Archive for December, 2011

Six Simple Resolutions for Enhancing Your Relationship

Tuesday, December 27th, 2011

happy coupleNo one just shows up for a good relationship and relationships don’t just get better because time passes. It is what we do during that time that helps heal and enhance our relationships. Over the last few years I have written many blogs for couples. Here are six simple resolutions drawn from them that many have found enhance the bond they share with their partner.

Let It Go

If you are human and you are in a relationship, it is inevitable that at times you will be angry with your partner. Once you and your partner have come to some resolve or have agreed to a working resolution, let the contention and disagreement go.

You may think it is important to explain to your partner one more reason you were angry or to analyze his/her character flaw. It’s not. Your partner will not be grateful for this information. Let it Go!

Once you and your partner move on to a positive mood or enjoyable place, go with it, feel it- let it take. Positive memories and experiences build recovery momentum. They facilitate problem resolution because they broaden perspective, re-kindle appreciation of each other and build trust.

Exercise for Mental Health: Reasons to Start and Reasons to Stop

Wednesday, December 21st, 2011

mature manDespite the fact that more than 86% of Americans believe exercising for fitness improves a person’s odds of a long and healthy life by “a lot,” only 28% report they actually get as much physical exercise as they should. Some people can’t start; some start and stop; and some can’t stop.

Adding to the exercise benefits for improving physical health, the most recent publication of the Monitor of the American Psychological Association underscores the mounting evidence of exercise benefits on mental health. So clear is the impact of exercise on the body-mind connection that it raises the question of how psychologists might use it as part of their treatment arsenal or at the very least motivate their patients to exercise.

As closer look at some of the findings may provide the tipping point for starting, stopping and moderating exercise in a way that benefits physical and mental health.

Virginia Tech Then and Again: Healing After Trauma

Saturday, December 10th, 2011

frightened boyWe catch our breath as we hear that Virginia Tech has once again faced a shooting and the violent deaths of two people on campus.  In this case seven minutes after police reported the shooting, students were informed and alerted by email, text, twitter and campus broadcast to stay where they were in locked down locations, to remain off campus or to be escorted to safety areas. As the students reported, they waited in fear for four hours uncertain of what would unfold. When told it was safe, they hesitated leaving.

As is the nature of trauma, those who faced this present trauma live in the shadow of the tragic past and those in the past may be re-awakened to the horror and loss they have been carrying. To a large degree many emotionally and physically once again bear witness to a terrifying and unimaginable event.

While a person’s reaction to trauma is a function of the personal meaning of the event to them, their physical and emotional proximity to the traumatic event as well as their personal history, we have come to know that as an initial help, Psychological First Aid (PFA) can mediate the impact of trauma and make possible steps toward healing.

Dealing with trauma across the timeline from acute impact to long term recovery, I have found personally and professionally that there are aspects of Psychological First Aid that are vital in helping and healing at any time.

Here are some suggestions worth knowing and owning in the aftermath of trauma and re-traumatization.

Midlife Dating: From Solution to Evolution

Monday, December 5th, 2011

middleaged coupleFew people have a long range goal of dating in midlife. To the many who find themselves faced with the possibility, midlife dating can seem like a mystifying, even overwhelming, journey to find a partner.

The reality is that despite the horror stories of friends or the fictional depictions of perfect couples repelling down snowy peaks, the experience of midlife dating really depends upon your goal.

When you expand the goal of midlife dating from finding someone to finding and re-defining yourself, the experience changes. Instead of a solution to being alone – midlife dating becomes an evolution of self.

Why Midlife Dating?

Usually something has or has not occurred in the lives or personal relationships of people ages 40- 65 that makes midlife dating a consideration. Some have left a troubled or contentious marriage; some feel they have been the one left; some have never looked up from a career; some have weathered the illness and death of a partner; and some have decided they are finally ready  to settle down.” Most don’t want to be alone.

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Suzanne Phillips, Psy.D., ABPP & Dianne Kane, DSW are the authors of Healing Together: A Couple's Guide to Coping with Trauma and Post-Traumatic Stress. Pick up the book today!

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