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Premarital counseling can offer couples the insight they need to prepare for marriage.  It is designed to provide marriage education while also helping couples to develop the skills needed for a successful marriage.  Participating in premarital counseling does not mean something is wrong with your relationship.  In fact, it means that you are ready to establish a solid foundation for your marriage and want to prevent future problems from occurring in your marriage.

Some Benefits to Premarital Counseling include:

  • Increasing commitment to your relationship and marriage
  • Developing and enhancing your communication skills as a couple
  • Learning effective techniques for handling conflict
  • Reducing your risk for divorce
  • Giving more attention to a healthy marriage

As a counselor, I utilize the Prepare Enrich couples counseling program.   Prepare Enrich offers a customized online couples’ assessment that identifies a couple’s strength and growth areas.  It is one of the most widely used programs for premarital counseling and premarital education.  Over 3 million couples have completed this program.  It is also used for marriage counseling, marriage enrichment, and dating couples considering engagement.  Based on a couple’s assessment results, we will schedule 6-8 feedback sessions in which I will use various exercises to help couples discuss and understand their results as they are taught proven relationship skills.

The major goals of the PREPARE/ENRICH program is to help couples:

  • Explore strength and growth areas
  • Strengthen communication skills
  • Identify and manage major stressors
  • Resolve conflict using the Ten Step Model
  • Develop a more balanced relationship
  • Explore family of origin issues
  • Discuss financial planning and budgeting
  • Establish personal, couple and family goals
  • Understand and appreciate personality differences

Couples who sign-up for premarital counseling will receive 2 Prepare/Enrich workbooks, 2 copies of customized comprehensive couple reports, and a certificate of completion.  The certificate of completion can be used to save on your marriage license in Georgia.  Other states may offer this incentive as well.

To schedule your initial session or to inquire about rates and packages, contact Marian Higgins, Ph.D., marian@ca4wellbeing.com or 706-425-8900 ext. 704.

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Are you looking for help with ADD or ADHD? Is homework for your child always a struggle? Concerned about the use of medication for control of ADD/ADHD? These concerns can be overwhelming at times and fortunately QEEG Brain Mapping and Neurofeedback Training can help!  Neurofeedback can provide effective solutions for Attention Deficit Attention and Attention Hyperactivity Disorder.

A QEEG Brain map can be obtained which can identify the inefficient neural pathways that are seen with ADD/ADHD. Neurofeedback can then be utilized as a process of self-regulation of the brain that retrains neural pathways into effective, efficient, functioning brainwave patterns; thus eliminating or reducing the need for medication intervention.

Check out this video of the Dr. Phil show discussing ADD/ADHD and neurofeedback.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qP3sKWrEhwg&feature=youtu.be

For additional information about QEEG Brain Mapping and how Neurofeedback works, please contact Pamela Key @ Pamela@ca4wellbeing.com or call (706) 425-8900.

 

15 Dec 2014
December 15, 2014

New Career Workshop

Education, News, Programs

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DISCOVER & LIVE YOUR CALLING: A FAITH BASED CAREER WORKSHOP

Beginning January 10, 2015- February 28, 2015

8 weekly sessions, Saturdays, 10AM-11:30AM

Are you thinking about a new career?  Feeling stuck in your current job?  Unsure of what type of career will be a fit for you?  Join us for an 8 week faith based workshop that will help you find your calling as it relates to your career.  As a participant, you will have an opportunity to take the Strong Interest Inventory and the Myers Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) assessments.  Together, we will develop an action plan for pursuing a rewarding career.

Benefits of Participating

  • Identify your interests, personality, skills, values, and how they relate to discovering your calling and career;
  • Address the barriers keeping you from pursuing your calling;
  • Learn effective strategies for securing the right career for you;
  • Develop a vision for moving into a new career in the new year;
  • Build relationships with people who desire similar outcomes as you;
  • Explore how to live your faith more fully during this process;
  • Experience the life for which God created you.

Facilitated By: Dr. Marian Higgins, Career Counselor and Licensed Professional Counselor

Investment: $360 per person includes book, assessments, and interpretations

To Register: Contact Marian Higgins, marian@ca4wellbeing.com or 706-425-8900 ext. 704.  The workshop is limited to 8 participants.  Registration deadline is January 7th.

Location: Counseling Associates for Wellbeing, 1 Huntington Rd., Suite 703, Athens, GA

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In honor of National Career Development month, I’m offering a special on my career packages.  Get 20% off a package from November 24, 2014-December 1, 2014. These packages make great gifts for high school students, recent or soon-to-be college graduates, or for professionals looking for career advancement or career change.  To take advantage of this special, contact me at marian@ca4wellbeing.com or 706-425-8900.

Career Assessment Package$450 $360

This package is designed to help you gain awareness of how your personality, skills, values, and interests play a role in choosing a career, and to explore these aspects of you for use in career planning. This package includes 4 sessions and the completion of the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) and the Strong Interest Inventory.

Interview Coaching Package$350$280

Need help getting ready for your next big interview? Interview coaching will help you feel confident about your ability to communicate effectively during an interview. During three sessions, you will learn how to make a lasting impression with your interviewer. We will discuss appropriate attire, the importance of researching the company/institution, responding to interview questions, asking appropriate questions, and how to follow-up. You will receive honest feedback on how to improve your chances of getting the job you want or on getting into the college of your choice. This package also includes a critique of resume and cover letter.

Package for Recent Graduates$550 $440

(For high school, college, and graduate/professional school recent graduates)

Still not sure what you want to do now that you have graduated? Meet with me to explore your future plans. Package includes initial intake, assessment of your interests, skills, personality, and values, identifying your educational and career options, and developing an action plan for achieving your career goal. This package includes 5 sessions, the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator assessment, the Strong Interest Inventory assessment, a skills and values assessment.

 

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Carol S. Dweck of Stanford University has identified mindset as a determining factor in success in her studies of motivation.  Specifically, she has identified that a growth mindset leads to success as opposed to a fixed mindset that often leads to wasted potential.  A fixed mindset believes that talent and intelligence are fixed traits within a person that lead to success or failure, while a growth mindset attributes success to hard work and effort.  You can imagine that failure or difficulties really challenge a person with a fixed mindset, especially if they see themselves as needing to be perfect.  One in that instance is always looking for evidence (or absence of evidence) of the existence of positive traits and failure really creates a situation that is worst case scenario.  However, if one is focused on growth and efforts as key, one might have more curiosity and creativity to offer to a situation and less hopelessness and helplessness.

This is important news for parents in terms of the praise we offer our children.  Research is mounting that praising children as “smart” does not lead to success in school.  It actually can lead to a lack of effort being applied when learning and work is challenging.  When challenges come, even very intelligent children with a fixed mindset will avoid or not make efforts because they believe if they are smart, then they should know the information already or the work should come easy.  Children that have been praised for efforts, on the other hand, tend to stick with challenging work because this work does not test their view of themselves as smart. It simply means they are having to make efforts in order to learn and succeed and that is okay.  It does not say anything negative about their abilities. Check out this video that illustrates the concept with children: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NWv1VdDeoRY.

We can see this same dynamic play out in our view on romantic love.  I recently posted about the Unity versus the Journey view of love and how that determines whether we judge our relationships as positive or negative: https://ca4wellbeing.com/imagorelationshiptherapy/.  I see this as a congruent finding that builds on the idea that, if we are to be successful in life and in relationships, we need a perspective that allows for growth and learning. A less fixed mindset allows for the possibility that challenges, problems, and failures are part of the path and do not signal doom or something inherently flawed in the person or the relationship.  Challenges are a given and curiosity, creativity, open-mindedness as well as effort are required to navigate academics, career choices, or love relationships in a way that feels positive and is sustainable for the long haul.  If you are interested in exploring your mindset and how it affects your parenting, relationships or how you see your world, give me a call at 706-425-8900 or email me at suzanne@ca4wellbeing.com.

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Recently, researchers Nobert Schwartz and Spike W.S. Lee published a study in the Journal of Experimental Social Psychology that challenges some of our romantic myths about love, relationships, and marriage. Schwartz and Lee found in two separate experiments that how couples frame their relationship in terms of metaphor,  will influence their ability to work through conflicts as well as their judgments about the quality of their relationships.

One view, popular in our culture (especially in romantic movies) views partners as “two halves of a whole”  or “made for each other”.  In other words, the “unity” idea or the belief that people in love are destined to be together and that love should be conflict free.  The other view, also popular in our culture is that “love is a journey with ups and downs”.  Lee and Schwartz’ work found that couples who hold the belief that love is a journey with challenges are more likely to be happy with their relationships and see conflict as something that is positive and can be worked through.

Harville Hendrix, creator of Imago Relationship Therapy has spent decades teaching couples that “conflict is your relationship trying to grow.”  This new research supports the idea in Imago that conflict is natural and how we frame our ideas about love and conflict are key. Relationships are powerful opportunities to grow and heal, but most growth in life does not occur without getting out of our comfort zones.  And, the very differences that can be so frustrating in romantic relationships come from our powerful unconscious attraction to a partner that will motivate growth.  To learn more about Imago Relationship Therapy visit www.gettingtheloveyouwant.com.

Contact me at Suzanne@ca4wellbeing.com or call me at 706-425-8900 if you are interested in a exploring your relationship patterns and learning new skills individually or as a couple. Enjoy the journey!

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You have graduated from high school, spent the summer making memories with family and friends, and now it’s time to start college.  You may experience mixed emotions given this new journey in your life.  You might be excited to have a new independence – living on your own, deciding when and what to eat, hanging out late with friends.  Perhaps, sharing a room with a complete stranger makes you a little nervous or maybe you are enthusiastic about having a new friend to study with or to join you for social events.  You may have concerns about your courses- will I like them?  Will they be too hard?  Will I meet the professor’s expectations?  All these emotional responses and thoughts are normal when adjusting to college.  It will take some time for you to acclimate to this new environment and to become comfortable with this new chapter in your life.  So don’t think that everything will fall into place the first day of school.  Here are a few tips to help you make a smooth college transition and maintain a healthy lifestyle.

  1. Get to know the campus.  Take a tour with an upper-class student.  Learn the buildings where you will have classes, meetings, and social events.  Becoming aware of your surroundings will make you feel more comfortable with the new environment.
  1. Give attention to food choices.  The endless amount of food at the dining halls and late night food runs makes it easy to develop unhealthy eating habits.  Be mindful of the foods you are eating and make food choices that you feel are best for you.
  1. Make time to move.  You may refer to this as exercise but moving your body can help you with managing stress, anxiety, and depression.  You don’t have to go to the gym in order to reap the benefits.  Simply walk to or around campus instead of riding the bus or driving your car, play an intramural sport, or enroll in a dance class.
  1. Get some zzzzz!  Late night studying or hanging out late may result in poor sleeping habits.  It’s important that you are getting proper sleep in order to be alert and productive.  Lack of sleep can impact your memory, mood, ability to learn and retain information, increase stress, and may result in injuries or long-term health issues.
  1. Ask for help.  Avoid waiting until mid-semester or the end of the semester to seek help with your academic work.  Take advantage of tutoring services, the writing center, study sessions, and professors’ office hours.  If you have a disability, register with the Disability Resource Center in order to arrange for accommodations.  Planning ahead can help you be successful in your classes.
  1. Have a healthy relationship with your roommate(s).  Having a roommate can be a big adjustment for all parties.   It is important for you and your roommate to meet and communicate expectations.  Develop an agreement about how you all will share your space.         
  1. Meet your professors.  You might think your professors are only interested in lecturing but faculty like to get to know their students as well.  Visit them during their office hours and introduce yourself.  If you have questions about the class, class preparation, or ideas discussed in class, talk with the professors about them.  Don’t wait until you need a recommendation letter to introduce yourself to your professors.  Meet with them now!
  1. Make new friends.  College is a time to meet new people and make great connections.  You will encounter people from different backgrounds and even from different parts of the world.  You may find it easy to make new friends or it may take time for you to establish relationships.  Regardless, take the opportunity to meet someone new.  You may just gain a lifelong friend.

With these tips in hand, you should be well on your way to having a successful first year of college.  If you find that you are having a difficult time with this transition, you are welcome to meet with me.  I have over 14 years of experience working with college students.  I’d be glad to help you on your new journey.  I can be reached at Marian@ca4wellbeing.com or 706-425-8900 ext. 704.

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Have you ever felt stuck in your career? Perhaps, you know what you want to do but you’re unsure of how to get started. Career counseling can provide you with the steps you need to get unstuck or to pursue your dream career. Career counseling is a specialized area of counseling that focuses on assisting individuals with their career, work, and life planning. It is a process of discovering the career that may be best for you given your interests, skills, abilities, personality, values, and experiences. It also involves career preparation. Whether you need to learn job search strategies, how to put together a resume, cover letter, or prepare for an interview, career counseling can provide you with the steps you need to land your next career.

A career counselor is a professional who has the training and experience to effectively facilitate the career counseling process. She can assist you with exploring your career options while also helping you understand job requirements, responsibilities, and the type of training needed. A career counselor can teach you appropriate strategies for pursuing a career and help you develop a plan of action.

Career counseling services are not limited to helping you find a career but you can also discuss workplace issues. Perhaps, you may feel stressed at work or you want to advance in your career. A career counselor can assist you with these issues as well.

If you are interested in career counseling, schedule an appointment with career counselor, Marian Higgins. She can be reached at marian@ca4wellbeing.com or 706-425-8900 ext. 704.

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Summertime has always been a time for a change of pace.  Going on vacation, reading a few good books, spending time with grandparents and summer camps.  This summer, during the break of the normal routine, consider neurofeedback training as an option to change your brain and improve your life.

What can neurofeedback provide?  ŸIncreased focus and attention…… Ÿ Reduced stress and anxiety….. ŸBetter sleep….. ŸLetting go of destructive repetitive thoughts and actions….. ŸGaining a competitive edge in academics through peak performance training.

Studies have shown that students lose a portion of what they have learned over the summer school break.  Neurofeedback can keep the brain active, develop new patterns for learning and allow for improved brain functioning.  It’s the perfect time to train your brain and make it a summer of positive change!

Join Pamela Key for an information session on Neurofeedback on Tuesday, May 20th at 6:30 p.m. at Counseling Associates for Well-Being.   Let us know you will attend.  RSVP:  Pamela@ca4wellbeing.com or contact her for more information.

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This talk by Dr Brene Brown “Shame and Empathy” has been, for me, invigorating, clarifying and thought provoking. I resonate with her statement about connection being the essence of human experience, as it gives meaning to our experience. She presents a concept about connection, where empathy and shame are at the opposite ends of the spectrum, and vulnerability/authenticity is the cursor between the 2: the more vulnerable/open you are, the closer you are to empathy; and the less you are vulnerable, the closer you are to shame -“I cannot let you see these pieces of me, because I fear that will create disconnection “-.  We armor ourself for self-protection from suffering, and as we live in a culture of fear about not fitting in, it does not leave space for vulnerability. Yet vulnerability and authenticity are the path to what we are longing for: love, belonging, trust, intimacy joy, creativity and innovation, as well as empathy. How do we create compassionate/safe space to share and listen to our stories? How do we create a place for connection?

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I am leading several groups of NonViolent Communication, also called Compassionate Communication (more information at CNVC.org). If you resonate with this subject and are longing to be heard and to listen to others in a safe environment, you can contact Aline Robolin, LPC at 706 425 8900, ext 705, or Aline@ca4wellbeing.com.

I invite you to watch this video  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qQiFfA7KfF0 and share your feedback if you desire.