January 2019 Newsletter

Couples Corner

Did you make a new years resolution to improve your relationship? If so, how will you know if you need a professional counselor to help you achieve that goal? The average couple waits six years to seek professional counseling, and sometimes that is too late. The folks at suggest these issues are a counseling must:

One of you is very insecure, clingy, or jealous
You’re both moody with each other most of the time
One or both of you can’t discuss feelings with the other
Discussions always turn into rows
One or the other of you is unhappy much of the time
You’ve stopped having sex

If any of these, or other issues, apply to you and you’re wondering if you can afford marriage counseling, I am a firm believer in that sometimes we can’t afford NOT to do something. In an article, Willard F. Hartley, Jr., author of 5 Steps to Romantic Love provides this perspective on marriage counseling:

“To help put the cost of marriage counseling in perspective, there’s nothing you can buy for $10,000 that will give you the same quality of life that a healthy marriage provides. If you and your spouse love each other and meet each other’s important emotional needs, you’ll be able to do without many other things and still be happier in the end. Besides, I’ve found that people seem to earn more and save more after their marital problems are solved. The money you spend to resolve your marital problems is money well spent.”

To read the full article, click here.

Individual Corner

The beginning of a new year is a great time to take stock in who you spend time with. Am I putting more into this relationship than the other person? What do I need in a friendship? Am I appreciated? Are people in my life toxic to me?

In her article in Psychology Today, Abigail Brenner, MD says that toxic people are manipulative and use people to get what they want. She goes on to list seven other common traits of toxic people. Some of these are being judgmental and critical of you. They will also lie. The next trait is to take no responsibility for their own feelings. They will defend themselves and also project their feelings onto you. Do not expect the toxic individual to apologize for anything. Why apologize when you do nothing wrong? It is always someone else's fault. In fact, they will play the victim card to get sympathy from you or others.

Dr. Brenner lists four other traits in her article. She describes being in a friendship with a toxic person as draining, full of created drama. She also says that if you feel badly about yourself due to a relationship, it is time to examine that same relationship.

To read the full article, click here.

Family Corner

Spanking a child has been controversial for the past few decades, however, it was common place and encouraged in the decades before. Elizabeth Gershoff and coauthor Andrew Grayson-Kaylor wrote an article about a 50-year research project at the University of Texas on spanking. This research included 160,000 children over 50 years. Elizabeth states spanking was what most people would classify as spanking, not abusive behavior. However, spanking and abuse were associated with the same detrimental child outcomes, just in lesser degree. It also showed that the more children were spanked, the more likely they were to exhibit abusive behaviors. 

To read more, click here.

Infertility Corner

Western vs. Eastern approaches to medicine have been debated. Instead of this either/or mentality, many people facing infertility are taking a both/and approach. They are combining the best of both worlds by adding mind/body methods to their treatment plan. According to Christo Zouves, MD and Suzanne Duffy in “The Mind/Body Connection: Its Role in Fertility and IVF,” mind and body medicine combines modern scientific medicine with psychology, nutrition, exercise, and stress management. Research has shown that women experiencing infertility have higher levels of physical and psychological symptoms, which could include but are not limited to: insomnia, headaches, back pain, fatigue, anxiety, and depression. These symptoms may affect the ability to implant successfully through abnormalities detectable in the immune system. Mind and body techniques are aimed at helping to reduce stress and promote positive attitudes.

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 New Year 2019

The beginning of a new year allows for possibilities. What are your hopes, dreams, plans, and goals for 2019? Did you make any new years resolutions for 2019? What is your plan to be successful? To help increase your success rate, experts suggest you set realistic goals that have short-term intermediate goals that allow you to measure your success. I am a fan of the experts’ recommendation of rewarding yourself for progress. That will set you up for success to keep the momentum goings so you will reach your goals this year.

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

Can it really be a new year already?  2019 is here! Many people make resolutions only to keep them a week or two. This could be because they are unrealistic goals. It is better to set goals that are easily attainable, with time limits. For example, it is much easier to think about losing 1/2 pound a week than 25 pounds this year. It also is not realistic to decide to lose 100 pounds in six months. When goals are not attainable, then it sets us up to fail. That tends to make us not want to set any goals for ourselves at all. Another thing, remember they are goals, and not set in stone. Goals can be changed if you see you have not been realistic. Good luck and happy New Year!

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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