How To Maintain Your Identity When “I” Becomes “We”

couples counseling for high conflict | Foundations Family Therapy | Raleigh, NC 27606

If you’re in a monogamous relationship, then you know how wonderful it can be to find someone you love so deeply.

Often times, especially through marriage, couples become a unit which can be a good thing! You might enjoy the same activities, hang out with the same people, and finish each other’s sentences.

Being in a loving relationship is an amazing thing. But sometimes, it’s easy to lose sight of yourself when every new decision you make suddenly affects another person. The good news is every couple can learn to maintain their individuality while still growing together.

Start with these tips!

Do What Makes You Happy

Relationships are all about compromise, but remember that your personal happiness is still important.

Make time for healthy hobbies that you enjoy.

Don’t be afraid to schedule a little “me” time to take care of yourself.

Make an effort to spend time apart when possible. This will help maintain other relationships in your life. it will also keep you from putting too much pressure on your partner to be your everything.

Set Healthy Boundaries Within Your Relationship

Every couple is made from two unique individuals sometimes with different opinions, thoughts, and beliefs. You have to have a good understanding of your personal self when you’re in a relationship in order to set boundaries accordingly.

You don’t have to change who you are to meet someone else’s standards. Saying “no” can help prioritize yourself and your feelings.

Ask For Guidance

No matter where you’re at in your relationship, couples therapy can help you identify what’s working and what’s not. Through couples counseling, we want to help you connect with your partner and for you to feel supported and validated. You can get that “loving feeling” back again and in a deeper way than ever before.

Couples Counseling can help couples build a firm foundation before their wedding day, help couples resolve a specific conflict or help save a marriage after infidelity. Right now, your problems seem overwhelming. But our therapists have seen other relationships in crisis. We’ve worked with other couples who are tired of arguing.

Whether you are trying to work through something small or on the brink of divorce, counseling can help. If you and your partner are ready to work on your relationship as individuals and as a couple, we’re here to support you!

3 Ways To Build Self-Acceptance In Swimsuit Season

counseling for self esteem | Foundations Family Therapy | Fuquay Varina & Raleigh, NC

Summer is here!

Kids are out of school; the North Carolina humidity is upon us and pools are open! This can be a time of year where we are (whether we want to or not) bombarded with messages about how our body should or shouldn’t look.

You can’t go to the grocery store without seeing images of perfectly chiseled abs and flat stomachs on the magazines at self-check-out. So, with all this influence swirling around us, how do we view our bodies in a healthy way and how do we build body confidence? Let’s talk about it.

Explore what is driving your negative thoughts about your body. If it’s fashion magazines, let’s dive in and ask a few questions. Do these people look like people you know? What percentage of those photos are Photoshopped? (Probably all)

It can be easy to compare our bodies with ‘perfect’ bodies that are not real. It could also be that social media is driving your negative thoughts. Maybe a friend posts a swimsuit selfie and you wish your arms looked like hers.

Sometimes we can channel negative thoughts about ourselves into tangible, healthy goals. If you want to work on your arms, can you make goals to do gym exercises that work on tone or building muscle? It’s important to see your own personal growth with those changes and not comparing your growth and progress to someone else.

We all have different body types and it’s important to celebrate them. Check out positive body conscious companies like Aerie that promote all body types instead of having one ideal for beauty.

What do I do for myself versus for others?

This question can be tied to the previous example as well. If I want to start working out my arms, am I doing it for others and appearances or am I doing it for myself?

When you wear make-up or get a pedicure, does it feel good for you or for others? Does it make you feel confident to dress up in a suit and tie or to work out at the gym? When you choose healthy food choices, is that for you? It’s important to evaluate your body self-care and the purpose behind it.

Think about what your body can do. We often focus on what we don’t like about our bodies that we forget all the amazing things that our body can do. Some examples are: run, hike, swim, breathe, touch, experience the world, give birth to a child, build a house, create, paint, etc. We can dance, jump, play sports, yoga, and kickbox. What does your body let you experience, or feel or see?

Staying with the above example, you start working out your arms and now you can do 5 pull-ups when at first, you could one. Embrace everything that your body can do.

Hope these tips are helpful in your journey in building healthy body confidence for this summer and beyond. Need additional support in developing positive self-image? Connect with me at FFT.

Renee Pugh, Licensed Clinical Social Worker

How Couples Therapy Can Strengthen Your Relationship

Being in a relationship is a wonderful thing. Healthy relationships provide a sense of comfort, support and, of course, love. Relationships are special because they allow us to connect to someone in a deeper way. Unfortunately, one thing people often forget is that relationships are also work. They require regular maintenance to keep them running smoothly. Don’t wait until things get out of hand to get help with your relationship. Here are a few ways couple’s therapy can help maintain all the wonderful things about your relationship.

Active participation. Couples therapy is a great way to allow both couples to participate and be heard. This type of participation can provide treatment for you as a couple instead of as two individuals.

Better understanding. Therapy provides a healthy and safe setting where you communicate with your partner. You’ll be able to listen and understand your parents feelings to move forward in repairing or maintaining you relationship.

Reconnection. Better understanding leads to reconnection. Once you identify the issues and make steps to work toward them, you can focus on the positive aspect of your relationship.

Judgement free. At Foundations Family Therapy, you’ll work with one of our Licensed Marriage and Family Therapists [LMFT] who will provide professional guidance and support to both people. This is a great way to get a qualified third-party opinion to help you strengthen your relationship.

Provide solutions. Best of all, couple’s therapy can help provide solutions to your problems as a couple. Your therapist will work to identify the obstacles in your relationship and provide professional recommendations to help you move forward in love and support. Many couples leave therapy having gained insight into their relational patterns, emotional expressions and skills necessary to communicate and problem-solve with their partners more effectively.