Aaron D. Kirkwood, LAMFT, will be starting a group for couples entitled Collaborative Relationship Enhancement Group and is seeking feedback from couples in committed relationship.  If you are in a committed relationship and would like to respond please follow the link below to take this very brief survey.  Your feedback will help to shape the group so that it is useful for couples looking to improve their relationships.  This is an informal information gathering survey for the purpose of ensuring that the group is useful for couples who might attend.  If you have questions or comments please fill free to reach out to Aaron at (706) 534 – 8558 or Aaron@ca4wellbeing.com

The survey can be found at this link.

 

Check out Aaron’s latest vlog about romance in long-term relationships/marriages.

If you’re interested in setting up on appointment to work on your relationship please contact Aaron:Aaron D Kirkwood

(706) 534 – 8558

Aaron@ca4wellbeing.com

Aaron Kirkwood, LAMFT, discusses what couples have found helpful about coming to couples counseling.

 

If you would like to learn more about making an appointment for couples counseling Aaron can be reached at:

Aaron D Kirkwood(706) 534 – 8558
Aaron@ca4wellbeing.com

Aaron Kirkwood, LAMFT, with Counseling Associates for Well-Being in Athens, GA talks about the importance of checking in with your stress level throughout the holiday season and why you might not want to skip self-care.

Aaron D KirkwoodIf you would like to set up an appointment do discuss how to manage stress, deal with family, or other relationships during the holiday season please reach out today.

(706) 534 – 8558

Aaron@ca4wellbeing.com

I wanted to take a moment to welcome any new college students to Athens or say “welcome back” to those who are coming back again.  I once read that college is one of the most stressful periods in many people’s lives.  This stress is both affected by and has an effect on our relationships.  I discuss why you might want to visit with a therapist who specializes in relationships in my newest YouTube video which you can watch here.

Good luck this semester, and break a pencil!

Aaron D KirkwoodIf you are interested in scheduling an initial appointment give me a call today at (706) 534 – 8558 or e-mail me Aaron@ca4wellbeing.com.

I would like to invite you to consider the difference between discussions and arguments in the latest video on our YouTube channel.  You can watch it here.

Aaron D KirkwoodIf you would like to work on improving your communication either individually or as a couple please call or e-mail to set up an appointment.

Phone: (706) 534 – 8558

E-mail: Aaron@ca4wellbeing.com

Mother silhouette with baby

Growing up I don’t think I ever fully appreciated all the things my mom had to do to fulfill all the roles that she played.  She is a mother, a wife, a daughter, a sister, an aunt, and an employee among others.  As a kid, and particularly as a male child, I took it for granted that she would take care of me, regardless of what she was going through.  It never occurred to me that what was happening at work, or what was happening between my parents, could affect my mother deeply.  All I ever really knew was that my dinner was going to be cooked, my clothes were going to be washed, my sheets clean, and the home I lived in well kept.   Those things I never doubted.

It wasn’t until I became a therapist and saw a pattern among my clients that I realized how physically and emotionally draining it can be for one person to take on all those roles.  I see women who always put others before themselves and it wears them out.  When I ask questions like “What would you like to do for yourself?” they often just sit and shake their heads, unable to think of anything.  These women literally have not thought of themselves as anything except a mother/employee/wife in years.  I might then ask another way, “If you had some magical ability to make the world stand still and you could do ANYTHING, what would you do?”.  Given the freedom of imagination that affords unlimited power and resources what would a mother choose?  I’ve heard “I would love to just take a nap!”, and I’ve heard “I’d love to be able to spend time with my kids without worrying about _______ (my job, my father, my bills, etc.).”  This simultaneously speaks to how dedicated mothers are, that they cannot even imagine a world where they don’t worry about their family first, and it also says a lot about our social structure, that we expect women to be so self-sacrificing that they can’t even imagine doing solely for themselves.

We have shifted culturally from the sort of 1950’s “ideal” American family in which the husband went off to work every day and the wife stayed home and took care of the house and the children.  Despite expecting women to work a fulltime job to help support the family financially we still have the same cultural expectations about division of labor within the household.  This creates role strain and role conflict, often in physically and emotionally damaging amounts, for many women.  (Learn more about role strain and role conflict here).  Nor is this a new phenomenon of the 21st century with our fast paced, technology based society.  In 1966 the Rolling Stones wrote “Mother’s Little Helper” about housewives of the day taking (and often becoming addicted to and/or overdosing on) prescription sedatives.  Today women still do the majority of housework while also working outside the home.  A 2010 study showed that women spend about 25.9 hours a week taking care of home and children to men’s 16.8 hours.  The women who I’ve spoken with feel driven and even if they could sit and try to relax after work most would feel too guilty.  Is it any surprise then, that so many mothers feel anxious and/or depressed?  What a tragedy that these women who take care of us all are, arguably, underappreciated.

Finally, I’d like to take a moment to share my appreciation for my own mother.  I may not have fully appreciated everything that you did for me growing up and I certainly took for granted that you would always be there, but now I recognize that if not for you I would not be the compassionate and thoughtful person that I am today.  These traits are essential to who I am as a therapist and as a person, and for that I cannot ever thank you enough.  I love you, mom.

Aaron D KirkwoodDo you experience role conflict and role strain?  I’m happy to help you sort through these complex emotions and learn to let go of some of the anxiety and/or depression that comes as a result.  Call (706) 534 – 8558 or e-mail me at Aaron@ca4wellbeing.com to setup a time to talk.

 

Sanok.Beach

It’s Monday morning. Time for you to wake-up and head to your job. You know the one that you dislike going to everyday. The job where you feel like your skills are not being used. The job that does not match with your interest. You know that job where you sit and daydream about the future and wonder if you will find a career that is suitable for you. If this sounds like you, then you need a new career.

There is nothing more miserable than working a job that leaves you feeling empty, frustrated, and longing for more. If you are tired of feeling this way, today is the day for you to start planning for your career change. In order to make this change, you must first look within yourself and then decide on the career that will be best for you. Here’s a few areas for you to assess before moving into your next career.

What Do You Do Naturally?
Before you can move forward in your new career, spend some time getting to know yourself. Self-awareness is important to securing the job you want in the career field that’s best for you. You can start by thinking about your natural abilities and skill set. Your natural abilities are simply your innate strengths. You may often hear your family or friends marvel about something that you always seem to do so well. “Wow, you really are good with organizing and decorating your home, office, or any space you are in.” What are your abilities that always lead to compliments from others? Make a list of them and use them to determine what type of career would allow you to use them.

Skills are competencies developed from learning or practice. Some skill sets include helping, management, teaching, leadership, design, financial, problem solving, and mechanical. Although you may have skills in several areas, you should decide whether you like using all the skills that you possess. For example, you may possess supervisory skills but do you enjoy being a supervisor? If not, this is a skill set that you may not want to continue using. Take a moment to think about the skills you use in your job on a daily basis. Identify the ones you like to use and the ones you do not like to use. Also, identify the skills that you have and do not currently use but would like to use. If you are unsure of the skills that you possess, a skills survey can help you determine the ones you have and like to use.

What Does Your Personality Say About You?
Believe it or not, your personality is a good indicator of the type of career you may want to consider. I recommend taking the Myers Briggs-Type Indicator, the most widely used personality tool, to assess this area. The MBTI will assess how you focus your attention (inward or outward), how you gather information (basic information or adding interpretation and meaning), how you make decisions (by using logic or considering people and circumstances), and how you structure your world (decided or flexibility). Upon completion of the MBTI, you will be assigned a personality type which further identifies your strengths and how you best work. Using your type information, you can identify careers that are most suitable for your personality. While there are many online versions of this assessment, I am qualified to administer and interpret the official version of the MBTI which gives you a more accurate picture of your type.

What Are Your Main Interests?
Your interests can cover several different areas. Some interests may be more suitable for a career while others may be well suited for hobbies. The Strong Interest Inventory can be beneficial in understanding your interests and the careers associated with your interests. The assessment is based on the concept that people are more satisfied when they work in careers that are of interest to them and when they work with people who have similar interests. This assessment categorizes interests into six different areas. Once you have completed the assessment, your interest areas are identified and further explained in a personalized report. The report also includes a list of careers related to your interests along with information about your work style, learning style, and risk-taking orientation. I find the Strong Interest Inventory to be a great complement to the MBTI.

What Do You Value?
Your values are a reflection of what you consider important and a priority in your life. You need to know what you value in your work space in order to have a satisfying and rewarding career. Some career values include salary, work location, benefits, stable employment, challenging work responsibilities, opportunities for advancement/promotion, and recognition. While career values are important, you also have to consider your life values and factor them into your new career plans. Some life values include education, family, freedom, health, honesty, independence, integrity, and loyalty. Take a moment to note your values and think about how important they are for your next career.

Once you have gathered information about yourself in these areas, begin to look for common themes. Do you see commonalities between the skills you prefer to use and your interests? Do your values align with your interests? From each of these areas, you can start putting the pieces together to determine what you will want in your new career. The next step is to determine careers where you can be yourself – natural abilities, skills, personality, interests, and values. The assessments that I previously mentioned (Myers Briggs Type Indicator and the Strong Interest Inventory) can offer a great start with a list of careers associated with your personality and interests. If you have some careers in mind that you want to consider, research them and decide whether they are suitable given your abilities, skills, personality, interests, and values.

If you would like assistance with making your career change, contact me at marian@ca4wellbeing.com or 706-425-8900 ext. 704 to schedule an appointment.