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Understanding the Emotional Impact of Separation

Members in my divorce support group have discussed what bad habits they get into in their long-term relationships. I’ve often heard folks say that their long term relationships have changed them. They stopped doing things that made them feel happy and started experiencing less joy in their life in general. Group members question why they were with their partners and where things started falling apart in their relationships. Did they give up on their own lives? Was it possible to find...

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Play Therapy

kids parenting May 24, 2013

Often times, parents ask me how therapy works. One of the ways I’ve been able to get a sense that your child’s therapy is working is well described in writings by authors and my colleagues.

There is a stage where children do their deeper work during play therapy called the “deeper awareness stage.” It essentially parallels a mindful meditation. Here are some comparisons to that in Eckhart Tolle’s work. “Through both the language and the silence of the play,...

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Intense Emotional States and What To Do with Them

healing individual May 24, 2013

Oftentimes, we have intense emotional states and get flooded with the emotions. It’s important to understand why this is happening. Sometimes, we get flooded with past traumas, but it’s important to slow down and remember not to act or react during this time. People in our group described times that they felt flooded with emotional intensity. A lot of times, people who are going through divorce are triggered by what’s going on currently but they are also being reminded of...

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The Law of Choice

There is something called the law of choice where we have the ability to take responsibility and choose new interpretations that empower when trying to heal from divorce. We can take back aspects of ourselves that we have projected onto our mate. We can observe what self-defeating behavior we’ve displayed and how to react without this self-defeating behavior. How do we respond to different situations? The pain from the past and the fear of the future often keeps us stuck and unable to...

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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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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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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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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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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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