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How to Give a Relationship Another Chance When It’s on the Rocks

How to Give a Relationship Another Chance When It’s on the Rocks

Here you are, sitting next to your lawyer, across the table being your soon-to-be former spouse and their own lawyer, discussing alimony terms,[1] property classification and other important things of your divorce. Because you are divorcing your partner. It’s not the outcome you expected when you got married and you are probably wondering how it all ended this way.

Well, marriage counseling might prevent the divorce and get your relationship on track once again. According to the numbers, marriage counseling helps 7 in 10 couples[2] find their happiness again. The counselor is not going to tell you what to do and how to do, but they will provide you with all the tools needed to fix your relationship. Marriage counselors simply allow the couple to explore their relationship from a new perspective, giving them the opportunity they needed to sort out their issues.

One of the major benefits of going to couple counseling is that you will improve your communication skills,[3] which allows you to solve any future issues that may arise over time. In a relationship, effective communication is the key, so counseling provides you with the means to support your relationship both in the present and in the future.

With this being said, you have to know there are plenty of choices when it comes to couple counseling. Here are 11 options to choose from.

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1. Nancy Graham

Graham is specialized in relationship issues and she thinks people should focus on the positive things in their lives. She is helping couples find their strengths and improve their communication, so they can save their marriage. Graham is a licensed social worker and therapist.

Call or Email Nancy Graham now – (713) 965-6957

2. Yaji Tramontini and Love Therapy Center

Yaji Tramontini is the founder of the Love Therapy Center, where couples benefit from a holistic approach on their relationship. Tramontini uses a method called EMDR therapy, which helps the spouse deal with the painful experiences in their past, which could be ruining the relationship. The therapy center offers a big diversity of services, all based on the belief that unconditional love is the path towards restoring a relationship.

Call or Text directly: (415) 412-6615

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3. Alison Leigh

Leigh is a licensed therapist who can help you focus on healing, instead of the past mistakes. She has over 20 years of experience and she is specialized in Somatic Psychotherapy, a a method which uses the body to access the unconscious, allowing the couple to experience an instant change, unlike other therapy methods. With Leigh you can focus on finding the solutions for your couple problems. She is also specialized in working with LGBT couples.

4. Fiachra O’Sullivan

With a family of psychotherapists on the back, O’Sullivan took his time to become one himself. He is a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, specialized in Emotionally Focused Therapy for Couples. O’Sullivan sees the relationship of a couple as a force that can heal and restore the power, so he helps his clients use that force and mend their relationship. The typical first session is 80 minutes, followed by 50 minutes sessions.

Call or mail at 415.967.3447 / figs@therapywithfigs.com

5. Mark Spurlock MFT

Spurlock is in the field of couple counseling for more than two decades, during which he developed his unique therapy method. His sessions are fun and productive, as he uses creative ways to help couples restore their relationship. In the past, Spurlock worked with drug and alcohol addicts, providing therapy for victims of child abuse and domestic violence, which gives him a broad view upon relationships. Most couples will have 45 minutes sessions, once a week.

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Call him at (619)813-0315

6. Michelle Germain

Germain is another experienced therapist with 25 years of practice under her belt. She is also the author of the The Jill Principle: A Woman’s Guide to Healing Your Spirit After Divorce or Breakup and has a master in social work. If you are not in San Diego area, close to Germain, you can have phone therapy sessions with her. Germain’s focus is to approach the individuals wholly, mind, body and soul, so they can improve their couple relationship.

Call her at 760-290-1047 or email michele@michelegermain.com

7. Dr. Barbara Cunningham

Cunningham has been helping couples restore their relationship for years and she is specialized in a less common type of therapy: divorce therapy. Because she is committed to her work, she offers a free first session, so you can see if she is the right therapist for you. If things go well, you can schedule the rest of the sessions. Cunningham also works with gay and lesbian couples.

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8. Barbara Neal, LPC

Neal approaches couple therapy with a solution-focused method, using her broad experience in the field. She helps couples develop new skills and improve their communication, so they can reach the perfect balance in their relationship. Neal always follows realistic outcomes with her clients. At her clinic there are several insurance plans accepted: BCBS Texas, Blue Cross and Blue Shield, CIGNA, HUMANA and MultiPlan.

9. Dr. Carl Ward, PHD

Dr. Ward believes relationships are indeed complicated and he understands that couples do have their ups and downs. At his clinic, Dr. Ward provides couple therapy for everyone who needs to improve their relationship. With almost three decades of experience, Dr. Ward has handled hundreds of couples, as well as individuals. His clinic accepts four insurance plans: Coventry Health Care, Blue Cross and Blue Shield, HUMANA and MultiPlan.

10. GRASP Group

GRASP’s mission is to support couples to enjoy a healthy relationship. The center provides 50 minutes therapy sessions that offer an insight on the problems you have inside your relationship and a way to solve these problems via effective communication. The Group works with both same sex couples and hetero couples.

11. Symmetry Counseling

The therapists at Symmetry have a pragmatic approach to couple therapy, aiming to help couples see that positive effect as soon as possible and mend their relationship. The licensed therapists provide a supportive environment for couples. The clinic accepts various insurance plans, among which Blue Cross Blue Shield PPO, Aetna, Cigna, Magellan, and Value Options.

Featured photo credit: Stocksnap via stocksnap.io

Reference

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Simona Elena

Freelance Writer, Addicted to LIFE

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Last Updated on August 20, 2018

How the Stages of Change Model Helps You Change Your Habits

How the Stages of Change Model Helps You Change Your Habits

Change is tough, there’s no doubt about it. Old habits are hard to shift, and adopting a new lifestyle can feel like an uphill battle!

In this article, you will learn about a simple yet powerful model:

Stages of change model, that explains the science behind personal transformation.

You’ll discover how and why some changes stick whereas others don’t last, and how long it takes to build new habits.

What is the Stages of Change Model?

Developed by researchers J.O. Prochaska and Carlo C. DiClemente over 30 years ago[1] and outlined in their book Changing For Good, the Stages of Change Model, also known as the Transtheoretical Model, was formed as a result of the authors’ research with smokers.

Prochaska and DiClemente were originally interested in the question of why some smokers were able to quit on their own, whereas others required professional help. Their key conclusion was that smokers (or anyone else with a bad habit) quits only when they are ready to do so.

Here’s an illustration done by cartoonist and illustrator Simon Kneebone about the different stages a smoker experiences when they try to quit smoking:

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    The Stages of Change Model looks at how these conscious decisions are made. It emphasizes that change isn’t easy. People can spend a long time stuck in a stage, and some may never reach their goals.[2]

    The model has been applied in the treatment of smoking, alcoholism, and drugs. It is also a useful way of thinking about any bad habit. Social workers, therapists, and psychologists draw on the model to understand their patients’ behaviors, and to explain the change process to the patients themselves.

    The key advantages to the model is that it is simple to understand, is backed by extensive research, and can be applied in many situations.

    The Stages of Change Model is a well-established psychological model that outlines six stages of personal change:

    1. Precontemplation
    2. Contemplation
    3. Determination
    4. Action
    5. Maintenance
    6. Termination

    How are these stages relevant to changing habits?

    To help you visualize the stages of change and how each progresses to the next one, please take a look at this wheel:[3]

      Let’s look at the six stages of change,[4] together with an example that will show you how the model works in practice:

      Stage 1: Precontemplation

      At this stage, an individual does not plan to make any positive changes in the next six months. This may because they are in denial about their problem, feel too overwhelmed to deal with it, or are too discouraged after multiple failed attempts to change.

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      For example, someone may be aware that they need to start exercising, but cannot find the motivation to do so. They might keep thinking about the last time they tried (and failed) to work out regularly. Only when they start to realize the advantages of making a change will they progress to the next stage.

      Stage 2: Contemplation

      At this stage, the individual starts to consider the advantages of changing. They start to acknowledge that altering their habits would probably benefit them, but they spend a lot of time thinking about the downside of doing so. This stage can last for a long time – possibly a year or more.

      You can think of this as the procrastinating stage. For example, an individual begins to seriously consider the benefits of regular exercise, but feels resistant when they think about the time and effort involved. When the person starts putting together a concrete plan for change, they move to the next stage.

      The key to moving from this stage to the next is the transformation of an abstract idea to a belief (e.g. from “Exercise is a good, sensible thing to do” to “I personally value exercise and need to do it.)[5]

      Stage 3: Preparation

      At this point, the person starts to put a plan in place. This stage is brief, lasting a few weeks. For example, they may book a session with a personal trainer and enrol on a nutrition course.

      Someone who drinks to excess may make an appointment with a drug and alcohol counsellor; someone with a tendency to overwork themselves might start planning ways to devise a more realistic schedule.

      Stage 4: Action

      When they have decided on a plan, the individual must then put it into action. This stage typically lasts for several months. In our example, the person would begin attending the gym regularly and overhauling their diet.

      Stage 4 is the stage at which the person’s desire for change becomes noticeable to family and friends. However, in truth, the change process began a long time ago. If someone you know seems to have suddenly changed their habits, it’s probably not so sudden after all! They will have progressed through Stages 1-3 first – you probably just didn’t know about it.

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      Stage 5: Maintenance

      After a few months in the Action stage, the individual will start to think about how they can maintain their changes, and make lifestyle adjustments accordingly. For instance, someone who has adopted the habit of regular workouts and a better diet will be vigilant against old triggers (such as eating junk food during a stressful time at work) and make a conscious decision to protect their new habits.

      Unless someone actively engages with Stage 5, their new habits are liable to come unstuck. Someone who has stuck to their new habits for many months – perhaps a year or longer – may enter Stage 6.

      Maintenance can be challenging because it entails coming up with a new set of habits to lock change in place. For instance, someone who is maintaining their new gym-going habit may have to start improving their budgeting skills in order to continue to afford their gym membership.

      Stage 6: Termination

      Not many people reach this stage, which is characterized by a complete commitment to the new habit and a certainty that they will never go back to their old ways. For example, someone may find it hard to imagine giving up their gym routine, and feel ill at the thought of eating junk food on a regular basis.

      However, for the majority of people, it’s normal to stay in the Maintenance period indefinitely. This is because it takes a long time for a new habit to become so automatic and natural that it sticks forever, with little effort. To use another example, an ex-smoker will often find it hard to resist the temptation to have “just one” cigarette even a year or so after quitting. It can take years for them to truly reach the Termination stage, at which point they are no more likely to smoke than a lifelong non-smoker.

      How long does each stage take?

      You should be aware that some people remain in the same stage for months or even years at a time. Understanding this model will help you be more patient with yourself when making a change. If you try to force yourself to jump from Contemplation to Maintenance, you’ll just end up frustrated. On the other hand, if you take a moment to assess where you are in the change process, you can adapt your approach.

      So if you need to make changes quickly and you are finding it hard to progress to the next stage, it’s probably time to get some professional help or adopt a new approach to forming habits.

      The limitations of this model

      The model is best applied when you decide in advance precisely what you want to achieve, and know exactly how you will measure it (e.g. number of times per week you go to the gym, or number of cigarettes smoked per day). Although the model has proven useful for many people, it does have limitations.

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      Require the ability to set a realistic goal

      For a start, there are no surefire ways of assessing whereabouts in the process you are – you just have to be honest with yourself and use your own judgement. Second, it assumes that you are physically capable of making a change, whereas in fact you might either need to adjust your goals or seek professional help.

      If your goal isn’t realistic, it doesn’t matter whether you follow the stages – you still won’t get results. You need to decide for yourself whether your aims are reasonable.[6]

      Difficult to judge your progress

      The model also assumes that you are able to objectively measure your own successes and failures, which may not always be the case.[7] For instance, let’s suppose that you are trying to get into the habit of counting calories as part of your weight-loss efforts. However, even though you may think that you are recording your intake properly, you might be over or under-estimating.

      Research shows that most people think they are getting enough exercise and eating well, but in actual fact aren’t as healthy as they believe. The model doesn’t take this possibility into account, meaning that you could believe yourself to be in the Action stage yet aren’t seeing results. Therefore, if you are serious about making changes, it may be best to get some expert advice so that you can be sure the changes you are making really will make a positive difference.

      Conclusion

      The Stages Of Change Model can be a wonderful way to understand change in both yourself and others.

      While there’re some limitations in it, the Stages of Change Model helps to visualize how you go through changes so you know what to expect when you’re trying to change a habit or make some great changes in life.

      Start by identifying one of your bad habits. Where are you in the process? What could you do next to move forwards?

      Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

      Reference

      [1]Psych Central: Stages Of Change
      [2]Boston University School Of Public Health: The Transtheoretical Model (Stages Of Change)
      [3]Empowering Change: Stages of Change
      [4]Boston University School Of Public Health: The Transtheoretical Model (Stages Of Change)
      [5]Psychology Today: 5 Steps To Changing Any Behavior
      [6]The Transtheoretical Model: Limitations Of The Transtheoretical Model
      [7]Health Education Research: Transtheoretical Model & Stages Of Change: A Critique

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