The Importance of Self-Intimacy

Have you noticed a real lack of connection in any of your relationships? This lack of connection can be family, friends, or a loved one. Although you may feel this lack of connection one thing is for sure, you are not alone. For most of us our problems or lack of connection with other people comes from a lack of connection with ourselves. It’s time we look self-intimacy as part of the overall problem with connecting with others intimately.

What is Self-Intimacy?

Self intimacy is focused on being fully aware of your feelings, it acknowledges and understand those feelings with the ability to discuss them with the people you trust. It requires communication, however some of us are better at communicating than others. Regardless if you have the gift of communication, it’s very important that you are in touch with your feelings on a consistent basis.

Self intimacy requires a daily check up to make sure you are fully aware of your emotions. Unchecked emotions turns into prolonged issues. Self-intimacy is the first critical step in getting to know ourselves — not only so that we can become closer with others — but so that we can finally see that we’re actually pretty perfect, just as we are. We know that in order to love others we must first love ourselves, it is the same for intimacy. Intimacy in relationships will only take place if each person first learns too be intimate with themselves.

How Can I Improve Self-Intimacy?

Thought you would never ask. First,

Find out what blockages are keeping your from having self-intimacy.

Insecurities play a major role in our ability to be self-intimate. Past trauma and abuse play a major roles in our insecurities not allowing any intimacy to develop in our lives. In addition, a lack of communication can seriously hamper any attempts to develop intimacy in our lives. Keep in mind one that of the most important components of intimacy is the ability to communicate. This also includes the inability to communicate effectively with our-selves. A lack of communication with one-self happens when we live in denial or are unable to see the reality of our decisions and actions.

Take care of yourself.

Isolation is not the key and can be painful for some. Peace and solitude, however, is one of life’s most precious gifts. Whether it’s spending a day at home alone or going out solo for coffee or a movie, doing things on your own can build confidence and help strengthen your inner bond. Or, why not go bold? Take yourself on a relaxing holiday or sign up for a new class without knowing a single person in it.

Dr. April Brownis a leading author in the development of self-intimacy and relationship intimacy. If your life is lacking the intimacy it so desperately needs contact us.

 

Anxiety and Stress In Your Relationship

Stress & Anxiety

Millions of Americans experience stress and anxiety at one time or another. The difference between the two is that stress is a response to a threat in a situation, while anxiety is a reaction to the stress.

Whether in good times or bad, most people say that stress increasingly impacts their lives. In addition, chronic stress can affect your health, causing symptoms from headaches, high blood pressure, and chest pain to heart palpitations, skin rashes, and loss of sleep.

 

Anxiety and stress can negatively impact many aspects of your life, including your relationships. Relationships today are under more increasing pressure than ever. Whether it’s a lack of communication, intimacy, or conflict resolution couples are facing unprecedented problems. Excessive anxiety and stress can lead to inappropriate suspiciousness or paranoia, which may manifest as a concern that your partner is not faithful or does not love or care for you as much as you do. Also, you may be suspicious that your mate is leaving you out of activities or talking badly about you behind your back.

Stress and anxiety can also lead to overthinking, planning for all worst-case scenarios, being indecisive, fearing rejection, and seeking out constant communication (and getting anxious if a partner or friend does not respond quickly).

While levels of anxiety and stress can be healthy (it can motivate people and/or help them sense danger within their environment), for some, their anxiety or stress is overwhelming and debilitating, which can be extremely detrimental to relationships.

Contact us if you find yourself being overly distant in your relationships, as cognitive behavioral therapy, along with couples counseling may be necessary. A mental health professional can help a person explore past and present relationships and determine if there is a pattern of anxiety or stress.

Forgiveness Intimacy

Forgiveness Intimacy

forgiveness intimacy couple

“The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong.”—Mahatma Gandhi

All couples eventually experience times of conflict, hurt, and letting each other down. Sometimes the offense is as minor as forgetting a date or failing to run an errand. For some couples, the offense might involve a major betrayal such as infidelity, addiction, or abuse. Either way, taking time to seek and grant forgiveness can play a powerful role in healing and restoring the relationship.

Forgiveness is the decision or choice to give up the right for vengeance, retribution, and negative thoughts toward an offender in order to be free from anger and resentment. This process promotes healing and restoration of inner peace, and it can allow reconciliation to take place in the relationship.

It is also important to be clear about what forgiveness is not. Forgiveness is not forgetting, condoning, or perpetuating injustice. Since it is sometimes unsafe or impossible, forgiveness does not always involve reconciliation. Forgiveness is not always quick; it is a process that can take time to unfold. Don’t rush your partner if they need to spend days or weeks working through the process of granting forgiveness.

SIX STEPS FOR SEEKING FORGIVENESS

1. Admit what you did was wrong or hurtful.
2. Try to understand/empathize with the pain you have caused.
3. Take responsibility for your actions and make restitution if necessary.

4. Assure your partner you will not do it again.
5. Apologize and ask for forgiveness.
6. Forgive yourself.

SIX STEPS FOR GRANTING FORGIVENESS

1. Acknowledge your pain and anger. Allow yourself to feel disrespected.
2. Be specific about your future expectations and limits.
3. Give up your right to “get even,” but insist on being treated better in the future.

4. Let go of blame, resentment, and negativity toward your partner.
5. Communicate your act of forgiveness to your partner.
6. Work toward reconciliation (when safe).

 

Conflict Intimacy

What Is Conflict Intimacy?

Conflict Intimacy is focused on facing and understanding the differences couples may have, and being able to respect those differences. Conflict resolution is a skill that couples must learn in order to maintain conflict intimacy.

All couples eventually experience times of conflict, hurt, and letting each other down. Sometimes the offense is as minor as forgetting a date or failing to run an errand. For some couples, the offense might involve a major betrayal such as infidelity, addiction, or abuse. Either way, taking time to seek and grant forgiveness can play a powerful role in healing and restoring the relationship.

Forgiveness is the decision or choice to give up the right for vengeance, retribution, and negative thoughts toward an offender in order to be free from anger and resentment. This process promotes healing and restoration of inner peace, and it can allow reconciliation to take place in the relationship.

It is also important to be clear about what forgiveness is not. Forgiveness is not forgetting, condoning, or perpetuating injustice. Since it is sometimes unsafe or impossible, forgiveness does not always involve reconciliation. Forgiveness is not always quick; it is a process that can take time to unfold. Don’t rush your partner if they need to spend days or weeks working through the process of granting forgiveness.

SIX STEPS FOR SEEKING FORGIVENESS

1. Admit what you did was wrong or hurtful.
2. Try to understand/empathize with the pain you have caused.
3. Take responsibility for your actions and make restitution if necessary.                                                                                         4. Assure your partner you will not do it again.
5. Apologize and ask for forgiveness.
6. Forgive yourself.

SIX STEPS FOR GRANTING FORGIVENESS

1. Acknowledge your pain and anger. Allow yourself to feel disrespected.
2. Be specific about your future expectations and limits.
3. Give up your right to “get even,” but insist on being treated better in the future.                                                                        4. Let go of blame, resentment, and negativity toward your partner.
5. Communicate your act of forgiveness to your partner.
6. Work toward reconciliation (when safe).

Couples often seek professional counseling when their inability to resolve conflict becomes problematic.

Contact Dr. April today for a complimentary consultation www.draprilbrown.comor www.capecoraltherapists.com
(239) 565-6921

Why Spiritual Intimacy Is A Must

Spiritual intimacy is often misunderstood by majority of couples. In relationships couples often have different  religious views and fail to realize that they still can connect spiritually. Spiritual intimacy is not about having identical views on religion, it about connecting to the spirit of your mate. This connection spiritually will overcome the challenges of being in a relationship that couples face.

 

What Exactly Is Spiritual Intimacy?

According to Dr. April Brown, Spiritual Intimacy is discovering and sharing values, religious views, spiritual feelings, meaning in life, etc. Therfore, regardless of religious views, it is essential for couples to develop spiritual intimacy regardless of personal religious views. Couples with differing views religiously often fall in love, this is not uncommon. The problem is that because of the differing views no further attempt is made to connect spiritually. Couples who disagree religiously can still pray together, meditate together, go somewhere scenic and beautiful and just sit under a tree. There are numerous ways to connect spiritually but many couples fail to put forth the effort.

What Can Couples Do To Build Spiritual Intimacy?

Due to some strong personal spiritual beliefs overcoming the lack of spiritual intimacy between couples may be difficult to impossible on their own. Seek professional help. Spiritual counselors help people along their path to spiritual growth. The objective can include finding a life purpose, overcoming obstacles, and putting pain and grief into perspective. The path doesn’t look the same for everyone, so it’s no surprise that there are spiritual counselors representing different concepts of spirituality, including Christianity and New Age belief systems. Like other counselors, spiritual counselors do a lot of listening. They may also employ other modalities, but many fail to tap into the power of prayer.

Dr. April Brown provides professional mental health services, education, training and faith based support services in person and via online distance counseling.

 

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

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

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