For Parents: A Mindful Moment with Your 2 Year Old

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I wrote this almost a year ago and looking back it isn’t surprising I didn’t find a moment to take the last step and post it.  Great to reflect and notice how much more at ease I am whether it’s his age or my frame of mind.  Cheers to mothers and fathers of young children.  Hang in there!

My third son just turned 2 and boy do we know it.  Our other 2 boys didn’t give us quite the taste of the terrible twos as this little munchkin.  He is generally really happy, but when things aren’t right he makes it very clear.  Then when he gets what he wants he starts giggling, clapping, what have you.  

Not only are his emotions strong in both directions, he is a dare devil.  He always has a bruise on his forehead and doesn’t seem to be learning any caution from his tumbles.  He keeps a close eye on the gate latch and watches for a chance to make a break.  When he makes his break he doesn’t look back.  It’s stressful to be in constant fear that he is going to do something that will leave permanent damage, or worse.  

In addition to this the continual emptying of cabinets, bookshelves and toy bins leaves me overwhelmed.  I am often reminded of when I worked in a mental hospital and had to do regular 10 minute checks, and for some keep a constant line of site to make sure they didn’t do harm to themselves or others.  In spite of this I’ve chosen to keep my office hours to a minimum just so I can be there to follow this little turkey around the house, the yard, the park.  Somehow this crazy making scenario is where I want to be, or at times where I know I need to be, as much as I can. (more…)

For Parents: Conversations about Sexual Matters, #1: Setting the Stage for Openness

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This series is about education young children about sexual matters including pornography and other sexual matters.  To be notified of new posts follow me on Facebook or join my email list in the box on the right.

My husband recently discovered in our computer’s history that my son had gone through some sites of interest. I had inadvertently unplugged our Circle internet filter (which I highly recommend) so it gave him more access than we’d like. Thankfully it wasn’t pornographic, but the topics were not age appropriate. We felt it was worth a conversation.

I wanted to be really careful because I didn’t want him to feel on any level like he had done something wrong. Curiosity is natural and healthy. But I do want him to know that it’s important and helpful to talk to my husband and/or me if ideas and questions arose in his mind that were confusing or potentially embarrassing. Here is how I decided to approach it. (more…)

For Therapists: My Road to EFT Certification

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As a young therapist out of graduate school, I remember when couples sat across from me in my office, things felt messy and chaotic.  It was like I was on a road trip without a map.  I knew the general direction I needed to go, but didn’t quite know the best route.  I would consult with my supervisor and others in my practice with experience.  They all told me something different.  None seemed to hit the nail close enough to the head.  Something was missing.

I also remember in my personal journey through relationships feeling that there had to be more to getting through conflict with others.  I’d been told to just show love, turn the other cheek, no one can make you angry it’s just a choice you make, and that I needed to forgive.  It didn’t make sense and I felt that there had to be more to repairing rifts.

Then my agency offered a training in EFT and it was like someone handed me that road map.  Finally something made sense and so much sense I didn’t understand why I was just coming on to this now.  I latched on to the model and held on tight.  

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How to Begin to Improve Your Marriage: 5 Conversations to Get You Started

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IMG_0852Do you remember when you first met and fell in love how you thought your marriage would be?  Or what you thought when you were a teenager?  Remember how sure you were that your marriage would not look like your parents?  What we don’t learn in kindergarten, is that every marriage will face some unanticipated challenges.  Yet love is so vital in this ever transient and demanding world and the benefits of fighting our way through and shaping our love into something that works are significant. (more…)

Attachment in Adulthood

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In a recent post, I wrote about the attachment journey that young parents naturally embark on as they have children. With parenthood, attachment becomes a focal point. But attachment needs aren’t just for babies! It’s important for all adults – married people, single people, adult siblings, adult children or parents of adult children – to understand their attachment needs. Assessing where our needs are met or unmet can help us understand and enhance our relationships. (more…)

The Elements of Attachment

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attached familyParents of young children are often preoccupied with how best to establish strong bonds with their little ones. We long for meaningful interactions. We hope that our children will both initiate and positively receive these interactions, which we also hope will be a source of strength for both parties. The mental health world uses the word “attachment” to describe this type of essential bond. Years of research shows that secure attachments are essential to our health and well-being. When we have it, we thrive. When we lack it, we suffer. Simply put, we are wired for this connection. (more…)

The Strength of Inter-dependency

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This is a guest post from my respected colleague Robin Cohen.  Robin is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker who is certified in Emotionally Focused Therapy for Couples.  She is in private practice in Herndon, Virginia.  Robin completed an intense post-Master’s program in Marriage and Family Therapy at Virginia Tech in 1994.  She subsequently became an adjunct faculty member at Virginia Tech where she supervised graduate students in the university clinic.   Robin was selected as a “Top Therapist” by Washingtonian Magazine in 2009 and 2012.  Robin will be co-facilitating the Hold Me Tight Workshop on November 7th and 8th in McLean.  

The Strength of Inter-dependency

In a culture that promotes independence, self-sufficiency, and rugged individualism, the notion of inter-dependency in love relationships might be difficult to accept.  So often I hear a partner say, “I have never relied on anyone, only myself.”  Yet, the concept of depending on one’s partner to be there especially at critical times is paramount to a healthy relationship and a secure attachment. (more…)

Pure & Simple Love

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WalterOliver_LR-253I’ve been ever so pleasantly distracted.  This little human came into my life not too long ago.  I have been taken by how simply looking into his eyes can make him smile.  The body curls and coos that accompany fill me up completely.  Words are irrelevant.  It’s that innate pleasure and responsiveness associated with genuine human connection that we are born with.  This exchange helps us to thrive at any age.  Let us remember that each and every one of us are wired for connection.  Let your love shine through to the one(s) you love today!

How to Celebrate Your Love Today!

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celebrate your love
Here is a letter that Gary wrote for our Hold Me Tight Love Letters & Updates (you can sign up to receive these herewith ideas to help make today a day to bond, connect, and celebrate your love.  I loved his thoughts and will definitely be taking time to have this conversation with the one I love today.  Happy Valentines Day!  Enjoy.
Dear Lovers,
Happy Valentine’s Day!  Did you remember to do something for your love?  This year, I discovered several apps engineered to help us with this centuries old observance of lovers and friends.  Apps for flowers, cards, quotes, recipes, music, restaurants or getaways, and thankfully chocolate…lots of chocolate.  It’s easy to get that thoughtful gesture on it’s way to your partner, but how about taking it to a deeper level? Make this a day to really bond, connect, and celebrate your love.

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