We can’t solve problems by using the same kind of thinking
we used when we created them. Any intelligent fool
can make things bigger, more complex, and more violent.
It takes a touch of genius – and a lot of courage – to move
in the opposite direction.
- Albert Einstein
People often struggle with the notion of getting help for issues around relationships or mental health, like when you don’t feel happy or you feel anxious or depressed.
Individuals have said to me:
“Well if I can’t make my relationship work, maybe it wasn’t meant to be.”
This kind of thinking is very sad and is probably what contributes to a 50% global divorce rate by year 7 in marriages.
Others have said to me
“I’m just stupid for not knowing how to cope with this life situation and it’s shameful to seek out help.”
Some people will continue to choose to be miserable rather than risk getting effective help that could help turn their situation around more quickly than the current path they are on.
Our society has yet to normalize that mentally healthy people can and do face difficulties. The truth is that Mentally Healthy people seek help! Seeking help doesn’t mean you are unwell, it just means you realize the limitation of your scope of knowledge and competency and you seek out experts to help you get to what you want.
People don’t feel shame or guilt about seeing a doctor, a dentist, an accountant or a yoga teacher or any other expert. Yet when it comes to matters of the heart or the mind, people feel differently, often to their own detriment.
It is hard to know how to do better if you’ve never learned better. People seem to think that relationship skills or mental health skills are just innately within us. The reality is that people rarely learn the skills needed to deal with the loss of a job, or when a family member dies or how to deal with infertility. No one learns how to deal with infidelity or how to cope with a bullying boss at work.
Parenting skills are another area that we may not learn effectively especially if our parents were not good role models for us. Where does one learn about child cognitive and neurological development? Without this knowledge it’s harder to know what the right thing to do is.
In order to have good relationships, we need effective relationship skills. To have good mental health we need effective mental health skills. If we don’t have these skills then we are likely to suffer the consequences of broken marriages, less productive and healthy lives or poor relationships with our spouse, children or parents. These skills are not taught in schools and many times not even by our families.
While well intentioned to solve relationship skills, people mistakenly take the skills from being a parent or manager at work and try to apply these skills to their relationships. The things that make us effective employees, bosses, parents, daughters or sons do not work in a committed relationship or marriage. We need different skills to negotiate a win-win in a marriage and with our teenagers. Couples need more effective skills to handle differences of wants, perspectives and values in relationship.
A professionally trained counsellor can actually help people with these issues. In fact this problem is so common that it can be studied! And that means there are solutions!
Many people ignore the wisdom of Eistein. Instead if we faced the humanness in all of us, we’d quickly realize that it’s not realistic to have all the answers to various life situations. If we faced this reality, instead of applying over and over again what doesn’t work, we would more readily and willingly seek help when problems are smaller and easier to fix.
If you keep telling your spouse the same thing over and over again and nothing changes, that is probably an indication that you are not effective in your communication. The same is true with your kids.
How much longer are you willing to keep trying in the face of consistently negative outcomes the same approach over and over again? There are solutions and professions can help you. Is the reason you are putting off counselling embedded in an unrealistic message of shame you got about seeking help? Perhaps you need to challenge that belief.
Our relationship therapist is a certified choice theory reality therapist. She has completed level 2 in Gottman Method in couples counselling training and has over 10,000 hours of counselling and experience. She has specialized training in infertility, infidelity and attachment. She provides practical help to individuals and couples who just want to improve their lives and relationship. Call her at 90307239 to find out how she can help you.
When couples are in love and feeling better than they ever have, it is very easy to overlook issues and differences that show signs of being problematic later on if not dealt with effectively. Often people do not want to talk about problems when they are in a good place. But this is when its most important to do it. Most people wait until they are fighting to unleash all the things they are angry about and this is very ineffective.
People often do not consider getting relationship help when things are good. However, that is the best time to seek professional help to improve your relationship skills when you are feeling loving towards your partner. If there are signs that you are struggling discussing differences of wants, being understood or have changes negotiating differences, getting help early is a great way to avoid major problems.
All in the Family Counselling specializes in relationship counselling whether it is with your spouse, parent-child, fiancé or boyfriend/girlfriend. Everyone can benefit from learning more effective communication skills, learning how to manage and positively negotiate differences and enhance overall intimacy.
Pre-Marriage & Post Marriage Counselling
Pre-Marriage counselling is so important to help prepare couples with effective communication and conflict management skills so that when the strong feelings of love and sexual attraction wane and are replaced by the reality of everyday life and challenges, couples will still be able to function effectively, maintain their friendship and increase intimacy. A 2012 UCLA study found that women going into marriage with doubts were more likely to be divorced by year 4 in the marriage. Getting skills and clearing up doubt increase successful marriages.
Before embarking on infertility treatments, couples or individuals can benefit from learning more effective stress and anxiety management skills. Also infertility counselling can help couples process and effective manage the grief experienced from failed cycles. Infertility also greatly impacts a couples sexual life and counselling can be a protective factor so that love making doesn’t just become baby making. Protecting your relationship and reducing stress can help make infertility treatments more positive.
Bringing Home Baby Counselling
A baby brings to a couple many positive things. However, a baby can also risk bringing in more conflict, tension and disagreement if couples do not have effective skills for managing the changed freedom, duties and expectations that a baby brings to a relationship. Gottman’s research shows couples experience a significant decrease, as high as 66%, in marital satisfaction after the birth of a child and increase the likelihood a of disengaged father. This has been shown to be negated by learning good relationship skills through counselling.
Baby Sleep Fairy
Teaching you effective ways to get your child to sleep using an evidence based approach. We help you understand how sleep works, teach you about sleep and the four main problems so that you can get your child sleep great in a short period of time. Research consistently shows that poor quality sleep is harmful for the quality of your baby’s health and development. Poor quality sleep in children is also linked to a mother’s increased risk in developing post natal depression.
Visit our website and read our articles for more information or give us a call to learn more about how our experienced and practical Master Degree Level counselling with over 10,000 hours of experience and specialized training in infertility couselling, infidelity counselling and attachment and trauma. She’s happy to answer any questions you may have.
Did you know All in the Family Counselling is home of the Babysleepfairy. We help parents with sleep issues like night wakings, bedtime struggles and nap problems.
Most sleep issues are related to sleep amounts and sleep distribution as well as sleep association. There are many culturally based incorrect beliefs about sleep that prevent sleep training from working or produce crying without any results. Usually teething can lead to sleep problems, and because sleep is learned it can be unlearned quickly after illness, long haul flights and vacations.
Sleep is a brain function so its something a child must learn and because of that once you fix a problem it doesn’t stay fixed for life (darn it!),
Sleep training get a bad reputation because people don’t implement correctly usually because they don’t understand how sleep works,
Sleep Tip: Sleep training methods work, when they fail it is because the parent has implemented the method incorrectly. I consistently see parents who swear their child is non-sleep trainable. Whenever I assess what they’ve done prior to seeing me, they’ve usually done it incorrectly. Lack of sleep is a recognized form of torture…so when you are tired you are not likely to have the energy to do the proper research or implement correctly. You can not sleep train on naps without fixing nights first. If you child isn’t napping its because something is wrong with your night. Find out how to correctly sleep train to avoid the horror stories you hear about.
Call us today at 9030 7239
How did you sleep last night? Was your child awake multiple times during the night? Or were they up for 1 to 2 hours and you couldn’t get them to sleep no matter how hard you tried? Or did they wake up at 430/5am ready to go and appeared to be done sleeping?
Well these are actually fixable problems. Did you know that a lot of sleep beliefs are misinformed myths that derive either from not understanding sleep or our need for freedom. One of the most harmful sleep myths is this idea of sleeping through the night is 7 to 7.
FALSE! clinically from 4 months on sleeping through the night for most children is only 9 1/4 to 10 hours. Having a child do more sleep at night than they can biological do will make night waking worse or have the child up for 1 to 2 hours in the middle of the night or even have them waking at 430/5am done sleep.
The solutions isn’t to see how you can extend their sleep but rather look at their total sleep needs and how its distributed across a 24 hour period. Fixing sleep can be tricky if you don’t understand how it works. Child’s behavior can send you signals that are confusing and fixing it correcting will make it better. This problem doesn’t respond to crying it out or other extinction methods.
Too much time in bed makes other sleep problems worse. What a good night sleep call us to find out more! Our expert is a child development expert with her master’s degree in mental health counselling. She also has over 10,000 hours in attachment theory and therapy, trauma training and human development. Sleep is a well understood process. Get the right answers so you can all start sleeping.
For Finder Readers if you purchase a ticket on our website and send and email after purchasing your ticket citing "FINDER" you’ll receive a refund or credit of $50 from your initial payment back from paypal. For questions email firstname.lastname@example.org
The anticipation of a baby is filled with a lot of preparation for the mother, the baby and the delivery. However, little time is spent actually preparing the relationship of the husband and wife for the arrival of the baby.
Drs. Gottman (2006), a leading relationship researcher, found that after the first baby is born relationship satisfaction dropped significantly for two-thirds of the couples studied with a 63% drop in satisfaction. Husbands were found to disengage from their child and from their wives. Couples found themselves fighting much more with their emotional intimacy deteriorated. They became bewildered and exhausted and not surprisingly their passion, sex and romance plummeted.
- · Defining and strengthening the couple’s relationship by clarifying the couple’s decision making platform.
- · Clarifying goals, expectations and duties of each spouse
- · Getting more tools for effective communication and conflict management
- · Clear understanding of what it takes to make a successful transition to parenthood and maintain positive relationship
- · Learn skills that will enhance your relationship and help a couple to negotiate differences of opinions and expectations
- · Conflict management tool worksheets to take home
Delivery of Course
This will be a very experiential hand on course that will allow you tangible views into your relationship. The course will provide you a new foundation to take home and start practicing more effective relationship skills around conflict management and expectation management and goal setting.
Lucy Billing Robbins, USA Visiting Speaker
Lucy Billings Robbins is a nationally recognized trainer and a senior faculty member of The William Glaser Institute. She has actively promoted and provided Reality Therapy training throughout the South. She has extensive experience in working with couples and on relationship issues. Lucy has a national certification in substance abuse and clinical supervision and hypnotherapy. She is acclaimed as a mentor and advocate for alcoholism and drug abuse counselors. She has served on the Tennessee Alcoholism and Drug Abuse Counsellors Association Board of Directors and is a past president.
Tammy M. Fontana, MS, NCC, CTRT, Founder All in the Family Counselling & BabySleepFairy
Ms. Fontana is an established relationship counsellor helping individuals successfully learn more effective relationship skills in order to master the relationship challenges of communication, conflict and children. She has been helping parents around the world establish good sleep habits and provide solutions for those parents who are struggling with their children’s sleep. Tammy has been featured in “Mother & Child” magazine and Channel 5 News Asia and The Married Men Radio show.
The anticipation or arrival of a new baby is one filled with excitement, hope and joy. However, for many couples, the reality of that new baby is quite different from the fantasy. Gottmans (2006) research found that after the first baby is born relationship satisfaction dropped significantly for two-thirds of the couples studied with a 63% drop in satisfaction.
In Gottman’s research on new parents, conflict within the relationship and hostility towards each other dramatically increase. Couples found themselves fighting much more with their emotional intimacy deteriorated. They became bewildered and exhausted and not surprisingly their passion, sex and romance plummeted.
Distressed parents often want their babies to be quite and not need them so much, like a dolls in a crib. This creates a withdrawn parent-child emotional relationship. Unhappily married parents may also be intrusive to force their babies into preferable behavior-like shutting up or sleep more.
In Gottman’s research on babies raised by unhappy parents the child(ren) suffered developmentally. They lagged behind babies of contented parents both intellectually and emotionally. Speech occurred later, potty training was delayed and the ability self-sooth was slow in coming. With parents suffering from depression some of these lags in children were permanent.
From this research it is clear that the greatest gift parents can give their child is a loving, stable and happy relationship. This type of relationship nutures a baby’s development and promotes stronger attachment to parents. This loving environment allows the baby to grow both emotionally and intellectually. Children cannot survive and flourish in a war zone between warring parents.
So what can you do:
No parent wants to create a hostile environment and not get along with their spouse. The reality is that for most of us nowhere do we learn effective relationship skills. It’s important to keep the focus on your relationship and connection with your partner. It’s important to be open to influence of each other’s views on parenting. Working towards a win-win compromise and realizing that in every disagreement there are two valid viewpoints.
By developing strong relationships skill prior to the baby arriving you can positively influence your child’s intellectual and emotional development. Effective skills will allow you to prevent escalating hostilities and learn how to negotiate effectively while understanding that each partner’s viewpoints are valid. Good relationship skills have been shown to reduce incidents of postpartum depression significantly, thus improving a child’s developmental outcome.
Getting good relationship or doing preventative counselling to help build a common platform for decision making after the baby will protect the health and happiness of your relationship.
For more information or help with your relationship please contact All in the Family Counselling at 9030 7239.
Another reason to eliminate “why” questions from your relationship is that when you are getting set to have a conflict discussion it puts the asker in a one-up position or a position of superiority. This is never good in a marriage because in a healthy marriage, it is made up of equals who share the power.
“I want to know why you think you can do that?” “Why is it you must do that?”
Beyond Parenting Tips: Translating Parenting Concepts into Effective Parental Behaviors October 25, 2012 at 11am to 130pm -Spaces Still Available
- Learn key child cognitive and behavior development stages so that you can better assess age appropriateness of popular parenting tools and interventions
- Identify your parenting goals and separate these from Parent’s needs and Parent’s wants
- Understand from a science and evidence based way why neither the “carrot” nor “the stick” are optimal parenting strategies for long term discipline or learning
- Develop parenting framework that will allow you to apply and do parenting concepts effectively.
- Overview of basic child development explaining brain development, cognitive and behavioral developmental stages in children as a foundation to understanding how to implement various child interventions
- Overview and explanation using research to explain why neither the “carrot” or “the stick” type parenting styles consistently work
- Distinguishing discipline from punishment
- Integrating Parenting Intentions with Consistent Behaviors so that Children get the Correct message and parenting becomes fun!
55 Market Street, Level 10, next to the Bank of Singapore Building.
MRT: Raffles Place, 4 minute walk, follow exit A
Parking: Across at Golden Shoe car park
Who Should Attend:
Any parent, teacher or helper wanting to improve their discipline skills and improve their relationship with their child and have greater peace and happiness at home. This program is not designed for children to attend. This will be hands on workshop with lots of adult interaction and input. This workshop is ideal for parents with children age 4 through 14.
$100 for individual or $125 for a married couple. This will include coffee, tea and water along with a light snack served of cookies. Please feel free to bring a brown bag lunch
For payment other than through Paypal with your credit card please call Tammy at 9030 7239
People often call me, requesting an appointment so that I can give them advice on what to do or how to handle their current personal or relationship problems. If you’ve ever spoken to a professionally trained counsellor you’ll probably get the same answer which is: counsellors do not give advice but rather help people figure out more effective ways to solve their problem. But what does that really mean.
The purpose of the document to further clarify the role of counselling and distinguish it from advice giving so you can better understand how it can help you.
So what is advice? The definition of advice is
n advice [ədˈvais]
suggestions to a person about what he should do You must seek legal advice if you want a divorce; Let me give you a piece of advice.
v advise [ədˈvaiz]
1 to give advice to; to recommend My lawyer advises me to buy the house.
2 (withof) to inform This letter is to advise you of our interest in your proposal.
Typically relationship advice or mental health advice (whether we have asked for it or not) generally comes from the perspective and capabilities of the person giving. So the person telling you what to do, think or say is only telling you based on what has worked for them or they think will work because they may have never even tried out their own advice! This is why whenever you are getting advice from people your typical response is usually “Yes, but…” “Yes, but I can’t do that because XYZ” or “Yes but that won’t work because …” So in other words rarely is advice helpful to you because it coming from the skills, capabilities and realities of another person and their own circumstances.
Counselling on the other hand, believes that client actually has the solution within him or herself. Often the client may be asking him/herself the wrong question or they need to look at the issue in a different way. A therapist will help a client do this. If the client lacks some specific skills to solve their problem the therapist can then supplement the client’s current skill level through specific training and education.
Counselling is really about evaluating a client’s wants and then evaluating what the client is trying to do to get what they want and if its effective. If it isn’t effective, the therapist will work with the client to become more effective so the client can get what they want.
How our Counsellor Helps You
U.S. trained Counsellors with their master’s degree have training in human development, child development, psychopathology, assessment and diagnosis. They have additional training in relationships and other theories of human behavior. Our counsellor provides people with new skills and tools to address and deal with their problems that often come directly from the client’s own knowledge base about his or her own life.
Risks to getting Advice on Relationship and Mental Health Issues
When you seek advice on matters related to your relationships, anxiety or other mental health issues, most people have not received any training or appropriate life skills to be effective in helping you. Often they are giving you what they heard somewhere else. A lot of people struggle to manage their own relationships and mental health so it’s quite risky to take advice from people.
Another risk is that Mental health advice cannot help you process and understand your feelings and what you should with them to make a better decision. Often feelings overwhelm people and they make decision based in feelings without understanding what is driving those feelings and this can cause a person to make bad decision and choices. Friends and families may not be in a good position to help you with important life decision because they are often reacting from their set of feelings. A professional trained counsellor is there to help you process and determine what is best for you. A therapist doesn’t have any vested interested in the choices you make and only works with you to determine what is good for you.
Another issue with receiving advice is that the person suggesting options to you will not have to live with the consequences of what they are telling you. Unless you come back to them blaming them for doing what they told you and backfired, blew up or didn’t work. That isn’t good for relationships. Advice giving or receives shifts responsibility of behavior and choices to the person giving it and the person taking the advice will be happy if it happens to work out but often becomes very unhappy and possibly blaming to the advice giver.
Giving advice is risky! That’s why counsellors do not it. Giving advice assumes a certain level of responsibility or expertise about the recipient’s life that may not be accurate. If a person gives advice they are not able to assess your capability to pull off what they are suggesting. Also they may not be able to predict the multiple of negative outcomes that could come from what they suggest because they are not an expert on your life, circumstances and the contingencies tied their recommendation.
So how does counselling differ from advice? Well counselling we teach people how to understand their emotions and separate them from thinking and their choices. Our counsellors teach people more effective skills to be able to communicate better and get along better with the important people in their life. We help give people better tools so that people can build their own state of happiness better. We don’t tell better what to do but rather we give them tools so they can figure out what is right and do it for themselves.
Examples of Advice vs. Counselling
Advice: “Ah just stopping worrying about it and focus on something else”
Counselling: A counsellor will teach you actually how to do this!
Advice: Ah you should just do to him what he did to you to teach him a lesson and get him to treat you better.
Counselling: A Counsellor will help you understand how your behaviors and choices may be received by your partner and teach you more effective ways to get your needs met in a relationship.
Advice: you two need to stop arguing and just get along with each other!
Counselling: I’ll teach you and partner how to manage conflict so that both of you can get what you want.
Advice: Stop being so immature and just grow up and get on with it!
Counselling: A counsellor will teach you how to do this and equip you with more effective skills to do that on your own.
Advice: You are so depressing to be around, why don’t you just snap out of it and focus on what you’ve got.
Counselling: A counsellor will equip you with more effective so you learn how to snap out if it and actually do it on your own!.
If you want to learn more about how counselling for you or your relationship can help please contact us at 9030 7239 today.
Are you struggling a bit with getting your adolescent or teen child to follow rules with homework, house rules etc? Does your child tend to explode when you ask him or her do something? Have you taken a lots of parenting courses and read every book on the market and yet you don’t seem to get any results? That can be pretty frustrating and errodes the relationship between you and your child. But there is help and you can learn how to leverage all that training you’ve done and become more effective and improve your relationship with your child too!
Our Parenting Skills Enhancement Program can help you take good parenting concepts and help you practically implement them so you can get the results those concepts and books and courses promise. In working with many parents often what happens is that parents struggle to take concepts and apply (or do ) them appropriately. Often parents may not have insights into how their INTENTIONS do not MATCH their BEHAVIORS. This can send confusing messages to children and errode the effectiveness of any parenting skills concepts. Thus parents, convinced those skills don’t work or there is something really wrong with their kid, revert back to old behaviors and get the same results from their kids. This is very frustrating when you’ve invested time and money in courses and books. Unfortunately then parents tend to blame the child or themselves and that isn’t helpful.
Usually when kids are having more explosive tempers or extreme behaviors its a combination of the child’s skills & temperament, the parent’s skill’s and temperament AND the interaction between the parent and the child. When working with parents of adolescents the first step is to help parents see their role as a teacher not as a commander to get their kids to comply. This requires parents to shift their thinking that actually their kids have unique perspections, views, concerns that may not be at all what the parents think. Often parents mistakenly think they know what’s best for their kid and come up with a solution that completely misses their child’s concerns and only addresses the parent’s concern. Learning more effective ways to address both parent and adolescent concerns can help you reap the benefit of all the parentings books you’ve read.
All children do want to do well and be successful and follow the rules and get positive reinforcement. Often they just don’t have the social or emotional skills available in difficult situation. Old school views were that kids are exploding to get their way, to be manipulative etc. Child development research shows this isn’t true and this is often why punishment doesn’t work.
Call us if you want to explore how you can become more effective in interacting with your child.
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