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Life sucks

What to Do When You Think Your Life Sucks? 

What to Do When You Think Your Life Sucks? 

 

Today, we are explaining how we help clients when they say “my life sucks”.

Life sucks is a common thing heard in sessions these days and clients often ask us “why does my life suck,” in hopes that they can shift their life around.

Life Sucks in a Pandemic

First off, we are living in a pandemic that has turned our world and our way of living upside down. 

That is a legit piece of why “life sucks” right now. 

As humans, we are wired to NEED connection. The pandemic has created shifts in how we get connection and the way we can access closeness with others. 

Additionally, the pandemic has increased loss globally. 

There has been a massive loss of life, health, connection to others, employment, and even privacy. This is because many are stuck in their homes with the same people for over a year now. 

Loss and grief have continued to become a more prominent part of our day-to-day lives, and that has certainly impacted why you may think your life sucks right now.

The pandemic has caused many of us to feel hopelessness, disconnected, under-resourced – emotionally, physically and financially – and fearful. These feelings have contributed to increased rates of depression, anxiety, and other mental health issues.

Lifes sucks

Taking a look at the above chart, we see mental health rates were on the incline for millennials prior to the pandemic hitting. Now, imagine a crisis where most providers are at capacity for taking new patients. 

Individuals are needing more and more certainty in their lives, because the pandemic has increased the amount of uncertainty in our households, communities, country, and world.

Creating Certainty in Uncertain Times

Outside of the pandemic, I encourage people to focus on what they can control and ways that they can create certainty. 

Although it is incredibly important to look at the contextual and systemic factors at play, it is vital for each to reflect on accountability and ways that you yourself are contributing to why your life sucks. 

It is critical to empower ourselves to address what we can change rather than focusing on what we cannot. 

Parts of the “suckage” are within our control and require us to focus on the things we can create certainty in – what we can control vs. what we cannot control. 

Similarly, taking a cue from the serenity prayer, individuals must recognize the difference of what they can and cannot change.

Many clients are working hard to find ways to empower themselves in what they can do to help create more certainty in their lives. 

Here are some strategies to consider: 

  • Acknowledge your feelings and recognize WHAT you are feeling. When we ignore our feelings, it does not help in the long run.
  • Notice your most common thoughts. If you are constantly thinking negatively or focusing on things you cannot control,you are depleting yourself of valuable energy..
  • Shift negative thoughts. To be clear, it is shifting the WAY or the PROCESS of the message or way that you are thinking, rather than DISMISSING those thoughts.
  • Take APPROPRIATE responsibility. . Recognize what piece of the circumstances are yours to own. I work with so many people who take on MORE responsibility than is appropriate and also have seen people deflect responsibility completely. RECOGNIZE the difference and be fair to yourself and to others.
  • Create something. For some, that is through building, painting, art, gardening, etc. For others, it is creating certainty and predictable structure (including meals or bedtimes). Create community or connection! When we focus on creating we are OPENING our mind to new possibilities and building ways for us to feel empowered.
  • Focus on that which is in your control.We can only control ourselves, our reactions, and the way we do things. You do not have control over the pandemic, your partner,and to some extent your kids, etc. When we focus on controlling things outside of ourselves it creates POWERLESSNESS, because we cannot control others. Focus on what you can do, which is empowering. 
  • Find the good, find the beauty, find the pleasure in your life. In our group practice, we share each day on a group chat something that brought us pleasure. For some it is about connection, others it is about love or sex. It can be something simple, or something huge, but whatever it is, sharing openly  has created a pleasure-centered culture in our practice of self care..

 

Instead of asking yourself why your life sucks, find ways to empower yourself. 

Find a voice and ways to connect. Also find ways to grow and ways to create. Find ways to love yourself and others. Find ways to build mastery. 

When you try to attend to your underlying needs, life sucks a little less each day. Does this solve all the suckage? No. Will it help if you are willing? Absolutely. 

LCAT can help you transform your problems and start experiencing a pleasure centered, self accountable, empowering life.

Life Coaching and Therapy (LCAT) is a relationship coaching and sex therapy practice that transforms our clients lives through our flexible, multi-technique approach and pleasure-skills training provided by systemically-trained and licensed therapists! 

Our team of compassionate, licensed therapists and certified sex therapists help Millennials and Baby Boomers alike who visit us for a variety of relationship, intimacy and sex problems. 

LCAT provides on-site appointments, as well as video chat and text therapy programs. 

Learn more about how LCAT can help improve your life at What We Do.

Self Sabotage

How to Stop Self Sabotage

How to Stop Self Sabotage

 

Many individuals ask how to stop self sabotage while simultaneously setting themselves up for failure. 

Avoiding individual needs chronically over years and decades is the most common way that individuals continue to self sabotage.

Why Do People Self Sabotage?

  • It’s too hard to do something new
  • Toxicity is familiar
  • Looking for instant gratification
  • Lack of fulfillment in other areas of life
  • They feel guilty or uncomfortable with being perceived differently

Taking attachment theory and imago therapy into account, individuals are often seeking the love of a caretaker, and thus have natural attraction to people that embody these traits. If a parent was aloof, or one was incredibly clingy, an individual may end up dating someone very similarly. 

If you want your relationships to be rewarding instead of triggering, it is important to notice the attachment patterns that you are attracted to so you stop self sabotaging relationships. 

Similarly, for individuals who are bothered by this fact – of being attracted to what is familiar – it isn’t enough to just talk about noticing the pattern. The ability to identify something is not the same as changing a pattern.

Self Sabotage

A Self-Sabotage Behavior People Don’t Notice

Warning: Individuals do not learn how to stop self sabotage by discussing self sabotage. They learn when they are heard in a way that is compassionate and understanding. When others hear themselves in a mirrored way, and then they decide they want to take action.

If someone says “You know, people abandon me… it’s just what always happens,” the mirrored response is “so I think I hear you saying that you feel more often than you have been comfortable with in your life, others have not been there when you had a need for connection.” 

When someone can hear themselves in what you reflect back, sometimes they are then able to open up new ways of thinking about the situation and then be able to alter the way in which they approach situations where they perceive they’re abandoned. 

Please be mindful of people that say they are “sabotaging,” because telling others what you are doing does not mean you are holding yourself accountable. 

Best Advice on How To Stop Self Sabotage

Notice your own self sabotage behaviors. 

Use a critical eye when observing the behaviors that you often find yourself doing. Instead of focusing on others, see what is happening in your decision making. 

For example, if you are saying yes to things when you really want to say no, just because you “feel bad” or “guilty,” you are going to continue to self sabotage. 

If you continue to do what you have done, your needs will continue to not be met. 

Say YES to yourself, and sit with the discomfort of putting up new boundaries. 

Being able to manage your time is one of the most important ways in which you can stop self-sabotaging. 

Sometimes, people sabotage in a way that hurts themselves (without even trying). They don’t necessarily know a new or different way to be healthier, and that is where psychotherapy may help.

Examples include yet aren’t limited to:

  • drinking wine to deal with stress
  • smoking cigarettes because of anxiety
  • binge eating when feeling uncomfortable
  • using non-prescribed drugs to take the edge off
  • using shopping as a way to cope with feelings

Similarly, if an individual has trauma that causes them to sabotage connections or relationships due to fear, this is something that has to be worked through in individual therapy. 

If you have any questions, or would like to learn how to take your intimate life to the next level read about our Text Therapy Program. This program includes personalized sessions on YOUR terms.

Life Coaching and Therapy (LCAT) is a relationship coaching and sex therapy practice that transforms our clients lives through our flexible, multi-technique approach and pleasure-skills training provided by systemically-trained and licensed therapists! 

Our team of compassionate, licensed therapists and certified sex therapists help Millennials and Baby Boomers alike who visit us for a variety of relationship, intimacy and sex problems. 

LCAT provides on-site appointments, as well as video and text therapy programs. 

Learn more about how LCAT can help improve your life at What We Do

Winter Depression

Winter Depression During a Pandemic

Winter Depression During a Pandemic

 

For some people, winter weather seems like a magical scene out of a movie. Yet for others winter depression is a hard reality of the chilly season. 

 

When choosing where to settle down in life and deciding what place to call home, many factors come into play when picking a location.

 

For some living in an area of the country where it gets darker earlier in the day and the slushy, gloomy days seem to last forever is not ideal.  

 

Some though want to be able to experience all four seasons throughout the year, and winter depression comes with the regions.

 

Winter depression is also known as Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), which is how one is affected by light or lack thereof. 

 

Many studies have shown that people with seasonal affective disorder feel better after exposure to bright light. 

 

It seems simple enough: in higher latitudes, winter days are shorter, so you get less exposure to sunlight. Replace lost sunlight with bright artificial light, and your mood improves. 

 

Yet it’s actually far more complex. It’s not only a matter of getting light; it is about the right time too. The most important time to get light is in the morning, supposedly. 

Winter Depression

Some symptoms of Winter Depression but are not limited to:

  • Fatigue
  • Depression
  • Hopelessness
  • Social Withdrawal 

 

While some days seem better being that the sun is shining, the chilly fatigue can set in at any point in the day. Sometimes being awake for a short period of time is a struggle and your body just wants to rest. 

 

For some individuals with autoimmune diseases fatigue only seems to intensify during the winter months. Rheumatoid Arthritis is just one example where the winter months seem to cause more pain and fatigue for the clients that we serve. 

 

The more pain you feel the more fatigue you get being your body is over working to get through the day. When one bad day precedes the next, it might feel like a vicious cycle to get ahead of the tiredness and starting each day more tired than the next gets old.

 

Depression is something which can affect an individual throughout the year, regardless of the season. Many report that it intensifies to a winter depression in the colder months. Sunlight can do a world of wonders to the human body. The gloomy weather can affect a person’s mood from day to day. 

 

One might be more active one day due to the sun being out, and the next cloudy day could cause an individual to withdraw from wanting to do anything other than stay in bed. Hopelessness plays into depression, and one can lose faith things will get better. 

 

Seasonal Depression

Personally, it seems the colder the temperature gets and the earlier in the day the sun sets, some of my high motivation can get lost. I might have great plans to accomplish something after work. Yet by the time I get home, I may lose my excess energy. 

 

I am tender with myself, and I do not crawl into bed before 8pm, no matter how tired. Also I will not stay in bed past 11am ever. Sometimes, this can be a vicious cycle of going to bed early and waking up late. 

 

Social withdrawal is another battle in itself during the winter let alone during a pandemic. 

 

We have been cooped up for months on end and when we eventually go out for a night, we just want to retreat to the house. Sometimes, we do not want to deal with the conversations of people we meet or just not feeling up to socializing. 

 

Most nights even maintaining relationships via phone or texting can seem to be a struggle, especially while in a winter depression episode. 

 

Even though there are plenty of hours in a day to reach out, it seems like it is a huge burden or like climbing a mountain some nights to pick up the phone and check in on someone.

 

One thing that I have learned is that winter depression does not affect everyone the same. 

 

Some have mild cases where they can still carry on with day-to-day activities, where others need to seek extra therapy. There is no right or wrong answer to how to cope with winter depression. 

 

I prefer to give myself one day to relax or simply “do nothing” for others. Whether I read a book, spend all day in bed on a Sunday, or decide to order take in on a weeknight, self-care is important to stay healthy. 

winter depression

 

What methods do you prefer: 

  • Running? 
  • Going for a walk? 
  • Seeing your favorite therapist weekly? 
  • Doing a puzzle?
  • Moving your body?

 

Winter can be beautiful in many aspects. Just make sure that you seek help if your winter depression consumes you. If you feel it is too much, remember you are not alone.  

 

If you have any questions, or for clients hoping to take their intimate lives to the next level through personalized sessions on YOUR terms, learn more about our Text Therapy Program.

 

Life Coaching and Therapy (LCAT) is a relationship coaching and sex therapy practice that transforms our clients lives through our flexible, multi-technique approach and pleasure-skills training provided by systemically-trained and licensed therapists! 

Our team of compassionate, licensed therapists and certified sex therapists help Millennials and Baby Boomers alike who visit us for a variety of relationship, intimacy and sex problems. 

 

LCAT provides on-site appointments, as well as video chat and text therapy programs. 

 

Learn more about how LCAT can help improve your life at What We Do.

Behind the Scenes of a Woman Owned Business 

Starting a woman owned business is fulfilling, terrifying, and a form of radical dedication and commitment. 

I compare my business to a part of my soul, kind of like Mike Michalowicz’ analogy of your business as a Siamese twin – you share the same vital organs.  

Having a woman owned business is similar to being a caretaker for an elderly family member – you do it because you love them – and it comes with challenges weekly, daily, and sometimes… hourly. 

When you’re starting your own business, you need to trust others to perform certain tasks, which creates a system of connection between staff. 

Doing this will allow enough time for you to enjoy the business, while delegating creates a system of collaboration. 

Why I Started It On My Own vs. Joining a Practice

I have wanted to be a therapist since I was 8 years old. I started a Woman-Owned Business because I knew that I would have my own practice and I had my mindset on that as my goal.

Although I knew I wanted to be a therapist, I didn’t exactly know the type of business to launch first. Visualizing a group practice full of wonderful licensed clinicians to help those who have trauma and problems within their lives find access to their pleasure again.   

Knowing what I wanted – a group practice – I was able to make it my priority, and my focus as I grew older.

Joining another practice is a great idea if you do not want to run a business; however, I enjoyed the business aspect.

I could get my one-person business on track without issues because it’s what I enjoy doing. 

Prioritizing my tasks, setting long-term goals, and understanding my limitations mattered. 

Similarly, I also surrounded myself with supportive people who were great sources of motivation to ensure my woman owned business success. I networked and met those in my area to introduce myself. 

What Have Been My Challenges?

Every business comes with its challenges and woman owned businesses are not exempted. The first challenge I encountered was finding capital to begin the business.

Many individual business owners face this challenge because building a business comes with many roles. I have to plan, advertise my business, manage customers, and be accountable for everything in the business.

Ideally, I should be able to get employees for this role. However, it means I’ll be spending more money, which isn’t a financially wise decision when starting a business. However, I could spend less and overcome financial challenges by employing part-time contractors rather than full-time employees.

Taking leaps of faith to expand my business also helped a great deal. So, expanding my business gave me an opportunity to make more profit and overcome the financial challenges that come with a Woman Owned Business.

Many other challenges come with being a business owner, and here are some steps to take charge of the situation:

  • Critically assessing the cause of the challenge – is it your product or service? Are you marketing to the audience that wants these results? 
  • Having realistic, measurable goals, knowing the small steps needed to achieve these goals, tracking your progress, and managing your time.
  • Implementing cost-effective strategies for growing your business.
  • Streamlining and creating systems in your work to save time in the future.
  • Making your roles easy to delegate to maximize productivity.

How I Lead and Motivate

Developing a Woman-Owned business came with lots of obstacles for me, and I can assure you that there are times that I’m worn-out. However, this does not stop me because I know my goal. 

Owning a business also comes with responsibilities, and one of which is the ability to make decisions on my own. I work with coaches, marketing teams, and I read books to learn from other successful entrepreneurs.

Filter out the tips that don’t work for you and apply those that fit with your business.

I was able to lead and motivate by using nonviolent communication to point out an employee’s mistake. Doing this will make them realize that you respect them regardless of the fact that they work for you. Besides, arguing and blaming doesn’t solve anything.

I also prefer to ask questions instead of assuming the answer – to prevent accusations and blaming.

Similarly, I motivate my staff by paying them on time. 

This has been worth it, and it has helped me gain the trust of those that work for me. Unfortunately more often than I feel comfortable with, I hear of clinicians who aren’t getting paid on time in their small women-owned business.

By ensuring that we have sales and revenue, I’m certain that contractors deliver their scope of work at the right time, and that they are happy working with me.

Why is a Healthcare/Clinician Practice Even More Challenging to Start Than, Let’s say, a Retail Store, etc.?

The healthcare practice is a more challenging industry than a retail business because we are dealing with tender emotions. If you have a retail store, you can start your business, advertise your product and sell it the same day. 

It doesn’t work that way when you’re a clinician.

People want to be sure that they’re dealing with the right person before putting their lives and sharing their stories with you. 

Gaining that trust is a crucial part of the business. 

We also are a combined insurance and private pay business, keeping multiple hats on at once. 

All these are parts together with owning a healthcare practice. These and many other reasons make it more challenging than an average business.

Finally, as a business owner, you need to bring out the best in the people around you. 

Before starting a Woman-Owned business, be sure of what you want. If you’re skeptical, you can start by making it a side business venture before making it a full-time business.

This way, you can be sure that your major source of income is intact until your business starts to gain traction. 

It also makes you financially capable of moving your business forward as a woman-owned business when you leave your corporate job.

If you have any questions, or for clients hoping to take their intimate lives to the next level through personalized sessions on YOUR terms, learn more about our Text Therapy Program.

Life Coaching and Therapy (LCAT) is a relationship coaching and sex therapy practice that transforms our clients lives through our flexible, multi-technique approach and pleasure-skills training provided by systemically-trained and licensed therapists! 

Our team of compassionate, licensed therapists and certified sex therapists help Millennials and Baby Boomers alike who visit us for a variety of relationship, intimacy and sex problems. 

LCAT provides on-site appointments, as well as video chat and text therapy programs. 

Learn more about how LCAT can help improve your life at What We Do

Visit The Sexiest Places on Earth

Visit The Sexiest Places on Earth

You can visit the sexiest places on earth once the pandemic is over if you’re looking to spice up your love life?

With the vaccine on the horizon, it’s time to consider visiting the sexiest places once we are able to! 

Spicing up your love life is an essential part of your relationship to prevent boredom and loneliness. Sometimes, one or both of the individuals in a relationship become bored when you’re both not doing anything different, interesting, or fun.

Today, we will discuss visiting the sexiest places on earth to give you a fantasy to project with your partner(s) in the future! 

Before choosing any place, be sure that you both love the location. If you already know where your partner wants to go, telling them you want to plan a vacation is a great way to make it more exciting (don’t make it a surprise though – get consent!) 

Turks and Caicos (Grace Bay)

First up, Turks and Caicos are only a flight away from Miami. I have been told that the sand is gorgeous, the people are fun, and that the islands offers you an amazing chain of coral islands in the Atlantic, southeast of the Bahamas.

Sexiest Places on Earth

One of the sexiest places on earth, Grace Bay beach apparently has the largest underwater cave system in the whole of the Caribbean. Therefore, that makes it one of the coolest places on earth as well. 

Exotic, colorful rays, turtles, and fish in the calm azure waters and one of the best diving in the world are some of the beautiful experiences that await you and your partner in this location.

If all you want is to have a great time relaxing and soak in the sexiest vibes, you can choose from a world-class spa even to enjoy some exfoliation or massage sessions.

France (Saint-Tropez)

Forget Paris, France for visiting, and go to Saint Tropez instead. It is a popular destination visited by some of the hottest celebrities in the world.

Many wealthy and famous celebrities have visited this destination for decades. Exotic places like “Plage de Tahiti” I have heard is a hot place where you can soak up in the sun and enjoy your tan without bothering about tan lines. If you also want to enjoy some tasty local cuisine, you have several exclusive restaurants to choose from.

It’s on my list of places to visit at some point!

 

Greece (Mykonos Island)

Ohhhh…. Greece! How glorious! Mykonos Island is an island that is known as an adult’s playground. I have a friend that has a home there, and they talk about how beautiful it is. 

It is specially designated for the sexy and sophisticated who need R&R (Rest and Recreation).

You can find some of the hottest nightlife and stylish boutiques on Mykonos Island. It is also home to exquisite beaches like Psarrou, Paradise, and Super Paradise beaches.

If you love a party, unlike me, this is an excellent location for you and your partner as the party starts in the afternoon at Paradise beach and lasts throughout the night.

 

Grenada (Laluna)

Also known as the Island of Spice (not just sensual spice), Laluna has been producing different kinds of spices, including ginger, cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg, for export worldwide. It sounds spicy… and sexy for sure! Everyone likes an aphrodisiac. 

 

Vail Village

Vail Village is one of the world’s top ski locations, which offers a jaw-dropping mountain setting for cuddling up with your partner. Cuddling is sexy, and it is enticing because of how it helps your brain and body start to build connection. Especially, if you are skiing and moving during the day. 

So you warm-blooded folx like me understand, this location also offers you an after-ski snuggling and / or romantic sleigh ride with your partner to a beautiful dinner where you can also have a cozy night together. Even in winter, there is romance here! 

 

Argentina (Buenos Aires)

Buenos Aires is a sultry city well known for its outstanding cuisine, European-style boulevards, hopping nightlife, rich red wine, and sexy dance moves. Dance floors are found both indoors and outdoors, where dancers of all ages and levels of experience mingle. The people of Buenos Aires are all about having a good time throughout the night.

Our intake coordinator, Dany, knows much more about this location than I do, and if you want more tips on what to visit, you can message her!

 

Seychelles

With over 115 small islands, deserted beaches, and other interesting spots to have an alone time together, Seychelles is a great spot to reignite the spark in your relationship. It seems to be a little more unique than Hawaii! 

Fregate Island is another private isle where you can enjoy a private time and enjoy your sexy escape. Enjoy the amazing beaches, romantic dining locations, and a unique treehouse sitting in one of the largest and oldest banyan trees on the island.

 

Thailand (Koh Samui)

This location is just one hour from Bangkok. It offers you a sexy and amazing vision of your desired escape with the golden sands sitting at the shore of the glistening waters in all shades of blue and green you can imagine.

Lively bars, delicious bowls of noodles, and Thai massage are a few of the many things you can enjoy here. If you want to have some nice dance time with your partner, the clubs around Chaweng Beach Road offers one of the most amazing dance parties. The Amari Palm Reef Hotel also provides you with a beautiful sight of the sunset – although I have never been there – I have read about! 

 

Brazil (Rio de Janeiro)

The hot beaches and beautiful people in Rio de Janeiro make it one of the sexiest places you can visit on earth.

It boasts of stunning landscapes and beaches like Ipanema, where different beach activities take place. You don’t want to miss this spot if you want to have an unforgettable getaway experience.

A few honorable mentions:

  • Los Angeles, US- For dating, sexual satisfaction, and great attitudes towards relationships; visit Los Angeles.
  • Liverpool, UK – This is the perfect place for dating, love, and reigniting your love flame.
  • Dublin, Ireland – Dublin is known for its Irish accent, one of the sexiest accents in the world. This may be the ideal place to spice things up.
  • Zurich, Switzerland- Many hot spots for unforgettable sexual experiences abound in this location. It is an excellent place to consider.
  • Cape Town, South Africa- Cape Town is another place you may want to consider if you want to have a pleasurable time with your partner.

So, in conclusion, there are many sexy places in different parts of our earth. Our suggestion is that if you plan to visit and plan a memorable time with your significant other, that you can keep your love burning and rekindle the spark!

If you have any questions, or for clients hoping to take their intimate lives to the next level through personalized sessions on YOUR terms, learn more about our Text Therapy Program.

Life Coaching and Therapy (LCAT) is a relationship coaching and sex therapy practice that transforms our clients lives through our flexible, multi-technique approach and pleasure-skills training provided by systemically-trained and licensed therapists! 

Our team of compassionate, licensed therapists and certified sex therapists help Millennials and Baby Boomers alike who visit us for a variety of relationship, intimacy and sex problems. 

Learn more about how LCAT can help improve your life at What We Do

New Year Resolution: 5 Questions For Couples to Consider as we End 2020

New Years Resolution time as the year comes to an end, we offer 5 questions that couples should consider before ending the year.

  1. What did we ACCOMPLISH in the relationship in 2020?
  2. WHAT did I ACCOMPLISH in 2020?
  3. What did we WANT to accomplish in the relationship but didn’t in 2020?
  4. What did I WANT to accomplish but didn’t in 2020?
  5. THE NEW VISION: What do you want to be celebrating by the end of 2021?

These questions are brought to you by Francesca Gentille, and I see them as highly valuable for couples ending one year and beginning another.

Not everyone enjoys New Year Resolutions; however, this is something you can do together.

What Did We Accomplish in The Relationship in 2020?

As couples, you should reflect on how you’ve spent your year so far. It helps you to discover ways of making your relationship better and being a better version of yourself.

It will help if you ask yourselves questions about what you’ve accomplished so far as couples in 2020. Doing this will help you plan and have a better 2021.

Asking yourself if you’re becoming the kind of partner you want to be to your partner will help you know if you’ve accomplished all you wanted to in the year.

You should ask yourself if you’ve provided your support and empathy to your partner and how much you’ve encouraged them throughout the year.

As a couple, working as an individual and then together can help you set the right path for your future and that of your partner.

You can discover what you’ve achieved for the year by ticking the boxes of the plans you both had for the year.

  • Did we achieve what we want in our career?
  • Did we get to develop ourselves as a couple?
  • Did we meet our financial goals for the year?
  • Did we enjoy our hobbies more than the previous year?
  • Has our spiritual life improved?
  • Did we care for our health the way we wanted?

These are some aspects where you both need to ask questions about your vision. Create more questions as they suit you, and write them down in a journal.

Knowing if you’ve accomplished your vision for the year will help you get a good head start for the next year.

What Did I Accomplish In 2020?

Before finding what you’ve accomplished in your relationship, you need to realize your accomplishments first. You need to find out if you’ve accomplished all you want in 2020 and discover ways of improving yourself in the coming year.

To know what you’ve accomplished as an individual, you must ask yourself some questions to see how you can improve in the coming year. You can start by writing down what you’ve accomplished in the year.

Write down the good things that you’ve experienced in your career, marriage, and family. Write down the list of things you failed to achieve for the year.

It will also help if you write down every unfavorable condition you found yourself in during the year. With this, you can know the next step of action on having a better 2021.

What Did We Want to Accomplish in the Relationship But Didn’t in 2020?

When you write down the list of things you didn’t accomplish in 2020, you may discover that you have accomplished a little in your relationship. As soon as you discover the things that you fail to accomplish in 2020, the next step is to find the means of achieving them in 2021.

The question you should keep asking yourselves is “What do we have to do to make this vision a reality.” Having a vision is different from accomplishing it. Accomplishing a vision comes with some unfavorable tasks that may want you to quit. It may even be the reason you weren’t able to accomplish it in 2020.

However, do not be discouraged or think that your vision is not right. Instead, accept the challenges that come with it. You can write down what you fail to accomplish in 2020 as a couple to find out where the problem is coming from. Do not be bothered or be negative about it in the coming year and always see the bigger picture.

What Did I Want to Accomplish But Didn’t in 2020?

It’s very normal to want to accomplish something but ended up not getting it throughout the year. Many factors could be responsible for this. So, do not flog yourself too hard. If you didn’t accomplish what you ought to in 2020 and they are a vital part of your vision, let them be at the top list of what you want to achieve in 2021.

Begin to work on them as soon as possible and they’ll be among your list of accomplishments for the year 2021.

The New Vision: What do You Want to Be Celebrating by The End of 2021?

You should know what you want and identify the things you have achieved and what you need to achieve by the end of 2021. When you have a vision, making it a reality will become easier.

Vision involves revising, recalling, and identifying your dream as a person and the one you also have with your partner. One way to discover your vision is by knowing what you want in your relationship and keeping to it, having a financial resolution ( buying a house, saving more, paying off your debts, e.t.c), and individual or personal resolution.

However, you may fail to realize your vision if you let some negative thinking and unhealthy behaviors take over your life. Some of these thinking include:

  • Feeling of guilt for wanting too much
  • Thinking that getting what you want is impossible
  • Believing that you’ll fail before even starting the new year
  • Being too anxious when you think about your vision
  • The thought that your partner will not support your vision or even laugh at you.

And the list goes on, so we recommend a New Year Resolution strategy for you and those around you!

Your vision may seem challenging when you look at it. This is normal as long as they excite you, are meaningful, and the results make a difference in your life as an individual or a couple.

If you have any questions, or for clients hoping to take their intimate lives to the next level through personalized sessions on YOUR terms, learn more about our Text Therapy Program.

Life Coaching and Therapy (LCAT) is a relationship coaching and sex therapy practice that transforms our clients lives through our flexible, multi-technique approach and pleasure-skills training provided by systemically-trained and licensed therapists!

Our team of compassionate, licensed therapists and certified sex therapists help Millennials and Baby Boomers alike who visit us for a variety of relationship, intimacy and sex problems.

LCAT provides on-site appointments, as well as video chat and text therapy programs.

Learn more about how LCAT can help improve your life at What We Do.

Grief and COVID

Grief During Quarantining and COVID

Grief During Quarantining and COVID

 

During the last 10 months something that has been clearer in my clinical practice is grief and the intersection of COVID-19.  During this pandemic there are varying levels of grief that my clients are experiencing as a result of COVID-19. 

 

What is Grief?

Grief is the experience of loss, usually associated with death. But we can experience it in a variety of different ways. Grief is typically experienced as high levels of emotional suffering and struggle. Following a loss (extreme sadness, depression, anxiety, fear, guilt, etc.).

Although, less talked about grief also comes with physical symptoms such as sleep difficulties, eating difficulties, changing in weight, fatigue, nauseous, aches and pains.

There are a variety of different processes of grief. One of the most well known is Kubler-Ross’ 5 stages of grief (denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance).

Although a foundational in the concept of grieving, it does not necessarily mean that it is a step by step process (as described) or that everyone will engage in every stage. Also, these 5 stages were identified after researching the Holocaust (a genocide). 

 

Types of Grief

Grief is not a one size fits all way to grief or one type of grief. Below are a list of different types of grief that people can experience: 

  • Anticipatory grief 
  • Complicated grief
  • Traumatic grief
  • Ambiguous loss
  • Delayed grief
  • Secondary Loss

There may be several various types of grief, these are the ones I see most clearly in my practice. 

 

Grief and COVID

Frief is a complicated and broad topic. The amount of grief experienced collectively in our families, communities, country, and world is unique as a result of this pandemic. 

COVID-19 has struck our world in massive proportions resulting in high levels of loss be it human life, jobs, access to friends and family, change in cultural norms, etc. 

 

Death

Obviously, the death of people as a result of contracting COVID-19 is a horrendous experience for anyone and would be considered “traumatic grief.” 

Many of my clients who have experienced the loss of someone to COVID-19 have had a difficult time. Many of my clients were not able to be with their loved one when they were hospitalized and then died. They were not able to hold celebrations or services for their loved ones. They were not able to access the support of others because of quarantine. Being isolated and not able to be with the loved one has been extremely difficult. 

If the death was of a person who was not someone you are close to, you may be experiencing “secondary” or “vicarious” grief which is the loss of someone you knew. But may not have as significant daily impact. Although it might not have been your spouse, your parent, your child, OR your best friend, does not minimize the grief you may be experiencing. 

 

Life in Quarantine

Life in Quarantine has created its own version of loss for our communities. People are social creatures and require connection so being in quarantine for as long as we have is not something healthy for us. Life in Quarantine has resulted in social isolation and connection via technology. People’s worlds have been turned upside down and have created high levels of struggle for many. 

As a therapist, I am seeing higher levels of depression, trauma, and anxiety across the board. Clients are finding it hard to manage their symptoms because their is a lack of resources and connection. Isolation has become easier, self care has become more difficulty, and conflict is on the rise. People are stuck in the same environment 24/7. 

People are needing to do everything from one space and as the weather gets colder. Options dwindle for being able to engage in some level of safe connection with others outside their household.

This dramatic change in the way we live our day to day lives is causing grief, a loss for life pre-covid. 

 

Loss of Job and Resources

Businesses are struggling or shutting down. Thousands of people are losing their jobs. Resources are becoming more expensive as a way for some businesses to stay afloat. More and more continues to changes as COVID continues to be a predominant issue in our life. 

The above stated losses are hard enough, add in the loss of jobs people have been experiencing, loss of financial stability and resources. And the ability to feel certainty is creating high levels of grief and stress culturally. 

 

How do we Cope with Grief

On a variety of levels we are all struggling with grief right now. The best that we can do is try to facilitate support, connection, validation, love.

Ask for help or offering help to those we love and our communities. Noticing the privileges we have and areas that we can help those around us and our communities can be an important part of collective healing. Make no mistake, COVID-19 is a global trauma and in order to heal and survive this we need to work together to collectively grief, support, and heal. 

If you have any questions, or for clients hoping to take their intimate lives to the next level through personalized sessions on YOUR terms, learn more about our Text Therapy Program.

Life Coaching and Therapy (LCAT) is a relationship coaching and sex therapy practice that transforms our clients lives through our flexible, multi-technique approach and pleasure-skills training provided by systemically-trained and licensed therapists! 

Our team of compassionate, licensed therapists and certified sex therapists help Millennials and Baby Boomers alike who visit us for a variety of relationship, intimacy and sex problems. 

LCAT provides on-site appointments, as well as video chat and text therapy programs. 

Learn more about how LCAT can help improve your life at What We Do.

Cisgender

What Does Cisgender Mean?

What Does Cisgender Mean?

 

If you are on the mobile app dating scene, you have likely come across the term “cisgender.” 

Whether it is cisgender, straight male or cisgender queer woman, there seem to be endless labels to self-identify.

Let’s go through the basics of gender identity vs sex vs sexuality to gain a deeper understanding of the term cisgender.

 

Mirriam Webster’s Definition of “Cisgender”:

 “Of, relating to, or being a person whose gender identity corresponds with the sex the person had or was identified as having at birth.”

This means that if a baby is born, and the doctor assigns them as “male” based on them having a penis or “female” based on them having a vagina, and the person identifies with how they were assigned at birth, they are cisgender, or cis for short.

gender expression

What is Gender?

To better understand and contextualize the term “cisgender,” let’s look at what gender even is.

Gender is a social construct around the “rules” of what is considered masculine and feminine. It is how you identify on the spectrum of these characteristics and is more about how you feel internally than what genitals you have.

There are dozens, if not hundreds, of different gender identities, though in the mainstream up until recently we only had “male” and “female”, aka the gender binary. Now there are people who even identify as being nonbinary, agender or genderqueer. The definition can vary from person to person, though basically it means they do not identify with either spectrum of the gender binary.

When someone lists their pronouns, this is based on their gender identity, which is the way they feel inside about their identity in the context of society’s ideals of masculine and feminine.

 

What is Sex?

Sex is a collection of biological markers and attributes that the scientific community has designated to describe a person’s gender in the past, though now it is becoming more common to not let someone’s biological sex determine their gender identity.

The truth is, even sex isn’t black and white. There are genitals, hormones, chromosomes and other characteristics that can vary wildly, and to not acknowledge that sex and gender are separate excludes folks who are born with ambiguous sex characteristics, otherwise known as people who are intersex.

Your sex is how a member of the medical community would likely describe your physical, biological body, and is not indicative of gender expression. There are men with vaginas, women with penises, and everything and anyone in between.

 

What is Sexuality?

Sexuality is the easiest to understand: it’s about who you do (and don’t) want to have sex with. Someone can be cisgender and gay, because your gender does not dictate your sexuality. Someone can also be transgender and straight, again the two are unrelated.

Sexuality is also said to be on a spectrum, such as the infamous Kinsey Scale. Though it is becoming out of date, it was revolutionary for its time and made the world reconsider the idea of straight and gay, and the wonderful world of sexualities in between, including people who are asexual. They may not want sex at all, or under very specific circumstances!

 

Cisnormativity

Since we live in a colonial, heteronormative culture, the culture is also largely cisnormative, meaning the “default” has always been to assume people are cisgender. It is important for us to consider in which ways we subconsciously enforce cisnormativity, making the world a less inviting place for folks who are not cis.

Some examples include always using the terms “ladies and gentlemen” when addressing a group, or terms like “guys” or “policeman/woman”. Using gender neutral terms for group situations ensures that you have everyone covered with respect. Try using terms like “folks”, “friends”, or for professions that are gendered there are usually alternatives, such as “server” instead of waiter or waitress, or “police officer” instead of policeman or policewoman.

Learning the differences between sex, sexuality and gender have hopefully helped you understand what it means to identify as cisgender, and be a better ally to our nonbinary, trans and two spirit friends.

If you have any questions, or for clients hoping to take their intimate lives to the next level through personalized sessions on YOUR terms, learn more about our Text Therapy Program.

Life Coaching and Therapy (LCAT) is a relationship coaching and sex therapy practice that transforms our clients lives through our flexible, multi-technique approach and pleasure-skills training provided by systemically-trained and licensed therapists! 

Our team of compassionate, licensed therapists and certified sex therapists help Millennials and Baby Boomers alike who visit us for a variety of relationship, intimacy and sex problems. 

LCAT provides on-site appointments, as well as video chat and text therapy programs. 

Learn more about how LCAT can help improve your life at What We Do

Why Am I Depressed?

Why Am I Depressed?

Why Am I Depressed?

 

If you have been asking yourself “why am I depressed?” you should know that with all of the curveballs 2020 has thrown at us, you are definitely not alone! 

When you ask yourself “why am I depressed?”, that is a strong sign that it is time to seek professional help from a therapist. Luckily, telehealth therapy during COVID19 has made access to counseling easier for individuals who need it. 

Don’t blame yourself if you are feeling depressed: you are not lazy, you are not a failure, and there is nothing “broken” about you that can’t be rebuilt. Let’s take a look at some reasons why you might be feeling depressed. 

 

The Pandemic

The pandemic has been a trigger for many circumstances that can cause depression. 

  • Isolation: if you are unable to see anyone in your social circle or family because they do not live with you, this quarantine will have been especially difficult. Feeling isolated from those you love can increase feelings of depression, and can make you feel far away from any support systems you had in place. 
  • The death toll: the COVID19 virus has resulted in a huge loss of life, and it is a sobering and depressing thought. Grief, fear, pessimism and rage may be some of the feelings you are experiencing around the sheer numbers of those affected by the virus. 
  • The nature of the news cycle: while it is important to stay informed, the news cycle can wreak havoc on your mental health. The constant changes, the bombardment of bad news and zero focus on positive stories can paint a bleak picture and make you feel hopeless. 
  • Losing your job: many businesses large and small have had to furlough their workforce or lay them off, or they’ve gone out of business entirely. If you have lost your job, you aren’t just losing income, you are potentially losing security, opportunities, plans and feel like your ability to survive and provide is at risk. You may also feel unimportant if you were laid off and other staff weren’t, or like your sense of self is pretty shaky when you aren’t working. 
  • Losing a loved one: grief is a natural response to the death of a loved one, and the circumstances around deaths by any cause during the pandemic have made it difficult to have closure. The inability to mourn with loved ones or pay respects at funerals or the inability to hold your loved one’s hand as they pass can be difficult to process. 
  • Cancelling plans: if you had a wedding, event or special trip that was meaningful it can be devastating to cancel plans. Non refundable deposits or constant rescheduling can make you feel stressed and depressed.Why Am I Depressed?

 

Physical Factors 

If you have been ill it can be a trigger for depression, either physically or due to having a new, foreign relationship with your body and its limitations. 

If you have gained or lost weight you may be feeling depressed based on how you perceive yourself and how your body has changed in quarantine. 

There are hormonal and neurochemical factors that can trigger depression in some individuals. These factors can be controlled with medication and therapy, so it is important to seek help if you are feeling off. 

 

World Events

On top of the immediate effects of the pandemic, there have been many world events that may make you feel depressed. 

  • Racial injustice: feeling like your life doesn’t have value because of the color of your skin or feeling helpless to change the injustices of the world. Viewing disturbing footage of violence, protests and riots, wanting to attend protests but can’t for health reasons. Feeling guilty about past or present actions.  
  • The election: no matter which party you plan to vote for, the constant rhetoric and worries about trying to get your vote counted and in on time can be overwhelming. Feeling like the world hangs in the balance if your candidate does or does not get elected or re-elected, or even just having arguments with family about politics can leave you feeling isolated, frustrated and sad. 
  • International tensions: China, Russia, Iran, sanctions, threats, Armenia, the explosions in Beirut, the mass shooting in Canada, the violence happening in Nigeria- the world has been a very busy place and it is easy to feel helpless. Why Am I Depressed?

 

What Should I Do?

It can be tempting to try to battle depression on your own and without outside intervention, however you deserve to have guidance and support! 

If you are feeling depressed to the point of suicidal, the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline can put you in touch with someone immediately by calling 1-800-273-8255, or go to your nearest hospital emergency room. 

If you are feeling depressed and you are not in immediate danger, book an appointment with a therapist. They can assess you and help you create a plan to tackle depression, and can refer you to other mental health professionals if needed. Finding a therapist is more convenient and accessible than ever as most are offering telehealth options. You can even find a therapist outside of your own state! 

By asking yourself “why am I depressed?” you have already taken an important first step, so take some time to care for yourself and open up to a loved one and a professional. 

If you have any questions, or for clients hoping to take their intimate lives to the next level through personalized sessions on YOUR terms, learn more about our Text Therapy Program.

Life Coaching and Therapy (LCAT) is a relationship coaching and sex therapy practice that transforms our clients lives through our flexible, multi-technique approach and pleasure-skills training provided by systemically-trained and licensed therapists! 

Our team of compassionate, licensed therapists and certified sex therapists help Millennials and Baby Boomers alike who visit us for a variety of relationship, intimacy and sex problems. 

LCAT provides on-site appointments, as well as video chat and text therapy programs. 

Learn more about how LCAT can help improve your life at What We Do

Call us at 203-733-9600 and press 0 to leave a message, or make an appointment.

Post Election Stress and Using Compassionate Communication

Post Election Stress and Using Compassionate Communication 

 

If you haven’t read part 1 of our post election stress series, please click here

Post election stress is here to stay as we transition administrations. 

In the meantime, we will give you our specific examples on how to communicate during this time. 

 

Use Compassionate and Non Violent Communication

If you work with me or others at our practice, you have probably heard about Non-Violent (or Compassionate) Communication (NVC). If you have not, look it up! 

Great resources on ways to learn to communicate differently and in a way that our culture has not done a great job developing. Marshall Rosenberg wrote books on it and there is a website

The premise of NVC is to be able to communicate more compassionately, kindly, and effectively. 

This is recommended in being able to take accountability for our role, acknowledge our feelings, be respectful, and set boundaries or make requests. 

So the “I feel ______________ when (insert experience or concern of behavior) and am wondering if you would be willing to ______________ (needs, boundary or request).” 

post election stress

Using NVC focuses on using “I statements” to reduce blame, acknowledge our role, and build ways to understand through identifying our own needs. 

This helps us communicate with those around us and be able to slow conversations down through engaging in validation and reflective listening. 

Again, this is NOT about agreeing with someone, it is about being able to sit in discomfort and still hear another person.

Does this mean that if someone is sharing something harmful and is continuing to cause harm that I keep having the conversation or the relationship? NO. 

If you are in a conversation and you are doing suggestions from Part 1 and Part 2 of this blog, and there is a lack of respect, kindness, or compassion – you have a clear right to set a boundary using NVC and remove yourself, if necessary. 

There are times where we do everything we can to facilitate and engage appropriately and it is just not okay for us to continue. This is where you can request space, time, or boundaries around the conversation. 

 

Real Examples of How You Can Apply This:

Some of my clients have set boundaries around not speaking about politics. 

Some have a system in place where they say a code word when things become heated and take 20-30 minutes to de-escalate alone and then return and try to continue the conversation and then rinse and repeat until they get through it. 

Some of my clients set timers and engage in an activity called “active listening” where one person speaks, the other listens, when the speaker is done they validate through reflecting back what the speaker said, then the speaker identifies if they felt heard, then if they do they reverse roles, and if they don’t, then they clarify what they were missing. 

Some of my clients have chosen to stop having relationships indefinitely or for a set amount of time (space) from the relationship. Some have ended relationships completely. 

Whatever you decide to do, I think it is important that you are responding rather than reacting. Responding is thoughtful, conscious choices vs reacting which is acting abruptly or without conscious thought. I usually encourage people to engage in these tips before making such a decision, unless there is an issue of safety or abuse or significant harm being done. 

Unsurprisingly, I also recommend engaging in therapy if that feels right for you, as a way to figure out what you might need so that your decision is indeed coming from a responsive vs. reactive place.

If you have any questions, or for clients hoping to take their intimate lives to the next level through personalized sessions on YOUR terms, learn more about our Text Therapy Program.

Life Coaching and Therapy (LCAT) is a relationship coaching and sex therapy practice that transforms our clients lives through our flexible, multi-technique approach and pleasure-skills training provided by systemically-trained and licensed therapists! 

Our team of compassionate, licensed therapists and certified sex therapists help Millennials and Baby Boomers alike who visit us for a variety of relationship, intimacy and sex problems. 

LCAT provides on-site appointments, as well as video chat and text therapy programs. 

Learn more about how LCAT can help improve your life at What We Do

Call us at 203-733-9600 and press 0 to leave a message, or make an appointment.