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I am excited to announce that I have completed my 200 hour training as a Certified Hatha Yoga instructor. I am passionate about combining yoga skills and techniques (no mat or flexibility required) with traditional talk therapy to enhance healing from grief, trauma, anxiety, and depression. In addition to the scientifically verified benefits for anxiety and depression, yoga and mindfulness also increase our ability to be present in relationships and in our daily lives, increasing our quality of life. Call me at 706-425-8900 or email me at Suzanne@ca4wellbeing.com to schedule an individual or group session today.

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The exact percentage of people having an affair seems to be hard to pin down. The statistics in general, however, suggest that if you are reading this, and you are in a committed relationship, then there is at least a fair chance you have had or are having an affair. A number of truly wonderful people with strong values are struggling with the pain and confusion of being in an extramarital relationship. Yes, the situation is the result of a series of choices, but these are most often made without a conscious consideration of the outcome. The inner conflict created by the situation pulls at the heart of a person with such alarming force that it can be overwhelming. “This isn’t me—it isn’t something I would ever have imagined I could do”, they say. “I don’t know what to do… Should I tell my wife (or husband) and see what happens?—It might make me feel better to confess…” “Does this mean that I am not married to the right person? I can’t get out of this mess without hurting someone—maybe everyone that I care about.”
The answers aren’t so easy. What is clear, however, is that the inner turmoil is a signal that something has to change. And although, the path can be murky, it begins with a series of smaller choices. There absolutely is hope. If a decision is made to re-commit to a marriage, then it is certainly possible. Many people who have had an affair find it hard to reconcile the mixed feelings.  Often a person is dealing with grief– loss and confusion—about the ending of an intimate relationship with an affair partner, and with guilt, remorse, shame and sympathy for a marriage partner who is reeling from the betrayal at the same time. Or in an instance where the marriage partner is unaware of the affair, dealing with the continuing battle to stifle or hide hugely difficult feelings of grief and confusion and regret from a partner. This is perhaps harder than hiding the affair was to begin with . If a decision is made to end the marriage to either be single or perhaps to be free to be with the affair partner, it is a similarly difficult and emotionally complex journey. Contact me at Claire@ca4wellbeing.com if you need some help untangling this knot.

I quite often use Nonviolent Communication in my work as a counselor as it has been for me a way to become more compassionate with myself and others. I would like to share this link with you: http://www.nonviolentcommunication.com/freeresources/article_archive/heartofnvc_mrosenberg  It introduces the concepts of this approach, which focuses on staying connected instead of expecting a specific outcome.

I have been studying NVC / compassionate communication for more than 10 years, and I keep opening doors in myself as well as being able to listen to others in a way that they can “be seen asbeautiful”. There is a deep harmonious connection that develops through this approach as we grow more aware of our feelings and needs and take responsibility for them. I am not feeling angry because “you” (whatever you did or did not do)… any more; I feel angry because of that need for connection that is so essential and precious to me, and that has not been addressed lately in our relationship.

I enjoy sharing this approach as it does create more space and more possibilities in our lives. If you are interested in learning more about it, feel free to contact me at 706 425 8900 ext 705, or at Aline@ca4wellbeing.com.

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A communication approach that many couples engage in when experiencing conflict is what I like to call “Lawyers in a Courtroom.”  One person presents her case, complete with a list of the partner’s transgressions to prove that she is right and her partner is wrong.  The partner, in turn, compiles his rebuttals and responds with a ledger of her wrongdoings.  There is typically a great deal of verbal volleying with very little listening.  By the end, both parties feel hurt and angry and even more entrenched in original viewpoints.

This approach might work if there is a judge or a jury who ultimately decides who “wins” and each party never has to see each other again.  The thing about committed relationships is, you still have to live with your partner.  Or at least continue to interact with them.  So even if you are able to prove to your partner that she is “wrong” and you are “right,” how loved do you think she feels?  How respected?  How understood?  If she is left feeling devalued and resentful, what have you really won?

The good news is there are some simple changes a couple can make in the way they handle disagreements.  By handling them in a different way, conflicts can go from being painful and alienating to facilitating closeness and intimacy.

The husband of one of my couple-clients said at the end of our work together, “I didn’t want to start marriage therapy because I thought I would have to change who I was as a person.  What I found was that you gave us tools that changed our whole relationship for the better.”

If you are interested in learning a new way of handling disagreements with your partner, please contact me to schedule a couples counseling session at 706-425-8900 ext 709 or s.rains@ca4wellbeing.com.

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