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ADDICTION:
BEHAVIORAL AND/OR CHEMICAL

 
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ADULT ADHD & RELATIONSHIPS

 

This fabulous 8-session seminar is given by phone by one of the top experts in how ADHD impacts relationships.  In it you will learn why you are struggling in your relationship, and what you can do to find the love you thought you had lost.

 

 
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ADULT ADHD

 

ADHD Journey

A 4 week group to journey from acceptance to actionable skills/tools. Click here to learn more.

 

 
 

COMMUNICATION

 

What is NVC?

Nonviolent communication (NVC) is a “language of life” that helps us to transform old patterns of defensiveness and aggressiveness into compassion and empathy and to improve the quality of all of our relationships. Studying and practicing NVC creates a foundation for learning about ourselves and our relationships in every moment, and helps us to remain focused on what is happening right here, right now. Although it is a model for communication, NVC helps us to realize just how important connection is in our lives. In fact, having the intention to connect with ourselves and others is one of the most important goals of practicing and living NVC. We live our lives from moment to moment, yet most of the time we are on autopilot, reacting out of habit rather than out of awareness and presence of mind. By creating a space for attention and respect in every moment, NVC helps create a pathway and a practice that is accessible and approachable.

The Model

The basic model for NVC is really quite straightforward and simple. It is a process that combines four components with two parts. While the four components are specific ideas and actions that fit into the form and the model of NVC, the two parts provide a solid foundation for NVC as well as for living nonviolently. They are the basis for Marshall’s ideas of giving and receiving from the heart. These brief definitions will be expounded further in the sections below:

Four Components

  • Observation: Observation without evaluation consists of noticing concrete things and actions around us. We learn to distinguish between judgment and what we sense in the present moment, and to simply observe what is there.
  • Feeling: When we notice things around us, we inevitably experience varying emotions and physical sensations in each particular moment. Here, distinguishing feelings from thoughts is an essential step to the NVC process.
  • Needs: All individuals have needs and values that sustain and enrich their lives. When those needs are met, we experience comfortable feelings, like happiness or peacefulness, and when they are not, we experience uncomfortable feelings, like frustration. Understanding that we, as well as those around us, have these needs is perhaps the most important step in learning to practice NVC and to live empathically.
  • Request: To make clear and present requests is crucial to NVC’s transformative mission. When we learn to request concrete actions that can be carried out in the present moment, we begin to find ways to cooperatively and creatively ensure that everyone’s needs are met.

Two Parts

  • Empathy: Receiving from the heart creates a means to connect with others and share experiences in a truly life enriching way. Empathy goes beyond compassion, allowing us to put ourselves into another’s shoes to sense the same feelings and understand the same needs; in essence, being open and available to what is alive in others. It also gives us the means to remain present to and aware of our own needs and the needs of others even in extreme situations that are often difficult to handle.
  • Honesty: Giving from the heart has its root in honesty. Honesty begins with truly understanding ourselves and our own needs, and being in tune with what is alive in us in the present moment. When we learn to give ourselves empathy, we can start to break down the barriers to communication that keep us from connecting with others.

From these four components and two parts, Marshall has created a model for life enriching communication that can be highly effective in solving conflict with our family members, with our friends, with our coworkers, and with ourselves. The basic outline of the model is the following:

When I see that______________

I feel ______________

because my need for ________________ is/is not met.

Would you be willing to __________________?

Keep in mind that this is just a model, and that using this form and this language is not the most important aspect of NVC. In fact, as you practice more and learn more, you’ll begin to notice that all four of these components can be present in the complete absence of the form.

Rosenberg, Marshall. Nonviolent Communication: A Language of Life. Encinitas, CA: PuddleDancer Press, 2003.
 

 
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DEPRESSION

 

Behavioral activation to treat depression is based on the theory that, as individuals become depressed, they tend to engage in increasing avoidance and isolation, which serves to maintain or worsen their symptoms. The goal of treatment, therefore, is to work with depressed individuals to gradually decrease their avoidance and isolation and increase their engagement in activities that have been shown to improve mood. Many times, this includes activities that they enjoyed before becoming depressed, activities related to their values or even everyday items that get pushed aside such as:

  • Exercising 
  • Going out to dinner 
  • Improving relationships with their family members 
  • Working toward specific work-related goals 
  • Learning new skills and activities 
  • Showering regularly 
  • Completing household chores

It is also important to examine sleep routines and eating habits and work toward normalizing these, as sleep and diet often change when individuals become depressed.

 

 
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PANIC ATTACK ANTIDOTE

 

Panic Attack Antidote

1.  Inhale 2 3 4
2.  Hold 2 3 4
3.  Exhale 2 3 4
4.  Hold 2 3 4

Focus on the breath and the count of four, repeat the same process until you reach a relaxed state.  Hint:  If you pinch your ears closed you can clearly hear your breath which can help you focus on it. Check out the video here.

 

 
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RELATIONSHIPS

 
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The Gottman Method

1.  Build Love Maps:
How well do you know your partner’s inner psychological world, his or her history, worries, stresses, joys, and hopes?

2.  Share Fondness and Admiration:
The antidote for contempt, this level focuses on the amount of affection and respect within a relationship. (To strengthen fondness and admiration, express appreciation and respect.)

3.  Turn Towards:
State your needs, be aware of bids for connection and respond to (turn towards) them. The small moments of everyday life are actually the building blocks of relationship.

4.  The Positive Perspective: 
The presence of a positive approach to problem-solving and the success of repair attempts.

5.  Manage Conflict:
We say “manage” conflict rather than “resolve” conflict, because relationship conflict is natural and has functional, positive aspects. Understand that there is a critical difference in handling perpetual problems and solvable problems.

6.  Make Life Dreams Come True:
Create an atmosphere that encourages each person to talk honestly about his or her hopes, values, convictions and aspirations.

7.  Create Shared Meaning:
Understand important visions, narratives, myths, and metaphors about your relationship.

8.  Trust:
This is the state that occurs when a person knows that his or her partner acts and thinks to maximize that person’s best interests and benefits, not just the partner’s own interests and benefits. In other words, this means, “my partner has my back and is there for me.”

9.  Commitment:
This means believing (and acting on the belief) that your relationship with this person is completely your lifelong journey, for better or for worse (meaning that if it gets worse you will both work to improve it). It implies cherishing your partner’s positive qualities and nurturing gratitude by comparing the partner favorably with real or imagined others, rather than trashing the partner by magnifying negative qualities, and nurturing resentment by comparing unfavorably with real or imagined others.

 

 
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SHAME & VULNERABILITY

 

Guilt:  I did something bad. (a feeling that drives us to do better)

Shame:  I am something bad. (a feeling that drives us to isolate, avoid and disconnect)

 

 
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GRIEF LOSS

 

Resources:

http://hospicenet.org/html/bereavement.html

Death ends a life, not a relationship.  Click here to learn more about continuing bonds. 

 

 
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MINDFULNESS