November 2019 Newsletter

Couples Corner

In Elizabeth Scott, MS's article about effective communication, she says staying focused on the current issue is important. Addressing everything that is bothering you can cloud the issue, according to Scott. Deal with only the present time, what is bothering you now, not what happened years ago.  The next point she makes is to listen carefully. It is tempting to think about how you want to respond rather than actually paying attention to what the other is saying. Reflect back what your partner says to ensure you heard it correctly. Don't become defensive and don't interrupt. These are all attentive listening skills.  It is also important to try to see the other's point of view. We work hard to make sure that our point of view is understood. Try to see the other's point of view, then you can explain yours.  Next, respond to criticism with empathy. It's easy to become defensive when someone comes at us with criticism. Look for the truth in what is said.  Other points are to own responsibility, use I statements, look for compromise, take a break when needed, and return to the conversation.  Scott also states not to be afraid to reach out for help, such as counseling.  For more information on effective communication, click here.

Individual Corner

We all know that exercise is good for our physical health, but what about our mental health? Exercise helps with depression, anxiety, stress, ADHD, trauma, and PTSD. It also can help with sleep, self esteem, sharper memory and thinking, more energy, and stronger resilience. So why doesn't everyone exercise? In a Help Guide article, some reasons noted are fatigue, feeling bad about oneself, feeling overwhelmed, pain, and feeling hopeless. The authors of the article also give suggestions on how to overcome these obstacles. They suggest that if you have pain, talk to your healthcare provider about exercises you can do safely. Other suggestions are to prioritize exercising and to take classes with people of varying abilities. Also, schedule exercise at a time your energy level is highest. Start small and build up. Do things you enjoy that involve any type of exercise. Have incentives and reward yourself when you do exercise.

To learn more about caring for your mental state, click here.

Family Corner

Family bonding makes its members feel secure and happy. In her article on family bonding, Cheryl Cirelli lists 15 activities to help the family grow closer that are both fun and simple. The first listed is having a family movie night together. She also suggests serving popcorn and candy to make it seem more like a movie theater.

Second, volunteering as a family is not only bonding, but helps give back to the community. Ideas for sites are animal shelters, a charity walk, or choosing a family from an angel tree at Christmas.  

Third, baking cookies together can be as much fun eating as baking. Children can also decorate cookies at Christmas time. 
Additional ideas are: crafting, camping, taking walks, reading together, and having a family night out together among others. 

To learn more about lessening stress in your family, click here.

Infertility Corner

Family Gatherings and Infertility
The holiday season can be stressful and emotionally challenging when your reproductive story has not gone the way you had imagined it would. It is perfectly okay to alter some of your usual holiday routines and plans this season if you are struggling with infertility.
Rachel Gurevich, writing for VeryWell Family, offers these “Tips for Surviving Thanksgiving, Christmas, Passover, and Other Holiday Meals.”

    Don’t Go
    Come Late, Leave Early
    Alternatively, Host the Family Yourself
    Don't Feel Like You Have to Hold Any Babies
    Alternatively, Soak Up the Baby Love
    Be Ready for the "When Are You Going to Have Kids?" Questions
    Consider Whether to Tell Your Family or Not About Your Infertility
    Don't Be Afraid to Cut Off Uncomfortable Conversations
    Be Ready to Cope with Pregnancy Announcements
    Hide in the Bathroom for a Few Minutes
    Plan Your Post-Event Recovery Time

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 November!
Fall is my favorite season. I especially like the season for Thanksgiving - so much so that I purchased complimentary Thankfulness calendars again this year. Each month features a nature picture and a quote about gratitude. My favorite quote from this year’s calendar is from novelist and poet Richelle E. Goodrich – “Gratitude doesn’t change the scenery. It merely washes clean the glass you look through so you can clearly see the colors.”
Research is overwhelming on the power of gratitude to transform lives. Contact me for your copy of the Thankfulness 2020 calendar.

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

November, the month of Thanksgiving. It's important to remember all we have to be thankful for all year, but we tend to do so more in this month due to the holiday. Take time as a family to talk about what what is important in your life. Remember to be thankful for the little things every day of your life! 

Hello everyone! I am so happy to be part of ConnectEdPAIRS as an independent provider! I look forward to working with you. My hours in Springfield are Thursday from 2:30 pm to 7:00 pm and Friday from 9:00 am to 7:00 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 sch!edule.
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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