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I laugh often. Sometimes I laugh with myself, and I often laugh with other people.  My favorite source humor includes funny lyrics to some favorite songs and children’s jokes.

Since I like laughing and look for reasons to laugh, I wasn’t surprised to learn that laughing can reduce stress and anxiety.  I was, however, surprised and pleased to learn that laughing can be helpful whether or not it’s authentic.  Yes, some say you can benefit from laughter even when there’s nothing to laugh at.

In addition to reducing stress, research also suggests other benefits of laughing:

  • Laughing relaxes the face muscles.
  • It can increase beneficial antibodies which improve immunity.
  • Laughing can distract us from unpleasant emotions.  Overuse of distraction can turn into unhelpful avoidance, but a brief distraction can create needed distance from intense emotion and create space for new perspective.
  • Laughing creates connection.  When we laugh with others, we feel a connected.  When we smile at someone, often the smile is returned.  Some therapies explain the natural human urge that it is part of the emotions silliness, joy, and happiness is to reach out and share.
  • Laughter, easy humor, or smile can also ease an uncomfortable situation.

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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There was a lot of discussion in the media this past week about the world of football when PBS’s aired the chilling report, “A League of Denial:  The NFL’s Concussion Crisis”.  http://to.pbs.org/1c8cP3W One of the questions that were raised in this focus on the NFL was, “Is football destroying the brains of its players?”  It also raises the question for me, what about the brains of college players, high school players and the 10 year old players?

As a neurofeedback practitioner, I have worked with clients who have complaints of anxiety, depression, attention/focus, addiction disorders and migraines.  Often these are disorders that can result from head injury.  The effect of head injury can be traced to repeated hits to the head which occur at all levels of football—professional football, college football, high school football and youth football leagues.

Neurofeedback can work to retrain damaged parts of the brain.  Focus can be regained, anxiety diminished, depression decreased, addictions conquered and migraines eliminated.

Contact Pamela Key, Neurofeedback Practitioner at Counseling Associates for Well-Being for a free consult to find out how neurofeedback may help you maintain or regain a healthy brain—a healthy life.

 

 

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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.

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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This amazing new technology has proven effective for treatment of anxiety, depression, ADHD, fibromyalgia, migraines and a host of other disorders.  How does this happen?

We start with completing a brainmap that consists of applying EEG sensors to the head and measuring the brainwave frequencies.  It is there where we find the inefficiencies in the brain such as the brain operating too fast where anxiety is often present or the brain operating too slow which is common with depression.  The brain map will provide a guide to show what brainwave frequencies need to be trained up or down to normalize the brainwave activity.

Once the brainmap is obtained, brainwave training will begin.  This is a form of operant conditioning—-establishing a new, more efficient and effective neural pathway.  This is done with the client listening to music or watching a video.  When the brainwave moves into the desired new zone, an auditory or visual reward is given.  The brain “likes” these rewards and the new pathway is encouraged to stay in this new pattern.  Repeated training conditions the neural pathway to become the new norm.  Once this happens, symptoms of disorders begin to be reduced and eventually can become significantly reduced or eliminated.

For more information, contact our Neurofeedback Practitioner, Pamela Key for complimentary consult.  Pamela@ca4wellbeing.com or (706) 425-8900 Ext. 702

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Adding yoga as a complement to therapy for depression, anxiety, grief, and trauma can prove more powerful than talk therapy alone.  “Ancient yogic practices are now evidence-based strategies for mood management”, writes Amy Weintraub, author of “Yoga Skills for Therapists”. One does not have to be flexible or able and willing to get on a mat and practice the physical poses called “asana”.  Powerful breathing practices called “pranayama” as well as guided meditation and other skills are adequate for gaining the benefits of calming the nervous system and elevating or calming the mood.

I have observed these benefits as a professional, but I also know the research rings true for me personally.  Yoga was instrumental in my own healing after suddenly losing a spouse 11 years ago. Over a decade later, yoga remains an integral part of my self-care. Currently, I am completing a 200 hour yoga teacher training to continue bringing these powerful practices to my clients.  I am especially excited to announce my “Healing From Loss through Mind/Body Awareness” therapy group. This group will utilize yoga skills as well as group processing to heal from painful losses. I have specialized for many years in helping those who are grieving (in groups and individually) and am thrilled to offer this special opportunity.  Please contact me at 706-425-8900 or email me at Suzanne@ca4wellbeing to learn more.

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