Couples Counseling Articles

Anne Hancock

Are you swimming in the dark?

Even if you’re a great swimmer, you cannot see what’s ahead of you if you’re swimming in the dark. The path forward is unclear and more than a little scary. 

Leading in 2020 feels a lot like swimming in the dark. 

I believe that the acceleration of everything around us coupled with paralyzing uncertainty is forcing us to think, feel and act differently. And, to lead more courageously. 

It is more important than ever to challenge not only our thinking but our beliefs; preconceived notions of success, of the way things get done and the conversations that we have. 

As a leader, applying tried and true techniques hoping to inspire your team to perform and achieve results may be leaving you flat; as if something’s missing. Our trusted and familiar skill-set is our default…yet is proving ineffective in today’s environment. 

There’s a sense of disconnect with our teams. Some days even despondence. Old methods don’t seem to apply. 

The world has changed. We’ve changed. 

One thing I know for sure is that that disconnected employees statistically underperform; negatively affecting the customer experience, revenue & profits, your operation and culture. 

Bottom line, people perform based on how they feel.

What scientists know for sure today is that humans are hardwired for connection and …emotions drive behavior and performance. 

To positively impact engagement and other key performance indicators, this basic human understanding about our need for connection is foundational everywhere including the workplace. 

It needs the attention of leadership – at every level. 

How do your employees feel? It’s an uncomfortable question and sometimes difficult to talk about what’s really going on. Why? Because conversations like this require courage and for many, a new skill set. 

They require a new mind-set too because these conversations on the surface are usually pretty simple but difficult to implement. They require leaders to step into new and unfamiliar territory. 

The path to building a new culture of engagement and high performance starts you; with powerful yet uncomfortable conversations that reduce fear and build human connection. 

That’s why we’ve embarked on a new initiative – to focus on conversations that build Emotional Safety and Trust. We call it, The New Workplace Imperative

I do believe it’s time to lean into and facilitate some simple, illuminating conversations in the workplace that get to the heart of the matter. 

People want to know it’s safe to speak up and be curious, to make mistakes and to be vulnerable. They want to fit in and be a contributing member of the team, yet they may not know how. 

They’re likely to be swimming in dark waters too. 

This is a moment when leaders can build a culture, together with their team, through creative, game-changing conversations that reduce fear, increase trust and build human connections. 

When people feel connected, they feel safe…they can be creative, innovative and try new things.

This is the new emerging paradigm of PEOPLE FIRSTperformance, productivity and profit will follow

If this inspires you and you’d like to connect with other like-minded leaders to know more about Emotional Safety and Trust: The New Workplace Imperative, please visit: 

https://EmotionalSafetyAndTrust.com

We’ll be talking about this a lot in the new year!

Only For You

The story you tell yourself is true, but only for you.

We see and hear everything through our own eyes and ears.

Our brain compares what we see and hear to what we expect. Then, our brain creates stories around every interaction we have.

We form an opinion, make judgments and the story we tell ourself becomes our truth. It’s our understanding of the world. Those stories become our belief… about a person, place or situation. It’s how we make sense of things.

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Do You Want to Make Life Better and Easier?

I’ve always been amazed at how much easier life can be when you have a supportive partner and a great relationship. At least that’s the way it is for most people and, YES, you can have that in YOUR life!

Recently we’ve had a ton of inquiries about our 1-Day Couples Intensives and we always make it a point to be straight-up and let people know who’s best suited for them.

The Wellness 1-Day Couples Intensive may be a perfect fit for you if:

  • You’re a busy couple
  • You live locally
  • You love each other and want things to be better (Not necessarily perfect; just better.)
  • You’re ready to take that huge and courageous first step
  • You like the idea of walking away at the end of the day with homework and a clear vision of what’s next

The 1-Day Couples Intensive covers 4-5 weeks of couples therapy in one day, completes our assessment/discovery phase and primes you for ongoing work with one of our amazing, caring therapists.

Continue Reading Do You Want to Make Life Better and Easier?

Join us in 2018 for a Hold Me Tight® Couples Workshop

Maybe things have been perking along between you for years…. and they still are.

But recently, you’ve noticed things changing and you feel a shift calling you toward a deeper connection. If you want a close intimate partnership….. and you’ll settle for nothing less…. this is your invitation.

It’s time to peek behind the curtain and explore what’s possible.

We’re getting ready for our new couples workshop starting in January and I hope you’ll join me there.

It’s a wonderful way to start the new year and this workshop is designed especially for people like you who want more out of their relationship.

If you’ve ever asked the question: What’s the ONE thing that would make life easier? The answer is usually pretty simple but hard to implement.

Hold Me Tight Couples WorkshopThis Hold Me Tight® Couples Workshop provides you with new perspectives on love and the world of relationship. It’s interactive and will give you and your partner fresh insight and tools you need to shape a loving bond and a closer connection.

Continue Reading Join us in 2018 for a Hold Me Tight® Couples Workshop

If You Can’t Name It Or Claim It… You Can’t Change It

It doesn’t help to tell your partner how much you hurt or what a disappointment they’ve been unless you’re willing to look at the whole picture.

They’ll take it as an attack and fight back with an argument or they’ll shut down. None of that works.

You can’t have a real conversation with your partner until you can agree on what happens between you. You’ve got to be willing to look at the data.

Ah-ha moments come with new insights. By seeing patterns… and recognizing how we effect each other when we dismiss, blame, criticize and ignore.

Without exploring what’s really happening, it’s impossible to accomplish much.

After all, when we don’t like what’s happening, it’s easiest to blame somebody else. “It’s not me, it’s you…” Then you’re off the hook.

Continue Reading If You Can’t Name It Or Claim It… You Can’t Change It

Choosing Chocolate

It used to be easy to choose a chocolate bar.  Sectioned milk chocolate in a brown wrapper.  Done.

Today it’s more complicated and choosing a chocolate bar has consequences – real or perceived.

  • Is the cocoa content over 70%?
  • Is it compatible with red wine?
  • Will it reduce my cortisol levels?
  • Increase blood circulation to my brain?
  • Is it gluten free?
  • USDA Organic?
  • Were the beans sustainably grown and were the growers paid a fair wage?

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Post Holiday Conflicts? You’re Not Alone!

You’re grateful for the blessings in your life. Couple in conflict after the holidays

Still, the holidays probably took a toll because family issues, spending, rich foods, alcohol and all that running around — send the best of us into overdrive!

Maybe you find yourself irked that someone didn’t come thru for you or upset that you didn’t pull off the perfect Christmas – again.

You are not alone! Conflict and exhaustion are normal results of holiday frenzy and by January things can look bleak.

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Searching for Connection

Love and connection seem complicated and mysterious.Peaceful Happy Couple

With it, humans thrive. Without it – not so much.

Relationship distress is a little known and unacknowledged public health issue in the United States. As a culture, we don’t think of depression, anxiety and other health issues that way.

The good news is – relationship disconnect or insecure attachment – is rapidly becoming THE issue of the 21st century.

While a definitive answer to connection eludes us, last week, after years of research and collaboration, a groundbreaking study was released. It showed, for the first time, how the brain sees and responds to threat.

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How Masterful Couples Use Time

When you think about the relationship you truly desire, you might think…We don’t have time for that.

I read a blog recently that reminded me of the way I think about time. Then, as I listened to clients, I realized the issue is too important to keep to myself. I was going to have to write about it.

Here are just a few of the things we all say and do around time:

The kids take up all our time.
Who has the time?
Maybe we’ll do it next time.
Time passed us by.
We run out of time.
We don’t take the time.
Relationships take too much time.
We race against time.
We borrow time,
save time
use time,
spend time
and
waste time.

Continue Reading How Masterful Couples Use Time