Why More Senior Citizens Are Seeking Relationship Counseling

Contrary to some beliefs senior citizens have the same issues that younger couples face in relationships. Honestly, some issues are only experienced by seniors. In most cases issues cannot be resolved on their own. It can be difficult to be objective without feeling the sting of accusations that often cause couples to be defensive with each other. A practical solution to resolving relationship issues is relationship counseling. According to peoplesproblems.org, here are some reasons some seniors may have for going to couples or relationship counseling.

 

1. Bickering Turns into Arguing

Some arguing in a relationship is perfectly normal, according to a Psychology Today article on the psychology of love and the nature of relationships. If, however, occasional bickering turns into a full blown fight with increasing frequency, it may be time to consider relationship counseling. Seniors are generally not as quick to end a relationship because of fighting. Yet, a relationship characterized by constant fighting, can lead to serious health issues in seniors such as stress, fatigue, depression and even serious physical conditions. According to the Marriage Counseling Guide, couples therapy teaches each partner how to really listen and state their opinion without going right into argument mode.

2. Sense of Apathy

According to a recent study on common issues concerning the elderly, there is a direct connection between relationship apathy and cognitive dysfunction. In other words, sometimes when you get older you take one another for granted. According to a study referenced by the AARP, this is a common concern among seniors. Nobody likes to feel like what they say or do doesn’t matter. This may not be the case, but if one partner feels this way it can lead to depression and other emotion-based conditions. People, regardless of age, like to appreciated every now and then.

3. Sexual Issues

According to a 2007 study of 3,005 adults ages 57 to 85, seniors still enjoy a healthy sex life. Yet, some seniors may experience diminished sexual intimacy as they age. This may be due a partner’s physical inability to perform the way they did previously. A big part of is connecting with your partner in more than a physical way. This may involve discussing your needs with your partner or simply finding other ways to be intimate. A counseling setting takes away some of the embarrassment some seniors may feel when discussing such issues.

4. Lack of Communication

Communication issues are really at the heart of most issues. Seniors, in particular, may assume their partner knows how they feel. As a result, you may find yourself not telling your partner something as simple as “I love you” or offer words of encouragement. A common defense is that your partner should know how you feel. Regardless of age, people still like to hear that they are loved and what they do matters. A major part of relationship counseling is addressing communication issues. Reestablishing lines of communication may ultimately breathe new life into a relationship.

5. Lifestyle Adjustments

Seniors often face a major change in lifestyle as they grow older. This may include having more free time due to retirement or having more disposable income to enjoy leisure activities. While this can be a good thing, sometimes one partner is not used to having the other one around as much. Conversely, some seniors may cut back or eliminate many social activities they did before retirement. Both situations can put stress on a relationship. Relationship therapy provides a forum to voice concerns and reach a compromise that works for both partners.

Relationships face challenges, regardless of age. Some seniors may find it difficult to go to relationship counseling due to preconceived notions or a belief that marriage issues are private. Senior relationships are often built on a combination of love and friendship. As we go from one stage of life to another, there are changes that take place. Sometimes these changes put a strain on an otherwise healthy relationship. It is important to understand that relationship counseling is not about placing blame. It is about working out issues in a relationship that, at its core, is still strong.

A practical solution to resolving relationship issues is relationship counseling.

Dr. April provides counseling for our precious senior citizens.

To book your complimentary consultation contact us @ www.draprilbrown.comor www.fortmyerstherapist.com
Or Call (239) 565-6921

Intimacy Coaching and Counseling

Intimacy Counseling

Intimacy is the sharing of one’s soul with another person’s, depth of trust, and profound insights into each other. That level of emotional interaction strengthens  character, focus and integrity. Social media and other outlets have degraded the concept of intimacy in relationships, as a “What’s in it for me?” mindset has settled in. Intimacy has been perverted from its respected form into something that is lacking in most relationships today.

The continuous degradation of intimacy in relationships has led to more couples seeking counseling.

Intimacy Counseling

FEAR OF INTIMACY

Intimacy can help you feel more loved and less alone. But intimacy also requires a great deal of trust and vulnerability, and you may find this frightening. Many people struggle with intimacy, and fear of intimacy is a common concern in therapy.

People can fear intimacy due to a variety of reasons. Some of the most common causes include:

  • Abandonment Issues: You may fear that once you become attached to someone, that individual will leave.
  • Fear of Rejection: You might worry that once you reveal any flaws or imperfections, the other person will no longer want to be with you.
  • Control Issues: You may fear losing your independence as you become emotionally connected to others.
  • Past Abuse: A history of childhood abuse, especially sexual abuse, may make it difficult for you to trust others.

 

BUILDING INTIMACY IN A RELATIONSHIP

It is possible to overcome fears of intimacy. A compassionate counselor can help you understand the underlying emotions driving your fear. They can help you address these feelings and find healthier ways to cope with them besides isolating yourself. Dr. April Brown is a Licensed Mental Health Christian Counselor, Certified School Counselor, Distance Certified Counselor, National Certified Counselor, and a Qualified Clinical Supervisor. She has a thriving private practice in Cape Coral and Fort Myers, Florida where she specializes in intimacy counseling

Sometimes mental health issues like avoidant personality disorder can also contribute to intimacy issues. Treating these diagnoses can also offer significant benefits.

The following suggestions may allow you and your partner to grow closer.

  • Be patient. Getting to truly know someone is a serious time commitment. The trust-building process is often a slow one. Intimacy is not a race.
  • Start with the easy stuff.If you find it easier to talk about the future than the past, then start by sharing your dreams and goals. As trust builds, you may find it less frightening to talk about the more difficult topics.
  • Talk openly about your needs. Are you someone who needs a lot of time alone to recharge? How often do you like to have sex? You can prevent a lot of misunderstandings if you tell your partner plainly what you want instead of assuming your desires are “obvious”.
  • Respect each other’s differences.Even the most intimate partners still have their own identities. You and your partner do not need to agree on everything in order to love each other.

    Are you and your significant other struggling in your connection to one another?   For some reason, that bond or closeness seems to be going away.  There is a wall between you two.  Intimacy coaching can help, because it is a process to help men and women who are struggling with the issues of love, intimacy, and romance, get the love and relationship they want.

    In the coaching sessions, Dr. April will work on breaking down the walls that prevent intimacy through:

    • Exploring each person’s mind, body, and spirit

    • Uncovering each person’s thoughts, beliefs, and emotions that have been unconsciously forming their sexual attitudes and behaviors

    • Learning, understanding, and communicating each person’s needs, wants, and desires

    • Repairing and creating passionate strong bonds that will create and maintain satisfying intimacy.

      For more information about intimacy coaching, contact Dr. April – where intimacy is real.

 

 

The Effects Of A Negative Mind

Negative thinking is quite contagious, once it infects someone the symptoms may persist over a lifetime. Most Americans fail to recognize the repercussions of thinking negatively.

The effects are far more psychological, they are physical and will impact your spiritual life. Negative thinking not only comes from negative events that are currently taking place but also past experiences. In fact, past negative experiences are the most harmful as neurological pathways are formed which link past negative thoughts to current experiences. Undoubtedly, we are the product of our thoughts and past perceptions, and learning to reprogram our thinking process is crucial in overcoming a negative mindset.

woman sad negative thinking

Negative Thinking Lead to Health Issues

I’m sure we all know a “Negative Nancy” or a “Miserable Mark”. If you happen know this individual as a negative person for an extended amount of time I sure you wouldn’t consider them to be physically “healthy”. However, people who work out consistently tend to be positive individuals. There is a definite inverse relationship and the key to it all is energy. Negative people lack emotional and sometimes physical energy. Many people with negative attitudes have developed them as a defense mechanism to keep people away from consuming their precious energy. Once someone has established themselves as a negative individual they are less likely to be approached for the slightest thing by friends or family therefore preserving their energy.

According to Psychology Today, “Whilst we know that a person’s genetics and life circumstances contribute to mental health problems, the results show that traumatic life events are the main reason people suffer from anxiety and depression. However, the way a person thinks about, and deals with, stressful events is as much an indicator of the level of stress and anxiety they feel,” said lead researcher, Peter Kinderman, Head of the Institute of Psychology, Health and Society.

Here are 5 steps to stop the patterns of negative thinking.

  1. Acknowledge that your thinking process is negative.
  2. Eliminate words such as could’ve, probably, maybe, should’ve etc from your vocabulary entirely.
  3. Listen to and repeat positive affirmations daily. (YOU TUBE)
  4. Pray and meditate
  5. Speak with a Professional Counselor

Financial Intimacy 101

Financial Intimacy 101

Couples are instructed to be open and transparent when it comes to finances.  But what do you do when neither of you are comfortable doing so?

Bringing intimacy Back

In a recent episode of Bringing Intimacy Back,  Dr. April Brown sat down with Michele Edwards-Collie – Owner of The King’s Daughter to discuss Financial Intimacy. They discussed how in order for couples to be intimate financially requires “nakedness” with one another. The nakedness is symbolic of the openness and transparency couples must have in order to be truly financially intimate. When couples experience financial intimacy at its highest level, they experience an overall enhancement of the quality of life.

But let’s be honest, most couples are uncomfortable being transparent with their finances—sometimes even with themselves individually, let alone with other people. That awkward feeling becomes intensified when couples start the discussion about finances.

According to brightonjones.com, the first challenge of financial intimacy is the underlying “social taboo” about discussing money. Most of us are taught from a young age that talking about money with other people is “not polite.” To complicate matters, modern America far too often equates success with money. As such, one—or both—people in a relationship may feel judged if they share their finances, as if there is something wrong, broken, or deficient about them if their financial situation is not what they hoped it would be at their current stage in life. Start with the assumption that virtually every couple finds this conversation awkward, especially in the early years of a relationship.

To start down the path of financial intimacy, we recommend discussing any past issues or bad experiences with money. Also discuss what you each make, how much you are saving per year (and where), and how much debt you have. These topics are sensitive, but the more couples communicate about finances and “get naked” (transparent) with one another the road will only get easier from there.

The Mentality Of Fatherhood – Fathers Day

Is Father’s Day a Public Holiday?

Father’s Day is not a public holiday. It falls on Sunday, June 16, 2019 and most businesses follow regular Sunday opening hours in the United States.

Father’s Day is a day for fathers and father-like figures.

fathers day dad holding kid

What Do People Do?

Father’s Day is an occasion to mark and celebrate the contribution that your own father has made to your life. Many people send or give cards or gifts to their fathers. Common Father’s Day gifts include sports items or clothing, electronic gadgets, outdoor cooking supplies and tools for household maintenance.

Father’s Day is a relatively modern holiday so different families have a range of traditions. These can range from a simple phone call or greetings card to large parties honoring all of the ‘father’ figures in a particular extended family. Father figures can include fathers, step-fathers, fathers-in-law, grandfathers and great-grandfathers and even other male relatives. In the days and weeks before Father’s Day, many schools and Sunday schools help their pupils to prepare a handmade card or small gift for their fathers.

Public Life

Father’s Day is not a federal holiday. Organizations, businesses and stores are open or closed, just as they are on any other Sunday in the year. Public transit systems run to their normal Sunday schedules. Restaurants may be busier than usual, as some people take their fathers out for a treat.

Background and symbols

There are a range of events, which may have inspired the idea of Father’s Day. One of these was the start of the Mother’s Day tradition in the first decade of the 20th century. Another was a memorial service held in 1908 for a large group of men, many of them fathers, who were killed in a mining accident in Monongah, West Virginia in December 1907.

A woman called Sonora Smart Dodd was an influential figure in the establishment of Father’s Day. Her father raised six children by himself after the death of their mother. This was uncommon at that time, as many widowers placed their children in the care of others or quickly married again.

Sonora was inspired by the work of Anna Jarvis, who had pushed for Mother’s Day celebrations. Sonora felt that her father deserved recognition for what he had done. The first time Father’s Day was held in June was in 1910. Father’s Day was officially recognized as a holiday in 1972 by President Nixon.

Thank to https://www.timeanddate.com/holidays/us/fathers-day

Stop Letting Addictions Distort Your Outlook On Life

addiction counseling

How’s Your View?

Addictions including alcoholism distorts the users view, which blocks them from seeing the true beauty of life. However, a number of effective treatments are available and people can recover from addiction and live normal, productive lives.

Addictions skew the addicts perception causing them to focus on the substance rather than the impact of that substance. According to the American Psychiatric Association, people with a substance use disorder have distorted thinking, behavior and body functions. Changes in the brain’s wiring are what cause people to have intense cravings for the drug and make it hard to stop using the drug. Brain imaging studies show changes in the areas of the brain that relate to judgment, decision making, learning, memory and behavior control.

How Do I Get Help?

The first step on the road to recovery is recognition of the problem. The recovery process can be hindered when a person denies having a problem and lacks understanding about substance misuse and addiction. The intervention of concerned friends and family often prompts treatment.

A health professional can conduct a formal assessment of symptoms to see if a substance use disorder exists. Even if the problem seems severe, most people with a substance use disorder can benefit from treatment. Unfortunately, many people who could benefit from treatment don’t receive help.

If you or anyone you know is battling alcoholism or any other addiction help is only a phone call away. We want to hear from you!

Feel free to contact us for a complimentary consultation
www.draprilbrown.comor www.fortmyerstherapist.com
Or Call (239) 565-6921

 

 

 

 

What You Must Know About Mental Health Awareness Month

dr April brown mental health awareness month Fort Myers therapist

You Are Not Alone!

Nearly 450 million people worldwide are currently living with a mental illness, in addition nearly two thirds of people with a known mental illness never seek treatment. Dr. April Brown is dedicated to helping those living with anxiety, depression, and co-occurring disorders and their loved ones find treatment, support, and resources.We encourage you to take your mental illness serious by accepting out complimentary assessment. Our goal is to assist those with mental health disorders by inspiring those to break the stigma and seek professional help.

1 in 4 people in the world will be affected by mental or neurological disorders at some point in their lives.

May is officially mental health awareness month. Mental health awareness can never be restricted to a single month, as it is a daily struggle for many. However, focusing on mental health spreads much needed awareness.

Started in 1949 by Mental Health America (MHA), the purpose of Mental Health Awareness Month is to raise awareness and educate the public about the realities of living with these conditions and provide strategies for attaining mental health and wellness.

Mental health is essential to everyone’s overall health and well-being, and mental illnesses are common and treatable.

A healthy lifestyle can help to prevent the onset or worsening of mental health conditions, as well as chronic conditions like heart disease, diabetes, and obesity.

For those dealing with a chronic health conditions and those who care for them, it can be especially important to focus on mental health.

Take the time this month to take care of yourself.

Contact us for your complimentary mental health assessment.

Speak with a Licensed Professional Counselor today and take back control of your life.

www.draprilbrown.comor www.fortmyerstherapist.com

Or Call (239) 565-6921

The Stress of Being A ‘Supermom’

Supermoms Don’t Wear Capes!

stress supermom mental health behavioral health

How much stress can a Supermom handle?

We’ve seen them everywhere. The grocery store, soccer game, ballet recitals, birthday parties and just about everywhere. They are known as Supermoms!

They are the epitome of selflessness and sacrifice. Willing to put the needs of others before themselves day in and day out.

A supermom is defined as an exemplary or exceptional mother, especially one who successfully manages a home and brings up children while also having a full-time job. Although the term mentions the word ‘super’ the stress that accompanies it often hinders their powers.

According to a survey conducted by the American Psychological Association women are more likely to report physical and emotional symptoms of stress than men, such as having had a headache (41 percent versus 30 percent), having felt as though they could cry (44 percent versus 15 percent), or having had an upset stomach or indigestion (32 percent versus 21 percent) in the past month. The same survey also reported that women are more likely than men to report that they eat as a way of managing stress (31 percent versus 21 percent).

Dangerous Stress Levels

You may never know how stressed a supermom is unless you can see behind closed doors. If you could, you would undoubtedly see streams of tears flow. Women who are married reported higher levels of stress than single women, with one-third (33 percent) stating that their stress level increased over the past 30 days, compared with one in five of single women. Similarly, significantly more married women report that their stress has increased over the past five years (56 percent versus 41 percent of single women). And, according to the U.S. Department of Labor, 80 percent of family health care decisions are made by women, which saddles mothers with the added role of family health manager.

However, with the added role of health manager the family may tend to mimic the stress coming from mom. Supermoms tend to set the emotional tone for the household and if not handled properly will lead to more stress in the home.

What Can Supermoms Do For Help?

According to the APA mothers should do the following:

  • Understand how you experience stress — Everyone experiences stress differently.
  • Identify stressors – Discover what gets under your skin or heightens your anxiety.
  • Recognize how you deal with stress – What thoughts, memories or activaties put a smile on your heart.
  • Put things in perspective – Keep it real!. Know your strengths and weaknesses.
  • Find healthy ways to manage stress – Exercise, healthy eating, mediation, prayer is a good place to start.
  • Seek professional support

Dr April Brown offers one-on-one as well a group counseling to support moms and equip them with tools to handle the pressures of day-to-day life.

For your complimentary consultation just fill out the contact info and we will contact you asap!

Speak with a professional Counselor by contacting Dr. April Brown at www.draprilbrown.comor www.fortmyerstherapist.com
(239) 565-6921

Article courtesy of The American Psychological Association

11 Reasons Why Many Women Might Not Have Orgasms

New research identifies the reasons women give for reduced sexual pleasure.

Posted Feb 17, 2018

     “I demand that I climax. I think women should demand that. I have a friend who’s never had an orgasm in her life. In her life! That hurts my heart. It’s cuckoo to me.” —Nicki Minaj

Monkey Business Images/Shutterstock
Source: Monkey Business Images/Shutterstock

According to Rowland, Cempel, and Tempel, as reviewed in their recent study Women’s Attributions Regarding Why They Have Difficulty Reaching Orgasm,” reports of difficulty or inability to orgasm in women range from 10 to 40 percent. Many factors can impede orgasmic capacity: age, hormonal status, sexual experience, physical stimulation, general health, type of stimulation, the kind of sexual activity (e.g., masturbation or not), and whether the relationship is a brief encounter or longer term. Further studies show that while the majority of women can masturbate to orgasm, up to 50 percent of women do not orgasm during sexual intercourse, even with additional stimulation.

Why do women have difficulty with orgasm? There are many possible factors, ranging from reduced sexual desire, pain during intercourse, difficulty becoming sexually aroused, and psychological and relationship factors, including anxiety and post-traumatic symptoms. Researching sexuality is difficult because of complex and inter-related factors, including statistical challenges as well as social stigma and taboos around discussing sexuality. Yet, given the scope of the problem, research is required to guide clinical interventions for women and couples for whom decreased sexual satisfaction is a source of individual distress and relationship problems.

In order to better understand what women themselves attribute orgasmic difficulties to, Rowland and colleagues surveyed 913 women over the age of 18, including 452 women who reported more severe problems achieving orgasm on initial screening. For women with more severe difficulty, 45 percent reported problems with orgasm during half of sexual experiences, 25 percent in three-quarters of sexual experiences, and 30 percent during almost all sexual experiences. Researchers first formed several focus groups to develop a set of commonly reported factors and then developed an online survey gauging demographic information, lifestyle, relationship status, how often they had sex, relationship quality, use of medication, sexual responses, physiologic factors (e.g., arousal and lubrication), and orgasm.

Finally, they looked at the level of distress from difficulty with orgasm, which is not necessarily perfectly correlated with actual difficulty, as some women are not bothered by it or prefer to abstain from sexual activity for various reasons. Three groups were identified for comparison: women who had orgasm difficulty, but were not distressed by it, women who were distressed, and women who did not have orgasm difficulty. They were all asked about why they thought they had difficulty with orgasm, using 11 categories identified during the original focus group and study development, including a 12th “Other” category:

1. I am not interested in sex with my partner.

2. My partner does not seem interested in sex with me.

3. I do not enjoy sex with my partner.

4. My partner does not seem to enjoy sex with me.

5. I am not sufficiently aroused/stimulated during sex.

6. I am not adequately lubricated during sex.

7. I experience pain and/or irritation during sex.

8. We do not have enough time during sex.

9. I am uncomfortable or self-conscious about my body/appearance.

10. I feel that medication or a medical condition interferes with having an orgasm.

11. I feel that my stress and/or anxiety make it difficult to have an orgasm.

12. Other

The most common overall reasons given by women were stress and anxiety, reported by 58 percent; lack of enough arousal or stimulation by nearly 48 percent; and not enough time by 40 percent. Moderately common issues were negative body image, reported by 28 percent; pain or irritation during sex from 25 percent; insufficient lubrication by 24 percent; and medication-related problems by almost 17 percent. The other factors were less commonly reported, by less than 10 percent of respondents.

Some of these factors go together. For example, a lack of arousal was associated with stress and anxiety, not enough time for sex, lubrication issues, and genital pain or irritation. Women with a negative body image tended to also report stress and anxiety. A lack of lubrication, unsurprisingly, was associated with a lack of time and genital discomfort.

When distressed women were compared to non-distressed women, researchers learned that more distressed women experienced anxiety and stress around sex and believed their partners did not like having sex with them. More distressed women, when asked to identify the single most important contribution to decreased orgasm, reported anxiety and stress, while non-distressed women reported less interest in sex and not having enough time to reach orgasm during actual sexual encounters.

Many of these factors are seemingly straightforward to remedy and are likely reflective of relationship quality and partner inattentiveness, among other reasons. There are simple ways to improve the frequency and quality of orgasm via changes in technique and specific communication strategies, which improve overall sexual and relationship satisfaction. While many of these approaches to improving orgasmic and sexual satisfaction sound like common sense, barriers such as poor relationship quality, inadequate or dysfunctional communication styles, unaddressed individual issues, such as depression, anxiety, trauma, and sexual and medical disorders, are often difficult to actually address.

Sexuality remains infused with pressure and shame for many people, in spite of greater positive and open attitudes. On personal and couple levels, people often rely on avoidant coping to deal with the anxiety and shame surrounding sex and sexual problems, solidifying pessimistic views, confirming negative self-image and amplifying low self-esteem, and reducing belief in their ability to make positive changes. Fortunately, by providing “esteem support,” partners can help one another with self-esteem and self-efficacy, making it easy to tackle challenges.

In some cases, as with medications and medical conditions, making changes that would improve sexuality is more complicated. Nevertheless, quite often there are ways of modifying medications and treating medical conditions which can improve or restore sexual enjoyment. Even modest improvements in sexual satisfaction over time can greatly improve quality of life and are worth pursuing.

In therapy and through self-help, individuals and couples can address psychological and emotional issues, improve communication and relationship difficulties, and thereby directly work on intimate behaviors to achieve better sex for both partners. Restoring self-esteem and self-efficacy, practicing more adaptive, active coping, cultivating realistic optimism, and modifying relationship behaviors provides relief of underlying issues and improves overall relationship quality and sexual enjoyment. Rather than setting unrealistic short-term goals, which leads to chronic failure and hopelessness, approaching challenges with investment in compassion for oneself and others, gratitude, curiosity, and patience paves the way for long-term gains.

Please send questions, topics or themes you’d like me to try and address in future blogs, via my PT bio page.

References

David L. Rowland, Laura M. Cempel & Aaron R. Tempel (2018): Women’s Attributions Regarding Why They Have Difficulty Reaching Orgasm, Journal of Sex & Marital Therapy, DOI: 10.1080/0092623X.2017.1408046