2 Healthy People = 1 Healthy Relationship

As the song goes, “It takes two! It takes two! Me and you!”

It takes TWO healthy individuals in order for a relationship to have a shot at being consistently stable and happy. 


If we want a healthy relationship, guess what?

We have to love OURSELVES first people!

Are you giving yourself enough self-love?


Here are just a few of the many ways that we can mentally learn to love ourselves more: 

*Watch HOW you are talking to yourself!

Filter your negative self-talk as much as possible. Bottom line - if you wouldn’t say it to your best friend, why are you saying it to yourself?

*Focus on what you DO have versus what you don’t! There is always something positive to focus on, even if it’s a small thing. Gratitude is one of the keys to happiness and essential in truly loving your life!

*Stay away from assumptions! We unnecessarily suffer so much by assuming we know what others are thinking. Don’t beat yourself up over a made-up “fact” in your head. Before you let yourself get stuck in the web of assumption, ask yourself - Is this an assumption or a fact?  

⚠️ COMPARISON IS THE THIEF OF HAPPINESS

I recently had the opportunity to speak to a group of local women about the negative spin that comparison can put on our lives. I discussed many tools to help us compare less, including self-love, but today I’m going to focus on one in particular. 

Although healthy comparison can be self-motivating, often times it isn’t balanced. Society has created a lifelong adolescence of sorts with the existence and overuse of social media. It’s developmentally typical to compare yourself to a great degree in your early years but it’s also typical for that to naturally decrease with age, at least that’s how it used to be. 

Due to social media, we now know what Sally Sue who you sat by in middle school is feeding her child or where she is going on vacation over spring break. We never would’ve known this had we not had access to FaceBook and others of its kind. Multiply this by the number of “friends” you have on social media and here in lies an over abundance of opportunities to compare ourselves to others to an unhealthy degree. So how can we get around this societal shift?

I have a challenge for you... Intentionally limited your exposure to social media for a week. Pick only ONE day that you will allow yourself to login and look. You can even give it a fun name like “Social Media Saturday.” See how you feel mentally after a week of not having your daily dose of all things digitally social, with a bonus of being more present in your day-to-day life. You’ll be surprised at how often your moods were affected by what you saw on the news feed and you may notice how little you are unnecessarily comparing yourself to others, due to its absence. You never know... you may just want to make “Social Media Saturday” a way of life.  

🎉OUR OFFICE IS GROWING!!!🎉

I am pleased to announce that I have added another Licensed Professional Counselor to the office... and a great one to be exact!

Kara Chavez is a colleague of mine who started this month in the Liberty office. Kara helps youth and adults work through trauma and everyday stress with speciality care such as EMDR. She offers evenings and some weekends as well.

Please visit Kara’s profile below to learn more about her and her services. I am excited to welcome her into the space and know she will be a wonderful addition!

We ALL have points when we could use additional assistance to get through this thing called life. If you or someone you know could use her help, contact her today at 816-429-3731 or www.karachavezcounseling.com!

Overthinking is the biggest cause of unhappiness

Are you struggling emotionally lately? You are not alone. This time of year is hard for many people! The cold weather along with the absence of sun is no fun long term. Vitamin D supplements to the rescue! Here’s another mental health tip to help get us through this cold and dreary season:

If you find yourself “borrowing worry” from the future with the what ifs, remind yourself that NO AMOUNT OF WORRY IS GOING TO CHANGE THE OUTCOME IN THE END. I know, I know... much easier said than done but it’s worth a try!

Overthinking truly gets us no where friends. Keep your mind on TODAY and take a deep breath! The bright warm sun is coming again... I promise. ☀️

Get out and connect with others

Winter sure is wearing out it’s welcome, huh? Enough is enough... A good way to escape the winter blues is by connecting with others! When was the last time you got out and did something fun? Or had someone over who makes you belly laugh? Who says we have to wait for warmer weather... no more waiting on spring to show! 🌸

We naturally hibernate in the winter and for a while it can be a good thing but after months and months of it our psyche is ready for a change.

Connecting with others is a BIG part of elevating our moods. If we go too long without connection, we can feel it. Let’s get out of the house, grab a friend or two and lift those spirits! It will do wonders for our cold weather funk.

It’s time to pick your BACK POCKET SONG!!!

Are you in a funk today?!?!

It’s time to pick your BACK POCKET SONG!!!

🎶 Music can be incredibly therapeutic! As a dancer for 20 years, I have used music to elevate my moods on countless occasions. Naturally I ask my clients to choose a song they can have in their “back pocket” and use as a tool in those moments when a little extra joy is needed in their lives.

They say that most people’s favorite songs are typically from adolescence. For me personally, it is nearly impossible to be in a mood when Madonna or Prince is blaring through my speakers. Think about what song or artist does that for you...

We don’t always have the time in our day to do activities that we know will lift our spirits, such as exercise. When that is the case, music is easy to weave into your day! Whether you are driving in your car or doing stuff around the house, turn on your BACK POCKET SONG and sing your heart out! Watch what happens... 🎶

Clear is kind. Unclear is unkind.

When I saw this statement on Brene Brown’s page, I had a flood of thoughts when it comes to how it relates to relationships. So I thought I would share...

As a relationship therapist, I see just how much being unclear can interfere with the general flow of EVERY relationship in our lives, not just a romantic one. So many unnecessary negative emotions flare up when we aren’t clear about our boundaries, our true feelings, our expectations (just to name a few) within our relationships. 

We are ALL seeing life through different lenses and our perception is our reality. If we don’t clearly communicate how WE are experiencing something within a relationship from our perspective then resentment builds, assumptions take over on both parts and before you know it, a mountain is made of a mole hill! Simply by not being clear.

By not being clear we are subconsciously (or consciously) hoping that our partner/friend/family member/co-worker just figure it out without ALL the information and when they don’t we are disappointed! It’s like expecting them to put together a puzzle without all the pieces - it’s unrealistic and impossible to see the full picture. As hard as it may be to say, at least give them a chance to understand where our head is by being clear - otherwise it can become an unfair expectation and that’s where the unkind part comes in. Often the other side of the relationship has no idea we are struggling with a specific issue (remember-they have their own lense too) and they are grateful when it is shared. I see this in my office all the time!!!

Let’s be kind in our relationships by being super clear on all fronts. In an emotionally safe relationship, it’s a GOOD thing to honestly and clearly communicate in the long run... even when it’s hard. Think of it this way - Isn’t it harder to live with the ongoing resentment then it is to clearly speak your truth and get through it? Just remember when doing so that it’s typically not what we say but HOW we say it. It’s important to be intentional with our words.

Now go forth and be clear with your bad self... and others in your life! 😉


GOOD PARENTING starts with a GOOD PARTNERSHIP

This is one of the very first things I talk to my couples with kiddos about... 

Your children need to SEE you hug, kiss, hold hands, flirt, compliment each other, sit on each other’s laps, laugh together, support one another, resolve conflict, etc. If you have a solid relationship then in turn your children feel more secure in the world. Not only that, but when you are truly happy in your relationship then parenting feels easier because you have the emotional energy needed to pour into them. It’s a win win!

YOUR relationship is the model of what they will come to expect in their own romantic relationships.  It’s 100% healthy for your kids to know that your partnership is a priority - take trips, do date nights, stay up late just to talk, run errands just you two... whatever you have to do to WATER YOUR RELATIONSHIP. 

After all, you and your partner are where it all began. Isn’t the ultimate goal for you to not just be barely breathing as a couple, but to be THRIVING at the end of the child rearing years as you watch them embark upon adulthood and in turn you snuggle up TOGETHER in the empty nest with a satisfied sigh!?!? That vision has a much higher probability of happening when you water your relationship along the way - your kids will thank you later, no matter how grossed out they are now. ;)

Romance Awareness Month

Who says you have to wait until February to sprinkle some much needed romance into your relationship?!?! 

❤️August is officially “Romance Awareness Month” and it was created to encourage couples to improve their relationships through romance ALL year long! No need to feel pressure - promise. Romance doesn’t have to be an extravagant gesture, in fact sometimes less is more (and more realistic).

*Here are a few simple ideas:
-Go to bed at the same time and get your pillow talk on
-A strategically placed, unexpected note
-A nice long hug (hands above the waist) 😉
-Once in a while get rid of the peck and let it linger a bit 😘

Control what YOU can control

I can’t tell you how many frustrated clients have sat in my office, wishing a relationship they had was different... if only the other person would see the error of their ways and change. When I see a recurrent topic in my sessions, I am compelled to share it with you.

My typical response:

Let’s flip this for a minute and focus on what you can control in this particular scenario.

No one is going to change unless THEY want to, so instead of doing the same thing and expecting different results let’s talk about what YOU can do differently. If you want different, do different and sometimes that means looking in the mirror at what changes you can make. Although hard to do, it’s a really good place to start when your hope is to provoke positive change relationally.

In all relationships the smallest tweaks in how we react to each other can make a BIG difference. Take a deep breath before responding then be thoughtful and intentional with your reaction. Worth a shot, right? 😉