Blog

Let’s Talk About Sex

sex

Can it be awkward to talk to your spouse about your sex?  Absolutely!  We all want to think that we have everything figured out sexually and that our spouses are completely satisfied.  Many couples enter into a marriage expecting that things in the bedroom will just happen or have a way of working themselves out.  Obviously, this is not always the case. I often ask couples to look at it from this perspective: Would you rather endure a few possibly uncomfortable conversations or a lifetime of being unhappy or unsatisfied in your sex life?  By following these suggestions and opening dialogue between you and your spouse, you can assure you are moving intimacy in a more enjoyable and fulfilling direction...

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Is it Depression or Seasonal Affective Disorder?

seasonal affective disorder

This time of year can be very difficult.  Little to no sunshine, being cooped indoors, short days, and long nights.  It’s not unusual for clients to come into the office, and complain of feeling some depression symptoms.  Recently I have been talking to many clients about the differences between depression and Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD).  SAD is a form of depression, but is often misunderstood.  So what does SAD look and feel like? Symptoms Depression and Seasonal Affective Disorder have similar symptoms.  Some of these may include down or depressed mood, loss of pleasure in activities, self-isolation, loneliness, canceling social plans, lack of focus, no motivation, low energy, sleeping more or less, change in appetite, an increase in irritability, and thoughts...

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8 Reasons You’re Not Succeeding

succeeding

Now that we’re a few weeks into the New Year, it’s a great time to reflect on what is/is not working in your life.  If you’re feeling stuck, stagnant, and in a season where there’s no progress, I would invite you to read this blog.  There are many reasons why you may not be succeeding, and you have the power to make some change.  Here are some suggestions to help you achieve personal growth and success this year: 1.You’re the smartest person in the room The smartest and most successful people in the world know that they have to surround themselves with people who challenge them.  Presidents have staff members, business owners have board members, and celebrities have teams of...

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What is Enmeshment?

enmeshment

Enmeshment exists when one partner is overly consumed and obsessed with another person in a relationship.  It may be hard for outsiders to see where you end and the other person begins.  In an enmeshed relationship, you may think/say things like “You complete me” or “I can’t live without you”.  In this type of relationship, there are no clear boundaries. An enmeshed relationship is suffocating and codependent.  Enmeshment can include only spending time with one other person.  It can also look like being unable to make a decision without that person’s opinion. Enmeshment is most often seen in intimate/romantic relationships, but can also exist between parents and children, siblings, and friends. Most individuals who are in enmeshed relationships don’t realize...

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7 Effective Ways to Rebuild Trust in Marriage

trust

Sometimes people we love and care about the most will hurt us by breaking our trust.  Sometimes we end up being the ones doing the hurting.  When trust is broken in a marriage, it’s important to  repair the relationship by being intentional.  Whether the trust was broke by lying, infidelity, deceit, words, or back-stabbing, it’s important that the rebuilding process begins immediately. Increase and improve communication It may be hard to talk to your spouse, especially if you are the one who was hurt.  When your partner breaks trust, it’s important to talk about what happened and why.  Bad things can happen when you stuff feelings, build walls up, or avoid the elephant in the room.  Because of the hurt,...

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How to set S.M.A.R.T. Goals

goals

Happy New Year from Journey to Joy!  If you’re like me, you’re probably thinking about this fresh New Year and what you want to achieve in the next 365-ish days.  This is the season of New Year's resolutions and goal-setting.  However, the majority of New Year’s resolutions will fail within the first few weeks of January. It’s easy to get discouraged.  If you’ve never heard of S.M.A.R.T. goals, I hope to give you some insight into ways to set better and more achievable goals for this year. S is for Specific When a goal is specific, it means it is simple and precise.  Why do you want to accomplish this goal?  How do you intend to?  What will it take? ...

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Where Are We Going? A Faith-Based Perspective

faith

I remember in the months leading up to my wedding, during premarital counseling at church, a dear friend and mentor gave me a very important piece of wisdom.  He said, “One of the most important reasons marriage exists is to help get each other to Heaven”.  What an amazing concept!  Since that day, my perspective on marriage has changed completely.  Instead of just being a partner with my husband, I now feel a responsibility to make sure I am doing everything in my power to encourage and grow his relationship with God. Can you imagine the transformation that could take place if we all viewed our marriages in this way?  Millions of people say in their wedding vows “Til death...

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How to Set Boundaries During the Holidays

boundaries

It’s the holiday season!  For some, this season is full of joy, happiness, and togetherness.  For others, it may create a sense of anxiety, dread, and fear.  The hustle and bustle of the holiday season may feel more stressful than fun.  If this sounds like you, I hope to offer you some suggestions to help this holiday season go smoother than previous years by setting boundaries. What are Boundaries? The reason I talk about boundaries so much in session and also online is because they are so important!  Boundaries teach other people how we want them to treat us, and what we are/are not okay with.  When you set boundaries with family members, you may say things like: “No that...

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Where Does Shame Come From?

shame

Shame is a very hot-button topic right now.   Researchers like Brene Brown are taking a topic that was once so secretive and making it normal dinner conversation.  The interesting thing about shame is, the more you talk about it, the more its power over you diminishes. I often have clients ask me where their shame came from.  More often than not, it comes from your family of origin and upbringing.  It can be caused by bullying, unhealthy parenting, or chronic embarrassment. Messages like “You’re not good enough”, “You’re stupid”, or “You’re bad” (whether actually verbalized or implied) can create shame.  These messages create a negative self-talk in your head, that convinces you that you’re a failure and you’ll never be...

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Is Fear Driving Your Life?

fear

Fear is a natural emotion given to us to help us survive.  However, it can also be taken to an extreme, where it dictates your life and interferes with your functioning.  Fear can become dysfunctional and harmful when it comes from trauma, cognitive distortions, mental illness, shame, an unhealthy upbringing, or perfectionism. Fear is both a positive and negative emotion.  It’s positive in that it sends a “Danger! Alert!” warning to our brains when something seems off.  Its purpose is to keep us alive.  Sometimes we will experience a gut feeling or intuition that tells us something is wrong, even if we don’t have all of the information. Fear is also a negative emotion, in that it holds us back. ...

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