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Expectations: Can’t live with them, can’t live without them

Expectations… we all have them, we all feel the weight of them. In my sessions with clients the theme I see again and again is frustration and pain around unmet expectations. This can be true with our romantic partner, kids, job, friends, the list goes on. We cannot escape having expectations or having them thrust upon us. So why are we so bad at communicating them?

First let’s break down what it means to have expectations. Expectations is defined as ‘the strong belief that something will happen or be the case in the future.’ Every situation we enter we have a predetermined idea of how we think things are going to go or how we want them to pan out. For example, I have a friend who was excited about going to a pumpkin patch around Halloween with her husband and two children. In her mind they would head out in the morning and have this lovely fall day among the pumpkins, maybe sipping apple cider and eating some of those yummy doughnuts those places always seem to have. They’d take adorable pictures of their small children in the patch and selecting their perfect pumpkins before heading home for nap time. The kids would go down and she and her husband could relax on the couch maybe cuddle a little and talk about what a fun morning they had.

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Don’t Just Talk, Communicate! Advice for Couples

Communication is one of the most important aspects in a romantic relationship; it is also one of the most common reasons couples seek out therapy. Communication isn’t just expressing our needs, but also involves how we hear our partner when they express theirs. As a relationship goes on we much constantly evaluate how we communicate with our partner. The absence of meaningful communication within a relationship can lead to miscommunication, fights, and resentment.

How many times have you thought about your partner “they just don’t get it”? The answer may not actually be that simple. It may be that you are not communicating in a way they can easily understand, or they need some help with their listening skills to really grasp what you are trying to get across. Successful communication takes practice and does not come easy to many. Couples need to be willing to put in the hard work that it takes for most to reach a point of positive and healthy communication on a regular basis.

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Spring Cleaning for the House and the Mind: A Guide to Self Care

At this time of year we often think about going through our closets, basements, drawers, shelves, anything and everything where belongings may have overstayed their welcome. Out with the old and in with the new. Reorganize and re-prioritize our physical space. A cluttered home only contributes further to a cluttered mind, so lets’ get back to basics, practice a little self care, and get rid of all the extra noise we surround ourselves with. I myself face the task of organizing our basement which seems to have no real purpose other than a holding place for furniture and boxes of items we cannot use in our daily life right now. There are likely lots of things down there that we can part with for good. I like the idea of taking this one step further though, and while we purge the physical items that are no longer doing us good, let’s do the same for the mental items that are no longer (or never were) helpful to us.

Spring cleaning, both physical and mental, can feel like a daunting task. It is one meant to bring relief from clutter but the mere idea of beginning the process can feel even heavier than the baggage we’re carrying around. This is why many people choose to just leave things as is and not venture down this road. The question becomes then, how can we make spring cleaning feel less like a burden and more like the act of self-care it truly is? The truth is, there’s no easy answer to this. We all work and think differently and the mental constraints that may hold some people back from successfully cleaning house are likely not the same for everyone. The key is to find the tricks that work for you… and follow some general guidelines that are sure to assist anyone in this process.

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