Individual, Family, and Couples Counseling BLOG

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In: Blog, Communication, Connecting With Spouse, Relationships, Tips for Couples

Comments Off on Communication is Key: Healthy Relationship Advice

communication

When a couple first gets together, there is an inexhaustible spark that becomes apparent – the spark of a burgeoning relationship.  The two of you couldn’t possibly run out of things to talk about! The future, your plans, your aspirations.  You used to be on the phone with one another all day, or up all night conversing and growing closer every second.

As you go through life with your partner, it is very likely you’ve felt as though you’ve run out of topics, run out of things to talk about to keep you on the same spectrum.  There are plenty of methods to feel as close as you once were, and one of those tactics is through stimulating conversation.

Engaging Topics Can Reignite Your Spark

Many agree, one of the best topics to put one another in the romantic, loving frame of mind is speaking of the past.  You began your relationship talking about the future, why not spend time simply remembering.  This may often lead to a recreation of past memories – going back to the restaurant of your first date, or going back to the beach where you met.  Returning to the past through conversation is an excellent way to return to the feeling of tenderness.

Talk about hobbies with one another.  Perhaps it has simply been a great deal of time since the two of you really talked. As a couple, you can discuss hobbies that you’ve developed passions for over the years.  Discuss activities you want to do together, and plan for it.  Planning something together and going over the numerous possibilities has the potential to open both of your eyes to the possibilities within your strengthening relationship as well.

Last, a simple conversation asking how your partners day went can make a world of difference.  It demonstrates that they are loved and valued by you – you are such an avid fan and supporter, that you are interested in the somewhat mundane experiences of their day to day, because just having them there to speak is enough.  So many individuals just need to feel as though they have someone to listen to them, and that they, too, are enough.

Counseling Services

If you feel as though you and your partner simply aren’t connecting as you used to, but you know you want to work towards the content times you once lived, Susan Block can help.  Susan Block provides marriage counseling that gives couples the right tools to work with, leading towards excellent communication with their partner, and a happier marriage.  Call 954.675.1936 for a free consultation.

For the Health of my Relationship, Is it Time for a Vacation?

When it comes to being in a relationship, after time, life with your spouse can become tedious and you may feel stuck in a routine.  The daily asking about your partners work, making dinner, and going to bed day after day with little alteration can genuinely cause strain on a relationship.  Often when you’re just beginning your journey together, there are so many changes going on – whether you are just moving in with your partner or beginning new careers, planning your wedding or starting a family.  After you’ve been married for years though, the changes and excitement can sometimes settle down to an alarming halt, resulting in boredom.  How can you change for the better?

Vacation has Numerous Benefits for Your Relationship

In cases like the above mentioned, often times a change is in order, and that change could simply be a getaway for the two of you.  Researchers have found that couples who live by the five to one ratio, five positives for every one negative, are able to navigate their relationship towards a happy, healthy existence.  When on vacation, relaxed and out of the confines of stressful day-to-day life, it becomes a little easier to find the needed positives.

Getting away from home is also the perfect way to step back and look at your life together.  There are no distractions, such as things you know you just need to get done around the house immediately – you have the perfect opportunity to focus on your spouse and simply being together.  Also, having the space to step back while you aren’t in the thick of things can provide room for big insights.  If you know you’re headed back to the office in a number of hours, that may be what’s clouding your mind and lead to less valuable communication.  However, if you’re in the right, relaxed environment, you’re more likely to openly speak about what you love about your partner and what needs to be eliminated in your routine.

Keep the Positives Going Once Home

It’s important to keep the positivity present when you get back home after your blissful week together.  If you took plenty of pictures while away, frame them and remember the spontaneous, stress-free times you had together at your vacation destination.  Discuss all that you did during your trip, and how you can integrate some of those activities and discussions into the everyday.  Remember how amazing time together can truly be can make the difference in your relationship.

Susan Block knows your marriage has the potential to heal and return to the strong bond it once was.  Her goal is to work with you and your spouse towards healthy communication and marital happiness.  Call marriage and family therapist Susan Block at 954-675-1936 today to take positive strides in your relationship.

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In: Anxiety, Blog

Comments Off on How to Know You’re Ready for a Career Change

 

career change

When it’s time to move on and how to make it happen

It’s important to remember that almost no one loves their job all the time, but it’s equally important to know the difference between a bad day or even a bad week at work and constantly feeling mentally exhausted and stressed out, or the opposite: bored, apathetic and unfulfilled. You might feel as though you’re not being utilized well, or that your skills would be better used in a job that you’re actually interested in and passionate about. But then there’s also the fear of leaving a job that, even if it makes you unhappy, is at least a stable and reliable source of income. So how can you be sure that you’re ready to make this change, and if you are, what’s the best way to go about it?

Things to be aware of

Like we mentioned above, some key signs that it’s time for you to leave your job and pursue something different is the toll it’s taking on your body. If you’re experiencing chronic exhaustion or depression as a result of your job, or if you wake up with anxiety at the prospect of going to work, then it’s time to make the leap from your current career to something different. The same is true on the opposite end of the spectrum as well. If you no longer care about the work you’re doing, even to the point where the money you’re making simply isn’t worth how unfulfilled you are in your career and you find yourself thinking there must be something more to life than this, then this is also a sign that you should be pursuing something different. So what steps can you take to make it happen, and what pitfalls should you be aware of? The first step is obviously to research. No matter how bad your current job is, you don’t want to leap before you look. Make sure you’re not running off to a career that will make you just as unhappy as you are now. Do your due diligence, look at careers where you can leverage some of your current skills that applicable to what you want to do in your new job. Networking is an extremely useful tool in this situation, as it can offer job leads, advice, information, and more. Even if you think don’t have a network – you do! It’s friends, family, and colleagues that can help get you pointed in the right direction.

Final word

The most important thing to remember as you prepare to make this major transition is that you cannot expect it to happen overnight. A career change, from researching, applying, interviewing and finally starting your new career, takes time and patience to reach fruition. But when it does, you’ll find yourself reinvigorated and filled with fresh enthusiasm for your work. If find yourself struggling with work-related anxiety or are looking for counseling and guidance as you grapple with major life changes, reach out to Susan Block, a Coral Springs counselor who is experienced in depression, anxiety, counseling, and more. Call 954-675-1936 today to schedule a consultation.

 

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In: Anxiety, Blog, Communication, Depression, Helpful Tips, Marriage & Couples Counseling, Negative Thinking, Relationships

Comments Off on Is Your Relationship Causing Depression or Anxiety

How to handle emotional symptoms of relationship issues

Relationships are complicated. And while it seems like everyone acknowledges this, things get trickier when the relationship is your own. Even when you know that you and your partner are committed to each other, any relationship issues you might encounter can still lead to feelings of depression and anxiety. The worst thing about those feelings are that it often seems like there’s nowhere you can turn for help, especially not your partner, when it feels like they’re cause of the anxiety or depression in the first place. However, that’s exactly what you need to do. Here are some tips for what you can do to help take the anxious or depressive feelings out of your relationship.

What you can do

The necessary first step is pinning down what issue in your relationship is causing these feelings. It might not even be just one issue but several, including stress, uncertainty, and loss of trust. Once you’ve narrowed things down, come up with a plan that incorporates practical ways to deal with these issues. If you or your partner are struggling with stress to the point where it is negatively affecting the relationship, make it a point to take time out and have an honest conversation about both your needs and what you each can do to help alleviate the other’s stress. It may sound simple, but physical affection like touching and holding, even when you’re mad at the other person, has a calming effect and can help relax you and your partner, reminding each other that you’re not going anywhere. This alone can go a long way towards taking some of the anxiety out of your relationship, even when you fight. If you’re depression about your relationship stems from a loss of trust, you and your partner need to focus on rebuilding that trust from the ground up. This can mean starting over completely and wiping the slate clean, which is never as easy as it sounds. If you and your partner can stick with this plan and not fall into old habits that caused the break in trust in the first place, you’ll both find yourselves feeling a lot less depressed in your relationship. Finally, some relationship anxiety is caused not by a tangible issue but your own uncertainty. If reassurances from your partner don’t help, oftentimes you just need to stay mentally busy. Instead of imagining hypothetical fights with your partner, do activities together, go on dates, watch movies, develop your own hobbies. All of these things can help keep your mind from wandering into anxious or negative emotions.

Final word

Relationships are complicated, but more importantly, the only person you can change in them is yourself. You can work with your partner and be as open as possible as you try to overcome the issues that are causing the anxiety and depression in your relationship. If you and your partner continue to struggle with these anxious and depressive feelings, reach out to Susan Block, a Coral Springs counselor who is experienced in depression, anxiety, grief counseling, couples counseling and more. Call 954-675-1936 today to schedule a consultation.

What to Do If Your Relationship Is the Root of Your Depression or Anxiety

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In: Anxiety, Blog, Communication, Coping With the Real World, Depression, Helpful Tips, Stress Management

Comments Off on How to Deal with Political Stress

Stop politics from adding unwanted stress to your life

Now more than ever, the media is so dominated by politics that it’s easy to feel inundated with political news, opinions, and arguments. This in part because it’s no longer just on television, but also all over the internet and the social media landscape. No matter what your personal political stance may be, this constant barrage of politics can be very stressful. The important thing is not to let yourself get overwhelmed by it all, and if you are unable to avoid it, to try to positively deal with politics-related stress.

Stop politics from adding unwanted stress to your life

What you can do to de-stress

The most direct way to handle political stress is simply to avoid it. While you can’t completely sever yourself from television, the internet, and social media, it’s vital not to let yourself get completely obsessed with it. The more time you spend clicking news stories and reading different opinions and arguments, the more stressed you’ll become. Take time to step away from it all and instead engage with what is directly in front of you, whether it is your family, your job, or your favorite hobbies. Another option when it comes to handling political stress can be to get active. Many times, political stress can come in the form of feelings of helplessness, or like there’s nothing you can do about a political cause or situation. If there’s a specific political cause that’s close to your heart, become an active part of that cause in whatever way is available to you, even it’s something small, like making a donation to it. Knowing that you’ve at least done something to forward your political cause can ease the feeling of directionless political stress.

Final word

The most important thing to remember is that, like everything else, moderation is key. While staying politically informed is important, you can’t lose sight of your personal life outside of politics. If you let politics become your life, you’ll allow yourself to be consumed by stress. If find yourself unable cope with stress, and struggling with anxious feelings, reach out to Susan Block, a Coral Springs counselor who is experienced in depression, anxiety, grief counseling, couples counseling and more. Call 954-675-1936 today to schedule a consultation.

 

 

It’s all about setting and respecting clear boundaries

We love social media, and why not? It lets us keep in touch with friends and family, find cool DIY projects, follow celebrities we like, keep track of issues that are important to us, and look at an endless supply of cute pictures of cats. However, social media is also responsible for new issues for couples when it comes to setting a boundary between appropriate online interaction and something that violates your partner’s trust.

relationships social media tips

  1. Put yourself in your partner’s shoes. If you’re a social media junkie like many are these days, you’re probably commenting, liking and possibly private messaging people. If these posts/messages are with someone of the opposite sex, ask yourself,” How would my partner or spouse feel if they knew I was doing this with someone of the opposite sex?” Also, ask yourself, “How would I feel if I knew they were doing this with someone of the opposite sex?”  If you know they wouldn’t like it and you wouldn’t either, then it’s not okay. Be honest with yourself, it could save your relationship.
  1. Secret keeping is a big no-no. If you are regularly chatting with someone of the opposite sex, it could lead to betrayal, even if it’s something as innocent as catching up with an old high school friend. It might start out that way, but if it continues, friendship can, over time, develop into feelings. If your partner or spouse doesn’t know about this connection, think about why you’re purposely keeping it a secret, as that can be a betrayal in and of itself. If it’s not okay to tell them, it’s probably not okay to do.
  1. When in doubt, ask! If you’re not sure if what you’re doing on social media might be making your partner uncomfortable, ask them! A clear and open dialogue about what you and your partner are comfortable or not comfortable with is vital. Explore hypothetical situations so you both have a firm grasp on each other’s boundaries.
  1. Everything in moderation. On that same note, try to limit your social media time in general. Following people across multiple social media platforms, constantly chatting with them or just checking their pictures, posts and becoming completely consumed with what’s going on in their lives is extremely unhealthy. It can also lead to you withdrawing emotionally from your partner in favor of connecting with someone you’re not even involved with.
  1. Don’t believe everything you see. If you’re at a rocky point in your relationship and happen to see an old flame who looks like they are living an amazing life or someone else in a relationship who always posts about how great their partner is, jealousy can start to set in. Don’t let it, because there’s always more than meets the eye. Remember, people only post the shiny parts of their lives on social media.

Final word

Before social media was such a large part of our lives, what counted as crossing the line was much more black and white: a clandestine lunch with your secretary, socializing with a co-worker outside of work and feeling the need to lie about it to your partner, and other such examples. But with the current widespread use of social media, the gray area has become a lot larger, which means it’s vital that you and your partner decide together what counts as “too far” when it comes to interacting with others online. And if you find yourself having difficulty communicating these boundaries, reach out to relationship expert Susan Block, LMFT at 954-675-1936.

Home-Based Couples Counseling

Home-based couples counseling keeps things comfortable, convenient and always confidential

There’s no denying that we’re busier now than we ever were before. Even when you and your spouse agree to invest in the relationship, it can be difficult especially if you work in a fast-paced, high-profile career that often keeps you at the office or traveling abroad. Carving out time to make it out to a therapist appointment becomes just another stressor. Instead, consider the convenience of home-based couples counseling, which is customized for your schedules as well as your personal comfort.

Location, location, location!

It’s the old saying, There’s no place like home!” Why not enjoy the luxury and comfort of home while receiving exceptional, customized couples counseling? We provide all the necessary tools you’d receive in the office except we bring them directly to you. Keep your cozy slippers on, sip your chai latte and get ready to roll up your sleeves and transform your relationship.

South Florida’s concierge service

Who doesn’t love room service after a long, late flight? It beats having to step into a restaurant when you’re feeling jet lagged. Home-based couples counseling has the same feel. We understand your time is valuable and will find a mutually agreed time that’s conducive for your busy lifestyle. A relaxed mind, combined with top notch service equates to a long-term, successful relationship. Home-based couples counseling is offered to those in Broward County and parts of Palm Beach & Dade counties. It’s service you can trust with an exclusive and personal touch.

Final word

We offer home-based counseling exclusively for couples who prefer a more personal and private experience that works in tandem with your lifestyle. If you and your partner are ready to transform your relationship, reach out to relationship expert, Susan Block, LMFT at 954-675-1936. Go ahead and treat yourselves. Your relationship deserves it!

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In: Blog, Communication, Connecting With Spouse, Marriage & Couples Counseling, Passion & Romance, Tips for Couples

Comments Off on Small, Easy Ways You Can Create Couple Rituals

Small, sweet and realistic relationship rituals

Whether you’re newly moved-in together or have been married for years, it can be hard to maintain a consistent emotional bond in your day-to-day life, especially if you have differing work schedules or kids that need taking care of. The days can become a thing you just try to get through before flopping exhaustedly into bed at night, and your significant other can become a “roommate with a ring.” You might think that you need some kind of massive gesture to demonstrate your emotional bond, like being whisked away on a tropical vacation, and while that does sound good, there’s plenty of small and simple – but no less important – ways to maintain your emotional bond with your significant other and establish “couple rituals” that will help your love for each other continue to flourish rather than stagnate.

relationship ritual

What you can do

Even if you have a hectic schedule, you know what time you need to be up by in the morning. Set your alarm for five minutes before that, so that you can wake up together and spend some time being intimate before you have to start the day. This doesn’t have to mean sex, but just being close and cuddly with each other for a few minutes in the morning can set the stage for a good day and take some of the grump out of your morning. If you have different work schedules and get up at different times, write little messages to each other. It can be on a board on the fridge or post-it notes, just sweet things so you know that even if you’re apart, you’re thinking about each other as you go about your day. At the end of the day, before your head hits the pillow, try to say one thing you love about each other, just to reaffirm your feelings. One of the most important things you can do is just check in with each other throughout the day. It can be a short message asking how their day is going or if they want to do something special for dinner to something as short and sweet as a heart emoji. It sounds like such a small thing but these little rituals can make a world of difference when it comes to how connected you feel to your partner.

Final word

Your busy schedules might not give you time for a whirlwind romantic vacation, but there’s always time for these relationship rituals that keep you emotionally bonded and in communication with the person you love. And if you ever need extra support, you can call marriage and family therapist Susan Block at 954-675-1936.

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In: Blog, Children & Teenagers, Depression, Helpful Tips, Marriage & Couples Counseling

Comments Off on How to Combat Stress as A New Parent

How to keep it together as everything changes

Being a new parent is a complicated thing. On the one hand, it is an exciting and wonderful adventure that will bring a whole host of new joys into your world. On the other hand, being a new parent has been categorically proven to be one of the most stressful times of a person’s life. It can be scary, unpredictable, and physically and emotionally demanding. In short, being a new parent in real life bears very little resemblance to being one on Pinterest. But that’s okay! And that’s also what this blog post is for: giving you help and tips to make your way through the amazing, terrifying, crazy time that is being a new parent. The best advice we can give you right now? DIAPERS. No, not actual diapers – although those are definitely something you should be stocking up on – but DIAPERS, an acronym of survival tips for the new parents of the world. DIAPERS was created by Susan Block and Katie Lemieux, both Licensed Marriage and Family Therapists located in South Florida.

susan block family therapist coral springs

Make sure to remember your DIAPERS

D is for Do what feels right for you. One major downside to the internet is the constant comparison to those Pinterest and Facebook parents we mentioned before. Carefully engineered to look like parenting is a breeze, it is not like that for anyone, and you can’t force yourself to try to measure up to something that doesn’t exist.

I is for Irritability. No matter what you do, it’s going to happen. You’re not going to be getting much sleep and there’s a baby in the house that needs constant attention. You’re going to be irritated and you don’t need to force a happy face on it or pretend that you’re not. Just know that you won’t feel this way forever, and that this too, shall pass.

A is for Awareness. Be aware of not just your baby’s needs, but what your physical and emotional needs are as well and take proper care. Be aware if you get depressed, be aware if something hurts and seek medical care as needed. And of course, be aware of when you need a break and don’t be afraid to ask for help.

P is for Practice Patience. We know it’s easier said than done. You’re exhausted and (as we covered) irritated. Give yourself ten seconds to just breathe and gather yourself together. Be patient with your baby, your partner and – most importantly – yourself.

E is for Empathy and Excusing yourself. Have empathy for the emotions your partner is going through. Just saying to them that you understand how hard it is and reassuring them that you are in this together works to strengthen your bond together as a couple. As for excusing yourself: don’t be afraid to excuse yourself from the world. It’s okay to not have your hair done, your makeup on or be back in your regular clothes. Excuse yourself for now to just be!

R is for Request help. You can’t do this all on your own and that’s okay. That’s also what your partner’s here for. It’s okay to ask them to sit with the baby for an hour so you can go do laundry or even just try to get some rest for yourself.

S is for Survival. That might sound a little grim, but it just means that right now, you’re in survival mode. Nothing has to be perfect, but don’t forget that you need to eat, drink and sleep, even if it’s just pb&j, water and a few hours.

Final Word

It’s not easy to be a new parent, but it’s certainly not impossible either. Just remember DIAPERS to keep your stress in check so that you can enjoy all the wonderful parts of bringing a new baby home. If you need extra support, you can call marriage and family therapist Susan Block at 954-675-1936. No matter what happens, you got this!

tips for new parents susan block family therapist

A guide to when it’s time to get help

It can oftentimes feel difficult or overwhelming trying to figure out what kind of therapy – or any therapy at all – is the right fit for you. That’s why this post is dedicated to giving you a breakdown of signs that indicate therapy would be the right choice to help you with the issues you’re struggling with, and whether a specific kind of therapy might be more helpful than others. It’s important to take care of yourself, not just physically but mentally as well. When your body is unwell, you go to a doctor to get better, there’s no reason you shouldn’t do the same for your brain.

Fix Communication Issues -Relationship Counseling in Coral Springs

What you need to know

There are many cases that would indicate that therapy would be helpful to your situation, the most major being general feelings of sadness and lack of motivation. If you’re feeling hopeless, with decreased energy, irritability or just an ability to cope with your day-to-day life, these are signs that you might be dealing with depression, especially if these feelings do not have an obvious root or source. There are many types and levels of depression, some people require medication while others find they benefit just from being able to talk to a professional. Either way, finding a therapist is the first step in helping to crawl out from under depression. Anxiety functions in a very similar way, creating excessive worry and stress that can keep you from being able to do normal activities or even sleep. Like depression, there are many levels of anxiety and some may find just having an outlet for their worries to be helpful. In these cases, it is obviously most helpful to find a therapist who specializes in depression and anxiety, as they will be more likely to give you more precise and beneficial treatment.

If you have suffered trauma or abuse, coming to terms with it on your own can be extremely difficult and overwhelming. Abusive relationships and traumatic experiences can leave deep emotional scars if not dealt with, which can negatively impact your life in a variety of ways, including being able to form and maintain relationships. Talking with a therapist can be extremely helpful in these cases, as it lets you talk out your experiences to a professional who can provide you with the tools you need to feel closure and be able to move on. Again, make sure the therapist you choose is one who is experienced in working with trauma and abuse survivors.

Not all therapy is a solo experience. If you are having relationship issues, whether it’s problems with communication or something else that has made the relationship unfulfilling, talking to a couples counselor and therapist can help get you both back on track, as they are a neutral third party who can listen to both sides of the issue and give useful feedback to help you and your partner communicate in a more effective manner. While most therapists will specialize in things like depression, anxiety or other disorders, couples counseling is more specific and you want to be sure you find someone who is qualified to help.

Final Word

Admitting you need help is never easy, but it is necessary, especially if you feel like you fit any of the above descriptions. Finding a therapist is the first step in helping yourself to feel better and be better, so call Susan Block, a Coral Springs counselor who is experienced in depression, anxiety, grief counseling, couples counseling and more. Call 954-675-1936 today to schedule a brief and free consultation. Get back on track and back to feeling like you again.

 

 

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