Marriage Counseling Can Lead to Enhanced Communication and a Successful, Fulfilling Relationship

Marriage Counseling and Enhanced Communicaton

Marriage Counseling and Enhanced Communication

“Effective Conflict Resolution”

By: Jessica Ortega

Most people enter marriage with the intent of establishing a happy union with a life partner. Sadly, it is not always the case that everything works out as planned. As time passes, marital strife due to conflict begins to deteriorate the once happy union. When couples finally seek help, the relationship is sometimes so broken it is just too late. Everyone clashes due to the negative feelings from differences between two people; it is part of what it means to be together. However, it is important to know how to fight.

Couples with poor conflict resolution skills are not successful at solving problems and letting go. Here’s what to consider when problems arise so that you and your spouse can become marital masters:

  • Self-awareness: get to know yourself, your wants and needs and ask for them in a non-threatening way instead of expecting them from your partner.
  • Forgiveness: if you forgive yourself for any wrongdoing you or your spouse may have caused the marriage, you can be on your way to forgiving your partner and letting go.
  • Empathic listening and responding: express yourself in an honest way so that your partner preserves his/her self-image without invoking defensiveness.
  • Efficacy: expect a successful marriage. Have the idea that as a unit, you and your partner can get through difficult times.
  • Feedback: when necessary, provide positive feedback without attacking or invalidating your spouse.

Remember: having good relationships is a skill and marriage is one of the most important of those learned skills. If you are concerned that you or anyone you care about may be having marital issues, the licensed counselors and psychotherapists at Arista Counseling and Psychotherapy can assist you. They have successfully helped many couples to get through hard times and achieve marital happiness. Contact our Bergen County, NJ or Manhattan offices of psychologists, psychiatrists, and psychotherapists at (201) 368-3700 or (212) 722-1920 to set up an appointment.  Visit http://www.acenterfortherapy.com for more information.

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Sleep Deprivation: What Inadequate Sleep Does to Our Body

By: Nicole Bieniasz

Are you sleeping eight hours every night? Consider yourself lucky! Our fast-paced environment has fooled us into believing we can successfully function with almost no sleep. What some people forget is that an adequate amount of sleep is necessary for maintaining positive mental and physical health because our bodies repair and restore themselves at that time. Interfering with this restoration by cutting back on sleep will eventually take a toll on an individual because the brain is not taking in new information or strengthening memories. Here are some examples of how shorter hours of sleep take a toll on our brains and affect functioning:

1. Slower Thought Process: Sleeping less than the 8 average hours necessary causes lower alertness and concentration, which impairs judgment. Making decisions and judging situations is very prominent and important in the workplace and at home.

2. Impaired Memory: When individuals do not allow their brains to restore during sleep, the nerve connections that are responsible for memories are not strengthened.

3. Difficulty Learning: Slower thought processing and difficulty learning restricts the individual from picking up any new information, which is essential for learning.

4. Problems with Mood: Lack of sleep not only hurts work performance and relationships, it is also capable of leading to problems with mood. Depression and anxiety are linked to poor sleeping habits.

To avoid these problems, here are some ways to get a good night sleep:

  • Keep a regular sleep/wake schedule
  • Avoid heavy meals before bed
  • Minimize caffeine intake especially 6 hours prior to sleep
  • Exercise
  • Minimize hot and cold temperatures, noise, and light when going to bed
  • Develop a regular bedtime

If you are concerned that you or a loved one may have trouble sleeping, the licensed professionals at Arista Counseling and Psychotherapy can assist you.  Contact our Bergen County, NJ or Manhattan offices of psychologists, psychiatrists, and psychotherapists at (201) 368-3700 or (212) 722-1920 to set up an appointment.  Visit http://www.acenterfortherapy.com for more information.

Anorexia Nervosa: How New Health Trends Can Make Eating Disorders Thrive

 

anorexia nervosa blog photo With all of the new trends regarding fitness, clean and organic eating, and juicing, it’s hard not to get caught up in society’s idea of what it means to be fit or skinny. For women, it’s always been about being thin and young looking, while men struggle to gain muscle and have six pack abs. While there is nothing wrong with wanting to exercise and eat healthier, there are still those who expect immediate results and, when they don’t get them, turn to extreme methods. So it’s no wonder that we also see an increase in eating disorders every time a new health craze hits.

There are several different varieties of eating disorders, but this blog will be primarily discussing Anorexia Nervosa and its effects on the youth of today. Anorexia Nervosa is an eating disorder characterized by refusal to eat and, according to the National Institute of Mental Health, it has the highest fatality rate of any psychiatric disorder and frequently coexists with other mental disorders such as anxiety, depression, and substance abuse. Here are some symptoms to be on the lookout for in case you or a loved one may be suffering from Anorexia:

  • Extremely low body weight
  • Severe food restrictions
  • Relentless pursuit of thinness and unwillingness to maintain a normal/ healthy body weight
  • Intense fear of gaining weight
  • Distorted body image and self-esteem that is influenced by perceptions of body weight or shape
  • Amenorrhea, or the absence of at least 3 menstrual cycles

Anorexia is a serious disease and could lead to other medical complications such as osteoporosis, low blood pressure, brittle hair and nails, mild anemia, and multi-organ failure, just to name a few. If you are concerned that you or a loved one may be suffering from Anorexia, the licensed counselors and psychotherapists at Arista Counseling and Psychotherapy can assist you.  Contact our Bergen County, NJ or Manhattan offices of psychologists, psychiatrists, and psychotherapists at (201) 368-3700 or (212) 722-1920 to set up an appointment.  Visit http://www.acenterfortherapy.com for more information.

Relationship Style: What Your Relationship Says About Your Parents

By: Nicole Bieniasz

Did you know your parents shape the relationship you are in today? The partners we select and the relationships we pursue are dependent on the attachment styles we develop as children. Parents are the first human beings to whom children develop an emotional attachment, which then dictates the different attachment styles they have. Attachment is a reinforced process that develops when parents respond and attend to a child’s emotional needs. Some parents will rush to their child the moment they cry, while other parents completely dismiss the action. The relationship the parents decide to have with their child determines the attachment style the child will have and grow into as an adult. There are four primary attachment styles that can be beneficial or detrimental towards an individual’s relationship as an adult. Here are the four attachment styles:

1. Secure Attachment: Children who develop a secure attachment see their parents as a secure base. The child feels independent and will continue to explore without the mother’s presence. Someone who is securely attached can easily be comforted in the absence of the mother even when it is clear the child only wants the mother. Relationships for this kind of individual reflect the mother-child relationship. A relationship with someone with a secure attachment is a healthy relationship where the person is honest, open, independent, loving, and empathetic.

2. Anxious/Ambivalent Attachment: A child who has an anxious/ambivalent attachment shows distress when the mother is not present and is not easily comforted upon her return. A child relies on their mother to fulfill constant needs and becomes clingy if their needs are not constantly met. A relationship with an individual like this is the opposite of a secure attachment. A person with this attachment faces frequent break ups and complains about cold/distant relationships. Anxious attachments cause a person to constantly seek a partner that will complete them.

3. Avoidant Attachment: This attachment differs from the two previously discussed. Avoidant attachment is seen in children when the child is indifferent about the parent’s presence. The way this person responds to parents and strangers is the same. Being in a relationship with this kind of individual is very difficult because this individual is emotionally distant. Avoidant individuals invest little or no emotional energy and find it very hard to connect with others.

4. Disorganized Attachment: This is a combination of anxious and avoidant attachments. The child has no definitive way of relating to those they love because this was never presented by the parent. Relationships for this person are very complicated because this individual experiences emotional storms due to the uncertainty of whether they want to be too close or too distant from the person. This individual trusts the same person they feel will hurt them the most.

Each of these attachment styles differ in their own way and are more complicated than others. If you are concerned that you or your partner are having problems, the licensed professionals at Arista Counseling&Psychotherapy can assist you. Contact our Bergen County, NJ or Manhattan offices of psychologists, psychiatrists, and psychotherapists at (201) 368-3700 or (212) 722-1920 to set up an appointment. Visit http://www.acenterfortherapy.com for more information.

References:

https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/compassion-matters/201307/how-your-attachment-style-impacts-your-relationship

https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/meet-catch-and-keep/201502/where-does-the-anger-in-your-relationship-come

http://blogs.psychcentral.com/relationships/2013/08/the-impact-of-childhood-attachment-styles-on-couple-relationships-2-of-2/

It Was Forever & Now It’s Over—Finding Yourself After a Breakup

By: Dariana Taveras

We all know what you’re thinking when you incessantly click through their Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter accounts in search of any clue or suggestions that maybe, just maybe, they’ll be open enough to want you back. You swipe through old pictures of your relationship attempting to figure out when things started to change. You wonder if perhaps some other factor played into your breakup other than the reality that maybe your partner lost interest over time or was not suited to be the partner you hoped he or she would be. The following steps might help you through a difficult breakup:

  1. Stay away—any relationship is a two-way street and you shouldn’t and CAN’T convince anyone to love you or stay with you. If your partner no longer wishes to be in a relationship with you, please do yourself a favor and let them go!
  2. Do NOT make excuses— If they genuinely hurt you, you cannot pretend that their behavior is acceptable. Remember that you cannot apologize to yourself on their behalf, only your ex can do that.
  3. Write it all down— what you’re feeling and why you think you’re feeling that way.
  4. Change your environment—It serves as the facilitator for your emotional feelings. If something at home or in the places that you frequent reminds you of your ex, perhaps attempt to remove, redecorate or rearrange how those particular items are set up. Also, don’t be afraid to try new places!
  5. FOCUS ON YOURSELF– Now is your chance to really tune in to who you are. Indulge in new hobbies, spend time with your loved ones, and realize that you have the potential to find happiness within yourself.

If you are concerned that you or anyone you care about may be having relationship issues, the licensed professionals at Arista Counseling and Psychotherapy can assist you. They have successfully helped many with marriage, pre-marital, and relationship issues. Contact our Bergen County, NJ or Manhattan offices of psychologists, psychiatrists, and psychotherapists at (201) 368-3700 or (212) 722-1920 to set up an appointment.  Visit http://www.acenterfortherapy.com for more information.

If You Haven’t Already Done So, Forgive Yourself

By: Dariana Taveras

Relationship Problems: Why Forgiving is the First Step

For thinking that you could be the one to save the pieces of whatever is left of your relationship…for holding on tightly despite the currents that are attempting to knock you down…for not taking responsibility for whatever it is that you felt like you did to ruin your relationship. Most importantly, forgive yourself for YOURSELF.

You may think that you want to forgive yourself for the sake of your partner. However, the reality is that the only way to work through your current issues is by acknowledging what went wrong and concentrating on repairing it. The idea is to shift away from self-inflicted excuses and punishments. Your relationship still has an opportunity to be saved if you are willing to be accountable for your actions and wish to work towards a common goal. If your goal is to remain by each other’s side, then the first inevitable step is forgiveness. Satisfaction within your relationship may significantly improve if you begin to have fewer negative feelings towards yourself and your current situation.

If you are concerned that you or anyone you care about may be having relationship issues, the licensed professionals at Arista Counseling and Psychotherapy can assist you. They have successfully helped many with marriage, pre-marital, and relationship issues. Contact our Bergen County, NJ or Manhattan offices of psychologists, psychiatrists, and psychotherapists at (201) 368-3700 or (212) 722-1920 to set up an appointment.  Visit http://www.acenterfortherapy.com for more information.

PTSD: Veterans Fighting Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

By: Nicole Bieniasz

The physical impact that war has on soldiers has been well documented, however often times war leaves scars that are not visible to the naked eye. With countless men and women returning from serving our country, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), has been on the rise. PTSD is defined as, “A debilitating mental disorder that follows experiencing or witnessing an extremely traumatic, tragic, or terrifying event.” There are endless gruesome and traumatic events that soldiers encounter on the field such as bombings, shootings, or even near-death experiences. Not all veterans suffer from PTSD immediately after their return; there are cases where veterans can have delayed-onset PTSD that occurs months after the experience. There are three main symptoms that indicate whether someone is suffering from PTSD, which are:

1. Re-Experiencing Symptoms: The individual relives the experience through flashbacks. Reliving the experience through flashbacks causes certain emotions to arise such as fear and helplessness.

2. Avoidance and Numbing Symptoms: The person suffering with PTSD will make an effort to avoid any situation that might generate memories of the experience. Avoidance can be so extreme the individual will avoid specific smells along with sounds and sights. Feelings of numbness will cause someone to lose interest in matters they were once interested in.

3. Arousal Symptoms: After the traumatic experience, the individual is constantly on guard and alert to their surroundings. Being constantly alert causes difficulty in concentration, expression of anger, difficulty sleeping, and many other related symptoms.

Despite these three central indications of PTSD, there are other symptoms that have been prevalent in veterans who suffer from PTSD. Both men and women experiencing PTSD suffer from depression, anxiety, and substance abuse. According to Nebraska Department of Veterans’ Affairs, “more than half of men with PTSD also have problems with alcohol.” Those who suffer from PTSD rely on alcohol to avoid the emotional distress caused by the decrease of endorphins after a traumatic experience. If veterans do not deal with their PTSD they might find it difficult to adjust, which in turn can cause unemployment, divorce, spousal abuse, and other interpersonal difficulties.

Different types of treatments have been tested and proven to be successful in many cases. The treatments that currently exist are:

  • Trauma Focused Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy
  • Family Therapy
  • Medication
  • Exposure Therapy

If you or anyone you care about may be struggling with PTSD, the licensed professionals at Arista Counseling&Psychotherapy can assist you. Contact our Bergen County, NJ or Manhattan offices of psychologists, psychiatrists, and psychotherapists at (201) 368-3700 or (212) 722-1920 to set up an appointment. Visit http://www.acenterfortherapy.com for more information.

 

References:

Vasterling, J.J., Duke, L. M., Brailey, K., Constans, J. I., Allain, A. N., & Sutker, P. B. (2002). Attention, learning, and memory performances and intellectual resources in Vietnam veterans: PTSD and no disorder comparisons.Neuropsychology, 16(1), 5. 

http://psychcentral.com/disorders/ptsd/ 

Don’t Turn Your Back, Offer Your Help— How You Can Help Someone With Depression

By: Dariana Taveras

We tend to be so engaged in the countless facets of life that we often unconsciously neglect when someone we love is fighting an uphill battle. Our own daily affairs lead us astray, as we fail to consider that perhaps someone very near and dear is sadly conflicted. Perhaps they were energetic in the past and experienced difficult circumstances that lead to their feelings of hopelessness, lethargy, tiredness, lack of motivation, and unexplainable sadness. Although we may not be trained professionals in dealing with depression, there may be several actions we can actively pursue to help our loved ones feel seen, heard, cared for, valued, and understood.

Here are a few things to keep in mind if you think your loved one may be enduring symptoms of depression:

  • Empathetically address your concerns with your loved one
  • Emphasize your willingness to support them
  • Offer your help— This may help you gain insight into how to effectively discuss any options your loved one may be open to trying
  • Be there for your loved one, do NOT give up on them!
  • Reassure your loved one that they ARE capable of making the necessary changes that can lead to a happier and healthier life
  • Whatever you do, do NOT blame yourself for your loved one’s depression

The most important thing to remember is that you alone cannot save anyone from their depression. All you can do is try to lend supportive ears to listen and a compassionate heart to understand them the best that you can.

If you are concerned that you or anyone you care about may be suffering from depression, the licensed professionals at Arista Counseling and Psychotherapy can assist you.  Contact our Bergen County, NJ or Manhattan offices of psychologists, psychiatrists, and psychotherapists at (201) 368-3700 or (212) 722-1920 to set up an appointment.  Visit http://www.acenterfortherapy.com for more information.

Anxiety: Generalized Anxiety Disorder

Anxiety: Generalized Anxiety DisorderBy: Jessica Ortega

It is normal to experience anxiety from time to time, especially with all the stress that may influence our daily lives. Some of the things we worry about are our health, family, work and finances. If the anxiety is extreme and unfounded, you may be experiencing generalized anxiety disorder (GAD). This disorder often starts as a child, however, onset can be adulthood as well. Some of the physical symptoms that accompany GAD are fatigue, irritability, muscle tension/aches, trembling, feeling twitchy, sweating, and headaches. As a result, GAD disturbs sleep and impairs your energy and ability to perform daily tasks quickly and efficiently. People will commonly visit their doctor many times before being diagnosed because of their worry concerning their health and the symptoms that may arise from the disorder.

What steps can you take to help yourself?

  • Reflect on what is triggering your anxiety:
    • Major life changes
    • Stressful events
    • Traumatic experiences
  • Talk to your doctor about symptoms and pains you feel for no reason
    • Medicine and therapy can help you cope and make changes towards a worry-free life

If you or anyone you know is struggling with generalized anxiety disorder, or other types of anxiety, the psychologists, psychiatrists, and therapists at Arista Counseling and Psychiatric Services can help. Contact the Bergen County, NJ or Manhattan, NY offices at (201)368-3700. Visit http://www.acenterfortherapy.com for more information.