How are you? Hope you are having a great week. Thank you for joining me today! This week's blog will contain two business updates and a fun couple exercise. Enjoy.
First, business updates.
Transitioning to a quarterly blog and newsletter:
I am going to transition from a weekly blog and weekly newsletter, to a quarterly blog and newsletter. I will also publish blogs and newsletters as important business updates occur.
My personal goal was to do these weekly, and I can say that I accomplished my goal and I learned a lot! I enjoy how as part of my job I get to keep learning all the time (both on the healthy relationships side and also the entrepreneurial side). Sometimes the pace is overwhelming, lol (as anyone who owns a business knows), but I really do love the journey. It's one of the reasons I started my own practice.
As you may know, I owned a counseling private practice (Tranquil Waters Counseling and Wellness) for 4 years and then I stayed at home for 2 years full-time with my daughter. For a couple years I was a full-time stay at home parent, and so even during that short time technology changed rapidly. In coming back to work, I sought to keep an eye out for helpful technology that will benefit my clients.
This is why I have developed an informative website, an online scheduling system, and intake paperwork you can complete securely from your smartphone (HIPAA compliant too!). Furthermore, I believe that blogs and newsletters are immensely helpful too... One, for clients seeking general information about the business who are trying to identify if I'm the right fit. Two, so that people interested in the business can stay informed about helpful products or services being offered.
I am also excited to transition to working on some different areas of growth in my business, but more on that on a later date!
I have learned a lot doing these weekly blogs and newsletters... I hope that they have been inspiring and useful for you as the reader! Thank you for following. And see you quarterly!
Changing the couples intake assessment process:
Another important business update is that I have changed the couples counseling intake assessment process.
I am excited to announce that I will be implementing a recommended intake assessment approach from Drs. John and Julie Gottman (2). This was inspired by my Level 1 (3) and Level 2 (4) Training in Gottman Method Couples Therapy. Click the links if you want to learn more about them.
Gottman Method Couples Therapy recommends from their research that the initial assessment appointments involve the following: one meeting with the couple together, and separate individual appointments with each partner alone. The fourth session is a feedback session on the findings and counselor treatment recommendations.
I am proud to now be offering couples this assessment and feedback process. In the past I only assessed couples together at the intake. As you may know, if you have done couples counseling before or if you have ever worked on growing as a couple, your journeys are both together and separate. Furthermore, you may also have discovered (or may have been a little disappointed, lol!) that the only person you can change is yourself! This is one of the many reasons I am excited to connect with each partner individually, so I can better understand each person's journey and goals.
Gottman Method Couples Therapy has some really amazing tools for helping couples to emotionally connect; possibly even in deep ways they have never done before. If you are in couples counseling with me you will likely see some of these helpful strategies! I really love their approach!
Now, on to the fun couple exercise!
Usually at the top of my blogs I have a picture, but today I included a song by Maren Morris (1). I specifically chose a version with lyrics so you could read them while you listen. This song resonated with me as a relationship therapist because Maren explores profound relationship truths in a beautiful song.
The song is chock full of great relationship observations (and possible discussion points), but I will just explore one! Maren describes in the song how the paint can be peeling on the house or the glass could shatter, but as long as the bones are strong on the house, the house will still stand. I think this is very true in relationships. I often talk with couples about this, and I incorporate this in my life with my own family.
The paint peeling and the glass shattering are the problems that come up, differences in personality or style, normal developmental changes that are stressful, or mistakes we make. I like to emphasize that we cannot change that these things happen. There is no couple relationship that doesn't have problems or differences in personality! The goal of every couple is not to have an absence of problems, but to be able to feel stronger on the other side of conflict and challenges.
Additionally, what counts in having a long-term and mutually satisfying relationship are the bones... The bones are having integrity, being trustworthy, committing to each other, apologizing sincerely and making changes when you make a bad decision, honoring your partner's concerns and dreams (even when different from your own), being a friend, and always growing in your communication skills so that you can more smoothly work through the inevitable daily and weekly bumps in the road. I also think the bones could be considered the shared values you have.
This is what couples counseling is about... Helping couples to be able to handle problems and differences in a way that leaves the couple feeling more connected and stronger on the other side. It's about developing relationship resilience and a lasting emotional connection.
Have a wonderful rest of the week.
All the best,
PS - Can I send you an email about once a quarter? The email will have a link to my latest blog post in case there is a topic you are interested in. As the business grows and I add more products and services, I will mention in the email what has been added.
Hello Lega-Leaders (Relationship Legacy Leaders) (1)! I have a few resources to share with you today that build on the topic of trust from last week (5 Rebuilding trust tips for couples) (2). I found two videos and one podcast that all center around Dr. John Gottman's views on trust.
If you are unfamiliar with Dr. Gottman and his impressive research on relationships and communication, you can learn more about who he is here (3) or you can check out the home page of The Gottman Institute here (4). Also in those links you will discover that Dr. John Gottman has worked closely with his wife, Dr. Julie Schwartz Gottman, who has equally made incredible contributions to the field.
I have been incorporating more and more of Dr. John and Dr. Julie Gottmans' work into my practice because it is research-based and there are a variety of useful and effective tools for couples (I can't wait to share them with you!). These professionals have made such an incredible contribution to our knowledge about what makes relationships survive (and thrive), versus fail. Finally, after you have done 40 years of in-depth research on relationships, you probably know a thing or two about them (5)!
As you can imagine, trust is an essential component of a thriving romantic relationship or marriage. Ongoing problems with trust often lead to relationship or marriage dissatisfaction. I know "trust" seems pretty abstract, right??? But boy you sure know when it's not working well in your relationship... So, how do you make real and lasting changes that you can FEEL?
The good news is that we now know a whole lot more about which healthy habits to do (and which ones not to do). This has really been a major foundation of Dr. John Gottman's work. The even better news is that you can actually learn which habits lead to thriving romantic relationships, versus ones that lead to unhappiness or breakups/ divorce.
Here's the bad news: Forming healthy habits takes a willingness to learn and grow, and a commitment to long-term practice over time. It also means reducing and removing harmful habits (and being able to admit you have them). Which, that's not so bad, right?! You can do this!!! Healthy relationships are just based on skills you can learn, but it does take time and practice. This is often where a couples counselor can be really beneficial, because we can guide you on which habits to focus on improving (especially in the context of your specific relationship strengths and weaknesses).
So, enjoy Dr. Gottman's views on trust, and start thinking about how you can turn his recommendations into real habits in your own life!
"John Gottman: How to Build Trust" (6):
What did you think about the trust resources? Where do you feel you can make some real improvements on your daily and weekly habits so you can really FEEL the difference as the months (and years) go by? When consuming videos, podcasts, books, etc., I think it's a good strategy to hone in on what was particularly meaningful for you and why. So, was there anything that was especially meaningful for you? If so, what made it stick out to you? Comment below!
Talk to you next week! Have a terrific weekend!
All the best,
PS Can I send you an email about once a week? The email will have a link to my latest blog post in case there is a topic you are interested in. As the business grows and I add more products and services, I will mention in the email what has been added.
References and Links
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The information on this website and the blog is for informational and entertainment purposes only. I am not guaranteeing any results.
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MoxiePsychology Legacy is an outpatient mental health clinic and not equipped for emergency services. If you are in need of emergency mental or medical services, please call 911 or go to your nearest emergency room.
Holly L. Harrison, MA, LMFT