August 2018 Newsletter





Couples Corner

In her article "3 Keys to Marital Counseling Success," Dr. Chantal Gagnon, PhD, LMHC, says that many people have the mistaken notion that marriage counseling does not work and goes on to share what factors can make marriage counseling successful. Counselors can offer couples many tools that can help improve their relationships including: conflict resolution skills, communication and problem solving skills, empathy, and teaching couples how to get their needs met.

Part of what makes marriage counseling successful is understanding that the marriage counselor's job is not to fix your marriage, but rather to teach you how to fix your own marriage. Dr. Gagnon states that the reasons some couples are not successful with counseling are the same reasons they are not successful in marriage. She offers these tips to be successful in counseling and in marriage: don't throw in the towel, focus on your own growth, and have realistic expectations. To read the entire article click here.

Announcement Corner

ConnectEdPAIRS is growing! We are pleased to welcome Donna Givens, RN, LCPC to our staff.

 Donna Givens is a Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor who has worked in the mental health field for over 35 years. She started as an RN on an inpatient psychiatric unit and did that for almost fifteen years. She worked in the substance abuse field for five years. She also worked in community mental health for close to fifteen years. She was a group facilitator in a partial hospitalization program as well. Donna works with children, adolescents, and adults. She works with individuals, couples, and groups. Her specialties are behavior problems, mood disorders, grief, and changing behaviors. 

Donna is accepting new clients at both the Springfield and Jacksonville locations. She accepts Cigna insurance and self-pay clients.



Family Corner

  If you're a parent, the following scenario probably sounds familiar: you ask your child how his day was and all you get in return is a one-word answer. If you're struggling to have meaningful conversation with your children, you might try the idea of using back-and-forth questions with your children.

Dr. Thomas Lickona, PhD writes that he uses this method with his own child beginning by asking his son a question and then giving his son the opportunity to ask him a question. Dr. Lickona tries to focus on asking open-ended questions that bring out thoughts, feelings, and experiences and goes back-and-forth with his son for a few rounds whenever they have a few minutes together such as during a drive in the car.

In his article "Kids Glued to Screens? Teach Them the Art of Conversation," Dr. Lickona shares how he uses back-and-forth questions in his own family and discusses how to introduce the idea of back-and-forth questions to your children. To read the article and to see a list of conversation-starting questions click here.



Individual Corner

Many studies have shown that expressing gratitude is beneficial to our physical and mental health. Expressing gratitude has been shown to improve sleep and mood, lessen anxiety and depression, and people who express their gratitude also have greater life satisfaction. Keeping a gratitude journal is a common practice that many people use to foster gratitude in their lives. However, it is not a practice that appeals to everyone.

If you're interested in gratitude, but keeping a journal isn't a good fit, you can try some of the alternatives that Linda Wasmer Andrews identifies in her article "5 Simple Alternatives to Keeping a Gratitude Diary." One of her suggestions is to start your day off gratefully by thinking about the things you are grateful for before you get out of bed. To read the rest of the alternatives, click here.



Infertility Corner

As you struggle with sorting out your feelings about infertility, your well-meaning family and friends may unintentionally say or do something less than helpful. Ferre Institute adapted material from Jody Earle to create the brochure, "Infertility: How Others Can Help."  I hope you find the brochure helpful to share with family and friends to explain your needs during this difficult journey. 

For assistance with your family building journey, call Stephani for an appointment at 217-972-4851

Are you having difficulty getting pregnant? Are you wondering if you might be experiencing infertility? This is the ConnectEdPAIRS corner for infertility. Check here monthly for infertility education and support. Stephani Cave, LCPC specializes in infertility counseling and holds Professional Memberships in the Mental Health Professionals Group of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM ) and RESOLVE: The National Infertility Association. Both of these organizations' websites are sources of education and support as well.

Reading Corner

I recently read the book, I’d Like You More if You Were More Like Me: Getting Real about Getting Close by John Ortberg. Pastor Ortberg discusses how to build intimacy in all your relationships – those with your spouse, children, family, friends, and especially God. He uses humor, personal experience, research findings, and scripture to guide you in deepening your relationships. This book will help you learn how to recognize and turn toward bids for connection, how to overcome your fear of intimacy, how to avoid common relationship obstacles, and how to make God an active part of your everyday life.



Happy August!
We are pleased to welcome Donna Givens, RN, LCPC to our staff! We hope you enjoy the remaining days of summer, the state fair, relaxing days by the pool, and any vacations you may have planned this month before school starts again. The individual article link includes a wonderful 5-10 minute gratitude meditation for daily use. The back-and-forth questions in the family article can also be used between couples. We hope you find these tools helpful.

Announcement:  Prior editions of the ConnectEdPAIRS newsletter are now available on the Newsletter Archives tab on our website. Check it out here.

Prior editions of the ConnectEdPAIRS newsletter are now available on the Newsletter Archives tab on our website. Check it out here.

Is there a topic you would like featured in an upcoming newsletter? If so, please contact us and let us know. As always, you can call us for assistance in applying any of the information from the newsletter to your personal experience.

All best,
Stephani Cave, LCPC








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