Why Distance Makes the Heart Grow Fonder

Do you feel a sense of lightness when your significant other walks out the door for work on your day off? Is there a secret part of you that is just as happy as you are sad to say “goodbye” when you leave for a long trip? If so, you’re not alone—and it may not even be a problem! Many couples seek counseling in Highlands Ranch because they are worried that they are growing distant from their partners. Others come in seeking couples counseling because they feel like they just can’t stand to be in the same room anymore. While addressing the issues in the couple is a vital part of the relationship, many are surprised when their marriage psychologist assigns them to do more on their own. Read on to find out how distance between you and your partner can be a good thing, and how building your individual lives and interests can actually strengthen your relationship!

Why do I like my partner better when they leave and come back?

For couples who spend a lot of time together, it may be surprising to feel relief when the other person leaves—and to enjoy spending more time with them when they return. Why? Because people and relationships stagnate. No movement makes everything still, calm, and sort of stale—just like a shallow pond. On the other hand, imagine your relationship as the delightful intersection of two lively rivers—both parties move on their own, and create a terrific set of waves at their intersection! When you take some time for yourself , away from your partner, you notice things about them and you that you may have missed in the past.

How can taking time alone make my relationship better?

If you think you always need to work on your “relationship” with both parties in the same room, think again. Couples counselors in Highlands Ranch often assign independent tasks to each partner so they can build on their own strengths. While you and your partner can grow together, do you always want to grow in the same direction, or can you enjoy different interests? By building up your personal strengths, interests, and ideas, you can feel more confident and be the person that you and your partner love even more.

How much alone/apart time is too much?

This is a difficult question, as it varies from person to person, and from couple to couple! Hopefully, you and your partner have a similar “need” for alone or apart time, which means you can pursue self-development at the same time, but in different areas. This is where each partner must consider his or her own boundaries and respect the limits  of the other. In general, each partner should have his or her own life, which is great material to share with the other partner. The “coming back together” process is just as important, as this is where you share the new things you have learned, excitements you have coming up, and appreciation for one another.

To start seeing eye-to-eye again, consider working with a couples therapist in Highlands Ranch. By building up your strengths and the strengths of your relationship, both can be the best they can be!

 

 

Get To Know Your Animal Helpers

Get To Know Your Animal Helpers

Kids and animals seem to go together naturally. Just put a child in a room with a puppy, kitten, or turtle, and see how they open up and explore! Throughout human history, we have interacted closely with our four-legged friends for safety, companionship, and entertainment. In today’s world, some of the best child psychologists and teenage psychologists in Colorado know that animals can go a step further  for some teens and children who are struggling with mental health. Read on to find out the amazing ways that therapists and families use animals for emotional health!

The Service Dog

Perhaps the best-known type of helper animal is the service dog! From canine assistants to the blind, to dogs that can detect seizures and call 9-1-1, these animals have been trained for a specific, useful task that addresses a physical or mental health condition. These guys can be fun, but remember, they are working!

The Emotional Support Animal

An emotional support animal provides an important emotional service, such as being used as a coping tool or emotional support. However, these animals may not have been trained on specific task, and may “work” only for their “person.” While service animal is often a “must-have,” similar to a wheelchair for people with limited mobility, an emotional support animal is more like a best friend.

The Therapy Animal

Those who have visited with Dr. Lazarus and Zeke know how amazing a therapy animal can be! Like a service dog, official therapy dogs have had special training and know just how to behave in a therapy setting. Children and teens often struggle with intense conversations, and a soft, furry dog in an animal-assisted therapy setting can be a great ice breaker or stress-reliever. Therapy animals also work well for metaphors, such as helping a child understand the need to care for and care about others. When a child is making the difficult transition through the “tween” years,  animals can help to alleviate the constant tension and awkwardness.

The Family Pet

Last, but not least, the humble family pet deserves a place on this list! Sure, your family pet may growl at strangers, have accidents when the family goes out too long, or bark at inopportune times, but if they love you and you love them, any family pet can be a valuable part of a healthy life. Pets remind us to be gentle, to show love with exuberance (and slobber!), to care for those who need it, and to love unconditionally.

If you think your child or teen would benefit from animal-assisted therapy, don’t wait! Find a great teenage psychologist in Littleton today!