Couples or Family Counseling with Only 1 Person is like…

… putting together a puzzle with only the “flat” or “outside” pieces to make a border.

If you take away the “inside pieces” and picture on the box you lose perspective, solutions, and the sum of all its parts. It often also takes a lot longer to finish a puzzle when only one person is working on it. When you add other people to work together on the puzzle they sometimes see things differently than you. They conceptualize the pieces different, view things from a different angle, and offer alternative options, suggestions and opinions. Working together often gets the job done quicker with more solutions, less time, and more effectiveness.

By Katie Lemieux

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Stress Management – Crazy Smile & Squish


“Smile and Squish”

So, are you wondering about this crazy smile picture…you should be!  I would wonder too! At the expense of myself this is my way of bringing some STRESS MANAGEMENT to your day.   View the video below and Karyn Buxman will share with you how you too can smile like this, de-stress and ward off any people at work you are not wanting to deal with at the moment.


*The side effects to watching this video and implementing the technique are laughter, good humor, and a pleasant day!

By Katie Lemieux

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Stress Management – 25 Ways to Have Fun and Chillax

“How Do You Get a Tissue to Dance???”

25 Fun Ways to Chillax:

So, I know you are curious to know how you get a tissue to dance!  Well Jessica, 5 years old told me, “you put a little boogie in it.”  I giggled too, and that is EXACTLY what today’s newsletter is ALL about.  How to add a few minutes of fun, humor, relaxation, and giggles to your day!


1.  Wear a butterfly headband, with big plastic purple glasses, and a whistle mustache!

2.  Office Olympics – you and your co-worker go shot for shot. All’s you need is paper and a trash can.

3.  After lunch dance break. This worked like a charm during a training I had. It was 40 hours of TRAINING which can put anyone over the edge. I was doing Day 4 of the training, and I knew that after lunch everyone is paying close attention to their eyelids staying open rather than anything I was saying, so I plugged my ipod into the speaker and we had after lunch Macarena. The trainees loved it. Our Human Resource department saw us doing it on the cameras and one of our HR ladies came and participated!

4.  Fun jokes – During my 8 years of management my team and I would play silly jokes on one another, always in good fun.   Some of them were turning desks around, leaving silly messages, toilet papering a desk for a celebration…

5.  Change it – change your shoes, shirt, even hairdo during the day. It can give you a feel of refreshment.

6.  You Tube your favorite comedian for a few minutes of laughs.



8.  Water balloons, so much fun!  You can do this with your kids, significant other, etc.  Best done outside, just saying!

9.  Have an “Attitude of Gratitude” – is your mood sour? quickly write down 10 or more things you are grateful for and watch your demeanor shift.

10.  Trim the fat… are you like me, so many fun things to do and so many opportunities you want to take them all one?  Ask yourself: is this in alignment with what I am up to?  Does this leave me feeling good?  If you answered “yes” then keep going.  If you answered “no”…

11.  Say “no” – we all have the same amount of time, saying “yes” to “be nice” or that is what you “should do” can get you into some trouble.  Doing things because you should do them, can leave you feeling frustrated and possibly resentful.

12.  Power Outage – pretend for 1 night there is a power outage in your home!  No TV, no microwave, NO COMPUTER, what would you do?  Get creative spend time with your kids, loved one, pet…

13.  “You do the Hokey Pokey  and you turn yourself around, that’s what it’s all about.”  Dance Break!

14.  Thumb Wrestle contest – may the best thumb win!

15.  Workplace Superlatives – FUN!  Give certificates and prizes, even better!

16.  Take a timeout for what you are passionate about.

17.  Game Night

18.  Take a nap, even a 15 minute cat nap.  I remember a time I was feeling exhausted!  I would shut my office door and lay across my chairs for 15 minutes.  It would help me manage the rest of the day.

19.  Snuggle – your loved one, child, pet, etc.

20.  “Silence is a virtue” – schedule a time for silence even just 5 minutes.

21.  “Elvis has left the building” – Go take a walk

22.  Get your jammies on, build a fort in your living room and tell scary stories with a flashlight, snacks are a MUST!

23.  Laugh Line – love this one – get 5 or more people.  The first person lays down on the ground on his/her back, the next with his/her head on the previous person’s stomach, and all others lay on someones stomach.  The giggling will start and it won’t stop.

24.  Ice Cream Social – create an ice cream social, everyone brings an ingredient to share.

25.  Do something fun you have never done before – paddle boarding, go paint balling, ride a go kart…

By Katie Lemieux


Stress Management – The Chocolate Meditation

“HELP… I am STRESSED Out!!!”

*Chocolate Meditation: Don’t have time to meditate or even want to???  You might want to try this one on for size.  I often do this exercise in my Empowerment Workshops as well as Stress Management Workshops when working with large groups, agencies, or companies.

1.  Grab a small piece of chocolate – it could be a Hershey’s kiss or something small.  Don’t like chocolate, no problem you can use a mint, a sugar free hard candy, whatever you fancy.

2.  Sit in a quiet place – Give yourself the next 3 to 5 minutes.  You could sit in your car, shut your office door, lock yourself away from your spouse and/or kids.  Wherever you can get a few quiet moments, do it.

3.  Close your eyes, get comfortable, & relaxed

4.  With your eyes closed – unwrap the chocolate (mint, candy, etc) and just hold it in your hand.

5.  Place it – up to your nose and smell it, keep your eyes closed!  What scents do you smell?  What do you notice that you have not noticed before?  Explore the chocolate with your sense of smell.  Get curious about it.  Do you smell aromas of cinnamon? bitter chocolate? caramel?  Notice if any memories pop up, you might start to salivate anticipating the taste, just be patient and explore for a moment.

6.  Put it – in your mouth and just let it sit on your tongue.  Don’t move it around, don’t bite it, just let it sit there.  Notice your thoughts, notice how you feel… do you feel frustrated, eager, peaceful… just notice, what are you noticing?  It is important not to judge your thoughts, let them pass through like the wind – effortlessly.  Don’t get caught up on doing this “right”, it is for you and your enjoyment. Are you eyes still closed; they should be...

7.  Allow – the chocolate to melt on your tongue, move it around a bit letting it get all over the tongue and teeth.  What tastes do you notice?  Are you reminded of a special time or occasion?  Get present!

8.  Slowly – begin to bite and chew the chocolate, take your time.  If you are usually impatient just notice it and settle in to this moment, bring all your attention and awareness to your sense of taste.

9. Enjoy the moment.  YOU deserve it!  When you are ready presence yourself back into the room and take an inventory of how you feel, are you relaxed, feeling a little more at peace?  If so consider what it might be like to give yourself this undivided attention for 3 – 5 minutes everyday…

In our fast food, fast paced, technology driven society we have to “work at” decompressing, letting go, shutting down and getting centered.  At times it can feel like just “another thing to do” or “another task to add into our already busy schedules”, believe me I get it!  I have learned to take time out to quiet and still the mind as a daily practice.  It becomes a necessity, almost like an information detox – get present, get centered then go be productive.   Keep tuned in for more helpful tips and hints this month.  I you are interested in creating or scheduling a stress management workshop for a group, company or agency please feel free to contact us Katie@FamilyAndCouplesCounseling.com or via phone 954-401-9011

By Katie Lemieux

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transgender suicide

Transgendered Youth & Suicide – “Comfortable N UR Skin”

There’s 19 million transgender people and 50% attempt suicide before the age of 20… meet one who’s standing so that the others don’t have to struggle. An inspiring video designed to alter what’s considered normal in our society and provide a space for everyone to be comfortable in their own skin.

A fundraiser was held for Sky, so he can have the experience of feeling comfortable in his own skin.  This fundraiser just wasn’t for him but a stand for what his commitment is to all transgendered people!  Sky looks to make this an annual event supporting other transgendered people.  Sky works at the YES Institute in Miami supporting other transgendered people, educating the community and being a stand for what matters to him most, the ability for everyone to feel comfortable with who they experience themselves as in the world.


By Katie Lemieux

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Marriage and Couples Counseling – Shifting the Anatomy of an Argument

This comes from our work with couples and families. All couples and families argue and many of them have tried different things but they seem to talk about and discuss the same argument over and over. Seeing we do couples and family counseling often we have created and suggested shaking things up.  Here are some of our thoughts, interventions and ideas!


1.  Schedule and Time Your Argument: Do you argue often with your significant other?  Why not set a certain time aside and commit everyday to arguing for a set amount of time. Crazy you think, but why not, you are most likely to do it anyway?

If you feel like arguing earlier put it off until the time you agreed upon, save everything you want to argue about until the time comes. If you set time to argue every evening at 7pm for 20 minutes then do it, diligently.  If you run out of things to argue about keep arguing until the time is up.  When the time is up, stop and resume same time tomorrow or whatever days and times you choose.

2.  Relocate: Take your argument to a different place.  If you always argue in the bedroom why not jump in the shower and continue to argue, perhaps the library, grocery store, stand on opposite ends of the garage facing the wall,  turn back to back and keep arguing…

3. Get Close: get really close! For this one I suggest hugging each other and continuing to argue or wrap yourselves into a sleeping bag and carry on.

One of my favorite stories is from my friend Kim.  When she was a child her mother ingeniously created a consequence that yielded amazing results.  In order to “punish” her for being mean to her younger brother her mother used to make her and her brother sit in front of one another indian style and hold hands.  Kim was so disgusted by her brother’s “puppy dog smell” being mean to her brother didn’t last long.

4. Communicate in a Different Way: Does speaking add fire to the argument? Why not write it out or type out your argument?  It will shift and change the anatomy of the argument.  Want to make some fun out of your argument how about playing “Wheel of Fortune” or Hangman with what you want to communicate to your significant other.  There are many ways to communicate differently.  Feel free to add your creative ideas by leaving a comment for other to read.

5.  Record It:  This is a juicy one, only for the brave!  You get to see, explore, examine how you really behave and act when you are upset.  Go grab your phone, a voice recorder, a video camera, etc and record your next argument then when you are calm and can listen from an objective point of view play it back to explore patterns of behavior, themes, etc.

by Katie Lemieux

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Are You Your Best Mate?

Are You Your Best Mate?

Yes, I will wait while you grab a pen, paper, open up a document in Word….

1.  Make a List: So, whether you a married, dating, or single make a list of your “ideal” mate.

2.  Be Specific: on what you want.

Examples: “loves Thai food, likes roller coasters, has a funny laugh that makes everyone laugh, can cook vegan dishes, compassionate, has a way of making me smile when I have a bad day etc.” Order up, the menu of life is willing to serve you whatever you desire!  You can’t just say pasta and expect Fettuccine Alfredo with Broccoli, sauce on the side. You MUST be specific.

3.  Feel the List: this doesn’t require hand to paper, let me explain. Look at each word on your list, now FEEL yourself riding the roller coaster, exhilarating I am sure. FEEL yourself sitting across from your mate eating Thai, what does it FEEL like, connect yourself with the feeling of each word on your list as if you have gotten it already.

4. Circle YOU on your list: Now go down your list and circle all the “ideals” that you are.  Congrats you are quite the catch!

5.  Take note: of those that aren’t you.  Put a check beside the ones that really aren’t you, like “funny”, “sporty”, “creative cook”, etc.

6.  Get to work: on the areas that you want in a mate that aren’t you. If you are in a marriage or relationship engage your partner in finding fun and creative ways for you to be and attract your ideal.

Example: Tell your partner, “we are going to play Iron Chef. Go to the store and buy an interesting ingredient.”  When your mate comes back pull out the cookbooks, search the web, and together make a new and creative meal.

Perhaps you are single and don’t identify yourself as very compassionate but want that in a mate.  Grab a friend and find a charity or local event to get involved in.  There are limitless possibilities so find something that fits you.

*If you feel like you need additional support in your relationship whether it be with communication, increasing intimacy, finding the ideal mate, etc please give us a call, where are here to support you in achieving what matters to you most contact us.

Our next post on relationships will be “How to Shift the Anatomy of an Argument”

By Katie Lemieux


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