Coronavirus & Career: How We Make This Work — Advice From a Career Coach

Coronavirus & Career: How We Make This Work — Advice From a Career Coach

Coronavirus & Career: How We Make This Work — Advice From a Career Coach

Job Loss? Worried About Your Career? Working From Home? 

ADVICE FROM A CAREER COACH | In addition to everything else in your life being upended by the coronavirus pandemic, you probably have a slew of new “coronavirus career anxieties” in addition to the usual coronavirus anxiety that’s buzzing inside everyone right now.

Many people are very worried about their career future right now. Many jobs have been lost to coronavirus, and with the threat of recession, there may be more layoffs to come. (Read: Coping With a Layoff) For those among us lucky enough to have stable employment, we now figure out how to maintain our professionalism via online video meetings, work from home while balancing childcare, homeschooling and more.

In times like these it’s absolutely normal to be worried about work, and help is here.

Advice From a Career Coach

I’ve reached out to two of my colleagues here at Growing Self: Therapist and career coach Markie Keelan, M.A., LPC, and resume writer and interview coach extraordinaire Allison Aranda. 

Markie and Allison have been gracious enough to share their career advice around:

  • What to do if you lost your job
  • How to get a bridge job right now if you need one
  • How to use this time to develop yourself professionally and make long term career plans
  • How to protect your long-term career goals from coronavirus, if they’re getting derailed right now
  • Managing anxiety about your career
  • Best practices when working from home for online video meetings
  • Balancing work and life when you’re working from home
  • And more!

 

Join Markie, Allison and I for some timely coronavirus career advice on this episode of the Love, Happiness and Success Podcast. 

xoxo, 

Dr. Lisa Marie Bobby, Markie Keelan & Allison Aranda

PS: One of the resources we mentioned to help you stay in a good place emotionally during all this is our online coronavirus support group. Here’s the link, if you’re interested.

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Protect Your Career From Coronavirus: Advice From a Career Coach

by Dr. Lisa Marie Bobby | Love, Happiness & Success

Music Credits: Mr. & Mrs. Smith, “Gravy Train”

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Dr. Lisa Marie Bobby is the founder and clinical director of Growing Self Counseling and Coaching. She’s the author of “Exaholics: Breaking Your Addiction to Your Ex Love,” and the host of The Love, Happiness & Success Podcast.

Let’s  Talk

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Real Help, To Move You Forward

 

Everyone experiences challenges, but only some people recognize these moments as opportunities for growth and positive change.

 

 

Working with an expert therapist or life coach can help you understand yourself more deeply, get a fresh perspective, grow as a person, and become empowered to create positive change in yourself, your relationships and your life.

 

 

Start your journey of growth today by scheduling a free consultation.

Couples Communication Strategies For Stressful Times

Couples Communication Strategies For Stressful Times

Couples Communication Strategies For Stressful Times

Communication Skills For Couples Under Stress

As an experienced online marriage counselor and therapist who has been doing Denver marriage counseling for many years, I know that couples communication can feel challenging under the best of circumstances.

Couples Communication Can Be Challenging Anyway

Many couples struggle with effective couples communication that helps each person feel heard, cared for, and understood. Couples always come to the table with different communication styles, attachment styles, and ways of relating that can lead to misunderstandings, and hurt feelings. It’s hard to communicate with a withdrawn partner, and it’s also hard to connect with someone who is emotionally flooded.

All married couples and cohabitating couples face these issues, and need to intentionally learn how to practice positive communication strategies in order to achieve the kind of “love your relationship” experience they want to have.

Couples Communication is Harder When You’re Both Stressed

This is true for all couples under the best of circumstances. As we say around here, “Great relationships don’t just happen — they’re grown!” But as lives, relationships, jobs and families have been upended due to the mental and emotional reality of coronavirus quarantine… these are not the best of circumstances. 

Just the opposite. Couples all over the world are suddenly in a situation where they are together 24/7, and having to reconfigure everything including their daily routines, re-work boundaries, wrangle suddenly ever-present children needing to be homeschooled, re-organize their homes to accommodate seven cases of canned soup, cope with a sudden loss or significant drop in income, and, oh yeah, figure out how to stay physically safe from the invisible threat wafting through the air. (How to Manage Coronavirus Anxiety, right here.)

Others among us are coping with even harder things like a loved one who is on the front lines as a medical professional, first responder, or grocery store worker at risk of contracting coronavirus as they work to serve their communities. Still other families are now grappling with loved ones getting sick, becoming gravely ill, or losing their lives to coronavirus. 

I could feel my shoulders tense up as I just sat here typing the words, and — friends — this is now our shared experience. 

Don’t Let Coronavirus Ruin Your Relationship

Going back to my first point: Good communication can feel hard for couples anyway, but when you’re both grappling with enormous amounts of stress it can make positive communication even harder…. And at a time when you both need it the most. 

Communication can build your relationship up, or it can tear it apart. Today’s podcast is all about helping you turn towards each other right now, and it starts with the way you talk to each other.

Couples Communication That Connects

It’s exactly at times like these that you need to be able to turn towards your partner and feel that they care about you, are listening to you, and are an emotionally safe person for you. It’s vital that you feel like your partner understands you, and is responsive to you — showing you that they love you, in the ways that matter the most. The world may be crazy, but as long as you have the love and support of your number one person, it can all seem more manageable. 

Men and Women Handle Stress Differently

However, here’s the rub: Stress, predictably, makes it harder for any of us to be the compassionate, patient, unconditionally loving person our partner needs us to be. We all cope with stress in different ways. Sometimes it’s along gender lines with men and women handling stress differently, but these differences can lead to emotional mis-matches and a communication gap between couples. This can lead both partners to feel disconnected from each other at the time they need each other the most. 

Communication Tips For Couples Under Stress

To help you improve your communication during this stressful time, I asked my colleague, online marriage counselor and relationship coach Silas Hendrich, M.S., MFT-C to join me on the latest episode of the Love, Happiness and Success Podcast to share his couples counseling communication tips, and some of the communication exercises for couples that he does with his clients. 

Actionable Relationship Advice

Silas was incredibly generous with his relationship advice and his perspective. He is uniquely situated to provide fantastic relationship advice for any couple having communication problems right now, because 1) he’s a man, with great insights into how to understand men and how they deal with stress and 2) Silas is trained in the evidence-based Gottman Method of marriage counseling, which emphasizes couples communication training and positive communication skills for couples.

He discussed:

  • How some people (often men) tend to internalize stress and withdraw
  • How some people (often women) tend to exernalize stress and need to talk
  • How this (predictibly!) creates a communication gap and emotional mis-match
  • How to stop the ensuing pursue / withdraw cycle and start connecting again
  • How couples can understand each other so they can be more compassionate with each other
  • Exercises that couples can do to improve communication
  • How to get on the same page and create agreements and understanding
  • Ways of communicating with your partner in tense moments so that you can grow closer as a couple, instead of creating conflict

 

Communicate To Connect

I was so grateful to Silas for sharing so much really useful information for how to improve your communication when you’re both stressed. Better communication between couples leads to emotional safety and a more secure emotional foundation for both of you, and for your families too. We’re all powerless to change our current harrowing circumstances, but having a safe harbor of support and comfort in your marriage can help you get through this — together. 

I sincerely hope that the excellent, actionable communication tips Silas shared are helpful to both of you right now.

With love, 

Dr. Lisa Marie Bobby, LP, LMFT, BCC & Silas Hendrich, M.S., MFT-C

Listen & Subscribe to the Podcast

Couples Communication Strategies For Stressful Times

by Dr. Lisa Marie Bobby | Love, Happiness & Success

Spread the Love Happiness & Success

Please Rate, Review & Share the Love, Happiness & Success Podcast

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Dr. Lisa Marie Bobby is the founder and clinical director of Growing Self Counseling and Coaching. She’s the author of “Exaholics: Breaking Your Addiction to Your Ex Love,” and the host of The Love, Happiness & Success Podcast.

Let’s  Talk

Real Help For Your Relationship

Lots of couples go through challenging times, but the ones who turn "rough-patches" into "growth moments" can come out the other side stronger and happier than ever before.

 

Working with an expert couples counselor can help you create understanding, empathy and open communication that felt impossible before.

 

Start your journey of growth together by scheduling a free consultation.

Coronavirus Life: Practical Advice To Help You Cope

Coronavirus Life: Practical Advice To Help You Cope

Coronavirus Life: Practical Advice To Help You Cope

Corona Life: How to Cope

Coronavirus anxiety? Struggling with the new reality of “Corona Life?” You’re not alone. I recently polled some of my tribe on Instagram to see how they were doing mentally and emotionally during the Coronavirus crisis we are all experiencing together. I learned that anxiety about Coronavirus is running rampant, and that lots of people are struggling to find ways to manage the stress of their disrupted lives. Kids are out of school, they’re stuck at home, they’re cut off from their social networks, and extremely worried about aging parents and their health and safety — not to mention their future.

This is a lot to deal with. In efforts to help you manage Coronavirus anxiety and cultivate emotional resilience, I am devoting this episode of the Love, Happiness and Success Podcast to addressing your questions about coping with “Coronavirus Life” in order to provide new ideas and direction.

Specifically:

  • “I am freaking out about Coronavirus. How do I stop worrying about getting sick? Or being worried that people I love will get Coronavirus?”
  • “I’m having anxiety about separation during the Coronavirus quarantine, and I am so sad about being cut off from everyone. What do I do?”
  • “What are some of the best self-care strategies for dealing with Coronavirus stress?”
  • “Being cooped up at home with my spouse is taking a toll on my relationship. How do we handle the stress of this situation without damaging our relationship?”
  • “I’m so worried about my financial future thanks to Coronavirus. What do I do?”
  • “Coronavirus has destroyed my life. I can’t deal with the uncertainty of not knowing what is happening.”

I’m answering these listener questions and sharing some special, free resources for my listeners on this episode. I hope this discussion and the resources I’m sharing helps you find new coping skills, and practices that help build a firm foundation of emotional resilience inside yourself right now.

Wishing you all the best,

Dr. Lisa Marie Bobby

Listen & Subscribe to the Podcast

Coronavirus Life: How to Cope

by Dr. Lisa Marie Bobby | Love, Happiness & Success

Music Credits: Lobo Loco, “Sometimes It Rains”

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Please Rate, Review & Share the Love, Happiness & Success Podcast.

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Denver Marriage Counselor Denver Life Coach Denver Therapist

Lisa Marie Bobby, PhD, LMFT, BCC

"Hi, I'm Dr. Lisa Marie Bobby. For over a decade, I've been helping people all over the world create Love, Happiness and Success in their lives through positive, compassionate and effective Marriage Counseling, Therapy and Life Coaching. I'm so pleased to be able to help you, too. There is help for you here, and I'm glad you've found us.

This website is devoted to your wellbeing, and offers loads of free information and actionable advice that you can start using today to create positive change in your life. Browse around to meet our experts, get free advice on our blog, listen to a podcast, or take our "How Healthy is Your Relationship" quiz. Or, if the time is right, you can schedule a free consultation with any of us to talk about your situation -- and, most importantly -- your hopes for your future." -- Dr. Lisa Marie Bobby

We Are Personal Growth Experts

Denver Marriage Counselor Denver Life Coach Denver Therapist

Hunter Tolman, M.S., MFT-C

“Hello, I’m Hunter Tolman and I’m excited to partner with you in your journey towards a happier and more fulfilling life.

My passion is helping people just like you reach their highest potential both individually, and in their most important relationships. 

Whether we work together in couples counseling, family therapy, individual therapy, or life coaching, my focus will be understanding your deepest desires for your marriage, your family, and yourself so that I can help you create your most gratifying life. Our work can help you heal, gain understanding and compassion for yourself and others, and live with intention.” 

Denver Marriage Counselor Denver Life Coach Denver Therapist

Amanda Shaeffer, M.S., MFT-C

“Hi, I’m Amanda. I can help you understand yourself more deeply so that you can become empowered to make positive changes in yourself, and your relationships.

I became a therapist, life coach and marriage counselor after a career as an educator, and I believe I still have the heart of a teacher. My approach emphasizes learning and practicing new skills, so that you're not just talking about change — you're living it.

I'm available to meet with you for therapy, marriage counseling and coaching in Denver, Broomfield, and also online."

Denver Marriage Counselor Denver Life Coach Denver Therapist

Brenda Fahn, M.A., LMFT

“Hi, I’m Brenda. I am a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist and Life Coach with almost twenty years of experience in helping my clients strengthen themselves and their marriages.

I use positive and effective individual counseling, for both adults and teenagers, marriage counselingpremarital counselinglife coaching, and dating coaching. I am here to help you enjoy your relationships with your partner; recover from depression and anxiety be able to live a more fulfilling life and cultivate meaning, joy, and love in your life.” 

Denver Marriage Counselor Denver Life Coach Denver Therapist

Anastacia Sams, M.A., LPC, MFTC

“Hi, I’m Anastacia. I'm a Couples Counselor, Colorado-Licensed Therapist, and Life Coach with years of experience in helping people heal and grow. My approach is holistic, and helps you connect your mind, body and spirit. My compassionate, non-judgmental way of being will help you feel understood, and safe enough to talk about the most vulnerable things.

Whether you're struggling with hard feelings, coping with a breakup, or facing a big life transition, I can help you move confidently and authentically forward into a joyful and satisfying new future. I'm available to meet with you in our Denver Colorado office and our Denver Tech Center office,  as well as through online video."

Fort Collins Career Coach Fort Collins Life Coach Fort Collins Therapist

Lisa Jordan, M.A., LCPC

"Hi, I’m Lisa Jordan, M.A., LPC.  I have an affirming, compassionate approach to helping people not just get through hard times but grow from them. Working with me can give you clarity about the past and a new understanding of yourself in the present, so that you can build a bright future.

I use a blend of thoughtful, insightful counseling and strategic, solution-focused coaching to get you unstuck and moving forward again. I am licensed as a therapist in Illinois, and available to meet with you online."

Fort Collins Career Coach Fort Collins Life Coach Fort Collins Therapist

Silas Hendrich, M.S., MFTC

"I'm Silas, a therapist, life coach and couples counselor with Growing Self. I've had my therapy and coaching clients share that my down-to-earth style and sense of humor help them feel comfortable, and like they can talk about anything with me.

If we work together, I'll help you understand yourself more deeply so that you can heal, grow, and make positive changes. I'm available to meet with you for therapy in Broomfield, Colorado and for online life coaching.

Fort Collins Career Coach Fort Collins Life Coach Fort Collins Therapist

Georgi Chizk, M.S., MFTC

"Hey there! I'm Georgi. I specialize in marriage counseling, premarital counseling and therapy. I have a very warm, gentle approach that helps you feel safe, comfortable and understood. I can help you heal and growth through compassionate, evidence based therapy that helps you cultivate self-esteem and feel good about yourself.

I am available to meet with you for therapy or marriage counseling in Bentonville, Arkansas. If you are a resident of Arkansas, I'm able to meet with you for online therapy or online marriage counseling."

Fort Collins Career Coach Fort Collins Life Coach Fort Collins Therapist

Tomauro Veasley, M.A., MFTC

"I'm Tomauro Veasley, and I'm a therapist, couples counselor and certified life coach who is all about helping you feel good again. I have a positive, action oriented style that emphasizes helping you make real-world changes to get better results in yourself, your life and your relationships. 

I am available for online therapy if you live in Tennessee, but I work with people across the US and internationally as a life coach online."

Covid 19 Anxiety: How to Cope

Covid 19 Anxiety: How to Cope

Covid 19 Anxiety: How to Cope

How to Deal With Coronavirus Anxiety

If you have anxiety about coronavirus, you’re not alone. Many people have been experiencing Covid 19 anxiety, and understandably so. The virus is spreading, things are being canceled, schools and businesses are closing, and these are uncertain times. 

There is so much in the news right now about how to protect your physical health against Coronavirus, but not so much advice for how to protect your mental health from Coronavirus anxiety. And… lots of people need that right now.

In the past week I’ve had so many therapy clients reaching out for online therapy for anxiety, (they wisely want to have their therapy from home right now!), specifically wanting to talk about how to manage anxiety about coronavirus. They’re worried about getting sick, or what will happen if they do get sick, and even their financial future. For some, it’s all they can think about. And it’s scary.

How to Manage Anxiety About Coronavirus

On this episode of the Love, Happiness and Success Podcast I’m sharing practical strategies for how to reduce Corona anxiety and replace it with activating, helpful ways of thinking so that you can stay in a good place mentally and emotionally during this challenging time. Specifically:

– How to shift out of anxiety and into a proactive stance, mentally.

– How to increase your emotional resilience.

– How to maintain supportive emotional connections in the age of “social distancing” 

– And more.

I hope these strategies help you reduce your anxiety about Coronavirus, and resource you to stay strong and resilient.

Wishing you love, happiness, success and health,

Dr. Lisa Marie Bobby

Listen & Subscribe to the Podcast

How to Deal With Covid 19 Anxiety

by Dr. Lisa Marie Bobby | Love, Happiness & Success

Spread the Love Happiness & Success

Please Rate, Review & Share the Love, Happiness & Success Podcast.

iTunes

Stitcher

Google Play

Denver Marriage Counselor Denver Life Coach Denver Therapist

Lisa Marie Bobby, PhD, LMFT, BCC

"Hi, I'm Dr. Lisa Marie Bobby. For over a decade, I've been helping people all over the world create Love, Happiness and Success in their lives through positive, compassionate and effective Marriage Counseling, Therapy and Life Coaching. I'm so pleased to be able to help you, too. There is help for you here, and I'm glad you've found us.

This website is devoted to your wellbeing, and offers loads of free information and actionable advice that you can start using today to create positive change in your life. Browse around to meet our experts, get free advice on our blog, listen to a podcast, or take our "How Healthy is Your Relationship" quiz. Or, if the time is right, you can schedule a free consultation with any of us to talk about your situation -- and, most importantly -- your hopes for your future." -- Dr. Lisa Marie Bobby

We Are Personal Growth Experts

Denver Marriage Counselor Denver Life Coach Denver Therapist

Hunter Tolman, M.S., MFT-C

“Hello, I’m Hunter Tolman and I’m excited to partner with you in your journey towards a happier and more fulfilling life.

My passion is helping people just like you reach their highest potential both individually, and in their most important relationships. 

Whether we work together in couples counseling, family therapy, individual therapy, or life coaching, my focus will be understanding your deepest desires for your marriage, your family, and yourself so that I can help you create your most gratifying life. Our work can help you heal, gain understanding and compassion for yourself and others, and live with intention.” 

Denver Marriage Counselor Denver Life Coach Denver Therapist

Amanda Shaeffer, M.S., MFT-C

“Hi, I’m Amanda. I can help you understand yourself more deeply so that you can become empowered to make positive changes in yourself, and your relationships.

I became a therapist, life coach and marriage counselor after a career as an educator, and I believe I still have the heart of a teacher. My approach emphasizes learning and practicing new skills, so that you're not just talking about change — you're living it.

I'm available to meet with you for therapy, marriage counseling and coaching in Denver, Broomfield, and also online."

Denver Marriage Counselor Denver Life Coach Denver Therapist

Brenda Fahn, M.A., LMFT

“Hi, I’m Brenda. I am a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist and Life Coach with almost twenty years of experience in helping my clients strengthen themselves and their marriages.

I use positive and effective individual counseling, for both adults and teenagers, marriage counselingpremarital counselinglife coaching, and dating coaching. I am here to help you enjoy your relationships with your partner; recover from depression and anxiety be able to live a more fulfilling life and cultivate meaning, joy, and love in your life.” 

Denver Marriage Counselor Denver Life Coach Denver Therapist

Anastacia Sams, M.A., LPC, MFTC

“Hi, I’m Anastacia. I'm a Couples Counselor, Colorado-Licensed Therapist, and Life Coach with years of experience in helping people heal and grow. My approach is holistic, and helps you connect your mind, body and spirit. My compassionate, non-judgmental way of being will help you feel understood, and safe enough to talk about the most vulnerable things.

Whether you're struggling with hard feelings, coping with a breakup, or facing a big life transition, I can help you move confidently and authentically forward into a joyful and satisfying new future. I'm available to meet with you in our Denver Colorado office and our Denver Tech Center office,  as well as through online video."

Fort Collins Career Coach Fort Collins Life Coach Fort Collins Therapist

Lisa Jordan, M.A., LCPC

"Hi, I’m Lisa Jordan, M.A., LPC.  I have an affirming, compassionate approach to helping people not just get through hard times but grow from them. Working with me can give you clarity about the past and a new understanding of yourself in the present, so that you can build a bright future.

I use a blend of thoughtful, insightful counseling and strategic, solution-focused coaching to get you unstuck and moving forward again. I am licensed as a therapist in Illinois, and available to meet with you online."

Fort Collins Career Coach Fort Collins Life Coach Fort Collins Therapist

Silas Hendrich, M.S., MFTC

"I'm Silas, a therapist, life coach and couples counselor with Growing Self. I've had my therapy and coaching clients share that my down-to-earth style and sense of humor help them feel comfortable, and like they can talk about anything with me.

If we work together, I'll help you understand yourself more deeply so that you can heal, grow, and make positive changes. I'm available to meet with you for therapy in Broomfield, Colorado and for online life coaching.

Fort Collins Career Coach Fort Collins Life Coach Fort Collins Therapist

Georgi Chizk, M.S., MFTC

"Hey there! I'm Georgi. I specialize in marriage counseling, premarital counseling and therapy. I have a very warm, gentle approach that helps you feel safe, comfortable and understood. I can help you heal and growth through compassionate, evidence based therapy that helps you cultivate self-esteem and feel good about yourself.

I am available to meet with you for therapy or marriage counseling in Bentonville, Arkansas. If you are a resident of Arkansas, I'm able to meet with you for online therapy or online marriage counseling."

Fort Collins Career Coach Fort Collins Life Coach Fort Collins Therapist

Tomauro Veasley, M.A., MFTC

"I'm Tomauro Veasley, and I'm a therapist, couples counselor and certified life coach who is all about helping you feel good again. I have a positive, action oriented style that emphasizes helping you make real-world changes to get better results in yourself, your life and your relationships. 

I am available for online therapy if you live in Tennessee, but I work with people across the US and internationally as a life coach online."

How to Stop Your Anxiety, Right Now.

How to Stop Your Anxiety, Right Now.

Ahhh Anxiety. The sleepless nights. The pit in your stomach. The worries, ever swirling. Anxiety is the experience of being traumatized by bad things happening… before they actually happen. Not fun, and yet so common. Many of our Denver therapy clients and online anxiety therapy clients struggle with this same thing, before they use how to learn evidence-based anxiety management techniques to turn things around.

In efforts to help you manage the very real and understandable anxiety about Coronavirus that so many of us are experiencing, I’m re-posting this episode of the Love, Happiness and Success Podcast. In it, I’m going to teach you how to stop mentally time traveling into DOOM, and restore your sense of inner peace through evidence-based therapy and mindfulness techniques.

First, I’ll help you understand what anxiety is, and the mind-body connection that keeps you trapped in it’s clutches. Then, I’ll be teaching you my four favorite techniques for stopping it. They’re all mindfulness based, and in my experience very effective. They work for my clients, and they work for me. I have every confidence that they’ll help you, too.

For much, much more on this subject, be sure to check out my online Happiness Class which is chock-full of even more practical cognitive, behavioral and mindfulness-based strategies to help you feel good again: Mind, body and soul.

 

How to Stop Anxiety: Listen Now

(Music Credits: “Anxiety Attack,” by Jeffrey Lewis.)

Key Points:

Premarital Counseling Questions… and Answers

Premarital Counseling Questions… and Answers

Premarital Counseling Questions… and Answers

Relationship Advice From a Premarital Counselor

All pre-marital couples have the best of intentions. People get married because they love each other, and hope (and intend!) to have a happy, healthy marriage that lasts a lifetime. They move forward, happily expecting all good things in their new life together and then… have the same experience that ALL couples have, which is that there are things to work through. Big things. Things that they didn’t always anticipate. And HOW they handle those big things can make a big difference in the trajectory of their marriage.

Denver Premarital Counseling (and Premarital Counseling Online) is Proactive and Positive

Hear this: All couples have things to work through. That part is inevitable. But some couples put time and energy into learning how to handle those things well. They develop their communication skills, their emotional intelligence skills, and learn how to care for each other in a way that works. So, they work through the inevitable issues, and then move on — stronger because of having worked though things. They have not just figured out an issue, they’ve moved into a new level of relationship for having done so. Evidence-based premarital counseling in Denver, and online premarital counseling teaches couples the skills they need to do this so that they can handle these moments successfully.

How To (Accidentally) Ruin a Marriage

Other couples, who have exactly the same, inevitable relationship issues that every couple has do not put time and energy into figuring out how to handle them. They wing it. They use whatever communication styles and ways of relating to people that they absorbed unconsciously from their families of origin, or past relationships — for better, or for worse. As I’ve discussed in other podcasts, there are lots of effective ways to destroy a relationship. But the greatest of these may be overconfidence that you already know all there is to know about how to “do” relationships.

Marriage that fail do so because the couple is doing what most people do: simply “reacting” to their partner (rather than utilizing constructive, effective relationship skills that they intentionally learned and practice regularly). As a result… they don’t get great results. Important conversations turn into unproductive arguments. Unresolved problems fester into resentment and avoidance. Emotional safety and trust erode. Toxic ways of relating and communicating can easily take over their interactions. Over time, even the strongest, most compatible couples will — due to not knowing how to handle normal relationship issues — start to wonder if they’re even compatible.

The most distressed, least effective couples do not actively learn how to “do” relationships or get help for their relationship until they are on the brink of divorce. They’ve bought into the false idea that “marriage counseling is only for when it’s really bad,” and as a result, by the time they do begrudgingly get help for their relationship it is actually too late. It’s so sad.

Relationships are just like anything else: You have to maintain them and put thoughtful, effective energy into them in order for them to grow and thrive. But this is much more than “spending time together” or “going on a date night.” Successful relationships require the development of relationship skills: Communication skills, emotional intelligence skills, behavioral adjustments, and more. We say all the time that great relationships don’t “just happen.”  They’re grown, very deliberately, by learning how to have a great relationship.

Myths About Premarital Counseling

One of the biggest fallacies that has sunk many, many marriages (and that prevents some couples from seeking premarital counseling) is the myth that “Love is enough.” Believing that loving each other is the same thing as having and using specific relationship skills is simply not true. This idea is also destructive. Because when (not if, but when) couples experience the fact that just winging it and reacting to each other creates problems, they begin to doubt the relationship itself. It makes sense, in a way: If love “should” be enough, and it’s not enough in this relationship…. then maybe it’s the wrong relationship.

Not true! The only difference between happy, successful couples and those who ultimately separate is not a matter of love, or fundamental compatibility in a relationship. Successful couples simply invest in learning how to be good partners for each other, and then use those skills very intentionally.

Another (often unspoken) myth about premarital counseling is this irrational fear that premarital counseling might bring things to the surface that will destabilize the relationship, or make people realize they’re not compatible after all. I know that sounds silly when you say it out loud, but it’s true. That fear leads people to avoid premarital counseling. The irony, of course, is that research clearly and consistently shows that the number one most important relationship skills is talking, constructively, about important topics rather than minimizing them.

Oh, the irony: When couples fear that premarital counseling will cause problems, they inadvertently create the very circumstance that will actually damage their relationship long term — apathy and avoidance.

Questions About Premarital Counseling?

If your goal is to have a strong, successful marriage, high-quality premarital counseling is essential. Research shows that high-quality premarital counseling has a significant impact on relationship satisfaction and marriage longevity. Premarital counseling matters. However, some couples avoid premarital counseling. Even more couples do “premarital counseling” (emphasis on my pretend air-quotes) that is extremely superficial, and not skills-based. When I say “high quality” premarital counseling, I’m referring to premarital counseling approaches that are evidence based and founded on scientifically sound approaches to marriage counseling and couples therapy, such as the Gottman Method and Emotionally Focused Couples Therapy. These approaches have been shown by research to address the aspects of a relationship that really matter, long-term.

Proactive, smart couples are asking questions about marriage counseling and doing the research to make sure that their experience in premarital counseling is meaningful and effective. They’re asking questions like, “What happens in premarital counseling? What do you talk about in premarital counseling? Do you need a licensed marriage counselor for good premarital counseling? What are some premarital counseling questions we’ll be asked to talk through? What are some of the specific relationship skills you learn in premarital counseling? How does premarital counseling work? Can you do a premarital counseling class? How long does premarital counseling take? Do we need a premarital assessment? Does premarital counseling make couples break up? How much does premarital counseling cost? Can we do premarital counseling online? Why is evidence-based, non-religious premarital counseling often more effective than the “premarital counseling” and important to do in addition to the premarital counseling we get through our religious institution? Why is premarital counseling so important? What do experienced premarital counselors teach, that we might not already know?”

SO many good, thoughtful questions to ask about premarital counseling!

Your Premarital Counseling Questions, Answered

In order to understand what premarital counseling really is, and how premarital counseling works, I’ve invited two of the amazing premarital counselors on the Growing Self team to join me on the latest episode of the Love, Happiness and Success Podcast.

My colleagues Brenda Fahn, M.A., LMFT and Rachel Harder, M.A., LPC, MFT-C are both marriage counselors and experienced premarital counselors, and who both teach our Lifetime of Love premarital class. (Brenda teaches our premarital class in Broomfield, CO, and Rachel teaches our premarital class in Denver, CO). In addition to the class, both Rachel and Brenda offer private premarital counseling in Denver, DTC, and Broomfield, and they also offer premarital counseling online.

Brenda and Rachel offer incredible insight into what happens in premarital counseling, and share specific skills and tips that they teach their premarital clients. If you’re getting married soon, we hope you listen to find out what you learn in premarital counseling and why it’s so important.

Wishing you all the best,

Lisa Marie Bobby, PhD, LMFT, Brenda Fahn, M.A., LMFT, and Rachel Harder, M.A., LPC, MFT-C

Ps: One of the resources we discussed in this episode is the free, comprehensive premarital assessment that we often give to premarital couples. This is a 200+ question premarital assessment that explores so many different areas of your relationship, in order to identify your relationship’s strengths and growth opportunities.

While that particular assessment is only available for our premarital counseling couples, we do have a “lite” version of this assessment available for you to take. It’s our “How Healthy Is Your Relationship” Quiz. Access our free relationship quiz right here! — LMB

 

 

 

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Relationship Advice From a Premarital Counselor

by Dr. Lisa Marie Bobby | Love, Happiness & Success

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Dr. Lisa Marie Bobby is the founder and clinical director of Growing Self Counseling and Coaching. She’s the author of “Exaholics: Breaking Your Addiction to Your Ex Love,” and the host of The Love, Happiness & Success Podcast.

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