September 2019 Newsletter

Couples Corner

Dr. Steven Stosny states we fall in love in the "toddler brain" but sustained love involves the "adult brain." In a Psychology Today article, he states we fall in love in the lymbic system, which is emotional and impulsive. Dr. Stosny states to maintain a love relationship, our love must move into the adult brain. He states this is the prefrontal cortex, which is the most stable part of the brain. Dr. Stosny further explains that toddler love is self-obsessive and eventually causes conflict and pain. Adult love is comprised of compassion, kindness, and nurturing. He also states that adults who love like toddlers want their partner to be like them, and to not have outside interests. The toddler brain feels betrayed when the partner does not feel the same as him or her. 
Dr. Stosny states to keep the relationship, "binocular vision" is an important tool. He describes this as being able to see your partner's view along side your own. He also says that this type of vision allows us to read our partner's reactions better. He states we tend to retreat to toddler brain when we have the wrong perceptions about our partner's emotions. Another thing he brings up is that with the adult brain, we own our own feelings and with the toddler brain we tend to become defensive.

For more information on effective communication, click here.

Individual Corner

In the article, "The Four Keys to Emotional Well-Being," by HealthDay reporter Len Canter, neuroscientist Richard Davidson is quoted as saying we can all master emotional well-being. He states there are four traits involved. The first trait is resilience and he states regular mindfulness meditation can achieve the ability to bounce back from adversity.
The second trait is having a positive outlook. This can be accomplished by finding the positive in others and in the way you approach life. Davidson states compassion meditation is one way to do this. The key is to become compassionate rather than judgmental.  
The third thing is to improve your attention level. Practice focusing on the here and now rather than allowing your mind to wander. 
The fourth thing is to become more generous of spirit. Instead of being envious of others, be happy for them. 

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

Family Corner

Anxiety is a normal emotion, and there are expected anxieties in children and sometimes unhealthy anxiety.
  For example, a common fears in toddlers and infants is the fear of separation.
Children ages 2-4 fear separation from parents, but also fear dogs and darkness. 
Ages 5-6 adds fear of bugs and strangers, among others.
Children 7-12 have school issues and performance anxiety to name two fears.
Teens begin to worry about their futures.  
Some signs of heightened anxiety might be frequent nightmares, stomach aches, resistance to change, sleep difficulties, and avoidance of certain places. Several more are listed in the article.

Excessive anxiety does not usually appear before the age of six. If your child is exhibiting symptoms of heightened anxiety, if possible, try to find the source of anxiety. A therapist who works with children can also help the child and help parents know how to help their children.

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

While self-care is always important no matter what is going on in our lives, it becomes even more important while undergoing infertility treatments such as IVF. The blog writers at asked five women what self-care during in-vitro fertilization (IVF) means to them. While self-care activities vary from person to person, here are some of the women’s ideas of what they do for self-care:

  • Clearing your schedule so you are not rushing to and from appointments and for allowing time to process feelings
  • Proactively looking after your physical and mental health
  • Doing little things to feel “in control”
  • Don’t give up “Project You” for “Project Baby”
  • Don’t be afraid to let people in – talk to others for support

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 September!
September brings back to school, wishing summer were longer, Labor Day, Grandparents Day, Patriot Day, Peace Day, Autumn, leaves changing, deep colors, cool mornings, bonfires, and sweater weather.
There is a theme of self-care and self-focus in this month's newsletter. Self-care is not selfish. By taking care of ourselves and knowing that we can only control ourselves, we are better able to fully love others. This month's Couples Corner article is a must-read for owning your feelings and reactions without blaming or resorting to using any of what John Gottman calls the Four Horsemen - criticism, defensiveness, contempt, and stonewalling.

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

It's September! Cooler weather, campfires, smores, fall festivals and for those who are into it, football games. Children have adjusted to their return to school. It's important that we remember to not overdo it. Also, to keep our children from overdoing it as well. It's important they have enough sleep and have time to finish homework. The thing they do not need is added stress. Monitor your children to see if they are overextended, and if so, discuss how they might cut back on some of their activities. 

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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