When we were toasting to a new year on January 1, who would have thought we’d spend most of 2020 quarantining and social distancing due to a global pandemic? I certainly didn’t. It has brought couples and families together for better or for worse. There have been unexpected financial burdens, medical crises in your family, and hours of home schooling. We have mastered Zoom, Skype, and every other virtual communication platform to connect us to colleagues, families, and friends. Although we may feel there is too much togetherness at times, we are still longing for CONNECTION.
In a time with so much uncertainty, we still want to be seen, heard, and valued. When both partners are working from home, you may feel there is constant communication.
But is it meaningful communication? Our computers and cell phones are our link to the outside world. Longing for normalcy and for connection outside of our family, we have become addicted to our phones. So, put down your phone and spend quality with your significant other!
Have a picnic dinner by candlelight
Make some sandwiches or order take-out. Throw a blanket on the floor and enjoy each other’s company.
Bake cookies and deliver them to an elderly neighbor. Find a ministry collecting canned goods and clean out the boxed / canned items from your pantry.
Pull out the board games
Have some friendly competition. Play three games – and the (winner) best of three gets a backrub from the one who loses.
Get your hands dirty
Start a winter vegetable garden. Use your herbs or vegetables when you cook a meal together.
Bring out the pencil and paper
Sketch each other. Pay attention to each other’s details as you draw the portraits. Clothes optional.
We may be longing for normalcy, for the life we had pre-COVID-19. But we were exhausted and disconnected. Cherish this time of less obligations and less distractions. Cherish the simplicity. Let’s connect, REALLY connect. May we all remember what it means to really embrace the ones we love, and may this become our new normal.
If you need help connecting with your spouse in a meaningful way, contact one of our licensed therapists.
Hearing is something we do every day.
We hear the sound of a lawnmower or the sound of a beeping car horn. Our sense of hearing is not necessarily something that we can just “turn off” – it’s involuntary.
On the other hand, active listening is about tuning in to a conversation with motivation and purpose. Active listeners tune in with an intention to connect and participate in a conversation – not just hear.
Active listening can help nourish meaningful relationships in your life. Use these 3 tips that can help you become a more active listener in your relationships.
Master Nonverbal Communication
Nonverbal conversation has a lot of deep meaning. You can learn to read and use body language in ways that help build better relationships. Eye contact, facial expressions, gestures, and posture affect the way you are communicating.
These nonverbal cues can signal interest, affection, or hostility without saying a word. Before you engage in a conversation, think about all of your nonverbal cues and what they communicate.
Put down your cell phone and shut off the TV! Active listening is about making a conscious decision to hear what people are saying. It’s about being completely focused on others—their words and their messages—without being distracted.
Active listeners can tune out distractions and noise to tune into the conversation at hand. In its most basic form, active listening is when someone is listening for meaning and feeling and not just content. When you eliminate background noise and distractions you are signaling that the conversation (and your relationship) is a priority.
Mindfulness is an essential part of active listening. When you are mindful, you make a conscious decision to focus on the moment at hand. Mindfulness helps you focus on the here and now which is an especially important skill set. We’re so often triggered by words the words we hear that it’s hard for us to understand what’s really being said.
Remember that mastering communication and the art of active listening is something that takes work in any relationship. The good news is that it’s an achievable goal.
At Foundations Family Therapy, we provide counseling to help strengthen relationships. 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. Give us a call today!
Think about all of the ways your life is enriched through your relationships.
Whether romantically involved or bound by friendship, relationships help provide essential support and nourishment in life.
It’s no secret that relationships require work. They are mutually transformative and grow over time but not without setbacks or challenges.
Successful relationships are based on balance and mutual support making clear communication absolutely necessary.
Relationships are so complex and take finetuning along the path to growth and fulfillment. Here are a few ways Couple’s Therapy can help benefit any relationship.
You Can Learn About Your Partner’s Emotional Needs
Known in the therapy world as EFT (Emotionally Focused Therapy), this type of therapy specifically focuses on the individual emotional patterns of both people in the relationship. The goal of EFT is to create a secure and trustworthy bond that results in a healthier, happier bond.
Therapy can improve communication so both partners feel heard and understood. It can help couples navigate the complexity of decision-making and goal-setting ensuring each person is making a compromise.
Diving into your history as a couple as well as your individual histories is important. It helps you better understand what specific issues mean to each of you. This will help couples identify and share feelings.
You’ll Gain A Non-judgmental Third Party Perspective
When you are part of the relationship, it’s hard to remove yourself from it and view it without bias. Couple’s Therapy offers professional third party guidance, support, and advice that can help repair or refresh a relationship.
Often times, a therapist understands what you are trying to convey and offers a clear and understandable translation to your partner. Because relationships are built on trust and communication, it’s important to understand how to communicate effectively.
Couples Therapy can help overcome communication obstacles by developing a greater understanding of each other.
You Can Discuss A Variety of Topics
There are a variety of elements that cause strain on a relationship. Couple’s Therapy at Foundations Family Therapy is designed to help couples open up and discuss specific elements of their relationship. It provides a healthy way to analyze individual communication styles, personalities, ambitions, personal values and goals, finances, and conflict resolution.
There is no magic formula that can fix a broken relationship but at Foundations Family Therapy, we’re here to help you reconnect. We help couples connect in a supportive environment at our comfortable Fuquay-Varina and Raleigh offices.
Our couples therapy clients report feeling like their partners understand them better, respect them more, and support them after therapy.
Strengthen your relationship today!
This week is recognized as National Suicide Prevention Week and The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention is helping spread awareness with their theme, ‘The Power of Connection.’ This is a wonderful theme considering we connect as humans through meaningful relationships.
Connection at a deeper level in a healthy relationship plays a huge role in your ability to thrive in life for many reasons.
Healthy relationships provide support and connection.
They build over time which helps people grow stronger together. They provide security and stability which can give us a great sense of purpose in life. True relationships help build our wellbeing by acting as a safe haven for our thoughts and feelings. As a result, a good relationships helps us know we are understood. This helps us to open up about both positive and negative experiences in life.
Relationships also inspire compassion.
Good relationships generate feelings of compassion and empathy. We learn to care deeply for those we love. If you’ve ever been in a relationship, then you know it’s a two-way street. It’s great to have someone to confide in but it’s equally important to listen. Your compassion in a relationship can help your loved one find optimism and relief.
Happiness is another great benefit of being in a solid relationship.
Science actually tells us that giving freely creates joy! Studies show that giving is one of they keys to happiness. In fact, when you give your time, energy and love to someone you care deeply about, you’ll feel happy and fulfilled in return. Your happiness will help you function well and, chances are, it might even spread to others in your life.
Of course not all relationships are healthy and happy. Some experience rough patches that need a little guidance. We are all imperfect individuals coming together trying to connect, engage, and balance multiple goals, dreams, and demands.
What we really crave in a healthy relationship is connection, support, love, and acceptance. Let a member of our team help you start thriving in life and the relationships that matter most. Give us a call today!
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.