July 2019 Newsletter

Couples Corner

10 Relationship Goals That Will Make Your Love Stronger

Whether your relationship is new or established, routine maintenance including goal-setting and checking in are important. A happy relationship is a well-maintained relationship. Intentionality is the key to long-term relationship success. Here are some suggested goals to get you started.

1. Make sure to communicate.
2. Understand each other.
3. Argue effectively.
4. Make your relationship a priority.
5. Make time for yourself.
6. Stay intimate.
7. Find time for fun. 8. Grow together. 9. Keep dating each other. 10. Be there for one another.

  To learn more, click here.

Individual Corner

In the summer, it is even harder to get the sleep we need. It's so easy to stay outside late and go inside to realize we still have the nighttime routine. Then, before we know it, we're getting to bed later than we intended.  Research has shown that long-term lack of sleep can mimic aging and increase the severity of  hypertension, diabetes, and obesity. A new research study shows that it can even lower the pain threshold. Actually, after only one night of sleep deprivation, our pain threshold can lower 15%! In the May issue of Psychology Today, Holly Pezver writes in her ariticle, The Science of Sleep, that we have the ability to recover from the effects of poor sleep. We have to be wiling to recognize what is sabatoging our sleep and to be willing to adapt strategies that have been proven in the nation's leading sleep labs.

1. First, she states to learn the basics. Part of this is to realize that going to sleep as soon as your head hits the pillow means you are sleep deprived. It should take 10-20 minutes to fall asleep. 

2. Our natual sleep patterns are based on lightness, darkness, and the release of melatonin. By controlling the first two, the third should fall into place. 

3. Focus on weekly, not nightly sleep. For example, if your normal sleep pattern is 7 hours a night, you need 49 hours a week. If you are lacking one night, you can take a short nap, or get more sleep the next night. 

4. Get age appropriate rest. 

5. Put insomnia to rest. Remember that sort term insomnia is normal. Don't nap or go to bed earlier and you will cycle back into your normal sleep.

6. People like you when you're rested. You are more able to recognize other's intentions when you get enough sleep.

7. Power up a nap. The ideal nap lasts from 15 to 20 minutes and takes place after lunch, but before three o'clock.

8. Reach for your dreams. Sleep deprivation also means dream deprivation. Dreams help to regulate moods.

The article also gives ideas such as using a weighted blanket and having a good mattress. 

To read the full article and learn more ideas to help attain better sleep, click here.

Family Corner

Parenting can be a difficult endeavor as there is no book of directions that come with the child when born. Each child is different, with his/her own personality and emotions. Sometimes, parents can use ineffective means in an attempt to raise their children to adulthood.  In his blog, Man Cave, Konstantin Lukin, PhD discusses the five most common parenting mistakes and how to improve.  1. The first is helicopter parenting. This is a term that applies to parents who, due to their own anxiety, do not let their children do things on their own. The way to improve this is to consider if you are doing something to help your child or due to your own anxiety.  2. The second is snowplowing all obstacles. This parent removes all obstacles from the child's life. This does not help. In fact it hinders the child as the child gets the message that he/she cannot solve his/her own problems.  3 The third is invalidating. It is important to validate your child's feelings.  4. Fourth is inconsistent reinforcement. The child grows up not knowing what is expected of him/her.  5. The final mistake listed is spoiling. This makes the child believe he/she is more important than others.

To read more about how to correct these mistakes, click here.

Infertility Corner

Going through infertility treatment can be emotionally, physically, and financially taxing. To find support from those who can understand, many infertility patients turn to online forums. While such forums have much to offer, as with any online information, it is best to be careful and wise while using infertility forums. Magda Ibrahim outlines "The pros and cons of online infertility forums."
I believe the number one take away from the article is to be mindful that everyone's medical history and situation is unique, so do not take medical advice from a forum. Also, be aware of playing the "pain olympics" in which some try to compare their pain with others to see who "wins" by having the most pain. Everyone's pain is valid.

If you find you need more support than what you can find online, or you just prefer face-to-face individualized support, call Stephani for an appointment today.

To read the full article, click here.

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 July!

July brings Independence Day, lazy days at the pool, cookouts, family reunions, long walks during the extended evening hours, and kids wishing summer would never end. After reading this month's Couples Corner article, I hope your July also includes relationship goal setting. The second suggestion in the Couples Corner article is to understand each other because not everyone speaks the same love language. Do you know if your partner's love language is words of affirmation, quality time, acts of service, physical touch, or receiving gifts? For a review of Dr. Gary Chapman's Five Love Languages, click here.

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 you believe it is July already? Summer always seems to fly by, doesn't it? There is still time to make memories with your family. Remember, when your children are grown they will not think about how much you worked or how clean your house was. The most important memories will be those of time spent together as a family. This can be special time at home, long weekends or full-blown vacations. Continue to cultivate happy memories in your child's life. This can be with your adult children and grandchildren as well. Make them feel they were more important than your work or other things that often get in the way. Enjoy July!

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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