February 2019 Newsletter

Couples Corner

 Dr. John Gottman has studied relationships for over four decades. Through this research, he found a pattern in those couples who did not make it. They all had one thing in common - contempt. Gottman Institute expert Mick McNulty, PhD, LCSW breaks this down into why contempt is so detrimental to a relationship, how to spot it in your partner and yourself, and how to stop it.

He states all relationships have ongoing problems that resurface and it is how they are handled that can make or break a couple. Partners who are headed toward divorce become angry and use criticism, contempt, stonewalling, and defensiveness - otherwise known as the Four Horsemen. He states when this happens, hormones are released and physical symptoms occur that are not conducive to effective communication. He also states that as long as the couple is keeping up dialogue, they haven't given up. According to McNulty, relationships die by ice, rather than fire. In other words, when couples stop trying to talk and give up, they usually head to divorce.

He lists five things couples can do to handle conflict better. One is to give expectations a reality check. Don't expect too much from each other. Also, remind yourself that your partner has different opinions and needs than you. It is okay to not agree on everything. Another on the list is to listen more deeply to your partner's point of view rather than feeling anger.

  To read the full article, click here.

Individual Corner

You may have heard of CBT, or Cognitive Behavior Therapy, but what is it exactly? Ben Martin, PsyD of PsychCentral defines CBT as “a short-term, goal-oriented psychotherapy treatment that takes a hands-on, practical approach to problem-solving. Its goal is to change patterns of thinking or behavior that are behind people’s difficulties, and so change the way they feel. It is used to help treat a wide range of issues in a person’s life, from sleeping difficulties or relationship problems, to drug and alcohol abuse or anxiety and depression. CBT works by changing people’s attitudes and their behavior by focusing on the thoughts, images, beliefs and attitudes that are held (a person’s cognitive processes) and how these processes relate to the way a person behaves, as a way of dealing with emotional problems.”
Simply stated, it is not what happens in life, but what you think of what happens that causes how you feel. If you believe you may fall into faulty thinking patterns, call for an appointment to see how CBT can help.

To read the full article and learn more about cognitive therapy, click here.

Family Corner

Bullying has been around for as long as there have been people. Now, there is a newer medium for bullying - social media and the internet. In her article on LIFamilies, Rachel Derry gives some suggestions on what to do if your teen is being cyber bullied. 

First, she says to make sure your teen knows it is okay to come to you with his or her issues. Build on the relationship so the teen will feel comfortable bringing issues to you. She also suggests looking into methods of monitoring and blocking messages. She says not to take social media away, because that would only make the teen feel punished for coming to you with the truth.

Going to the school administration without consulting the teen is another way to drive a wedge between you and your teen. Consult with your teen first and discuss possible consequences and benefits of doing so. Help the teen see that it is not personal, but a deeper issue on the part of the bully. Help empower him/her by making it a cause.

To read more, click here.

Infertility Corner

Going through infertility treatment can put a strain on your self-esteem, your budget, and your marriage. This month’s article, “‘Emotional trauma’: New therapy for couples undergoing fertility treatments targets relationship strife” comes from Canada, but it is also true here in the United States that individuals and couples going through infertility treatment can benefit from counseling. Unfortunately, infertility journeys often include stress, anxiety, depression, guilt, feeling as if your body has betrayed you, and questioning your relationship. If you are wondering if counseling may help you, call me for a free 20-minute consultation.

To read the full article, click here.

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.

Happy February

February brings us relief from the recent bitter cold, Groundhog Day, Lincoln's Birthday, Valentine's Day, Presidents' Day, and National Marriage Week USA.

National Marriage Week USA is a national campaign to help marriage and is held every February 7-14, the week leading up to Valentine's Day. To read the research showing why marriage matters, visit their website here.

If you need assistance in applying any of the information from the newsletter to your personal experience, please call for an appointment today.

All best,
Stephani Cave, LCPC

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

Stephani Cave, MA, LCPC, NCC is a Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor and National Certified Counselor.

Stephani works with adults utilizing individual and couples counseling. Her specialties are relationships, premarital counseling, infertility/reproductive issues, depression, anxiety, self-esteem, assertiveness, grief/loss, and decision-making. Stephani is trained on Level Two of Gottman Method Couples Therapy and is a certified facilitator and seminar director for the Prepare-Enrich program.

Stephani is accepting new clients at both the Springfield and Jacksonville locations. She is in Springfield Mondays, Tuesdays, and Wednesdays, with office hours in Jacksonville on Thursdays. Stephani accepts Aetna, BCBS PPO, Cigna, Health Alliance PPO, HealthLink, Magellan, and TriCare insurance, in addition to self-pay clients.

Donna Givens, RN, LCPC

Donna's Corner

Ah, February! The month we think of love. Well, Valentine's Day is not a day many think of fondly. One of the problems is that we tend to romanticize and expect too much of the day. It is often a disappointment for people, and a day of sadness when one is alone. Like anything, try not to expect too much from the day. If you do not have a partner, pamper yourself, give yourself a present. Also, remember those who are alone and give them a card or a kind word on Valentine's Day.

Hello everyone! I am so happy to be joining ConnectEdPAIRS as an independent provider! I look forward to working with you. My hours in Springfield are Thursday from 2:30 pm to 8:00 pm and Friday from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm. Other appointments can be arranged if needed. I currently work in Jacksonville on a flexible schedule Monday-Wednesday.  I now am also seeing clients in my new Beardstown office, also on a flexible schedule.

Donna Givens is a Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor who has worked in the mental health field for over 35 years. She started as a Registered Nurse 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, families, and groups. Her specialties are behavior problems, mood disorders, grief, and changing behaviors. Donna also provides non-DUI-related substance abuse counseling.

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

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