and lose sight of what this holiday is all about: Gratitude. According to the Oxford Dictionary, gratitude is “the quality of being thankful; readiness to show appreciation for and to return kindness”.  But what does it really mean to have gratitude?  How do you work to increase your gratitude?  This week we are going to discuss what gratitude really means, and what it looks like in action. Be Present Gratitude forces you to be present, and to see things in the here and now.  When you are grateful, you...

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