Our relationships with our significant others are among the most important in our lives. They give us satisfaction few other things or people in life can. Our relationships with our significant others provide the richest parts of our lives. However, few couples begin their relationships equipped for addressing anxiety disorder with anxiety counseling. Here at Parker Counseling Services of Parker, Colorado, we’re able to help couples build on their strengths and develop new strengths as well by addressing anxiety with anxiety counseling known as Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. 


What Is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy?  

The American Psychological Association explains Cognitive Behavioral Therapy:

“CBT is based on several core principles, including:

  1. Psychological problems are based, in part, on faulty or unhelpful ways of thinking.
  2. Psychological problems are based, in part, on learned patterns of unhelpful behavior.
  3. People suffering from psychological problems can learn better ways of coping with them, thereby relieving their symptoms and becoming more effective in their lives.

CBT treatment usually involves efforts to change thinking patterns” 

Engaging consistently in this practice decreases, or brings to a normal level an individual’s episodes of anxiety. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is practical, and places tools in the hands of the client that he/she can use against anxiety, whether at work, out with their significant other, or home alone.

Self-care Tips When Living With Anxiety

Here are five self-care tips when living with anxiety:

1. Decrease or eliminate caffeine from your diet. Caffeine stays in the body’s system for up to six hours. When attempting to de-escalate from an episode of anxiety, that caffeine is resisting your efforts.

2. Get plenty of sleep. Sleep has been shown to be vital in having the energy needed to face the challenges of the day.

3. Socialize with family and friends daily. Even if it’s just a phone call, make that call.

4. Structure your day reasonably. We tend to put too much on ourselves, and it causes us to rush. This can cause heart rates to increase. Our brain responds which can cause anxiety. Make a list of all you want to get done. Cut half of that list out. 

5. Recreation is important for our daily routine and is often overlooked. Schedule recreation on your list whether it’s sports, reading a book, or crafts. Getting into the ‘zone’ is often relaxing and therapeutic.

Contact Us

Counseling Services of Parker is currently serving the Parker, Colorado area and is available with just one phone call. Call Counseling Services of Parker today for a stronger, better relationship experience when Cognitive Behavioral therapy is involved building strength upon strength. Contact us at Counseling Services of Parker. We are looking forward to hearing from you.

How many times have you heard “just breathe” or “it will all be ok” when you are experiencing a panic attack or elevated level of anxiety? While it is nice to hear these ideas, it can also be frustrating because we know this. We know we should just breathe or tell ourselves it will all be ok, but that is not the problem.

The problem is not that we don’t know this, the problem is in how our brain processes the current situation. In these moments we may be feeling out of control or unsafe. So, we tend to move into fight or flight mode and our anxiety continues to increase.

Also, in these moments our brain and body are typically not in alignment with one another. So, how to we help our brain process what we are experiencing as it is and keep our brain and body aligned? Through coping skills, such as grounding.

As mentioned in previous blogs, anxiety is all about control. The ides behind grounding is it can help us stay present in the moment and be in control of our current situation. Also, what is great about grounding is you can use it anywhere! If you are in public, people won’t even notice what you are doing.

Grounding involves using the five senses. The next time you begin to feel out of control and your anxiety increase, try this:

  1. Stop wherever you are (If you are driving, pull over to a safe place on the side of the road)
  2. Look around
  3. Silently or aloud name five things you can see
  4. Name four things you can touch
  5. Name three things you can hear
  6. Name two things you can smell
  7. Name one thing you can taste

Again, the idea is to keep you present and in the moment. I do like to add deep breathing while completing the grounding technique. To do this, you will take a deep breathe in through your nose, hold for a short-time, and breathe out through your mouth while going through the five senses.

If you would like to learn more about grounding or other coping skills for anxiety, please contact me. I can help you find the techniques that best work for you.

When you exchanged vows with your partner, you promised to stay together through thick and thin. No matter how wonderful things are with your spouse now, every marriage faces bumps in the road. What counts is how you address those issues as they come along, and it makes it a lot easier to weather the storm when you have built a strong foundation of trust, communication, and love. This process doesn’t happen all at once, but is built brick by brick each day by how you choose to prioritize your spouse and marriage. This doesn’t mean that you have to bring your partner roses everyday or spend your money on elaborate gifts; there are very simple ways to make your partner feel appreciated and strengthen the bond you have. Best of all, you don’t have to wait to start this process; there are certain small things you can do that make a big difference in your marriage.

Say Thank You

It can be easy to brush off the things your partner does for you as just part of their “job” as your spouse, but it’s important to show them gratitude for the little ways they make your life better. Regardless of whether it is something as small as remembering to pick up milk at the store, or something bigger like supporting you while you pursue higher education, always thank your partner for the way they contribute to your shared life.

Relive the Past

When you first met your partner, you were completely enchanted. Every date was incredible, and every little gesture got you excited about the future. But now you have been together for a while, and you’re in a routine. Those cute little romantic gestures you used to do have simply fallen by the wayside. Brush off the dust and try one again now. Whether you use to bake for them, leave them sweet notes, surprise them with a special date, or send them flowers for no reason, remember why you were together in the first place with a gesture that brings back fond memories of your courtship.

Work Out Together

It’s typical for couples to gain a little weight after being married for a while. After all, who are you trying to impress? You locked it down! While you may worry less about what you look like naked in front of your spouse, it is still in the best interest of your health and the health of your marriage to find an exercise you like to do together. Whether it’s swimming, a workout class, tennis, or hitting the batting cages, finding an active way to spend time together is a great way to support each other in being healthy while deepening your bond.

Show Some PDA

This doesn’t mean that you need to make out with your partner in front of everyone at your sister’s wedding, but don’t fear showing your affection for your spouse in public. Holding hands, smiling at them, putting your arm around them, or a well-placed and sincere compliment lets your partner know you care about them, and you aren’t afraid to show it. Most importantly, always treat your spouse with respect in front of others and refrain from hurtful teasing.

Let Go of the Little Things

You may hate how your spouse leaves dirty dishes in the sink sometimes, or keeps forgetting to put their laundry in the hamper. However, holding onto these little resentments is detrimental to the health of your marriage. Accept that your partner is a real person who has flaws. They can’t always get it right, just like you. If this isn’t enough to let these small things go, take some time each week to talk about it. If you have an official discussion about it this often, chances are, the issue will not be as frequent, and if it is, you have the opportunity to calmly discuss it when you aren’t in the heat of the moment.

Cuddle in the Morning

Maybe you and your partner are used to snuggling up at the end of a long day, but chances are, you probably don’t take the time to do the same in the morning. You might be short on time, but just taking an extra five minutes in the morning to physically connect with your spouse is a great way to start your day and deepen your marriage. You don’t even need to talk; just set your alarm a little early and when it goes off, enjoy enveloping the love of your life in your arms.

At Counseling Services of Parker, we understand that sometimes, marital problems run deeper than you can handle on your own. If you are having difficulty communicating with your spouse, you may benefit from marriage counseling. We have experienced therapists who can help you with couples therapy. Contact us today to schedule an appointment.

In our previous blog post, we talked about four great reasons why couples come see us for our marriage counseling services. If your communication has become negative, if one of you has had an affair, if the two of you seem to be just roommates, or if you just don’t know how to move forward from an argument, then it might be time to see a third party’s opinion. Marriage counseling is the perfect solution for these issues, as well as any of the following:

One of you is acting out on your negative feelings.

What we feel on the inside eventually shows on the outside. Even if one of you has been suppressing your emotions for some time, these feelings will eventually show and possibly lash out. Negative feelings, such as disappointment or anger, can often turn into harmful behavior. If one of you has had an affair, then it is counterproductive for the other to agree to stay in the relationship and act in a spiteful way to continue to make the unfaithful one feel guilty. These sorts of harbored emotions can erupt and cause total discord in a marriage, and oftentimes, marriage counseling is one of the only ways to sort through these feelings productively.

It seems like the only possible resolution is separation.

During a particularly rough argument or disagreement, some space can be helpful. Taking a breather from one another for an afternoon can be helpful, but if your space apart turns into a night away from home or even temporary separation, then it might be time to seek marriage counseling. Spending any amount of time away from home is not usually going to resolve any issues you might have. Instead, it can make you or your spouse believe that getting distance is good and that absence is the way to solve problems. When the partner who left finally does come home, the issue is still avoided because time has passed and both parties have cooled off enough to ignore the fact the argument ever happened.

You’re only staying together for your kids.

Some couples believe that it’s best to stay together for the sake of their kids. However, a marriage counselor may be able to provide more perspective on this. While a couple might think they are doing the right thing by staying together, they could actually be harming their kids. On the flip side, there are couples out there who are able to work through their issues and move forward towards a happier, healthier relationship.

Contact Our Marriage Counseling Professionals

If you think that you and your spouse may benefit from marriage counseling, then it’s time to give us a call. At Counseling Services of Parker, we can help you two work through whatever issues you might be having and teach you stronger ways to communicate with one another. While not all marriages can be saved, we do believe that you will both gain clarity in what has been happening with your relationship and what the best method is for moving forward and improving your overall quality of life. Contact us today to schedule your appointment!

When it comes to keeping your relationship strong and healthy, it’s important to be able to take a good look at the current state of your relationship and see what it needs. Have the two of you been communicating effectively? Have your problems been seeming more difficult to work through together than they were previously? Making the decision to seek marriage counseling can be tough, but with an open-minded approach and an understanding of what can be done during marriage counseling, you might find that you and your spouse might see many benefits. What are the most common reasons that couples, such as yourselves, seek marriage counseling?

Communication is no longer positive.

When you have a hard time communicating in a positive way, it can tear down you or your partner’s self-esteem. This turns your interactions into negative ones, which can lead to feelings of resentment, depression, insecurity, and wanting to withdraw from being around each other altogether. While this might not be the words one of you say, it can be the way they are said. If you feel that either one of you is leaning towards negative communication, it might be time to bring up couple’s counseling.

One or both of you have had an affair.

Recovering from an affair is difficult work. It demands commitment, forgiveness, and a determination to move forward. However, when both partners are interested in salvaging the relationship, then marriage counseling may be just what the two of you need to begin the healing process. Together, you can work through the differences you have and come to a resolution about the best way to move forward. Sometimes this is mending the relationship; other times, the best option is to move on.

When the two of you are behaving like roommates and not a couple.

When your relationship turns into just cohabitation, this means that your marriage could be struggling. If you and your spouse have been struggling with communication, conversation, intimacy, or anything else the two of you find to be essential in a relationship, then marriage counseling may be a good way to find a solution.

You are having issues resolving conflict.

If the two of you have been arguing and you aren’t sure where to go from there, it’s time to figure out what it causing the discord to begin with. Talking these things through with a third party, such as a marriage counseling professional, might give the two of you some perspective and a fresh idea on how to solve your problems.

Contact Us for Marriage Counseling

If you believe that you could benefit from marriage counseling, please contact us today! We are proud to serve the residents of Parker with the utmost discretion and care. Check back to read our next blog that will include more signs that you and your partner should consider marriage counseling. Please call now to schedule your appointment. We look forward to working with you and your partner as you learn healthy and durable communication skills.

When you enter a marriage, you take your vows under the assumption that nothing will ever tear the two of you apart – so what do you do when you start to feel distance growing between you? Marriage counseling is a great way to learn how to navigate these feelings and open up communication with your partner. We at Counseling Services of Parker know that relationships and marriages can be saved, but only through hard work and an understanding of what is tearing them apart in the first place.

We teach our couples the concepts behind Dr. John Gottman’s “Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse.” This is just a fancy way of saying that there are four factors that can predict divorce and separation in couples.

Criticism

Criticism is a way of implying that something is wrong with your partner’s personality and not necessarily just an action. When you use phrases like “you always” or “you never,” then you are making your partner feel attacked, which may cause them to respond defensively. This is a bad pattern because neither person feels heard, making conflict resolution even more challenging.

Defensiveness

Of course, when you or your partner tries to defend yourself what you think is an attack, then you can become defensive. This defensive mindset prevents people from owning up to their mistakes and taking responsibility. This only heightens miscommunication. When one partner takes on this trait, then they may quickly turn themselves into the victim of the situation and perceive their partner as an attacker rather than someone trying to solve an issue that both parties are a part of.

Contempt

Putting yourself on higher ground than your partner is showing them contempt. For example, rolling your eyes or scoffing at them when they make a suggestion is you indicating – even if unintentionally – that you are superior to them in some way. Contempt is the most serious of all the horsemen because these put downs and insults can get in the way of the love and affection the couple feels for each other in the first place. You can overcome this challenge, but only with dedication to improvement.

Stonewalling

Stonewalling is shutting down from a conversation or exiting it entirely. Whoever the stonewaller may be might physically leave the room or stop listening and direct their attention elsewhere. They may look like they don’t care, but typically they are shutting down to avoid dealing with their emotions or to calm themselves. However, this is perceived by the partner as an indifference to the situation and an unwillingness to communicate.

Call Us for Marriage Counseling

If you see signs of the four horsemen or believe that you and your partner could benefit from marriage counseling, then please contact us today! Counseling Services of Parker is here to help you. No matter what might be happening in your relationship, we can work as a team to strengthen your communication techniques and grow together instead of apart. Marriage counseling takes work, but if both of you are willing to put in the effort, we will be able to see progress. Contact us today to learn more.

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We know that there are many ways to improve and strengthen your relationship, which is why we offer marriage counseling services for those of you who are interested in growing as a couple. The research performed by Drs. John and Julie Gottman have proven to be extremely useful when creating a strong relationship, which is why we are happy to teach the nine components of the “Sound Relationship House.”

The Sound Relationship House

A home cannot be built without a solid structure and foundation, and the same can be said about relationships. A relationship needs to have the following in order to not only survive but to thrive:

  • Build Love Maps – Think about how well you truly understand the psychology of your partner. What is his or her history? What about worries, stresses, hopes, and joys? Once you know the ins and outs of your partner, you can have a more thorough “map” to understand the other.
  • Share Fondness and Admiration – When you express how much you love one another frequently, it can be a gentle reminder that even through your arguments, you care about one another. Expressing appreciation and respect can help this.
  • Turn Towards – Instead of hiding how you are feeling, be sure to state your needs. Whenever your partner is seeking attention, make sure to respond. It’s the little parts of the day that build a strong relationship.
  • Stay Positive – Keeping a positive approach to any issues will keep energy high and connections strong.
  • Manage Your Conflict – Relationship conflict is completely normal and actually serves several purposes. Once you recognize this, you can handle ongoing issues and solve the little problems.
  • Make Life Dreams Come True – When you foster an atmosphere that allows for both parties to talk about their hopes and aspirations, as well as their convictions, it creates a healthy and uplifting partnership.
  • Create Shared Meaning – Understand the important narratives and visions in your relationship. What is your story, and where will it go from here?
  • Trust – This is the knowledge that your partner will have your back no matter what happens. You believe that your partner will always act in a way that will maximize both of your best interests.
  • Commitment – This isn’t just promising to be true to one another. It’s also believing and acting as if your lifelong journey is with this person, no matter what happens. It means focusing on the good in your partner instead of the bad and avoiding unfair comparison to others.

Contact Us

Of course, this is just a brief overview of what you would learn when you partake in marriage counseling at Counseling Services of Parker. If you would like to make an appointment with our therapist, please contact us today. We know that together, we can work on strengthening your relationship or marriage, as well as find out what has been troubling the two of you. We greatly look forward to coaching the pair of you towards a healthy and durable relationship that will last a lifetime.

More and more people these days are turning towards couples and marriage counseling to help work through any issues they may be having with their partner. However, it’s important to note that this doesn’t necessarily mean that the relationship is in trouble – sometimes, it is useful to have an unbiased third party take a look at your relationship’s struggles and provide some perspective. Today, we would like to discuss the benefits of couples and marriage counseling so you can decide for yourself whether it’s the right decision for you and your significant other. If you decide to give it a try, be sure to call Counseling Services of Parker today to learn more!

Advantages

One of the biggest advantages that couples experience after going to counseling together is having a knowledgeable professional take a look at any struggles you may be experiencing and be able to give you some perspective. For example:

  • Potential ideas and solutions the two of you may not have considered before
  • Patterns that are apparent in your relationship
  • Reasons behind your reactions to one another
  • Intentions and possibilities
  • Consequences that may result from words and actions you have taken against one another
  • Any hidden expectations you or your significant other might have for your relationship and behavior
  • Beliefs you did not realize that you had

Understanding and Moving Forward

For whatever reason, your relationship may feel as if it is at a standstill. When you invite an objective third party to take a look at what is going on, you will be able to address any issues and work as a couple to reach a solution. In fact, good counseling will reveal your flaws in how you think about your significant other’s behavior. By this, we mean the thoughts that you’ve created in your mind in order to make sense of the present. For example, if you don’t understand why your spouse walks away from fights, talking to a therapist may be able to help you both understand this behavior and how to change it.

Perspective

A big part of successful couples and marriage counseling is gaining a perspective that the two of you cannot achieve on your own. Having a third party explain exactly how your significant other is feeling, as well as how you are feeling, can be extremely beneficial in gaining some much-needed perspective. Beyond this, you might be able to discover what your goals are as a couple yet don’t know how to achieve. Sometimes you think you know exactly what the problem is, but counseling can reveal the true heart of the matter.

Contact Counseling Services of Parker

If you are interested in learning more about our counseling services, please do not hesitate to contact us today! We know that working together and uncovering your weaknesses can be a challenge, but many couples grow successfully from this process and learn new communication techniques that help them stay together. Schedule a couples or marriage counseling appointment today in order to further your relationship with your loved one.