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Group Endings

In the groups that I lead, people often make deep connections by the end of the series. It is important to recognize that people come into the group for all different reasons: some people need support, some are having such raw emotions they need a place to go, some people need to hear that other people are going through similar things, some are looking for long term support, and others are opening the chapter for the first time about getting some therapy. When we’re expressing our...

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Seven Stages of Grief

Seven Stages of Grief
1. Shock and Denial
You will probably react to learning of the loss with numbed disbelief. You may deny the reality of the loss at some level, in order to avoid the pain. Shock provides emotional protection from being overwhelmed all at once. This may last for weeks.
2. Pain and Guilt
As the shock wears off, it is replaced with suffering from unbelievable pain. Although excruciating and almost unbearable, it is important that you experience the pain fully, and not hide it,...

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Ways to Avoid Putting Your Child in the Middle When Going Through Divorce

This is an excerpt from the book Cooperative Parenting and Divorce: Shielding Your Child from Conflict — A Parent Guide to Effective Co-Parenting by Susan Boyan and Ann Termini. This book is dedicated to protecting the emotional health of your children from the difficulty in the transition process of divorce. I highly recommend it for further advice on the subject.

Do not talk badly about my other parent. (This make me feel torn apart! It also makes me feel
bad about myself!)

Do not talk...

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How to Get Through a Difficult Day

Chop Wood Carry Water

This article will explain in more detail a Buddhist suggestion of what to do when going through a hard time.
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“Put your heart, mind, intellect and soul even to your smallest acts. This is the secret of success.”
Swami Sivananda
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Work. What does the word mean to you? Is it something to be avoided? Is it a means to an end? Is it the only appropriate focus of your attention and energy?...

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Activities to Deepen Your Relationship

couples individual May 13, 2013

Here are a few activities to deepen your relationship: you don’t need to do these all at once. Space them out over a month.

Just take one or two things that you think would be most helpful to the two of you.

1. Think of one behavior you have that the other person likes or praises:

Ask yourself why you do this. Share with your partner your feelings as you think about this behavior and why you do it. Then, think about a negative behavior that you do, especially around your partner....

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What Does Your Wedding Ring Mean?

couples divorce individual May 06, 2013

After people decide to separate, I’ve notice that there is a process people go through around whether or not they wear their wedding rings.

Often people wear their wedding rings throughout the whole divorce group series. They aren’t ready to take them off. Having a ring on your ring finger means something. For many it means they are not available to date and they are still attached to someone.

They may also be protecting themselves in their work environment because they...

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Is Divorce the Right Decision for You

A while back, I was interviewed about my methods when helping people contemplating Divorce. Here is an excerpt from that interview.

Many people who are considering divorce or separation have trouble making the decision. Maybe this is something you are going through right now. You may feel unhappy in your marriage, but afraid of the unknown – deciding to divorce can be scary. Perhaps the same questions keep going around and around in your head, and answers seem out of your reach. How can...

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An Example of Triggers in the Support Group

One of the members in my divorce support group, Sarah was so triggered by another, I couldn’t help but wonder if they would be able to connect. Mary, had been left by her partner. Sarah, had been the one to leave. Being face to face with each other brought up feelings of guilt, anger, and hurt that really originated in the relationships each had lost.

As it turned out these members got past the triggers by moving deeper into their pain and owning the parts of themselves that felt...

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Understand the emotional impact of separation

What bad habits did you get into in your long-term relationship? Often times I’ve heard folks say that their long term relationship changed them. They stopped doing things that made them feel happy and they experience less joy. In long term relationships we sometimes question why we were together and where things fell apart. Did we give up on our own lives? Was it impossible to find happiness with our mate, or was it both? Often times the habits of not communicating, losing interest in...

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How is your marriage house?

couples healing Apr 18, 2013

One of my favorite theorists, Gottman, writes about the sound relationship house. The sound relationship house is a really great model of trying to identify the patterns in your relationships and where the weak areas are. If we think of the relationship as a house, we have to build a foundation and make that foundation really solid before we build the frame. There are 7 basic levels of relationships and we can think of the first three floors as being made up of a friendship system, the basis...

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