Posts tagged relationships
Holiday Chaos Survival Tips For Couples :: Because Murder Is Not An Option

As a therapist who enjoys providing marriage and couples therapy, I've made the observation that partners struggle to work as a team during the busy, stress-filled and conflict-ridden holiday season. Feeling torn with competing interests such as family needs, travel and extra demands on time and energy can bring many to exasperation and exhaustion. If you tend to suffer because of your "people pleasing" nature and an inability to say NO, protecting your boundaries or creating healthy boundaries for yourself (perhaps you're new at this?) can be a real challenge.

Don't suffer in silence, or loudness. Many couples and partners enter marriage and family counseling after the holiday season because they feel disconnected, hurt and misunderstood, in addition to a range of other experiences, including losing once-enjoyed intimacy. Being in the company of family and friends can trigger feelings of resentment, reignite old wounds as well as highlight family of origin issues--leaving even high-functioning couples feeling de-skilled and in need of help to sort through the chaos.  

So, how do you reconnect after fighting, communication problems and hurt feelings? Having some simple tools at your ready can help you avoid the downward spiral. What follows are

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Kimberly Seelbrede, LCSW is a New York City Psychotherapist + Consultant who splits her time between Manhattan and Santa Fe, providing online therapy to individuals and couples. With extensive training and experience, she provides psychological consultation, psychotherapy, EMDR therapy and executive coaching to a range of clients including VIP's + high-profile clients. As a women's emotional health + relationship expert, her specialties include: anxiety, depression, trauma resolution, addictions, relationship, intimacy and sexual concerns, health + autoimmune issues, loss + grief and women's mentoring. She enjoys writing, photography, yoga, meditation, travel and really good key lime pie. She lives with her husband, psychologist, scholar and mindfulness expert John Chambers Christopher. For more, subscribe to her newsletter or connect with her on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Psychology Today, EMDRIA and her personal websites KimSeelbrede.com, Santa Fe Integrative Psychotherapy or Well+Being Blog.

Mindfulness :: Practice Now

There is an art to being "present" especially in a stressed-out culture of distractions, hyper-productivity and social media, however you can learn to think differently and even rewire your brain. Many therapists, psychologists and psychiatrists recommend Mindfulness and MBSR (mindfulness-based stress reduction) to help cope with anxiety and depression. What is the goal with mindfulness meditation? To learn to give your attention fully to whatever you may be doing -- eating, loving, working, parenting, exercising, doing chores, as examples. The application of mindfulness is limitless, and can generalize to good health, life-satisfaction and enhanced well-being. 

It's easy. Heres how to begin:

  1. Find a comfortable seat. Keep your back straight, soften and drop your shoulders. You can close your eyes, or keep them open. Take a deep breath.

  2. Notice your breathing, without changing it. Focus on the sensation of air moving in and out of your nostrils, notice your lungs expanding and contracting with each breath.

  3. It is normal to have thoughts that distract you from your focus on the breath. Acknowledge these thoughts and then return your focus to your breathing. Keep doing this.

  4. Don't judge yourself, simply notice any distractions, sounds in the environment, and especially, that the mind wants to wander.  A new thought comes into your mind, notice it, then return to your breathing. 

Dedicate 5-20 minutes per day to this practice of mindfulness. As it becomes easier, you can practice being fully present with your daily activities--breathing, observing, noticing whatever may be present for you in these moments with acceptance and

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Kimberly Seelbrede, LCSW is a New York City Psychotherapist + Consultant who splits her time between Manhattan and Santa Fe, providing online therapy to individuals and couples. With extensive training and experience, she provides psychological consultation, psychotherapy, EMDR therapy and executive coaching to a range of clients including VIP's + high-profile clients. As a women's emotional health + relationship expert, her specialties include: anxiety, depression, trauma resolution, addictions, relationship, intimacy and sexual concerns, health + autoimmune issues, loss + grief and women's mentoring. She enjoys writing, photography, yoga, meditation, travel and really good key lime pie. She lives with her husband, psychologist, scholar and mindfulness expert John Chambers Christopher. For more, subscribe to her newsletter or connect with her on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Psychology Today, EMDRIA and her personal websites KimSeelbrede.com, Santa Fe Integrative Psychotherapy or Well+Being Blog.

Push Away, Pull Closer

Do you push people away, and if so, do you know what it is that you do, and why? Chances are, you might not be aware that you do this. Generally done out of fear, it's easier to tolerate ending it, before you are rejected, or hurt someone else before they hurt you. Often, this behavior is unconscious, or you may have some awareness that you do this. When you push others away you guarantee that you will be alone. You also miss out on important and possibly rich opportunities by avoiding potential pain that may or may not ever happen. Your life can improve by becoming aware of this reflexive and habitual pattern.  

  1. Think of ONE thing that you do that pushes people away.
  2. Think of ONE thing that you do that draws people closer.
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Kimberly Seelbrede, LCSW is a New York City Psychotherapist + Consultant who splits her time between Manhattan and Santa Fe, providing online therapy to individuals and couples. With extensive training and experience, she provides psychological consultation, psychotherapy, EMDR therapy and executive coaching to a range of clients including VIP's + high-profile clients. As a women's emotional health + relationship expert, her specialties include: anxiety, depression, trauma resolution, addictions, relationship, intimacy and sexual concerns, health + autoimmune issues, loss + grief and women's mentoring. She enjoys writing, photography, yoga, meditation, travel and really good key lime pie. She lives with her husband, psychologist, scholar and mindfulness expert John Chambers Christopher. For more, subscribe to her newsletter or connect with her on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Psychology Today, EMDRIA and her personal websites KimSeelbrede.com, Santa Fe Integrative Psychotherapy or Well+Being Blog.

Breaking Down Your Wall - Go Slow

Sensitive souls tend to wrap themselves up in layers, either symbolic or concrete, to avoid having their "true self" exposed. They fear being seen, criticized or somehow judged as wrong -- the secret self has it's own life that operates just beneath the surface. Some individuals have a greater awareness of these "self parts" than others. The need to protect may come and go or be more heightened in certain circumstances, and not others. Many of my psychotherapy and counseling patients who have suffered childhood abuse or trauma may now, in their current lives, wear protective layers of clothing, or even gain weight in an effort to create a layer of protective armor. Some had

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Kimberly Seelbrede, LCSW is a New York City Psychotherapist + Consultant who splits her time between Manhattan and Santa Fe, providing online therapy to individuals and couples. With extensive training and experience, she provides psychological consultation, psychotherapy, EMDR therapy and executive coaching to a range of clients including VIP's + high-profile clients. As a women's emotional health + relationship expert, her specialties include: anxiety, depression, trauma resolution, addictions, relationship, intimacy and sexual concerns, health + autoimmune issues, loss + grief and women's mentoring. She enjoys writing, photography, yoga, meditation, travel and really good key lime pie. She lives with her husband, psychologist, scholar and mindfulness expert John Chambers Christopher. For more, subscribe to her newsletter or connect with her on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Psychology Today, EMDRIA and her personal websites KimSeelbrede.com, Santa Fe Integrative Psychotherapy or Well+Being Blog.

Calm Discussions, Cool Heads

Couples, whether romantic or those working with others in partnerships and other kinds of relationship dyads often need skills and tips on how to enter a discussion, and the best strategies for keeping it calm and ultimately successful. While the goal might be to be heard, make a point, right a wrong or solve a problem, many conversations devolve into screaming matches or people end up blowing things up out of frustration, rage or an inability to say "I can't do this right now." At this point, everyone is nowhere. This may be especially helpful as the holidays are just around the corner, which means stress, stress and a sprinkle (or large dose) of family and workplace trauma and drama. Here are some tips on how to keep important discussions from spiraling out of control.

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Kimberly Seelbrede, LCSW is a New York City Psychotherapist + Consultant who splits her time between Manhattan and Santa Fe, providing online therapy to individuals and couples. With extensive training and experience, she provides psychological consultation, psychotherapy, EMDR therapy and executive coaching to a range of clients including VIP's + high-profile clients. As a women's emotional health + relationship expert, her specialties include: anxiety, depression, trauma resolution, addictions, relationship, intimacy and sexual concerns, health + autoimmune issues, loss + grief and women's mentoring. She enjoys writing, photography, yoga, meditation, travel and really good key lime pie. She lives with her husband, psychologist, scholar and mindfulness expert John Chambers Christopher. For more, subscribe to her newsletter or connect with her on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Psychology Today, EMDRIA and her personal websites KimSeelbrede.com, Santa Fe Integrative Psychotherapy or Well+Being Blog.

#shrinkthinks - The Good Life

You can read lots of self-help books and pay thousands of dollars in workshops and webinars, but in my opinion, a happy, healthy, well-balanced life can be achieved by paying attention to the following: Sleep, meditation, nutrition, love, exercise and play. #wisewords

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Kimberly Seelbrede, LCSW is a New York City Psychotherapist + Consultant who splits her time between Manhattan and Santa Fe, providing online therapy to individuals and couples. With extensive training and experience, she provides psychological consultation, psychotherapy, EMDR therapy and executive coaching to a range of clients including VIP's + high-profile clients. As a women's emotional health + relationship expert, her specialties include: anxiety, depression, trauma resolution, addictions, relationship, intimacy and sexual concerns, health + autoimmune issues, loss + grief and women's mentoring. She enjoys writing, photography, yoga, meditation, travel and really good key lime pie. She lives with her husband, psychologist, scholar and mindfulness expert John Chambers Christopher. For more, subscribe to her newsletter or connect with her on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Psychology Today, EMDRIA and her personal websites KimSeelbrede.com, Santa Fe Integrative Psychotherapy or Well+Being Blog.

#shrinkthinks - Questions Of The Heart

Questions of the heart: Can I be hungry and experience desire? Can I be hungry for love?  Can I desire work and success? Can I allow myself to be nourished by food? Can I experience pleasure and Joy? Can I feel connected and loved by others? Can I feel powerful and effective without feeling guilty? Is it safe for you to feel full, nourished, effective and powerful?

If not, Why?

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Kimberly Seelbrede, LCSW is a New York City Psychotherapist + Consultant who splits her time between Manhattan and Santa Fe, providing online therapy to individuals and couples. With extensive training and experience, she provides psychological consultation, psychotherapy, EMDR therapy and executive coaching to a range of clients including VIP's + high-profile clients. As a women's emotional health + relationship expert, her specialties include: anxiety, depression, trauma resolution, addictions, relationship, intimacy and sexual concerns, health + autoimmune issues, loss + grief and women's mentoring. She enjoys writing, photography, yoga, meditation, travel and really good key lime pie. She lives with her husband, psychologist, scholar and mindfulness expert John Chambers Christopher. For more, subscribe to her newsletter or connect with her on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Psychology Today, EMDRIA and her personal websites KimSeelbrede.com, Santa Fe Integrative Psychotherapy or Well+Being Blog.

#shrinkthinks - Release Into Peace

 

Nothing is fixed. 

Not relationships or anything else in this life. It's helpful to know that any relationship will feel different according to our thoughts in the moment. This can be both scary and liberating -- the power of acceptance and letting go! We have a lot of control and power over how we respond to people and events, thus the possibly of change and a different outcome can be a reality. Acceptance of what is, the sweet release and finally peace, is always available to us. 

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Kimberly Seelbrede, LCSW is a New York City Psychotherapist + Consultant who splits her time between Manhattan and Santa Fe, providing online therapy to individuals and couples. With extensive training and experience, she provides psychological consultation, psychotherapy, EMDR therapy and executive coaching to a range of clients including VIP's + high-profile clients. As a women's emotional health + relationship expert, her specialties include: anxiety, depression, trauma resolution, addictions, relationship, intimacy and sexual concerns, health + autoimmune issues, loss + grief and women's mentoring. She enjoys writing, photography, yoga, meditation, travel and really good key lime pie. She lives with her husband, psychologist, scholar and mindfulness expert John Chambers Christopher. For more, subscribe to her newsletter or connect with her on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Psychology Today, EMDRIA and her personal websites KimSeelbrede.com, Santa Fe Integrative Psychotherapy or Well+Being Blog.

#shrinkthinks - Listen To Understand

"Hear" and "validate" first before you rush to offer a solution.

When someone comes to you with a problem, they want something in return, and it's not always what you imagine. How often do you rush to "solve the problem" or "give advice" when a friend or partner has an issue? According to Dr. Haim Ginott, “Understanding must precede advice.” The seeker likely hopes to be "heard" and "understood" by you first. Practical advice or a solution to their problem can follow a compassionate initial response. Validate emotions. They are all valid!

 

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Kimberly Seelbrede, LCSW is a New York City Psychotherapist + Consultant who splits her time between Manhattan and Santa Fe, providing online therapy to individuals and couples. With extensive training and experience, she provides psychological consultation, psychotherapy, EMDR therapy and executive coaching to a range of clients including VIP's + high-profile clients. As a women's emotional health + relationship expert, her specialties include: anxiety, depression, trauma resolution, addictions, relationship, intimacy and sexual concerns, health + autoimmune issues, loss + grief and women's mentoring. She enjoys writing, photography, yoga, meditation, travel and really good key lime pie. She lives with her husband, psychologist, scholar and mindfulness expert John Chambers Christopher. For more, subscribe to her newsletter or connect with her on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Psychology Today, EMDRIA and her personal websites KimSeelbrede.com, Santa Fe Integrative Psychotherapy or Well+Being Blog.