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Real Reasons You Are Going to Couples Counseling

Most couples I see state that the reason they are coming to counseling is “to improve communication.” Usually, there IS difficulty with communication, but if people were completely honest, they would give the following many, different, real reasons for seeking couples counseling.

  1. I want to have more sex with my partner
  2. I want my partner to listen to me
  3. I want my partner prioritize me over his/her family of origin/children/work/friends
  4. I want my partner to be less emotionally reactive
  5. I want my partner to be able to have a calm, rational discussion with me
  6. I want my partner to be more passionate about me
  7. I want my partner to do more household chores
  8. I want my partner to do more childcare
  9. I want my partner to stop spending money on…
  10. I want my partner to stop telling me to stop spending money on…
  11. I want my partner to lose weight
  12. I want my partner to stop lying
  13. I want my partner to validate my feelings
  14. I want my partner to think more logically
  15. I want my partner to share his/her feelings
  16. I want my partner to calm down when we have conflict
  17. I want my partner to stop leaving when we have conflict
  18. I want my partner to stop shutting down when we have conflict
  19. I want my partner to be more fun loving, like he/she was when we first met, before we got married and had children
  20. I want my partner to stop having a physical affair
  21. I want my partner to stop having an emotional affair
  22. I want my partner to get over my affair
  23. I want my partner to stop drinking/smoking/doing drugs
  24. I want my partner to love me in a way that heals all of my wounds
  25. I want my partner to love me in a way that makes up for my childhood
  26. I want my partner to stop yelling at me
  27. I want my partner to stop ignoring me
  28. I want my partner to finally, fully understand me
  29. I want my partner to parent our children the way I do
  30. I want to leave my partner but I am worried about him/her and I want him/her to be in the care of a mental health professional
  31. I want a therapist to tell us that we need to divorce
  32. I want my partner to say that he/she will do anything to save our relationship
  33. I want to discuss our conflicts in front of a professional, so I am not so scared
  34. I want to discuss our conflicts in front of a professional, so my partner will control him/herself
  35. I want the therapist to fix my partner

Do any of these resonate with you? The more honest you can be with yourself about your reasons for seeking couples counseling, the more effective it can be. Need some help in your relationship? Give me a call and let’s get real about what you need.

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Susanna Rains Moriarty, LPC, CRC

s.rains@ca4wellbeing.com

706-425-8900 ext 709

mother and child

Have you ever been taken by surprise by how angry you become by an interaction with your child? Have you felt feelings of shame and regret by how harshly you spoke to him or her? Have you promised that you won’t get angry like that anymore only to find yourself lashing out at your child, yet again?

Shefali Tsabury, PhD explains in her book, “Out of Control,” the mechanism behind these flashes of anger. “Each time our subconscious agenda doesn’t get met, we enter the space of a hurt child. Because our hurt self wasn’t healed when we were children, if someone reawakens this hurt within us, we erupt. This is why our children can trigger such fury in us.”

Daniel Seigel, M.D., and Mary Hartzell, M.Ed., authors of “Parenting from the Inside Out,” discuss rearing children as a chance for parental development. “When parents don’t take responsibility for their own unfinished business, they miss an opportunity not only to become better parents but also to continue their own development. People who remain in the dark about the origins of their behaviors and intense emotional responses are unaware of their unresolved issues and the parental ambivalence they create.”

Dr. Tsabury explains in her book, “The Conscious Parent,” why we experience such intense emotions while parenting. “Through our children, we get orchestra seats to the complex theatrics of our immaturity, as they evoke powerful emotions in us that can cause us to feel as though we aren’t in control–with all the frustration, insecurity, and angst that accompanies this sensation. Of course, our children don’t “make” us feel this way. They merely awaken our unresolved emotional issues from our childhood. Nevertheless, because our children are vulnerable and mostly powerless, we feel free to blame them for our reactivity. Only by facing up to the fact that it isn’t our children who are the problem, but our own unconsciousness, can transformation come about.”

If you would like to address unresolved emotional issues, I would love the opportunity to work with you. Together, we will find ways to heal your childhood wounds. You will learn how to give compassion to yourself, your children, and your parents. Becoming a conscious parent will allow you to be the peaceful, loving, patient mother or father you have always dreamed of being.

Come on in. Let’s talk about it.

s.rains@ca4wellbeing.com             706-425-8900 ext. 709

Susanna Rains Moriarty

Susanna Rains Moriarty

13 Feb 2015
February 13, 2015

Weight Loss Group

Wellness

 

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I am thrilled to announce the formation of a new WEIGHT LOSS group at Counseling Associates for Well-Being. I will be combining hypnosis to help you naturally crave healthy foods, mindfulness to savor and enjoy the treats you love, and self-compassion to end your negative self-talk and heal the hurt you’ve been trying to soothe with food

Some of the weight loss group content is based on the book, “The Self-Compassion Diet,” by Jean Fain, a psychotherapist and teaching associate at Harvard Medical School. “Self-compassion is the missing ingredient in every diet and weight-loss plan. Most plans revolve around self-discipline, deprivation and neglect.”

Let’s work together to end the self-berating and constant internal struggle surrounding food. Let’s begin to nourish our bodies with foods that make us feel great and learn to enjoy the treats we love without the guilt and shame.

Please contact me, Susanna Rains Moriarty, to reserve your spot in our weight loss group. (706) 425-8900 ext 709. s.rains@ca4wellbeing.com

6 weeks – beginning March 3rd

Tuesdays, 6:00pm – 7:30

Counseling Associates for Well-Being

$40.00 per session.

susanna

 

29 Oct 2014
October 29, 2014

The Platinum Rule

News

As a child you probably learned The Golden Rule: Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.  It is a simple rule that helps children gain a perspective outside of themselves.  The limitation to this rule, however, is the assumption that all people want the same things.  More helpful to relationships is The Platinum Rule: Treat others the way THEY want to be treated.

The Golden Rule falls short when what we need isn’t exactly what others would need if they were in the same situation. I once worked with a client whose wife took a variety of medications each day. By his own report, he nagged her every day, reminding her and checking to see if she had taken her doses. She finally told him, “Please don’t say another word about my medication.” “But what if you forget?” my client asked. “Then I forget. I would rather not take my medication than be hounded by you all of the time,” his wife explained. He looked at me incredulously as he recounted this story. “What, am I just not supposed to care?!”

From my client’s perspective, he was simply expressing his love for his wife. It was his way of caring about and for her. He had difficulty separating the feeling of caring for her from the action of reminding and nagging her. He believed that if the roles were reversed, he would feel very loved and cared for if his wife helped him remember to take his medication. He had applied The Golden Rule. His wife, on the other hand, would have much preferred The Platinum Rule: Treat others the way THEY want to be treated. Her illness had already compromised some of her independence. To be constantly nagged and reminded made her feel even more like a child.

The challenge of The Platinum Rule is to be willing to listen empathically to your loved one’s needs. If you are finding yourself having difficulty communicating your needs to your loved ones, or, are confused as to why your “help” isn’t being graciously received, please give me a call or send me an email. Let’s talk about it.

Susanna Rains Moriarty, LPC, CRC

706-425-8900 ext 709

s.rains@ca4wellbeing.com

susanna

 

 

 

23 Jun 2014
June 23, 2014

Weight Loss Group

News

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I am thrilled to announce the formation of a new WEIGHT LOSS group at Counseling Associates for Well-Being. I will be combining hypnosis to help you naturally crave healthy foods, mindfulness to savor and enjoy the treats you love, and self-compassion to end your negative self-talk and heal the hurt you’ve been trying to soothe with food.

Some of the group content is based on the book, “The Self-Compassion Diet,” by Jean Fain, a psychotherapist and teaching associate at Harvard Medical School. “Self-compassion is the missing ingredient in every diet and weight-loss plan. Most plans revolve around self-discipline, deprivation and neglect.”

Read more about the latest research regarding self-compassion and weight loss:  http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/02/28/go-easy-on-yourself-a-new-wave-of-research-urges/?_php=true&_type=blogs&_r=0

Let’s work together to end the self-berating and constant internal struggle surrounding food. Let’s begin to nourish our bodies with foods that make us feel great and learn to enjoy the treats we love without the guilt and shame.

This six-week group will be held on Wednesdays from 6:30pm – 8:00pm at Counseling Associates for Well-Being, beginning in July.

Please contact me, Susanna Rains Moriarty, to reserve your spot in our weight loss group. (706) 425-8900 ext 709. s.rains@ca4wellb

eing.com susanna

07 May 2014
May 7, 2014

Inner Critic

News

“It’s like a big stick that I hit myself with from the inside. Really, would I want anyone I love to do that to themselves? Certainly not! And, I’ve made a commitment to support my kids and myself in putting that stick down. For good.  The other day…the part of me that is Unconditional Love stood up, turned towards the Critic, and embraced it. In that moment of love and connection, the critic dissolved. Now I make it a practice to embrace the Critic, over and over again. I am learning that whatever has a hold on me, that which we most want to turn away from, is exactly what needs undivided, loving attention.” — Jennifer Mayfield

This quote is the opening of Dr. Laura Markham’s latest blog post, 5 Strategies to Tame the Inner Critic, on her website, Aha! Parenting.com.

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One of the features of our inner critic is that it can operate and send messages at the subconscious level.  It often runs on a continuous loop in the form of background noise in our minds, and can insidiously damage our psyches and self esteem.

A powerful (and easy and relaxing) way to address this inner critic is through hypnosis.  My wonderful hypnotherapy instructor, Barbara Locascio Aquilino shared with us a systematic way to use self-compassion to identify negative self-talk, observe how it affects mind, body, and spirit, heal the damage, and prevent future negativity.

If you would like to explore ways to address your inner critic, please contact me, Susanna Rains Moriarty, at 706-425-8900 ext 709 or s.rains@ca4wellbeing.com

susanna

Have you ever shared something painful or frustrating with a friend or loved one to be met with a response of, “look on the bright side…” or “at least…(something not as bad)”?  Does that advice leave you feeling better or worse?

I recall a friend stating in a Facebook post that she felt sad and angry that her mother was not alive to celebrate her birthday.  She received many empathic comments, but she also received comments advising her to “focus on the good memories” and that her “mother wouldn’t want her to feel that way”.  I knew that the people commenting cared for her and were genuinely trying to help, but I couldn’t help but wonder if my friend felt shamed for her natural and appropriate feelings.

It made me wonder further about the people leaving the comments.  I am 100% certain that their intent was not to shame but rather to help her feel better.  While I certainly prefer to receive empathy when I share painful things, and I assume that my clients do as well, I wondered if there is a certain group of people who feel better when they are immediately advised of the bright side of their situation in reaction to their pain.

I decided to launch a very “scientific” research study by asking the following question on my personal Facebook page:  “When you share with someone close to you something that is painful or frustrating, do you like it when they respond with pointing out the ‘bright side’?”

Most people who commented reported that either listening, empathy, or validation of feelings (or a combination of these) is their preference.  Two people stated that it depended on the situation; sometimes they wanted someone to listen and sometimes they wanted a positive perspective.  Two other commenters reported that they were open to the “bright side” but only after adequate validation and consolation.

The response I did not receive was an unqualified, “Yes, the ‘bright side’ perspective makes me feel better.”  How fascinating, then, that the “bright side” response is so often the immediate reaction to people’s pain.  How to explain this discrepancy between what people offer and what people need?

This led me to think about the experience of the person with whom the pain is being shared.  On the cynical side, perhaps the person has learned (consciously or subconsciously) that this response is often successful in extinguishing further sharing of pain.  They may simply not want to engage in this type of conversation.  The “sharer” will then often change the topic, not because they feel better, but because they realize they aren’t being understood.

Another reason may be that the person holds a belief that positive thinking is the best medicine and is wanting to provide a curative dose.  According to my Facebook responders, this is not received as the panacea it is intended to be.  It is certainly easier to find the positive in someone else’s situation than our own, isn’t it?

It is possible that the problem being shared is perceived to be easier than issues the person is dealing with him or herself.  For someone experiencing difficulty themselves, they may simply not have the emotional resources to provide the empathy that the loved one needs at the time.

Maybe the person feels a great deal of empathy but has difficulty tolerating emotions, his or her own and others’.  Being empathic requires you to feel others’ emotions yourself.  Dr. Brené Brown explains the difference between empathy and sympathy in this brilliantly illustrated RSA Short – “The Power of Empathy”:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1Evwgu369Jw

Pain and frustration are universal experiences that can facilitate powerful connection between people.  Sharing these feelings allows others the privilege of knowing a person at a deeper, more intimate level.  Genuine, empathic interaction allows people to feel heard, understood, and validated.  It is from that place of security that the healing begins.

If you are having difficulty feeling understood and connected with your loved ones, please contact me at 706-425-8900 ext 709 or via email at s.rains@ca4wellbeing.com.

susanna

 

Over the weekend I had the pleasure of completing my certification in hypnotherapy.  The entire training process was wonderful and enriching on both a personal and professional level.  I have experienced great results in changing my own habits as a result of the hypnosis I received during our training.  I am so excited to now use this powerful tool to help my clients.

In previous training classes we learned how to induce someone into a hypnotic state and make suggestions to effect change on a subconscious level.  So often we know what we want and we know how to get there, but something just seems to be preventing us from taking those steps.  Suggestive hypnosis can be very effective in helping us surmount those hurdles to allow us to reach our goals.

What I learned in our final training class was a more dynamic form of hypnotherapy.  We learned how to communicate with our clients while they are in the state of hypnosis to address past events that have left them feeling hurt, helpless, or in another state of pain or trauma.  We learned ways to address and heal these painful past memories and events.

If you are interested in trying a different way to experience therapy, please call (706) 425-8900 ext 709 or email s.rains@ca4wellbeing.com me.  I would love to talk with you to see if hypnosis might be right for you.

 susanna

I am very excited to currently be in the process of obtaining my certification in hypnotherapy.  I didn’t know much about hypnotherapy when I registered for the course.  I wanted to share my understanding of hypnosis, to demystify it and help people determine if it might be worth a try.

What is Hypnosis?

Hypnosis is the process of entering an extremely relaxed state, in body and mind, to allow suggestions to bypass the consciousness and flow directly into the subconscious.  This relaxed state is led by a hypnotherapist and utilizes guided imagery.  The client is aware at all times of what is being said and suggested and can stop the hypnosis at any time.

What can Hypnotherapy Address?

Hypnotherapy can address anxiety, stress, guilt, fears, phobias, lack of confidence, poor self-image, negative thought patterns, compulsions, unhealthy eating habits, disordered eating, smoking cessation, and more.

What is the First Step in Hypnotherapy?

An important first-step of hypnotherapy is to have a discussion with the client to learn exactly what the desired outcome is.  From there, I develop specific suggestions and discuss them with the client to ensure that I have a clear understanding of the goals.  It is very important to note that in doing this, the client maintains complete control over the specific messages that will be sent during the hypnotherapy session.

What is the Hypnotherapy Session Like?

At the start of the hypnotherapy session the client can choose to sit or lie down on the couch.  I ask him to close his eyes and take some deep breaths.  The first part of the session is called an “induction” which is simply a way for the client to relax.  It can involve progressive relaxation, with the client focusing on relaxing the body, one part at at time.  It usually includes some guided imagery, focusing on a comforting, relaxing place of the client’s choice.  The goal is for the body and the mind to be in a completely relaxed state, free from the conscious mind “noise” consisting of to-do lists, stressors, repetitive thoughts, etc.

Once the client has reached this peaceful and relaxed state, I incorporate the previously agreed-upon suggestions into the hypnosis.  These suggestions are able to bypass the conscious mind and enter straight into the subconscious in a clear and concise way.

Once the suggestions have been made, it is time for the client to “emerge” from the hypnosis.  There is count-down with assurances that the client will feel refreshed and energized.  My clients have reported feeling wonderful and relaxed after hypnotherapy.  One client described it as feeling similar to the experience of the “savasana” pose in yoga.

How Do I Determine if Hypnotherapy Might Help Me?

Please give me a call at 706-425-8900 ext 709 or email me at s.rains@ca4wellbeing.com.  I would love to chat with you to assess your needs and determine if hypnotherapy may benefit you.

susanna

Most people enter into marriage with dreams of a lifetime of love, partnership, family, security, and happiness.  Many times, it is the loss of these dreams that is the most painful aspect of the dissolution of a marriage.

Going through a divorce elicits a myriad of responses: anger, frustration, confusion, sadness, feeling of failure, exhilaration, worry, hopelessness, panic, euphoria, and guilt, just to name some.  Navigating these can feel overwhelming, especially while negotiating new households, financial challenges, and heart-wrenching custody arrangements.

It is true that a divorce can be one of the hardest, most painful, and most stressful events in a person’s life.  It can feel like a volcano has erupted, burning and destroying everything you have known.  The wonderful news is from that springs an opportunity for tremendous insight, clarity, and personal growth.  After the ash has settled what remains is a fertile soil, primed for the growth of your new, fresh life.

If you are in need of compassionate support during this difficult time and would like to see your way to a happier future, I would love to talk with you.

Susanna Rains Moriarty

706-425-8900 ext 709

s.rains@ca4wellbeing.com

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