Couples Counseling Articles

Dr. Anne Hancock

The Perfect Lipstick

When you buy lipstick at a big box store, you’ll likely pay under $10 for a well-known brand made in a manufacturing plant somewhere far away.

If you go to a posh department store you can buy a deluxe brand for under $50 – likely made in that same plant.

When Neiman Marcus and Christian Louboutin offer up a Rouge Matte Lip Colour in a beautiful black box, they’re not selling you a $90 lipstick. They’re selling memorable, significant and over-the-top-notice-me.

And if you really want to scramble your brain you can go to Amazon and buy a Maybelline, drugstore brand, lipstick for over $165. (Nope. That is not a typo.)

The important thing to know is that within a fraction of a percentage point, all lipsticks contain the same ingredients. It’s not about where you buy lipstick or how much you pay, It’s about the story we tell ourselves and what we believe.

In the drawer, is one lipstick really better than the other? Is there really a right choice? It depends….on what texture and color you like, your skin tone, what you’re wearing that day and where you’re going. Maybe even your mood.

We choose. And because there is no absolute ranking, ‘preference’ is different than ‘right’.

This applies to just about everything in life… including intimate relationship.

How we use language, choose our words, our tone of voice, the conversations we decide to engage in…and whether or not we bring our best selves to the table.

Having an open heart and being in sync with our partner is always a choice.

Hold Me Tight® Workshop for Couples – Charlotte, NC – September 28 & 29

How do you want to feel in your relationship?

Safe? Warm? Respected? Understood? Cherished?

Whatever it is for YOU…. if you’re trying hard to make things better – you’re not alone.

We’re all pretty good about attending to our children, homes and careers. Yet when it comes to our primary relationship, most of us wing it and hope for the best. STOP!

What YOU want for your relationship is more important today than ever before.

It’s time to dig deep and think about the ONE thing that’s likely to make everything better.

You know what I’m talking about….connection.

It creates the kind of closeness you experience when you have important conversations…. without slipping into that dreaded negative spin.

Connection is a must-have for 21st century relationships and exactly what you’ll experience in our couples workshops.

Hold Me Tight® Workshop for Couples

2 Days – 7 Conversations

Join us on September 28 and 29!

The Wellness Center Counseling Hold Me Tight workshop

CLICK HERE TO REGISTER

Continue Reading Hold Me Tight® Workshop for Couples – Charlotte, NC – September 28 & 29

I’ve struggled with this too!

We all know falling in love is the easy part. Keeping love alive is the BIG challenge, right?

When we try to remake our parents relationship into our own or use them as relationship role models, it doesn’t work well for most of us. In part, because they lived less complicated lives with clear expectations in a very different era.

Still, it’s hard to let go of the image of perfection or how things should be.

Making room for the new means letting go of old expectations that end up building walls of resentment.

When we can say, this is OUR relationship – not my mother’s / not my father’s – we switch into the role of co-creator.

Consciously, we begin to sketch out what WE want this relationship to be and care enough to make it happen.

Our Hold Me Tight® Workshop for Couples (June 29 & 30) lays it all out there for you. Seven conversations over two days that have the capacity to change the way you see your partner AND your relationship. It’s perfect for couples who have conversations that either escalate or don’t ever seem to get resolved.

Continue Reading I’ve struggled with this too!

Some Thoughts On Relating

To relate:

  1. To bring into or establish association, connection or relation.
  2. To establish a social or sympathetic relationship with a person or thing.

Relating is for people who want to matter. In intimate partnerships it’s about protecting and supporting each other and is the essential ingredient for a fulfilling relationship.

When it’s missing, we’re disconnected and our relationships feel stuck. The stuck-ness is real. It’s undeniable truth, not just a metaphor. Stuck-ness triggers us and shows up in ways that will spin you around, take you down and drop you off in the middle of nowhere – lonely and confused.

That’s the power of emotional disconnection.

That peaceful, loving state we all strive for vanishes.

Continue Reading Some Thoughts On Relating

Love and Loneliness

Creating emotional balance and safety in a topsy-turvy world seems impossible some days.

Intuitively, we know love, attention and connection are are key; everywhere present and scarce at the same time.

So we seek it. Crave it. Demand it.

While the essence of it all might just be about mastering how to give and receive it.

What we believe matters… now more than ever.

Happy New Year and Last Chance to Register For Early Bird Pricing

Tonight my husband and I have plans for a lovely dinner to celebrate New Year’s eve.

Yet, this morning, I found myself wishing for a drive along the majestic California coastline.

These tumbling thoughts can turn into complaints and always catch me by surprise. They force me to pause and reflect.

Maybe… just maybe it’s our nature to crave things we don’t have in the moment. It also saps energy and can bring on the blues.

The quickest FIX I know of is a GRATITUDE list. So we did one…. together.

Continue Reading Happy New Year and Last Chance to Register For Early Bird Pricing

Moment by Moment / Grace and Gratitude

Just a simple reminder on how well you’re doing.

Those anxious moments you had a year ago are gone.

The problem was either resolved or it faded into the background. Something you live with but no longer think of as urgent.

Today there are other issues – for sure!

And, knowing you can get through every single overwhelming moment makes it easier to see what’s real.

When we give our attention to the important stuff instead of the panic within, we learn to build a cycle of goodness.

Continue Reading Moment by Moment / Grace and Gratitude

It’s been a tough year…

Yes. It’s been a tough year and here we are!

We’re well into November and it’s finally time to acknowledge the launch of the 2018 Holiday Season. (Delicious, stressful, merry and expensive!)

I get it….the big box stores started their holidays in August but we’re less than 60 days till the end of the year…..and it’s mind boggling how fast it all goes.

For me, 2018 has been a year filled with extraordinary growth AND extraordinary challenges. If it’s been that way for you too, I understand.

All year, one little phrase has kept me moving forward. I borrowed it from someone with a very wise mother…. (who said it often). It’s a phrase I journal, say to myself and say out loud, to anyone who needs encouragement….. the kind it takes to keep moving forward.

EVERYTHING is figure-out-able.

No doubt….you’re doing a lot. You’ve got a ton to be grateful for. And… you’re maneuvering through some BIG challenges.

If one of those challenges is relationship conflict, it may be time to take a closer look at how things work. Those difficult situations don’t come out of ‘the blue.’

They exist to teach us what we need to know in order to grow and love more deeply. Loving well will teach you (and your partner) how to be more of who you really are.

YOU are the very essence of Love. It’s who you are. You are also smarter and stronger than you realize. And you have what it takes to figure things out. (That doesn’t mean you have to do it alone!)

Continue Reading It’s been a tough year…

When Conversations Go Off The Rails – Bad Things Happen

Can you relate? It happens to all of us.

It’s that moment in your relationship when things are great and suddenly someone gets triggered.

The conversation goes off the rails and your partner makes NO sense.

Communication goes in circles and you both feel frustrated, hurt and confused.

Intuitively you know it’s a negative loop – one that’s almost impossible to stop.

You’ve been here 100 times before and you want to stop it………. but you can’t

You’d love to get your point across. But, what you want MOST is to be heard and understood.

Sometimes you’re left wondering what the heck the argument was even about.

YOU ARE NOT ALONE!

These negative cycles are UNIVERSAL and every couple has them.

Continue Reading When Conversations Go Off The Rails – Bad Things Happen

Registration is open and I’m super excited!

I’m thrilled to announce that Early Bird Registration (big savings!) is open for our 2019 Hold Me Tight® Workshops here in Charlotte, NC.

We have four 2-day weekends to choose from!

 

Yep. I’m that excited.

Most of us value our primary relationship and truly want to make it better – we read books and spend hours scouring the internet wondering how to make that special connection happen.

We carefully and regularly attend to our…

  • children
  • careers
  • cars
  • yards
  • mortgages and
  • home improvement projects

with LOTS of success.

But if you work your tail off and can’t figure out why things aren’t getting better between you and your partner — you are not alone.

(HINT: this is not something we’re taught in school. And people rarely recognize emotional closeness as a skill worth building and cultivating. Turns out, it’s as essential as oxygen!)

Make no mistake – the ability for a couple to have enough closeness and trust to have an important conversation (or any conversation for that matter!) without slipping into a negative spin – is a must-have for 21st century relationships.

And that’s exactly what you’ll learn in our Hold Me Tight® Workshop for Couples.

After 2 days and 7 conversations, you’ll walk away with concrete ways to communicate and pull your partner closer.

Talking, listening and being heard for the first time in a loooooong time is exactly what you’ll experience.

Click here and select the date that works for you……

Continue Reading Registration is open and I’m super excited!