March 2020 Newsletter

Couples Corner

In an article from The Atlantic, Emily Esfahani Smith frequently refers to Dr. John Gottman, a renowned expert on relationships. Her article shares a statistic that only three in ten relationships remain healthy and long lasting. So, what can cure this problem? A simple solution - kindness.
In his research, Dr. Gottman recognized that those who were "masters" in their marriage after six years were calm sitting next to each other while being questioned. However, the "disasters" had vitals that showed them to be in a fight or flight mode. 
Gottman calls seeking a connection with someone a "bid." The way a partner responds to that bid sets the tone over time for the relationship. If someone turns toward the bid and shows interest, this is positive for the relationship. If the person turns away, or showed no or little interest, this is negative - not meeting their partner's need for connection. 
Other researchers say that kindness makes people feel cared for and validated. The more kindness is received, the more it is reciprocated. This leads to love and generosity in the relationship. Kindness needs to be shown especially when angry. Don't assume that your partner doesn't care if he/she shows up late. There might be a very valid reason that has nothing to do with how much the partner cares for you. 

For more information on being kind in your relationship, click here.

Individual Corner

The benefits of friendship are explored in a Mayo Clinic article. A few of the benefits listed in the article are: 

1. Increase your sense of belonging and purpose
2. Boost your happiness and reduce your stress 
3. Improve your self-confidence and self-worth
4. Help you cope with trauma

The article also lists some ways to meet people, such as:

1. Attending community events
2. Volunteering
3. Extend and accept invitations
4. Take up a new interest

Other topics mentioned in the article are social media and nurturing friendships. 

To learn more about friendship, click here.

Family Corner

Unfortunately, divorce is a common thing in our society. Divorce is hard on the couple, and the way the couple handles it has an impact on how the children deal with it. In the HelpGuide article, "Children and Divorce," the authors describe ways to help children through the process. Suggestions they give are: 

1. Stay involved in their lives.
2. Stop fighting and work hard at getting along. 
3. Enjoy the time you spend with them. Don't show jealousy, it makes the child believe he or she has to chose between you. 
4. Communicate directly between each other - don't make the child be the go-between. 
5. Say kind things about the other parent or nothing at all. 
6. The child wants both of you in his/her life. 

The authors also give advice on how to tell children and how much to tell children according to age. At different developmental stages, children comprehend differently. You would not tell a small child the same thing you would tell a teenager, for example. 

Other important aspects considered in the article are helping the child grieve, providing stability, and caring for yourself during the process. 

To read more of this very informative article, click here.

Infertility Corner

Anyone who has gone through infertility can attest to the fact that it can take over your life. You can become obsessed with getting pregnant. As with any other trials we go through in life, we may turn to family and friends for support, so why is it harder to discuss infertility with loved ones? Writing for PsychCentral from the vantage point of experience and hindsight, Erika Labuzan-Lopez, MA, LMFT, LPC suggests infertility is different because it’s viewed as uncommon, people don’t know what to say, you may feel a sense of shame, and the grief is ongoing. Therefore, in her article, "Infertility Sucks: 4 Ways to Accept Support from the People Who Love You," she encourages you to consider if you are truly receptive to support and offers these tips: Trust that you’re friends are telling you the truth.
Be really honest about your feelings.
Forgive your friend for saying insensitive or awkward things.
Take it easy on yourself.

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 March!

I am guessing that you are ready for spring! I hope the warmer weather will encourage you onward with any self-improvement goals you may have set and that this month’s newsletter articles help you reach those goals. If you would like help defining or achieving your goals, call me for a counseling appointment.

To show appreciation for clients, both past and present, I purchased complimentary Mood Magnets for you to show others how you are feeling. Simply contact me to get your magnet.

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
Guest's Corner
Spring is around the corner! I don't know about you, but I am ready for it. It is the time of possibilities and a new beginning. If you didn't already start making those changes with the new year, maybe now is a good time to do so. It's the time of year to start afresh as trees begin to bud and the ground thaws. Do a self-evaluation and determine what you would like to start afresh with and set those goals. 

Donna Givens is a guest columnist for ConnectEdPAIRS. She is a Registed Nurse and a Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor who has worked in the mental health field for over 35 years. Donna is an independent provider and has a limited private practice with offices in Springfield, Jacksonville, and Beardstown. She can be reached at 618-973-5072.

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