Family Stories, Everyone Has One

The holidays are fast approaching; Before you know it, it will be time for holiday parties, gift giving celebrations, followed by the 12:00am shouts of, “Happy New Year.”

This time of year often brings a few things to the forefront of our minds, family time.  Some people relish their family time together and others might be hoping that someone gets the stomach flu and has to cancel the holiday dinner just so they can avoid a “have to” family holiday.  Family Story Blog

No matter which side of the proverbial street you’re on, you know your family has got a story.  Good, bad or indifferent this is your family story.   The stories we tell ourselves and others, are the stories that shape our lives. It’s possible the story you have in your mind, of yourself, your family, your relationship, is not the story you’d like to be telling.  

Who are you in your life’s story? Are you the victim of circumstances outside of your control? Are the exhausted perfectionist doing any and everything, never saying no? Are you a sidekick to your partner? Are you the party person of the family?

Maxwell Maltz, author of the self help book PsychoCybernetics, talks about the power of our self-image, how we see ourselves, and the impact it has on our behavior. He argues that if we always see ourselves a certain way, we will never be able to change.

In this way, our family story, as it is, shapes our past, present, and future relationships. If we’ve always been thought of as the “black sheep” in the family, perhaps we carry that role into our work or social lives.

“What is the vision of your life or family?  What is your purpose?  What legacy do want to leave behind? What do you want your family to be known for?” When we ask ourselves these questions, we begin to shape the narrative, and characteristics, of our lives.

You might want to be known as that family that always has fun no matter what they are doing, riding bikes through the neighborhood and eating dinner together.  These might be the characteristics you hope to embody both as an individual and as a family.

In my family counseling sessions, I like to ask families to think of the all the events linked together which create their family narrative. This allows the family to recognize the power in their hands to rewrite the story if it’s no longer the story they want to read.

It’s not an easy process, confronting the story we may have unwittingly had a hand in writing for many years. I want to encourage you to make the necessary change in your story, today and if you find yourself struggling with picking up the pen, know that I’m just a phone call or click away Katie Lemieux, LMFT www.FamilyAndCouplesCounseling.com

A Thanksgiving Gratitude List

As Thanksgiving quickly approaches this week, I decided to create a list of things I am grateful for.  I am sure this list could continue to expand but in one sitting these are the fun things that came to mind.

What better way to welcome the holiday than to explore, appreciate, feel and experience the gratitude I have for so many things.  You don’t have to wait until Thanksgiving to create a gratitude list you can do it is part of your daily ritual. I do mine with my morning meditation.  You can also do this as part of your evening or dinner ritual with your spouse, partner or even kids.  When we shift our focus and experience the things that we are grateful for it begins to shift our perspective and experience of the world.  “Where attention goes, energy flows!” ~ James Redfield

  1. Speaking of meditation I found this great link that I listen to during my meditation – https://youtu.be/w6sbrmcrSuo
  2. The meaning of “Om”
  3. My dog Charlotte she came into our lives at the perfect time as 5 weeks later we had to say an unexpected goodbye to our loving and kind dog, Destiny.  
  4. Quiet times at home by myself
  5. The Movies!!!  I love watching movies.
  6. Shelly Does – one of my current fav YouTube instructors
  7. My marriage
  8. The evolution of my relationship
  9. The evolution of myself in my relationship
  10. The pioneers in the field of relationships as it has made me a better person, partner and spouse
  11. My spouse
  12. My parents
  13. My adult relationships with my parents
  14. Four legged furry animals that bring people so much joy
  15. Living in Florida
  16. Thinking about how amazing the world really is.  Sometimes I get lost in thinking of all the amazing things humans have created.  
  17. Wind
  18. The beach
  19. My upcoming trip to the Grand Canyon – bucket list item – CHECK
  20. Firepits
  21. Dunkin Donuts & Starbucks
  22. Pumpkin and Salt Caramel flavorings
  23. Halloween
  24. Events, shows and concerts – going to see the Trans Siberian Orchestra play this year
  25. Bike riding
  26. Meditation
  27. Youtube
  28. The internet
  29. Going inward
  30. Photography
  31. Art shows
  32. Friendships
  33. Water
  34. Ice tea
  35. Ethos – one of my most favorite restaurants in the area I love – delish!
  36. My business partner
  37. My assistant
  38. People overall – I see people as good and wanting to help and guess what they show up that way
  39. Discounts, deals and COUPONS!
  40. Reading
  41. Pinterest – making a curry butternut squash recipe this evening for dinner.
  42. Brene Brown
  43. Candles
  44. My home
  45. Possibilities
  46. Brighton
  47. DSW
  48. My comfy bed
  49. The time I get to spend with my family when they visit
  50. The laugh and giggles of children and babies

I would love to hear and learn about what you are grateful for, drop me a line at Katie@FamilyAndCouplesCounseling.com.  

For more gratitude, check out the vlog below on What We Are Grateful for When It Comes to Relationships!

Seana Abdelmajid – Couples and Real Estate

Seana (See*na) Abdelmajid is a Realtor and Real Estate Investor in the South Florida market. Seana works with both sellers and buyers but especially loves working with couples who are first time home owners. Purchasing your first home should be a fun and exciting process but most often, couples are afraid and or simply misinformed. Seana takes pride in making this important investment in their lives a fun and smooth process, guiding them every step of the way.Couples Corner Seana Abdelmajid

She is also the owner of a Real Estate Investment company where she provides solutions for those who are dealing with pre-foreclosure and purchases distressed properties in South Florida only to transform them back into a place for someone to call home. She works with other realtors, investors, contractors, divorce and probate attorneys, and private lenders. Some things you should know about Seana are that she loves animals, loves to dance, enjoys working out, and has been playing competitive travel kickball for 7 years; yes kickball!

Lisa Zucker – Grieving Together After the Loss of a Child

Lisa Zucker is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and Certified Thanatologist with a private practice in Hollywood. Throughout her fourteen years in the field, Lisa continued to gravitate to working with people who had experienced loss. Whether at a substance treatment facility, working with foster families, or working with families who were living with cancer, Lisa sought to comfort and help process losses and underlying grief in order to help individuals and families begin to heal.Couples Corner Lisa Zucker

In 2013, Lisa became certified as a Thanatologist with the Association of Death Education and Counseling, furthering her commitment to the study and treatment of dying and bereaved people. Lisa speaks for various organizations, including Gilda’s Club South Florida and Healthy Mothers Healthy Babies, to bring the conversation of the needs of the grieving to people who are mourning as well as to friends, family, and helping professionals who want to support the bereaved. Her journey has led her to develop her new site, GriefTREE, that will create a space for bereaved people and professionals to learn about grief and tools to assist and grow from loss. GriefTREE is expected to launch in the beginning of 2017.

Couples Counseling Coral Springs

Dr. Stacy Friedman, DHS, CSC – Couples with Mismatched Sexual Desires

Dr. Stacy is the founder of Creating Intimacy Coach, Inc. She got involved in the field of Clinical Sexology because of her passion for helping people better connect and experience the best sexual intimacy with themselves and with their partner(s). She holds a Doctorate degree in Human Sexuality, a Masters degree in Clinical Sexology and is a Certified Sex Coach. Dr. Stacy is a member of WASC (World Association of Sex Coaches), and of the ACS (American College of Sexologists), which shows she has earned top credentials in her field. She also has a BA in Psychology and is a Registered Diagnostic Medical & Vascular Sonographer.Couples Counseling Coral Springs

Since 2006, Dr. Stacy has been a consultant selling adult novelties and has had the pleasure of educating many men and women in a fun, positive approach to love, romance and in all aspects of sexuality. Her education and personal spiritual and sexual journey, including life experience uniquely enables her to help you move in a positive direction to face the challenges that may lie ahead and to achieve your goals. Sex Coaching is designed to help women, men, and people of any sexual orientation or gender address their concerns about sexuality, sexual function and sexual expression.

A little about Dr. Stacy: She is a single mom with two great kids and has an amazing relationship with her boyfriend. When she is not helping her clients, she loves spending time with her family and stays busy with her hobbies and promoting her side businesses. One of her favorite hobbies is baking, which allows her to explore her creative side and she designs specialty cakes as another side business.

“My passion is to help you create yours”- Dr. Stacy

Relationship Counseling

Top 4 Ways to Support Military Families

We had the great pleasure of interviewing our colleague, and friend, Jessica Jefferson on tips for working with military families. Jessica is uniquely situated to work with military families and couples, coming from a military family herself.Relationship Counseling

Military couples go through the same issues as most couples; however, it’s often heightened and other issues are added onto everyday struggles. When working with military families, it’s important to have a background knowledge of the the military. Some tips Jessica offers for families with a member in the military are:

  • Create Structure

Deployment and station changes can be stressful on families; sometimes spouses don’t always accompany the military member on the station change. It can be a hard transition and sometimes a family member can be unsure of their new role in the family, especially when a returning family member rejoins the family and hasn’t been around for a while. A structure when the service member is both home, and deployed, is key especially with your children. The structure will allow for an easier transition upon returning home from deployment.

  • Create Memories

Service members don’t always have their deployment on a timeline and may not necessarily know when they’ll be deployed. Jessica suggests creating memories together as a family even before the service member leaves and keeping the memories alive, so they can be sent as snippets throughout deployment, as a way to stay connected and communicate. This is also a way that children can stay involved and have a sense of control through participating.

  • Build Resources

A military family is always moving, making a support system so necessary for families. It can be tempting to rely entirely on a spouse as a support system but this can create dependency, which is especially hard when that service member is deployed. Conversely, welcoming a returning service member back into the home and social network will go a long way in reintegration. The spouse who stays home will want to avoid becoming overly independent and unneeding of the spouse, in addition to avoiding over dependence.

  • Be Understanding, Compassionate, and Accept Limitations

In retirement, military members can lose a sense of identity. It’s important that the partner be understanding and compassionate, while also recognizing when they need additional resources. Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is commonly found in service members who return home and in some instances, a diagnosis of a mental health issue may result in a service member returning home prematurely. Individuals with PTSD may have higher stress responses, particularly around holidays with loud noises, or fireworks, as it’s reminiscent of combat. A result of PTSD can be increased introversion, withdrawal, and avoidance of potentially triggering situations.

A military family, like any other, goes through ups and downs of the family cycle. As clinicians and family members, it’s important to educate ourselves on best practices and individualized ways in which we can support and treat our returning active duty service members and veterans.

 

Couples Counseling Coral Springs

Tammy Saltzman – How a Post-Nuptial Can Help a Struggling Couple

Attorney Tammy B. Saltzman is a Family Law and Residential Real Estate attorney and a Florida Supreme Court Certified Family Mediator. She obtained her B.A in 1995 from Barry University and her JD from Nova Southeastern University in 1999. She is the Internet TV Host of Divorce Connection Network since 2014.

Couples Counseling Coral Springs

Tammy is also a seasoned motivational speaker from years of personal experiences and reinvention. Tammy has published articles on Rainmakerology, Guerilla Goal Getting and the importance of Accountability Partners, The Power of Team and Master Mentorship. Tammy is on the Board of Directors of the South Palm Beach County Florida Association for Women Lawyers and is Co-Chairperson of the Mentorship Committee for the South Palm Beach County Bar Association. Tammy can be reached via E-Mail at tammy@tbslawpa.com or at 561-221-0577.

Couples Counseling Coral Springs

Myles German – Financial Concerns in Divorce

Myles German has been a Certified Divorce Financial Analyst for over 11 years. He started Divorce Impact in 2005, soon after he received his training for the CDFA designation. He has extensive experience in helping people understand their personal finances so they can make good decisions for their post divorce financial future. His prior experience as a bridge design engineer provided him with the analytical and critical thinking skills which lends itself greatly to analyzing the financial impacts of divorce.

Couples Counseling Coral SpringsThrough his extensive network of professionals, Myles can help you find the right professionals to meet your needs such as accountants, attorneys, therapists, mortgage brokers, realtors, etc. He believes that through education, the divorce process can be less expensive and quicker than the traditional fighting it out in court. His goal is to empower people to make their own destiny rather than leaving critical life altering decisions up to a stranger in the courts (named a Judge) by giving them the necessary knowledge. Myles helps people before, during or after divorce.

He enjoys spending time with his family and travelling. He is a member of the South Palm Beach County Collaborative Law Group, Collaborative Family Law Professionals of South Florida, Collaborative Divorce Team, Inc and the Institute of Divorce Financial Analysts.

Below, you can watch Myles talk about the impact divorce has on a couple’s finances in our webisode!

Couples Counseling Coral Springs

Alexia McLeod – I Think I Want to Adopt? What Now?

Alexia McLeod, LCSW is a passionate and dedicated therapist, motivational speaker, counselor, mentor and supervisor with 16 years of experience in her field.Couples Counseling Coral Springs

Known and respected for her dynamic coaching, leading, and teaching styles in bringing the best out of others, she is regarded by her peers as a true leader who continuously show her passion for the field and dedication to her clients.

 

 

 

 

 

You can view Alexia’s webisode below!