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This Is How Regular Couples Therapy Can Give Your Relationship a Tune-Up

Many people go to couples therapy to work through challenges in their relationships. Although therapy is a valuable tool that can bring you closer together, many couples often wait until they’re in crisis to seek individual or relationship counseling. Being proactive about maintaining your relationship by giving it a “tune-up” every so often can help you […]

Many people go to couples therapy to work through challenges in their relationships. Although therapy is a valuable tool that can bring you closer together, many couples often wait until they’re in crisis to seek individual or relationship counseling. Being proactive about maintaining your relationship by giving it a “tune-up” every so often can help you better understand one another, improve communication and help you avoid arguments. 

The Importance of Relationship Maintenance

Give Your Relationship Some TLC with Couples Therapy

Consistency is vital to maintaining a good relationship. Think of your partnership as a car – you need to get periodic oil changes, tune-ups and other maintenance to keep your vehicle in good working order. The same concept applies to your relationship. Couples therapy helps it thrive and survive for the long haul because it helps you to consciously work on issues, which is an ongoing process that enables you to grow and learn more about yourself and others.

When you address small issues before they become big problems, it’s easier to prevent your relationship from crashing and burning when things get out of control. Human emotions are complex. If you’re not paying attention, it’s easy to miss red flags that lead to conflict, anger and arguments down the road. Even when things are going well, couples therapy provides an opportunity to express your feelings, fears and hopes for the future in a safe, neutral space. Preventative care of your partnership can keep it strong; it is an investment in your relationship’s continued success.

Making Time for Couples Therapy

It’s easy to get distracted and neglect your relationship when you’re parenting, working and taking care of daily responsibilities, but setting aside time to connect with your partner is vital. Some people don’t want to spend the money or view therapy as a sign that something is wrong with them. However, skipping regular relationship “tune-ups” can inevitably lead to more emotionally costly repairs. Getting ahead of issues and spending some time with a couples therapist on a regular basis can help you and your partner achieve long-term success and avoid major blow-ups. Attending individual therapy as well is always a good idea to explore your own issues and discover how they may affect you and your partner.  

Both individual and couples therapy can help put you find a deeper connection and more joy in your daily life. To learn more about how it can help strengthen your relationship, contact a therapist at Kayenta to schedule an appointment.

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Co-parenting During Summer Break & How Family Therapy Can Help

During the school year, divorced parents usually have a schedule in place with set parenting times and days. With vacations, summer camps and other activities, summer can be a more challenging time to navigate as a co-parent. Before the school year ends, it’s a good idea to review your parenting plan with your children’s co-parent […]

During the school year, divorced parents usually have a schedule in place with set parenting times and days. With vacations, summer camps and other activities, summer can be a more challenging time to navigate as a co-parent. Before the school year ends, it’s a good idea to review your parenting plan with your children’s co-parent and communicate about summer plans. One effective way to cut down on conflict is to discuss these issues in family therapy. A therapist can help you come up with an equitable plan that will benefit you and your children while keeping stress to a minimum. 

Planning Ahead Is Vital

Family Therapy Can Help You Create a Peaceful Co-parenting Situation

Start planning for the summer as early as possible. If you plan your summer schedule in January, discuss it with your co-parent to avoid conflict over vacations, graduations, family reunions, and summer holidays. It’s also important to agree on how you’re going to split day-to-day parenting time. Always put your children’s needs first when creating a custody schedule and deciding on summer plans. Summer is an exciting time of year for kids and an opportunity to make memories with both parents and explore new experiences.  

Many co-parents take the “two weeks on, two weeks off” approach, as it gives some continuity to the time they spend with their kids. If you live close by and normally share custody on different days of the week, this can work too with little disruption to your children’s schedules. Once you have your parenting schedule set, keep in mind that it’s still beneficial to be flexible with summer plans to ensure a fun, relaxing time for you and your kids.  

Talk with Your Kids

Children need to be heard when making summer plans, so you’re both aware of their needs and the things they’d like to do. It’s particularly important to talk with your older children about their wishes. A family therapy session where everyone is included and has a chance to express their desires can make the summer much more pleasant for everyone.

Be Positive

Coordinating schedules, daycare, vacations, and other activities is just part of the bigger picture when creating a summer co-parenting plan. Kids often feel guilty for leaving one parent alone and may be hesitant to go on a trip if they think one of their parents is going to feel bad. Encourage your children to have fun with their other parent and build a strong relationship. Refraining from negative talk and being considerate and respectful of each other’s feelings will show your children that you have their best interests in mind. 

Family therapy can help you create a summer co-parenting schedule that allows you and your kids to better enjoy your time together. To learn more, contact a therapist at Kayenta to schedule an appointment.

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Self-therapy Tips for When Your Therapist Is Away

Everyone needs a vacation sometimes, and therapists are no exception. If you’ve been in therapy for a while and are apprehensive about what to do when your therapist goes away, these pointers can help you feel more confident in your ability to cope on your own. 1. Use the Coping Skills You’ve Learned The lack […]

Everyone needs a vacation sometimes, and therapists are no exception. If you’ve been in therapy for a while and are apprehensive about what to do when your therapist goes away, these pointers can help you feel more confident in your ability to cope on your own.

Schedule a Therapy Session at Kayenta by Contacting One of Our Therapists Directly

1. Use the Coping Skills You’ve Learned

The lack of therapy for a week or two is a great opportunity to practice coping with issues on your own. When you feel stressed, practice deep breathing techniques or meditation, take a walk, draw yourself a bath, or do any other positive activity that promotes calmness and self-love. This will help you stay clear-headed when you encounter stressful situations. Dealing with problems both big and small can help you discover the areas in which you have made progress and determine where your biggest challenges still lie. 

2. Focus on What’s Working for You

It’s easy to focus on what’s going wrong in your life, but it’s important to take a good look at your strengths, skills and what’s been going right. If it all feels overwhelming, journal about your feelings, and write down your concerns and questions for your therapist when they return.  

3. Reach Out to Your Support System

If you know your therapist is going to be out of town, make sure to utilize other resources you have for support. Family, friends, support groups, other mental health professionals, and even pets can offer comfort and encouragement and can give you a fresh perspective while your therapist is away.

4. Try Self-therapy

At your regular therapy time, schedule a self-therapy session. Reflect on how things have been going since your last session with your therapist and write down the recent issues you’ve been exploring. Go through your list, and think of one skill you could apply to help with each problem and things your therapist has said in the past to help you recognize and develop those skills. Write everything down, and bring it along to your next appointment.

5. If You’re in Crisis, Seek Help

If a crisis occurs while your therapist is away, seek help as soon as possible. If they are part of a larger practice, call and ask to speak with or see someone there. If this isn’t an option, call or walk in to your nearest emergency mental health center or hospital, or call your doctor. In an emergency, call 911 or the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline.

Contact a Therapist to Schedule a Therapy Session

The skills and self-discovery you attain through therapy can change your life and put you on the road to health and happiness. To learn more, contact a therapist at Kayenta to schedule an appointment.

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Questions to Help You Reconnect with Yourself and Determine Where You’re at in Life

There comes a time when you need to take a step back from life and self-evaluate. It is healthy to do this, as it allows you to take stock of what is going on in your life and whether you are where you want to be (and if not, what you can do to change […]

There comes a time when you need to take a step back from life and self-evaluate. It is healthy to do this, as it allows you to take stock of what is going on in your life and whether you are where you want to be (and if not, what you can do to change that). To help you accurately gauge how you’re doing, here are questions you can ask yourself:

Helpful Questions for Self-evaluation

Identify Where You’re at in Life with These Questions

How Is Your Daily Mood?

Things happen that can throw your mood off from time to time. But beyond these things, how do you feel on a daily basis? When you wake up in the morning, are you happy? How would you rate your average mood? This is the first indication of how you’re doing in life. 

Would You Be Happy with an Average Day?

Think of the movie Groundhog Day. In it, the main character relives the same day over and over and over again. What if this happened to you? If you lived your same, average day, over and over again, would you be happy? Chances are, the answer to the first question will impact how you answer this. 

Do You Have Intimate Relationships?

This means you have a relationship with someone who you feel comfortable opening up to – someone you trust and can tell everything to. Having at least one intimate relationship is critical in your life, as it gives you a positive outlet to express yourself and prevents you from having to keep everything inside.

Is Happiness Spread Around?

Your relationships, your work, your family, and your personal self-esteem are all important factors. Is your happiness solely dependent on one area of your life? Or, have you spread your happiness around? If you’re only happy doing one thing but not the others, there may be other issues hindering your full happiness.

Only you can truly answer these questions. If you need help sifting through your thoughts and identifying ways to create a healthier mindset, counseling could be a beneficial recourse. Contact a therapist at Kayenta Therapy to book a session. 

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The Science Behind How Habits Are Formed and How to Change Them

It can be tough to change poor habits when it comes to eating, exercise, work, drinking, and other behaviors. Therapy and behavior modification can be valuable tools when it comes to dropping habits that don’t serve you well and adopting new ones. Understanding the reasons for certain behaviors can make change easier and help you […]

It can be tough to change poor habits when it comes to eating, exercise, work, drinking, and other behaviors. Therapy and behavior modification can be valuable tools when it comes to dropping habits that don’t serve you well and adopting new ones. Understanding the reasons for certain behaviors can make change easier and help you live a happier, healthier life. 

How Do Habits Form?

Schedule a Session with a Kayenta Therapist to Help You Change Your Habits

Both good and bad habits form when you think, feel and act in a certain way over a length of time. The habits you develop aren’t just due to behavioral and environmental factors; they can have a basis in neuroscience as well. 

Behavioral Factors

Many decades of research have helped doctors and mental health providers determine three primary types of learned behavior. With classical conditioning, two stimuli are linked together to produce a learned response by association.

Operant conditioning shapes behavior with either positive or negative reinforcement. Developed by psychologist B.F. Skinner, it is the process of encouraging or discouraging behaviors with either reward or punishment. 

Observational learning, a social learning theory developed by psychologist Albert Bandura, portends people learn behaviors by observing and modeling others’ attitudes, emotions and behavior. In his research, he found babies and young children imitated the behavior of those around them. This is also true of some adults.

Neuroscience

Scientific research has shown when neurons fire at the beginning and end of a specific behavior in the brain region, it becomes a habit. Over time, patterns form – both in behavior and in the brain – which can make it extremely difficult to break bad habits. The positive part of this is it also helps you develop good automatic habits like brushing your teeth or combing your hair.

How to Help Yourself

A key to start changing a habit is to do it before it hits a problematic tipping point. If you learn to regulate your behavior before it spirals and you feel like you’re out of control, it’s easier to not only survive, but thrive. Seeking therapy is just one piece of the puzzle that can help you better understand and change bad habits. 

Accountability can be another valuable tool in breaking bad habits. Studies have shown if you are held accountable to someone else for meeting a goal, your chance of success increases dramatically. For example, if you want to improve your diet and lose weight, having someone you trust as an accountability partner can make you more likely to succeed and achieve your goals. Positive reinforcement can also work well — if you’re trying to lose weight and give yourself a healthy reward, like a new outfit when you reach a goal, it can motivate you to keep going. 

Therapy is another great resource that will equip you with the tools you need to stay committed to changing your lifestyle and adopting better habits. Ready to learn how to break habits that may be holding you back? Contact a therapist at Kayenta to schedule an appointment.

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Does What You Do for a Living Define Who You Are?

When someone meets you for the first time, one of the first questions they usually ask is “what do you do?” It’s a simple ice-breaker question, and yet in recent years it has come to mean so much more. It is common for people to feel like their social status is determined by what they […]

When someone meets you for the first time, one of the first questions they usually ask is “what do you do?” It’s a simple ice-breaker question, and yet in recent years it has come to mean so much more. It is common for people to feel like their social status is determined by what they do for a living. However, your job title does not define you.

You Are More Than Your Profession

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Whether stocking shelves at the local grocery store or returning emails for business accounts, these are just tasks. And these tasks have very little to do with your personality, interests, goals, etc. There is a danger in believing your self-worth is based on your job. 

Applying mental standards or labels to yourself because of your job can lead to added pressure and stress. Although it can be difficult to look past the emphasis society places on job title and status, it is better to focus on being content and happy with what you do and where you’re at.

Even if you’re not where you ultimately want to be, are you living a fulfilled life? Do you do things that bring joy and happiness? Does your work give you a sense of accomplishment at the end of each day? Are there people in your life who bring out the best in your and contribute positivity?

Learning to focus on these factors will lead to increased happiness and peace. When you are living an enriched life, other people’s opinion will have less of an impact because you are content with who you are and where you’re at. This will allow you to become a better, happier you.

How Therapy Can Help

To help work through the mental barrier of a job title and to truly discover your true self-worth, it can be beneficial to speak with a therapist. The Kayenta Legacy Program is an affordable, low-cost therapy service provided by our graduate student therapists. Contact them directly to book a session.

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Tips for Showing Support When Your LGBTQ Teenager Comes Out to You

LGBTQ teens face unique challenges and can thrive when parents and other family members accept and support them just the way they are. Acceptance and support from family members is critical in helping LGBTQ teens deal with risk factors, like depression and anxiety. Individual and family therapy, support groups and LGBTQ ally organizations can all […]

LGBTQ teens face unique challenges and can thrive when parents and other family members accept and support them just the way they are. Acceptance and support from family members is critical in helping LGBTQ teens deal with risk factors, like depression and anxiety. Individual and family therapy, support groups and LGBTQ ally organizations can all play a vital role in ensuring your family has access to the resources they need. So, what should you do if your child comes out to you? 

Therapy Can Help You Connect With Your LGBTQ Teenager

Let Them Know You Love Them

Children need love and acceptance at all ages, but particularly in adolescence. For many LGBTQ teens, coming out to their parents can be the hardest part of their journey. Even if you feel blindsided and don’t know what to say, show them love. Something as simple as, “I’m here for you and love you no matter what,” can make a huge difference in how they feel about themselves and let them know they have someone to turn to when they need help. 

Encourage Dialogue

Getting any teenager to open up often feels like an uphill battle. Facilitating open communication can make it easier for your child to talk with you about complex issues like sexuality. Start with more casual, light conversation to let them know you’re interested in their life. Ask them how their day went, how school is going, how their friends are doing, and what they like to do.

These small steps help build trust and can lead to a stronger, closer relationship. Embrace their evolving sense of self and celebrate your child for who they are. The more positive communication you have with your child, the more comfortable they’ll feel about opening up to you. 

Build a Social Support Network

If you’re having a hard time, reach out for help. Educating yourself about the issues your child may be facing can empower you to provide the support they need and help you find healing. Talk with a therapist, and seek LGBTQ support resources in your community and online. Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG) is a family and LGBTQ ally organization that provides support for thousands of families around the country.  

Help your child find the resources they need as well. Communicate with your child’s educators and other important people in their lives. Encourage them to become involved in groups like gay/straight alliance at their school. Individual therapy can give your child someone to confide in without feeling judged. Although online groups and social media provide support to LGBTQ teens as well, make sure to keep an eye on what they’re doing to keep them safe. 

Individual and family therapy can help you better understand and support your LGBTQ teen and help them grow into a happy, healthy, confident adult. Contact a family therapist at Kayenta to schedule an appointment.

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Communication With Children & Teens: Tips From a Family Therapist

Good communication between you and your child can make your bond stronger and make them happier and more confident. As children get older, having a good relationship can also make talking about difficult subjects less challenging. Here are some tips from a family therapist on how to effectively communicate with your child. Start Early Facilitating […]

Good communication between you and your child can make your bond stronger and make them happier and more confident. As children get older, having a good relationship can also make talking about difficult subjects less challenging. Here are some tips from a family therapist on how to effectively communicate with your child.

A Kayenta Family Therapist Can Help You Better Communicate With Your Child

Start Early

Facilitating open communication with your child when they’re young can help you develop a positive relationship and make it easier for them to feel comfortable confiding in you as they grow. Setting aside time to play with your child every day lets them know they are important to you. Having fun with them is also a great opportunity to talk and learn more about how they think and feel. Whether they’re a preschooler or teen; positive reinforcement works wonders — it’s vital to praise your child when they do something right. This type of feedback makes it more likely they will behave in a positive way again.

Be Available

Children’s feelings are sometimes very intense, emotional and immediate. Often, they just need to be reassured everything is okay. Creating a comfortable space for your child to talk can help them (and you) understand how to navigate challenges and make good decisions. Being there for your child when they want to talk becomes even more important as they grow into adolescents.

Be Present

Regardless of age, giving your child your full attention when they are trying to talk to you lets them know you care about what they have to say. Technology and the demands of chores, work and other obligations can make it easy to become distracted. Put down your phone, turn off the TV, look your child in the eyes and listen. 

Listen

Like adults, children just want to be heard. Actively listen to your child when they’re speaking to you. When they’re done, take a quick pause before you speak. Gentle follow-up questions like “How do you feel about that?” or “Tell me more about it,” can keep the conversation going, encourage your child to open up and deepen your connection. If there’s something specific on your child’s mind, make sure to follow up in a day or two.

Consider Your Child’s Unique Personality

Some children are very chatty while others are more reticent and take time to open up to conversation. Pay attention to how your child responds, and adjust your communication style according to their needs. If know your child is usually hungry and cranky after school, it’s probably not the best time to start a conversation. Something as simple as taking a walk in the park can put you both in a better mood and lead to more meaningful conversation. 

Contact a Family Therapist at Kayenta

A family therapist can help you and your child learn how to effectively communicate, show love and help you create a healthy emotional connection that lasts a lifetime. Contact a family therapist at Kayenta to schedule an appointment.

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How Therapy Can Strengthen Self-esteem

Low self-esteem can affect practically every aspect of your life, from how you view yourself to the way you relate to others. Therapy is a valuable tool that can help you reduce negative thoughts and improve self-esteem, which can lead to a more joyful and fulfilling life. What Causes Low Self-esteem? Many people develop low self-esteem […]

Low self-esteem can affect practically every aspect of your life, from how you view yourself to the way you relate to others. Therapy is a valuable tool that can help you reduce negative thoughts and improve self-esteem, which can lead to a more joyful and fulfilling life.

What Causes Low Self-esteem?

Overcome Low Self-esteem by Attending Therapy at Kayenta

Many people develop low self-esteem in childhood due to harsh criticism or rejection from parents and other loved ones. Bullying, abuse and other negative experiences can also have a significant impact on self-esteem. Toxic relationships (of any kind), loss of employment, illness, breakups and other life circumstances can affect your sense of self-worth. Isolation and discrimination also play a part, as they stunt social interaction.

Although it is common to experience lack of confidence and self-esteem, that doesn’t have to define you. Discussing the factors that influence your self-image in therapy can be beneficial in many ways. It allows you to feel heard and validated, which, alone, increases confidence by making you feel like what you have to say matters. In addition, a therapist will be able to provide you with steps you can take to counter these negative feelings and work toward a more confident you.

How Low Self-Esteem Affects Your Quality of Life

If you’re struggling with low self-esteem, you may not think it’s a big enough deal to speak to a therapist about. However, the way you see yourself greatly impacts your quality of life. Individuals with a poor self-image often see the world as a hostile place and feel victimized by other people and circumstances. They also take things personally, usually in a negative way. They may feel they don’t deserve love or happiness, which can make them reluctant to express and assert themselves.

The lack of confidence that accompanies low self-esteem can result in many missed opportunities, experiences and feelings of powerlessness. All of these factors can lower your self-esteem even more and lead to addiction, self-harm, depression, anxiety and other mental health issues. That’s why it’s important to talk about your feelings. Often times, we are our own worst enemies. A therapist will help you change your perspective and celebrate the attributes that make you unique and different instead of criticizing them.

When you have a therapist who responds with compassion and validation of your feelings, it becomes easier to talk about the parts of yourself that you deem negative. This is healthy not only because it allows you to start changing your self-perception, but also because it enables you to let the negativity out. When you do that, you make room for positive thoughts and self-talk, which make you feel happier and change your disposition toward others.

Schedule a Therapy Session Today

If you’re ready to let go of negativity and say hello to a new, confident you, contact a therapist at Kayenta directly to book a session. By attending therapy, you’re taking the first step toward a better you, and a better life.

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Relationship Counseling Tips on How to Improve Communication With Your Adult Child

As a parent, you want the best for your children. It can be difficult to see your adult child face disappointment and make mistakes. Your first instinct may be to try and fix things for them or dole out advice, which can often be perceived as criticism. Relationship counseling suggests trying these tips to help […]

As a parent, you want the best for your children. It can be difficult to see your adult child face disappointment and make mistakes. Your first instinct may be to try and fix things for them or dole out advice, which can often be perceived as criticism. Relationship counseling suggests trying these tips to help you learn positive ways to show support and compassion for your child, and can lead to better communication and a more fulfilling relationship:

5 Tips for Better Communication With Your Adult Child

1. Be a Good Listener

Relationship Counseling Can Help You Improve Your Relationship With Your Adult Child

Even in casual conversation, being a good listener improves communication. Ask your child about how they’re doing and things that are happening in their life. If they are venting, try not to interject with your own opinions. Let them finish before responding. It can be helpful to offer advice, but before you do, be sure to show empathy and offer statements of encouragement and understanding. Sometimes, what children seek most of all is for you to be on their side.

2. Use Your Words Carefully

Because parents want the best for their children, it is normal to want to point out areas in their children’s lives that need improvement. While this usually comes from an honest desire to be helpful, it can actually have the reverse effect and make your child feel incompetent and judged. When speaking with your child, a helpful tactic is to ask yourself, “How can my words be helpful? Will what I’m about to say positively impact the situation?” Even if you think your child is making a poor choice, try to express your concern without sounding bossy or condescending.

3. Apologize When You Mess Up

Although it is good to be honest with your child, keep in mind, children are constantly seeking the approval of their parents. Therefore, it’s important to be extra mindful of your delivery. Remember, it’s less about what you say than how you say it.

However, we all say things that come out in a way we don’t intend sometimes. If you’ve unintentionally upset someone with a remark or unsolicited advice, the best thing to do is apologize. Do your best not to make excuses or become defensive, as that can escalate the situation and cause your child to feel like they’re not being heard or their feelings don’t matter.

4. Let Go

When your child was little, they were dependent on you for almost everything, which makes many parents feel loved and needed. As children grow, they become more independent, meaning your relationship with your child will change. Even though they may not rely on you for everything anymore, a healthy relationship with an adult child can be just as fulfilling in a different way.

Learning to let go and maintain healthy boundaries is key to a positive relationship. Even though you’ll always be their parent, it’s important to treat your adult child as an equal by valuing their opinions and allowing them to make their own choices. Give them space to come to you.

5. Be Their Cheerleader

It can be easy to assume your child knows you love them and are proud of them, but that isn’t always so. Saying these things out loud allows your child to feel you believe in them and their abilities to handle challenges, which gives them a stronger sense of confidence. If they are facing a challenge, let them know you believe they can handle it by offering positive reinforcement.

How Relationship Counseling Can Help

If you’re struggling with how to communicate with your adult child, relationship counseling at Kayenta Therapy can give you the tools you need to become a positive influencer in their life. Contact a therapist directly to schedule a session today.

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