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Archive for February, 2014

New Relationship Issues: Past Relationship Sharing

Monday, February 17th, 2014

When is sharing too much information about past relationships a problem? As a therapist I find it hard to tell couples to ignore the past when the past is evident in so much of their daily lives. While I would agree that “ex talk” may not be appropriate for first, second, or even third dates, it is clear that sharing experiences and lessons learned is an easy way to create intimacy. Since intimacy is the goal of a healthy relationship, sharing can be enhanced by avoiding these two common mistakes: over-sharing and negativity.

Before blurting out how your ex cheated and broke your heart, think about how that information may affect your companion. Is this conversation going to define the date? Will the information show that you are capable of learning from the past and setting expectations for future relationships? Focus on why the relationship ended and what it taught you. As your relationship matures you can share more.

Communication is not only about what is said but also how it is said. If you are using these precious moments to bash an ex and discuss all of his or her flaws, it may appear that you aren’t really over that relationship. If your ex cheated, say that. No need to tell how you found out, what you did, and if/when or how you sought revenge. If you use that moment to discuss the confidence you have gained in yourself and what you need from a partner you will create a space for dialog, expectations, and your possible future together.

Take these possibly uncomfortable moments and turn them into ways to advertise your maturity and confidence along with your expectations for your future partner. By choosing to highlight your strengths rather than your ex’s flaws your new suitor gets to know you and not your “horrible ex.”

Eboni Harris, MA, LPC Intern, LMFT Associate

Bullying: What Parents Can Do

Thursday, February 6th, 2014

Bullying has changed. It is not the same type of bullying when we, adults, were in school. Remember when we were in school? You may have seen or been exposed to bullying or seen someone bullied. It was horrible, I am sure. Children can say and do horrible things that will stay with a bullying victim for a lifetime. Today it has changed. Today, children are not only bullied at school, face to face, but also through social media. If you see a dramatic change in behavior such as refusing to go to school, low grades, a lack of self-confidence or self worth, then your child my be a victim of bullying. Social Media has become a tool for bullies to use. If you discover that your child is threatened with physical aggression, threatened or called names repeatedly, then your child is being bullied. If a group of children are pressuring your child to make unwanted choices, then your child is being bullied.Bully’s make threats on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or simply through text messaging. What’s worse is that your child will be extremely reluctant to tell you what is happening. A child’s social life means everything to them. They want to be accepted by their peers and deeply care about what their friends and enemies think of them.

There is something you can do. Spend time with your children on a weekly basis. Take them out to dinner or for coffee and talk about their day and share your day with them too. Find something your child loves to do and do it with them. Contact your child’s school and share your concerns over possible bullying. Most schools have extensive procedures to investigate and stop bullying. Finally, monitor your child’s social media through their electronic devices. If bullying is happening, contact your phone company and have the alleged bully blocked from your child’s accounts. Remember, your child will not share this info with you. They will want to solve this themselves. Help them work through this.

by Jason Davis, LPC
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