Marriage is supposed to be a sacred bond between two people who love and cherish each other. Yet, there are still situations when a marriage can become toxic and unhealthy. The person who once made you feel loved can become your sole source of pain or betrayal. A toxic marriage is one in which one or both partners repeatedly engage in behaviors that cause physical or emotional harm to the other person. Here are the signs of a toxic marriage that you should look out for. Constant Criticism In a toxic marriage, criticism is constant and you may begin to feel like nothing you do or say is good enough. The constant feeling of not living up to your partner’s expectations can make you feel worthless and unloved. Sustained exposure to relationships of this nature can lead to emotional, psychological, and sometimes even physical harm. The words that are spoken to you become your inner voice and eventually, you will believe these hurtful things. Your self-esteem can be damaged and you may begin to believe you deserve to be treated this way. Verbal Abuse Verbal abuse is a form of emotional abuse that can be very toxic and draining in a marriage. If your partner constantly yells, belittles, or verbally attacks you, there is a good chance you are being emotionally abused. This type of behavior can cause severe emotional distress and has long-term effects on your psychological functioning. If you tell someone something long enough, it will become true. All of the ugly things that are said to you may begin to make themselves at home. No one deserves to be treated this way, so it may be time to reevaluate your relationship. Controlling Behavior A spouse that wants to control everything you do is a sign that there are unhealthy habits forming in your marriage. Sometimes controlling behaviors come from good intentions but others stem from narcissistic and abusive tendencies. Control is an indication that your partner feels threatened or that they need to keep an upper hand on you. Sometimes fear or insecurity can be the precursors to controlling behaviors. In many other situations it’s because they want to make you into someone they want you to be instead of who you really are. And any movements you make outside their created identity for you will incur negative consequences. In these situations you may find yourself making excuses to yourself and to others for your spouse’s damaging behaviors. This is a major sign of a toxic marriage. Infidelity Cheating is a massive blow to any marriage and can happen on many levels. At a base level infidelity often includes lust and selfishness with many underlying reasons of why they cheat once or cheat many times. Once trust is broken in this way, it is very difficult to repair but can be done if both partners are willing to invest the effort. However, a partner who continuously cheats on you shows that they do not value your feelings or respect you. You may begin to wonder what is wrong with you or what you are lacking, but it takes two to create a healthy relationship and only one to destroy it. If there is any part of you that believes your marriage is salvageable, it is vital that you seek professional marriage counseling from someone trained in helping marriages. If the relationship is too far gone or if you do not feel safe, separation or distance (temporary or permanently) may be your next move. Lack of Communication Communication is a key factor in relationships and is a common issue that brings couples to marriage counseling. Learning to communicate effectively can be a daunting task because the language all of us naturally use comes from a mixture of past experiences, childhood environments, and differing perceptions of the world around us. Culture also has a huge impact on how we communicate. If you and your spouse cannot communicate openly and honestly, it can be a sign that your relationship is on dangerous ground and likely full of unmet expectations. Next Steps Toxic marriages are difficult to handle but the first step is to decide whether the relationship is salvageable. If you desire to work on your relationship, reconciliation can be accomplished through hard work and dedication from both you and your partner. Regardless of what your end goal is, it is wise to seek professional counsel if you feel that you’re in a toxic environment. Communication with a trained therapist can help identify the root cause of problems and provide workable solutions. At New Vision Counseling and Consulting, we highly value helping you build healthy relationships full of great communication, trust and covered in love. Whether you are searching for tips on how to save your marriage or need guidance for your future, we are here to help. If you are ready to take the next step towards a better marriage then a natural next step is simple. Reach out to us at (405) 921-7776

How to Win your Wife Back

Posted on May 2, 2023
Let’s face it, women are complex beings who have long eluded the full understanding of men. If you are struggling in your marriage, you may not know what to do, but there is a key to winning her heart back. Women are emotional beings and need to feel safe in their relationships. According to psychologist and world-renowned relationship expert John Gottman, women report trustworthiness and emotional support as their top relational needs. Below are some tips on how to meet both of these needs and succeed in your marriage. Emotional Attunement You may be wondering what emotional attunement is .. The good news is we have the answer! Emotional attunement is genuinely engaging with your wife on an emotional level. Some examples are turning toward her physically, being empathetic, and genuinely showing concern when she is speaking with you about how she feels. Listen in a non-defensive way, ask questions, and validate her feelings. This emotional connection will earn you serious brownie points and provide her with an environment where she feels comfortable being herself. Emotions can immediately send men running in the other direction, but understanding how to respond to emotional needs is vital if you desire to have a healthy relationship. When women are in a negative emotional space, the knee-jerk reaction for most men is to “fix” the situation or make it go away. This is likely due to the fact that men wish to make their wives happy. If your wife is unhappy, it is easy to assume that you did something wrong. However, many times she just needs her feelings validated and to feel supported by you instead of fixed by you. Be Reliable Being reliable means showing up as your true, authentic self. Follow through with what you say you will do and be accountable. Women are intuitive in nature and can tell when you are not being genuine, or when you are completing a task simply to gain something for yourself. Do something that makes your wife feel special without expecting anything in return. Show her that she can count on you when times are tough and that you will selflessly support her. If she’s had a long day, and you are able to, have dinner ready for her when she comes home. Does your wife seem stressed out with extracurriculars, sports, and piano lessons? Learn your kids’ schedules and get them where they need to be on time. I guarantee this will take a weight off her shoulders and let her know that she can count on you to co-parent and be present in all areas of life. Communication It is no secret that men and women communicate differently. Women often take longer to get to the point because they add details and dramatic effect… Okay, maybe not totally accurate but many men would agree with this. Men usually get straight to the point, leave out important details, and can seem almost emotionless. You may not agree with this assumption either, but I know many women who, because of their past experiences, fully believe this. The bottom line is that communication is one of the biggest struggles in any relationship. This becomes increasingly evident in relationships that are struggling to survive. Make sure to tell your wife how you feel. Don’t leave out details, and put some thought into the words you use. Break the Cycle All relationships can be seen as a transactional process at the core of their being. Once two people have been married and have lived together for an extended period of time, habits form and expectations are set. This can be both a good thing and a bad thing. In the beginning, the effort you put into your relationship sets up the expectations for the future. Unfortunately, when these expectations are suddenly not being met, a problem presents itself. This lower-quality relationship becomes the expectation and causes everything else to be filtered through this vicious cycle. You realize that certain things set you off about your wife and vice versa. You each know what triggers the other, and when things are not healthy, many use this as a tactic to get back at their spouse. It can be hard to set an example by taking the lead and being the one who initiates change. Before you dismiss me, what if this could be a game changer in your marriage? Trust me, this matters more than you know, and I will explain why. John Gottman has discovered the key to successful relationships, and not-so-successful ones, through research and studies between men and women. He found that in most heterosexual relationships, the man either makes or breaks the relationship. Don’t be the one to break your marriage! Lead by example and she will likely let her defenses slowly, over time, and follow your lead. Next Steps We hope you found this message helpful and will take these recommendations into consideration. Relationships are complex and you may need more help than what we can offer through this blog. The good news is you don’t have to become discouraged if making these changes is not enough to heal your marriage. At New Vision Counseling and Consulting, we provide a safe and non judgemental environment where both you and your wife can feel seen, heard and valued. Our team of caring and highly trained counselors are here and ready to guide you to the marriage you have always dreamed of. If you are ready to take the leap of faith and get expert counsel from our team of caring therapists, you can reach out by calling (405-) 921-7776

Anxiety Interventions for Adults

Posted on May 2, 2023
Anxiety is more than just typical stress and can potentially take over your life if not managed. It leaves you feeling immensely overwhelmed, exhausted, and distracted. Many people with anxiety experience insomnia, muscle tension, headaches, and racing thoughts. These are just a few of the ways that anxiety can wreak havoc on your mind and body. If you are in constant fear or worry, struggle to relax, or even have panic attacks, this message is for you. Below are some helpful tips you can try at home to relieve your anxiety. We will also focus on helpful interventions you see if you decide to seek therapy for your anxiety. Meditation Anxiety sends you into a constant state of hyperarousal characterized by increased heart rate, stomach discomfort, shaking or trembling, shortness of breath, and extreme restlessness. When the nervous system is in overdrive, it increases the amount of adrenaline that is released in your body. This prepares you to fight, flee, or freeze from the perceived danger elicited through the overwhelming feelings of distress. To counteract this, you must learn to relax and breathe. I know what you are thinking…”If it is that simple, then why do so many people struggle with anxiety?” You are not wrong, but there is a certain form of breathing and meditation that targets the fear center in the brain, which is referred to as the amygdala. This technique is called CPR for the Amygdala, or Self Havening, and is pioneered by clinical psychologist and neuroscientist Dr. Kate Truitt. Click the link for a short guided meditation that you can utilize whenever you feel anxious or triggered. Mindfulness When anxiety is in full effect, your brain can feel overwhelmed and it may seem like you have no control over the thoughts that intrude your mind. These thoughts can consist of ruminations from the past, current emotional struggles, and fear of the future. Being an anxious person conditions your mind to worry and prepare for the worst on a consistent basis. Mindfulness is a way to keep your mind in the present moment. It allows you to breathe and see your stressful thoughts through an objective lens. You begin by recognizing the anxious thought, acknowledging it, and then removing yourself from its grip. Just because you think it, does not make it true. Anxiety plants all sorts of worries and fears in the mind and many of them never come to pass. There are many ways to practice mindfulness, but a few of my favorites are reflective journaling, creating a daily gratitude list, and intertwining your mindfulness into your daily prayer time. Therapeutic Interventions for Anxiety Many people who have debilitating anxiety are not able to manage their symptoms on their own and choose to either add pharmacological or therapeutic interventions. Medications for anxiety go beyond the scope of this blog and usually require a doctor or psychiatrist to prescribe them. Mental health therapy for anxiety usually consists of cognitive behavioral interventions which aim to change maladaptive thought patterns and the behaviors associated with negative or distorted thoughts. Cognitive Reframing Cognitive reframing is a technique that is utilized in cognitive behavioral therapy. Mental health counselors will help you explore your thought life through self-awareness and by keeping a thought journal. This theory is based on the premise that your thoughts influence the way you feel about external events. This can seem intimidating but is helpful when you consider your thoughts are under your control, but the outside world is not. Once you are aware of your triggers and problematic thoughts, you can pinpoint the antecedent that is cuing both the thoughts and the behaviors that follow. By recognizing distorted thinking patterns, you can begin to transform your thought life and create a healthier outlook. Through cognitive reframing, you can train yourself to respond in ways that create a happier and healthier you! This is not an easy process and does take time to make a full evaluation, but is one of the most effective therapeutic interventions for anxiety. Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) When traumatic memories and anxious thoughts crowd our minds, it is difficult to function and make healthy choices. During EMDR, a therapist will guide you to focus on a disruptive memory that is negatively affecting your life and the outlook you have about yourself. You will then describe the sensations and emotions associated with this memory while focusing on bilateral eye movements. This is usually done by a therapist providing visual stimuli that you will focus on and move your eyes from side to side as you process your painful memory. The therapist will then ask you how you feel and the process repeats through several sessions or however long it takes to desensitize the emotions you associate with the memory so that you can heal. EMDR functions through guided reprocessing of memories and events and provides you with the opportunity to change the meaning and emotions associated with memories that contribute to mental illness if not properly explored and identified. Next Steps We hope these techniques will guide you on your journey to healing and wellness. However, I know that anxiety can be tough to battle alone. Anxiety is a chronic struggle that many live with their whole lives. The good news is you don’t have to. New Vision Counseling and Consulting has a team of therapists who have a wide range of experience in helping people with anxiety and will tailor your therapeutic interventions to fit your individual needs. We want you to feel comfortable telling us your story so we have the opportunity to improve your life and give you the tools you need to become your best self. If you are ready to say yes to healing and guidance, the next step is to contact us at (405)- 921-7776.
When a loved one passes away, you could experience sadness over and over – often even years later. Reminders frequently make the pain of loss worse. Knowing what to anticipate and how to handle reminders of your loss will give you a greater chance in moving forward with your healing. Grief may resurface on the anniversary of your loved one’s passing or other significant occasions throughout the year. These emotions, also known as an anniversary reaction, can be painful but do not have to be a hindrance to your healing. Their presence reveals how you treasured your loved one and miss them. Reminders can be Everywhere Some reminders of your loved one could be unavoidable, such as recognizing the date of their passing, celebrating holidays, birthdays, or attending new activities you know they would have loved. Even commemorative events for other people can make you feel the agony of your own loss. Depending on your loss they can range from when someone has a baby or their oldest child graduates from college and moves out. Reminders may also be connected to sights, sounds, and smells. And they may come as a surprise when you least expect it. You might pass a restaurant that your loved one enjoyed while driving. Or you turn on a playlist and hear their favorite song and suddenly you are unexpectedly overcome with emotions. Common Reactions to Reminders Grief has an unpredictable path. Reactions to anniversaries can bring back vivid memories of the emotions and circumstances surrounding the passing of a loved one. They can persist for days at a time or, in some situations, much longer. When you have an anniversary reaction, you could feel the same strong feelings and reactions you did the first time you lost a loved one, including: Depression Shock Denial Anger Anxiety Tearful Outbursts Guilt Difficulty Sleeping Fatigue Tips to Working through Reactions to Reminders You could still experience melancholy even years after a loss when you come across memories of your loved one’s passing. Take action to deal with reminders of your loss as you continue your healing. Be prepared Anniversary reactions are normal and even predictable. Knowing that the chances of experiencing it can help you prepare for your reaction to it and give you a better chance for healing. Plan Ahead Plan strategies that have helped you thus far for any upcoming expected reminders. Schedule a visit with friends or family during times that you might feel more alone or experience reminders. Remember and feel Remember the good things about your loved one and the time you had together, rather than only focusing on your loss. It is important to allow yourself to feel your emotions and know that it is okay to be sad. It is equally as important to allow yourself to feel other emotions like happiness and joy. Commemorate One example is to make a donation in your loved one’s memory, or plant a tree in their honor. Taking action and doing something tangible can be therapeutic and healing. Prioritize Relationships Focus on the connections you have with your friends and family. Draw close to them and find comfort in their presence and support. Perhaps consider joining a support group for grief. Make time for your faith and talking with God and listening to Him. This can be a challenge but the long term value of healthy relationships in your healing journey is crucial for you to live again. When to Seek Extra Support Grief has no time limit, and anniversary reactions might send you into a tailspin. Even so, grief usually gets less intense over time as you work through the pain of your loss. If grief doesn’t seem to be getting better over time, or if grief is making it difficult to carry on with daily activities, consider consulting a grief counselor. Unresolved grief can lead to depression, physical ailments, and various mental health concerns. However, with professional help, you can regain a sense of control and direction in your life and stay on the path to healing. If you are ready to begin the journey of overcoming your grief then we are here for you. At New Vision Counseling and Consulting we have a team of caring therapists who are highly trained in helping you work through grief and create a life you want to be a part of. The natural next step is to call us at (405) 921-7776. We hope to meet you soon!

Boundaries- What you Need to Know

Posted on March 14, 2023
What are boundaries? When thinking about boundaries, I like to compare them to the fence you construct around your property line to protect your home. This fence acts as a boundary between your personal space, and the space of your neighbors. When I see a fence, it is apparent to me that I should not cross without permission. However, not everyone gets this memo, both realistically and metaphorically. Think of your personal boundary as a protective barrier against others. Some people we allow to come close and others we keep at a distance. Many people are not cognizant of personal boundaries and therefore do not realize they are letting people walk on their metaphorical grass. If you struggle to maintain healthy boundaries, this message is for you! How do I know if I am lacking healthy boundaries? It is our responsibility to set healthy boundaries with the people in our lives. Some do not realize this or have never been taught how important it is for emotional well-being. A person with unbalanced boundaries will often take on the emotional burdens of others, build resentment toward others for crossing boundaries that were never explicitly marked, or feel like they have no control over their life. People-pleasing tendencies are one of the most common boundary violations. Growing up, you may have felt the need to prove that you are worthy of love, or had parents who were overcontrolling. The result? Unhealthy boundaries and the misconception that we must complete tasks to earn love. Self-care, what’s that? Self-care is vital for a healthy and productive lifestyle. If you are like me, you have likely experienced a time in your life when you put others before yourself. This goes back to the age-old metaphor of the oxygen mask on the airplane. Adults are instructed to put their oxygen masks on prior to helping their children during an emergency. Do you know why? You can’t save others before saving yourself. Another rich metaphor is that you cannot pour from an empty glass. This means you cannot give to others without first giving to yourself. Feeling exhausted, spread thin, and overwhelmed? These are all indications that you are struggling to establish healthy boundaries with those around you. How to set appropriate boundaries You will be amazed at how wonderful you feel once you establish healthy boundaries with those around you. Our closest relationships are the ones that are most vital to protect. When we first decide to establish boundaries with those we love, they may become upset. I know this is hard, but it is necessary for your own well-being. View other’s protest as a sign that you are accomplishing healthy boundaries. This is a good way to break the habit of pleasing others while dismissing ourselves, though it does take practice. Below are some tips on how to form healthy boundaries. Remember, you must protect your emotional “grass!” Set expectations upfront with others: When you are proactive in boundary setting, it provides a clear standard that others know they must follow if they wish to have a relationship with you. Reestablishing relational boundaries: Rebuilding a damaged boundary is more difficult because you have to reteach others how to treat you. When you have been a certain way for so long, it may be hard for them to see you and thus treat you differently. This can be scary, but it doesn’t have to be! When others become upset during this process, it usually means you are making progress in protecting your energy and well-being. And those that are healthy and value you and your relationship will adjust to your new boundaries. Make yourself a priority: By maintaining a balance between good deeds and self-care, you are better able to love yourself and those around you. When we allow others to invade our personal space (physically or mentally), we build resentment toward others. This is an unhealthy feeling that diminishes the quality of your relationships. Be Intentional with your time: Setting healthy boundaries with the things or people we spend our time with is vital to productivity. Remember, it is not your responsibility to pick up the slack of others! Next steps Boundaries can be tough to build and maintain, but once you achieve them, you have more time to live the life you want! I have been in relationships, both with family and romantic partners that lacked healthy boundaries and I felt spent and empty. This is not the life that God intended us to live! Even Jesus set boundaries with his disciples and the people he helped. If Jesus spent all of his time pleasing others, how would he have created miracles? The answer is he probably wouldn’t have. If you are struggling to find time for your miracles, you are not alone. It is wise to seek help when you are struggling with boundaries, self-worth, and respect, especially if you have never done this before. At New Vision Counseling and Consulting, we are here to help you design the life of your dreams. We have a highly trained team of therapists that can assist you in building a road map to a healthier you. We know how difficult life can get, and we have simple tips and advice for your personal situation. It is not uncommon to feel blinded by your current circumstances. Let us provide you with an objective and caring assessment on the areas of your life that need improvement. We thrive in providing a caring and empathetic environment where you can feel safe. We are waiting for your call and hope to hear from you soon. We can be reached by calling 405-921-7776.

Interventions for Social Anxiety

Posted on March 14, 2023
Do you have an intense fear of social situations? You might feel as though anything you say or do has the potential to embarrass you. Or maybe the thought of being judged leaves you feeling panicked, unable to interact with others. You don’t have to live this way, there are ways you can become more confident and comfortable when faced with social interactions. Practice social skills Social interactions can feel more comfortable depending on aspects such as your personality, how often you interact with others, and past experiences. If you are finding yourself feeling anxious in social situations, you may discover practicing social skills could be a game changer. A very important aspect of being optimistic in public settings is knowing yourself. When it comes to feeling more comfortable and confident interacting with others you will find great value in developing more self-confidence. Knowing who you are feeling good about yourself will decrease the fear of what others think of you. To increase self-confidence you can identify what you are good at, what you are passionate about, and what you bring to relationships. Some other social skills you can focus on are: Engaging in small talk Ask great questions and actually listen to the answers How you present yourself How you handle rejection Identifying where you find your value Building self-assertiveness Being able to say no Exposure in Vivo Exposure in Vivo is when you face an object or situation in real life in order to decrease the fear behind it. This can be helpful for many types of anxiety, but in this case we will focus on social situations. The purpose of doing this is you may receive new information, become more comfortable, and increase safety when facing your fear. For example: Let’s say your fear is having casual conversations with others because you feel like you never know what to talk about and it makes you feel uncomfortable. How exposure in Vivo would work is finding opportunities in your life where you can have casual conversations. You could do this by inviting your neighbor over for dinner, talking to the person checking you out at the grocery store, or invite a friend to run errands with you. Applied Relaxation When you struggle with social anxiety, it can be helpful to find relaxation techniques that can make your body and mind more at ease. There are many proven techniques that are effective in coping with everyday stress and anxiety. Our therapists at New Vision Counseling and Consulting can walk you through different techniques as you start to implement them into your daily life. Here are some examples of relaxation techniques: Body awareness Visual Imagery Progressive muscle relaxation Breathing exercises Meditation Prayer Next step If you are looking for ways to become more confident and at ease in social situations , we CAN help. We will walk with you as you face your fears, grow in self-assertiveness, and find ways to live with your mind and body at peace. Your next step is to contact us at (405) 921-7776 to learn more about how we can best help you.
The Beginning In the beginning of your love story, connection and fun come easy. The things that your partner does now to get on your last nerve were once seen as unique quirks rather than deal breakers. Butterflies and chemistry made disagreements seem less daunting, and it was easy to overlook the wrongdoings of your partner. However, once the newness begins to wear off, the things which once came easy begin to weigh on your relationship. If you decide to take the leap of faith and say yes to a proposal, another phase begins. The excitement of wedding planning temporarily takes over every aspect of your life. You are filled with joy and stress as you argue over flowers, try on dresses, and work out the details for your big day. People thrive on designing their dream wedding, but what about a dream marriage? Marriage Marriage is hard work and cannot be maintained without effort and intentionality. So many couples forget this aspect of their relationship, especially when they are newlyweds. When you stand at the altar, you make a promise and commitment to your partner for life. Seems easy enough, right? What about when the chemistry diminishes, and the relationship is burdened with bills, children, and other common stressors? This may sound negative, but it is a fact of life. Marriage happens on days when we are sick, frustrated, and exhausted. You see your spouse at their absolute best and worst. The age-old reference of 50/50 comes to mind, but for a marriage to truly stand the test of time, each partner must have the goal of 100/100. Below are the 3 most important aspects of a lasting and fulfilling marriage. Grow together As we go through the stages of life, we grow, mature, and evolve. What we once enjoyed may not bring happiness anymore. Maybe you’ve gone through a major event that shook your foundation and changed your whole outlook. Or maybe you have slowly grown and your views have transformed. Whether it is a slow transformation or one that happens overnight, we all change. As we change, the needs and desires of our relationships will change as well. This means that in order to nurture your marriage, both you and your spouse must grow together, not apart. This concept seems cliche, but it is so important for marriage- especially when you marry at a young age. The marriages that truly stand the test of time consist of two partners who vow to continually learn about one another! Make it a point to know your partner intimately. What do they enjoy? What is their favorite song and why? What do they like to watch on TV? These are fun things that most make a priority in the beginning stages of relationships, but over the years this habit can slowly fade away. Don’t let it! Communication Communication is one of the most important aspects of any relationship, yet it is often what couples struggle with the most. After living together for an extended period of time, it can be easy to assume that we know how our spouse is feeling or what they are thinking. As you assume these things, communication, and intimacy begin to disappear, leaving you and your spouse with unmet expectations. These unmet expectations are one of the fastest ways to damage your relationship. It is difficult to know when you are lacking in the communication department, especially when you have established unhealthy habits that are ingrained from childhood. Unfortunately, it is not uncommon to grow up with dysfunctional familial relationships. The family environment that you experience during your formative years affects the way you communicate with others later in life. This means that you may have to reteach yourself how to use your words effectively. Discover your partner’s communication style and learn how they process the messages you are sending them. It is also important to provide your spouse with a shoulder they can lean on and an ear that listens without judgment. It is easy to get so caught up in our responses, that we forget how to truly listen. When listening to your spouse, listen to understand rather than to respond. Have Fun! Being an adult comes with so many responsibilities and stress. You have obligations at work, bills, and kids to keep up with. These can take priority in your life and the health of your marriage may be an afterthought. If you don’t make it a point to date your spouse, the romance will slowly drift away. Remember what it was like to truly enjoy each other and have fun. Scheduling date nights and time alone with your spouse is vital for a strong and lasting connection. They will be your partner for life, so learn how to let loose and enjoy all aspects of your life together. Don’t take things so seriously and make bonding with your spouse a priority. Staying connected and intimate can make all the other things in life seem like less of a burden. Next Steps Marriage is hard! It takes compassion, selflessness, and determination for a marriage to thrive over a lifetime. I like to remind others that if marriage seems easy, you’re probably doing it wrong. Navigating the changing tides in life and relationships can be an intricate process. At New Vision Counseling and Consulting, we pride ourselves on having therapists who are family and relationship-focused. We want you to live the life you desire with your partner by your side. Whether it is learning healthy communication or working through a deep hurt, we have the tools to help you. If you desire to deepen your understanding of your spouse or simply want to learn healthy marital habits, we are the place for you. Call us at (405) 921-7776

3 Red Flags Found in Gaslighting

Posted on March 14, 2023
The definition of gaslighting is to manipulate someone using psychological methods into questioning their own sanity or powers of reasoning. When there is a gaslighter in a relationship, there is also a victim. In this case being a victim means that you are receiving emotional damage from the actions or words of another person. If you are being gaslighted by a friend, significant other, or family member you might be feeling as though you are going crazy. This blog will help you identify 3 red flags you can identiy in a person who is gaslighting you.
As women, we are expected to nurture those around us. We take a house and make it a home. We take food and make it a meal. We support our husbands and remind them that they are strong and worthy. However, now more than ever, we have so many other responsibilities. Many of us have a career, kids to raise, sports, extracurricular activities, and not to mention setting aside time for self-care. One vital piece of the puzzle for a successful marriage is not to leave your husband with the leftovers. What do I mean by leftovers? Leftovers refer to the effort and energy you have remaining after your daily obligations are taken care of. If you’re like me, you have little left to give at the end of the day. Offering this limited amount of energy can imply that we are providing our husbands with a consolation prize for being married to us. Your marriage should come second only to your relationship with God. Below are tips on how to make your husband a priority and improve your marriage. Encourage and Support your Husband This next Biblical mandate is incredibly important yet incredibly challenging for most of us women. At least the following verse has been challenging for me; Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the Lord (Ephesians 5:22). To be clear there are exceptions to submitting to your husband. For example, this verse does NOT say you should be his slave or to submit to a controlling abuser, someone who is cheating, or someone who is leading you and your family to sin. For most of us, it does mean we need to make submission an important habit that we remember. And in healthy marriages the husband will not TELL you to submit. He will invite you to trust him and follow his lead. He will also honor where you are stronger and defer to your wisdom or talent in areas that you are stronger in. For most men this is a growth opportunity they need to be taught and then need helping moving towards. Thankfully, the responsibility to submit and follow God does not rest on us alone. Men are also held accountable as the Bible instructs husbands to Love your wives as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her (Ephesians 5:25). This may seem old-fashioned, and the current culture suggests an “All about me” approach, but if you want to have a phenomenal marriage, you need to keep these virtues close to your heart. And yes, that means a husband is called to love and lead sacrificially for his wife and family. He is called to lay down his life for his wife in love as Christ laid his life down for us. How to start. Be your husband’s biggest cheerleader! Support him and provide him with consistent encouragement. The more you build him up, the more likely he will be to meet your needs and the needs of your kids. Pray for your Husband One of the most selfless and powerful things you can do for your husband is to pray for him. Prayer opens doors that no man can shut! Keep your husband close to your heart and ask God to bless him in every way possible. It is always wise to seek God’s counsel in relational situations that you are struggling with, why should your marriage be the exception? The Bible reminds us that “…a cord of three strands is not easily broken” Ecclesiastes 4:12. This means that the closer both you and your spouse grow to God, the closer you are to one another. Attack the Problem, not your Husband! It can be tempting to make rude comments when others make mistakes, especially when this person is your spouse. It is common knowledge that men communicate and operate differently than women. I want to remind you of this because I guarantee that you have recently had a fight that could have been solved with the correct approach and mindset. I know how easy it is to come home after a long day and become frustrated when things are not exactly as they should be. If you’re like me, you have probably said something along the lines of “You were home all day, why aren’t the dishes clean?” or “Why can’t you just put your socks in the hamper instead of on the floor?” Nevertheless, what seems like a simple comment to women can cut deep and send men into a shame spiral. Reframe your mindset from the “who” to the “what. Remember, it’s you and your husband vs. the problem, not you vs. him. Next Steps Marriage is the most challenging yet rewarding relationship you can establish in life, and treating it as such will help you get the most out of your relationship. It can be hard to know where to turn when your marriage is struggling. Emotions, habits, and misunderstandings can make it difficult for couples to see relational issues clearly. At New Vision Counseling and Consulting, we offer a compassionate and transformational approach to help you and your husband create the marriage of your dreams. If you are struggling to find common ground, heal a betrayal, or simply want to improve communication skills in your marriage, we are here to help. Our team of marriage and family therapists have years of experience and have helped thousands of couples work through dysfunctional habits. We provide a compassionate and non-judgemental environment where you and your spouse can feel safe discussing issues that you want to improve. You can start investing in your relationship today by calling (405) 921-7776.
What is Gaslighting? Gaslighting is a form of psychological manipulation in which a person attempts to invalidate your reality and make you question your own feelings so that they can control you. Narcissists keep this trick in their back pockets and often use it to get what they want and assert power over others. Controlling individuals who inflict emotional abuse on their partners are often guilty of this. If you’re in a relationship with someone who gaslights you, you likely experience extreme self-doubt or even question your identity. Gaslighting is often a tactic used to control one person in a relationship but is not exclusive to romance. A manipulative person can be a boss, friend, or family member. Nevertheless, the closer you are to the person who gaslights, the harder it is to stand your ground. How do I Know if I’m Being Gaslighted? When you have a relationship with someone who is gaslighting you, after reading this blgo you may begin to notice an imbalance of power. It can seem like this person does no wrong and always has the upper hand despite evidence to the contrary. A partner who is gaslighting you may twist your sense of reality and cause you to question yourself. They often do harmful or dismissive things and then refuse to take responsibility for their actions. They refuse to validate your hurt feelings and can dismiss their way out of anything.Shifting the blame onto others comes second nature in those who gaslight others. Afterall, you’re just imagining things right? Keep in mind that the deeper their hooks sink in, the more you question your sanity. Manipulative people will leave you feeling alone, inadequate, and unstable. What’s worse, when you finally work up the courage to confront them, they have an explanation for everything. Common Phrases Used in Gaslighting You’re overreacting You’re just paranoid You made me act like this Why do you keep bringing that up? You are blowing this way out of proportion You can’t take a joke You’re way too sensitive It wasn’t that big of a deal This is just your own insecurity That never happened How to Break Free from Gaslighting The first step to breaking free from manipulation is to set boundaries. Acknowledge the feelings of the person gaslighting you but inform them that you have your own truth. You have a right to your own feelings and your experience is valid. Keep a journal of conversations and events to help you stand firm in the truth of what happened and not the gaslighter’s manipulative spin. This can help you feel more sane and progressively gain your self-confidence back. Once you begin doing this, you will be able to see through their lies. Below are some phrases you can use to defuse the power they hold over you. Most people who gaslight will still try to power through any boundaries you set so be prepared to enforce them. There are times when you would set a boundary verbally and times when you would simply exit the situation depending on the intensity of the gaslighting. These are just a few things to consider or say. I feel like I am not being heard, I need to take a break from this conversation. I know how I feel, you do not have to agree with me. I am allowed to have my own feelings and I am going to go if you continue telling me that my feelings are wrong or that I don’t understand. My experiences and opinions are valid I hear you, but my experience was different and I am going to hang up if you continue talking to me this way. Until you are ready to consider my views, I am done with this conversation. Not sure what to do? We can help! If you need help gaining your confidence back, we are here for you. Knowing you’re being mentally abused and breaking free from it are two different things. We know how intimidating it can be to challenge someone who has been manipulating you through gaslighting. This is where we equip you with the tools you need internally and externally with the other person to set healthy boundaries. A person who uses gaslighting to get what they want may never respect your views, but they don’t have to. Asking for space, or informing them that you will talk when they can be reasonable and respectful is one way to start breaking free from their control over you. At New Vision Counseling and Consulting, we will equip you with the confidence to remove yourself from situations that no longer serve you (aka gaslighting). We are excited for the opportunity to guide you on your journey and empower you to move beyond just surviving to creating a life you are excited to live. We look forward to hearing from you and are excited to personalize your therapy experience to exactly what you need! You can get started today by calling (405) 921-7776 for more information.

4 Signs of a Broken Marriage

Posted on March 14, 2023
Every marriage is going to come with its own trials and tribulations. However, it is important to identify if your marriage needs to be repaired. It is not uncommon to ignore the problems you are having with your spouse in hopes that they will one day fix themselves. But, when there are broken parts to a marriage it is critical that you face them head on. This blog will highlight common signs of a broken marriage in order to help you recognize when you and your spouse might need external help. You feel controlled by your spouse One sign of a broken marriage is that you are unable to express yourself or have a sense of individuality. In a marriage you should be able to comfortably talk about your point of view on certain issues and also be able to see things from your spouse’s perspective. It is a problem if your opinion is consistently getting dismissed by your spouse because that means they are not viewing you as an equal. Another way your spouse could be controlling you is by limiting what you have access to on a daily basis. This could be access to financial information, specific people, or even access to their help around the house. For example, your spouse could be depriving you of friendships by refusing to watch the kids when you have birthday dinner. Constantly criticizing one another Excessive criticism is another sign of a broken marriage. Throughout your life your spouse should be your biggest supporter and encourager. They should not be the one making you feel bad or insecure about yourself. Criticism can be good if it is used correctly. It can be a way to grow and develop in your marriage. It can also be negative when there is shame behind what you are saying to your partner or if you are nit picking their actions. It is important to focus on your own feelings when you are going to criticize your spouse. For example, instead of saying “it is so annoying when you play video games with your friends and don’t give me any attention.” Instead try focusing on how the action makes you feel. “I feel so unloved when we don’t make time for each other.” Lacking Intimacy A lack of intimacy can mean many different things. Initially what comes to most people’s minds is a lack of sexual intercourse, but that is not the only way your marriage can lack intimacy. It can lack physical intimacy in other ways such as holding hands, cuddling, or kissing each other goodbye. It can also lack emotional intimacy. This can be because as a couple you no longer enjoy spending time together, talking about intellectual topics, or there is a decrease in spiritual closeness. Secrets in your marriage Secrets can be a good sign that there is a brokenness in your marriage. Secrets can cause there to be distance and barriers between you and your spouse. If you are keeping secrets from your spouse, you need to understand what is driving that. Are you scared of how they are going to respond? Do you not trust them with the information you are keeping from them? Do you know that your actions are wrong? Next Step If you are feeling as though your marriage has broken pieces that need mending, you are at the right place. At New Vision Counseling and Consulting we have trained therapists that will help you and your spouse feel whole again. The best next step is to contact us at (405) 921-7776 to learn more about how we help you.
Premarital counseling is vital to creating an amazing marriage because it helps you create the marriage you want to be a part of. Are you dating someone you love and believe they are the one for you? Or maybe, you have some questions before you take the next step and get engaged or married. Can’t relate to the first two? Try this one on; you are great and want to do everything you can to build an amazing marriage and know premarital counseling will get you started in the right direction. Most couples fit into one of these categories and the great news is that At New Vision Counseling and Consulting we can help. What is Premarital Counseling Like? Premarital counseling takes you on a journey of discovery. You discover things about yourself and your fiance’ that you may not have known. Through premarital counseling we help you set expectations, understand each other’s pasts and how they affect their present, help identify core beliefs, and uncover red flags that need to be addressed. These red flags are typically unresolved issues with the person, their family or past relationships that will affect the marriage. By uncovering these we have the ability to help you work through them. We do this by empowering you with tools and resources along the way. And with all that you can start the work necessary to build a foundation that is strong and healthy. A foundation that is addressing the red flags and issues that could take you out. We help you start building a foundation that can support your hopes and dreams for life. Do You Use Assessments? At New Vision Counseling and Consulting we use a comprehensive premarital program called SYMBIS along with other books and resources. SYMBIS stands for SAVING YOUR MARRIAGE BEFORE IT STARTS. This program allows you and your spouse to go online and take an assessment that will go over a variety of topics pertaining to your marriage. These range from strengths, weaknesses, mindsets, and potential caution flags, communication, friends, family and money to name a few. This blog will walk you through what to expect during your premarital counseling sessions at New Vision Counseling and Consulting. Environment The environment is one where you can be your authentic self. It is our mission to create a safe place where you can share your challenges, gifts, and unique story with us. This will be important in order to have important conversations that help you identify areas of strengths and weaknesses in your relationship. This can be difficult at times when we address issues that are currently causing pain or uncover issues that could threaten your marriage in the future if not addressed. However, when God calls you together you will experience an inner peace and a knowing. And even though there may be sessions that are tough because of the issues you are facing, the counseling experience can validate that peace and leave you feeling excited and confident about your future marriage. It is important to know we will not make your decision to marry or not marry. However, we will walk with you through a proven process that we adapt to meet your specific needs and challenges. It is our experience that you will know what God is calling you to do well before our last session. Our goal is to empower YOU to make the best decision according to where you feel God is leading you. What to Expect Before your first session you and your partner will both individually take the SYMBIS assessment. You will take it without consulting each other in order to get the best results. Throughout your weekly sessions with your therapist you will go through your report and walk through different topics related to your relationship and the impact they can have on a marriage. During this time you will discover new insights and dozens of new skills to strengthen your bond. You will also become progressively more clear if God is calling you together. In your last session you will discuss your take-aways and any remaining questions you have. And if you choose to pursue marriage then we will schedule a session one month after marriage to check in. Our goal is your highest success. Next Step If you and your partner are newly engaged and ready to take the next step, you are at the right place! We have a team of therapists that are ready to walk with you as you build the foundation for your marriage. We want to create a structure that doesn’t just last through the counseling process but is created to last a lifetime. Why wait? Take the next step by contacting us at (405) 921-7776 to learn more about how we help you. We look forward to hearing from you soon!
The best way I can describe my experience with grief is feeling like I am stuck in a dark void of silence. On the inside, I can feel myself screaming, but no one can hear me. I have found that loss can be lonely even when you’re in a crowded room surrounded by others. You may get lost in your thoughts and lose track of time until you are reminded of the harsh truth that grief has invaded every fiber of your being. Grief can also upset our sense of time and reality. You may even find yourself ruminating on two aspects of time, before your loss and after. The before is filled with happiness, memories, and a sense of belonging. The after may feel like a lonely place that causes you to second-guess every aspect of your life. If you are struggling with your after, this message is for you. Grieve in your own way Everyone handles their grief differently and it is important that you deal with your feelings in your own way. There is no timeline or roadmap for how grief should affect you. It is normal to feel lost or even numb. The numbness scares many people because they fear that something is wrong with them or that their loss broke them. However, numbness after loss, though scary, is actually a common experience. It is your mind’s way of defending your body from the immeasurable pain you are dealing with. This is why it is important to take grief day by day. Do not force yourself to feel a certain way or condemn yourself for how you are choosing to deal with your grief. Others may not understand, but they don’t have to. Reach out for support When you lose a loved one, it is natural to feel like you need to deal with your feelings on your own. Though it is important to take time for yourself, don’t get stuck there. Isolating yourself from the world only makes your return to daily life more difficult. It is helpful to talk to others who have gone through loss because their experiences can bring you comfort. Many find solace in grief counseling or bereavement groups. There are different forms of bereavement groups and it is helpful to find one that pertains to your circumstances. Some specialized groups are for those mourning the loss of a spouse, child, or parent, to name a few. When you connect with others who share your pain, you find a whole new level of healing. Many know the agony of loss and can deeply relate to what you are going through. This gives you the freedom to simply be. Find a routine During times of loss, keeping a routine helps to recover some sense of stability in your life. You may not feel like doing anything, and that is okay, but eventually you can find healing. When that day comes, it is helpful to have an established plan to help you keep moving. One day, you will look back and realize that going through the motions of your routine is what saved you. When an immeasurable loss is experienced, it is common for people to experience depression. You may not feel like getting out of bed or even eating, but it is important to take care of yourself during these times. You may be asking yourself, “What’s the point?” And if so, you are not alone. Many struggle to pick up the pieces after loss, but it is possible. > Roll with the waves As a person who has experienced grief, I can honestly tell you that it comes in waves. This is a common experience for those who are mourning the loss of a loved one. Some days it feels like the waves are crashing over you and you can’t catch your breath. Other days it feels like the tide is slowly ebbing and flowing and your pain subsides to a dull ache felt in the background of life. These are the days when grief seems manageable and you may even feel like you can see the light at the end of the tunnel. Don’t become discouraged when the high tide of pain returns. This is a normal process and your experiences will vary from day to day. It is important to acknowledge where you are and feel the pain. This gives the mind and body permission to heal at their own pace. Next Steps If you are struggling to find your new normal and need help navigating the loss of a loved one, we have a team of highly trained therapists who can guide you through your journey. Grief can be lonely, and it is easy to feel like others don’t understand, but we pride ourselves on being transparent and compassionate.We want you to know that you don’t have to face this alone. Whether you are interested in learning skills to cope with your pain, seeking help in processing your complex grief, or simply want to understand your feelings, we are here to help. We provide a comforting environment where you can feel free to express all of your feelings, even the ones that you are afraid or ashamed to acknowledge. If you are ready to learn how to navigate your grief with a personalized counseling experience then we are here for you. Our team of compassionate therapists will walk WITH you through this season and stay by your side through this difficult time. The next step is to invite us in by calling (405)-921-7776 learn more about how we can help.
Marriage is one of the hardest relationships to navigate in life. One reason for this is that men and women are wired differently. This means that some issues will never be resolved, and that is okay. No relationship is perfect 100% of the time and both you and your spouse have likely made hurtful mistakes. Although arguments can be frustrating, disagreeing with your spouse is actually a normal part of the marital foundation. The kind of arguing and disagreements that are necessary in marriage are those where both people are heard, valued and both partners seek to understand each other. What if you don’t argue? You could say that couples who never argue are avoiding important topics or suppressing hurt feelings to keep the peace. When a couple has been married for more than a few years and shares they never argue I become very curious. I am curious to discover who is not being honest, who is dominating, who is hiding in fear, who is … and why? Now that you have you are probably asking yourself “If arguing is normal, how do I really know my marriage is falling apart?” Those are great questions and I will begin to answer them. Below are some common warning signs that your marriage may be in trouble. Criticism Renowned psychologist and marriage research expert John Gottman outlined four major relationship killers and criticism is at the forefront. Habitually criticizing your partner can create deep seated resentment and contempt. One form of criticism is attacking your spouse’s character. When things go wrong in your relationship, it is easy to blame the other person, but it is essential to attack the problem rather than the person. This does not mean that you have to keep your negative feelings to yourself, but does indicate that you should choose your words wisely. Instead of saying things like “You always do this, you are so selfish and dismissive!” You can say, “When you make decisions without involving me, it really hurts and makes me feel like my opinion doesn’t matter.” In this way, you are communicating your hurt without condemning your spouse. Toxic Environment Feeling drained when you’re at home or around your spouse is a sign that something is wrong. Maybe they constantly complain or only focus on the negative. This can cause you to feel like nothing you ever do will be good enough for them, and this is an exhausting environment to live in. When you are surrounded by this type of outlook, you may begin experiencing feelings of helplessness or worthlessness. These feelings commonly precede the development of depression and other self-esteem issues if not processed effectively. To protect yourself from sinking into a negative space, set healthy boundaries with your spouse. It is not your job to fix their mess, but it is your job to guard your happiness and well-being. Lack of Intimacy Maybe you and your spouse struggle to connect or no longer enjoy being around one another. What once was exciting and intimate can begin to seem like a chore. This causes you to spend less time with your spouse and may eventually lead you to imagine life without them. You may begin to distance yourself from them or deny their bids for affection. Eventually, you are living with a person who you no longer know. All the qualities that attracted you to them in the beginning have disappeared and you may feel like you are married to a roommate. This is why it is important to continually create new, shared meaning. Make it a point to try out a new hobby, or schedule time for intimate connection. By doing so, you grow with your spouse and nurture the connection you share. Infidelity When marriages begin to struggle, it is not uncommon for spouses to seek connection elsewhere. This includes both being physically or emotionally intimate with a person outside of your marriage. A common misconception in the relationship world is that cheating only pertains to having sex with another person who is not your spouse. But, creating an emotional connection that provides you with satisfaction is also infidelity. You may notice your spouse taking a sudden interest in their appearance, staying out later than usual, or becoming territorial with their phone. If so, it is wise to address your concerns with your spouse by having an honest conversation. During the discussion if they become overly defensive or dismiss your feelings, it may be time to take further action or seek professional help. Next Steps We are all built for intimacy and connection, but relationships are hard. Feeling like your relationship is doomed? You are not alone. Whether you are experiencing a major betrayal in your marriage or simply want to develop healthy skills to improve your connection, marriage counseling can help. At New Vision Counseling and Consulting, we have therapists from all walks of life who are trained in experts ins in helping you in your marriage. We are here to guide you through the ups and downs that happen in any relationship. Your therapist will create a compassionate and understanding environment that gives you and your partner a safe space to identify and work through your problems. If you are ready to invest in the future of your relationship, call us at (405)-921-7776.

What are 3 Treatments for Anxiety?

Posted on February 13, 2023
Living with anxiety? You’re not alone Anxiety can feel like you are being smothered under a blanket of constant worry, stress, and panic. It can seem like your mind magically developed an uncanny ability to imagine everything that could possibly go wrong in life. Individuals living with anxiety disorders can experience symptoms such as debilitating distress, tense muscles, restlessness, dread for the future, and intrusive thoughts. If you have anxiety and are curious about treatment options, this message is for you. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) focuses on identifying and altering unhealthy thought processes. Though we do not always realize it, we have the ability to trigger certain emotions and responses as a result of the thoughts we have. When our thought life is maladaptive, our behavior is likely to follow. Even more importantly, individuals who suffer from anxiety are believed to have an overwhelming amount of maladaptive thought processes known as cognitive distortions. These cognitive distortions wreak havoc on your thought life and create an intensified cycle of doom pertaining to the world around you. It is also common to have specific triggers that send you into a whirlwind of anxiety and panic. CBT helps to identify these triggers so that they can be reframed into a healthier perspective. Exposure Therapy Exposure therapy helps clients confront their fears directly through the support and instruction of a trained therapist. The goal is to identify thoughts or situations that induce extreme anxiety and slowly increase exposure. Therapists will then introduce relaxing exercises that can regulate the nervous system and encourage healthier responses. Direct exposure is physically facing a situation or stimuli that causes anxiety. Imagined exposure involves letting your brain access the dreaded fears that are constantly paralyzing you mentally. I know from personal experience that I can be my own worst enemy in regard to my thought life. It is scary to think of facing the thoughts and situations that hold you hostage, but it is possible with the help of a trained therapist. Mindfulness Mindfulness helps you to be present and aware of your surroundings. The goal is for you to reach a nonjudgmental state of being that accepts each moment as it comes. Anxiety is often focused on future events and exaggerated fears that may never come true. When we stop to think about it, does worrying protect us from these scary things? Not at all! Mindfulness helps to reduce ruminating thoughts filled with regrets from the past and fears for the future. By openly accepting and processing our emotions, we are able to discern them in an objective manner. Think of mindfulness as increasing your ability to respond to your environment rather than react. Next Steps I know from experience how taxing anxiety can be. At New Vision Counseling and Consulting, we have an understanding team of therapists waiting to connect with you. Your anxiety is as unique as you are and it is important that your treatment is as well. We have helped individuals from all walks of life and desire to meet you where you are. It is time to break free from your anxiety. Whether you are interested in the above therapies, or simply want to speak with a professional, we are here for you can be reached at (405) 921-7776. We look forward to helping you design a life that you are excited to be a part of! A life not ruled by anxiety.

How to Cope with Traumatic Events

Posted on February 13, 2023
What is a traumatic event? A traumatic event is something that you experience or witness that causes extreme distress in the nervous system, mind, and body. It can result from a violent attack, ongoing mental or physical abuse, the sudden death of a loved one, or even a natural disaster. Despite the specific circumstances, trauma scars you emotionally and can become overwhelming. Traumatic events can be both directly and indirectly experienced. Directly experiencing an event means that you went through it personally or witnessed trauma firsthand. Indirectly experiencing traumatic events could involve hearing about something disturbing or seeing a loved one go through a devastating experience. Trauma has no specific requirements other than the emotional distress that results. What you find traumatic may not affect another person on the same level, which is okay. Your experiences are your own and how they affect you emotionally is all that matters. Also, I want you to remember that your feelings are valid and you deserve to be comforted and heard. How do I know I am being affected by trauma? Traumatic stress can be the result of witnessing or experiencing trauma. This affects your ability to function in daily life and can leave lasting emotional scars. You may be experiencing flashbacks of the disturbing event, which are involuntary memories that cause you to relive the trauma repeatedly. Some flashbacks are so intense that you cannot tell what’s real and what is imagined. It is also common to experience difficulty sleeping, changes in appetite, and feelings of helplessness or extreme anxiety. I know from experience how distressful trauma can be. If you are like me, I imagine you isolate yourself from others or shut down emotionally when your feelings become overwhelming. This is a normal response that your mind employs to avoid dealing with stressful emotions, but will never truly help you move past the trauma. Keep in mind, the longer you suppress your feelings, the more difficult the road to healing becomes. How do I cope with trauma? Coping with trauma can be an intimidating experience. I know that it can be daunting to face your trauma and let the hurt in. But in order to move forward, you must allow your mind and body to process your feelings. Below are some helpful tips to help you cope with your trauma. 1. Find a new routine: Trauma can wreak havoc on the life we once lived. To regain security and normalcy, it is essential to create a new routine and stick to it. Providing your mind and body with stability is vital to healing. 2. Exercise: Make it a point to get moving. Whether you jog through a park, take your dog on a walk, or do cardio at the gym, it is important to stay active. Exercise is proven to release “feel good” endorphins that improve mood and help to release tension in your body. 3. Practice creativity: Painting, coloring, or journaling are just a few of the ways you can keep your mind busy and your body relaxed. Art is a great stress reliever and mood enhancer. 4. Deep breathing: When all else fails, deep breathing exercises help to calm the nervous system and reduce stress. This is especially helpful in the moments when you feel triggered. 5. Seek professional help: I know what it feels like to be surrounded by fear and hurt and have no outlet. Healing is a battle that we often cannot fight alone. If you feel like you are drowning in your trauma and need support, you are not alone. Below are some ways you can contact the New Vision team. Next Steps If you are stuck in a nightmare of trauma that won’t seem to end, we have the help you need. Our team of highly trained trauma-informed therapists is available to help guide you toward healing. We will teach you techniques to help you cope with your trauma in the short and long term. At New Vision Counseling and Consulting, we understand how daunting it can be to reach out for help, so we focus on providing you with a safe and caring environment where you can feel comfortable telling us your story. Our therapists are waiting to hear from you! We can be reached by calling (405) 921-7776.
What does the Bible say about grief? “The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit” (Psalm 34:18). God is no stranger to grief. He sent His only son to die on the cross for our sins. He knew that Jesus was going to suffer, but He made His death mean something. His life and death both had a purpose. Though it may be close to impossible to see right now, your loved one’s life and death have a purpose in God’s design. That doesn’t mean you see it, agree with it, or even believe that losing your loved one could have a purpose other then heartache. The great thing about winter is that there is always spring to bring new life. There is a season for everything and the Bible provides knowledge on how to face all the storms of life; including death. You may be staring at an empty chair, or sitting in a quiet house that was once filled with laughter and joy, wondering to yourself; “How do I go on without them?” It’s okay to be mad, devastated, or resentful, even toward God. He often reminds us that the world we live in has fallen and now bad things happen to Godly people on this side of heaven. In this life pain and loss are inevitable, but long term suffering doesn’t have to be. God wants us to cast our cares on the Lord and invite him into the pain. You don’t have to go through this alone. Temporary pain “So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal” (2 Corinthians 4:18). The world we live in is temporary. It can be easy to become short-sighted and forget that we have everlasting life in eternity. When we lose someone close to us, the last thing we want to think about is waiting to see them again in the future when we too join our heavenly home. If you’re like me, you have probably wished that you could bring someone back, or that the pain of missing them would go away. The pain surrounding death can seem like an ocean. As you look around, there seems to be no end in sight and you may feel like you can’t catch your breath. I am here to tell you that one day, you will catch your breath again. Process your feelings “The Lord upholds all who fall and lifts up all who are bowed down” (Psalm 145:14). Sometimes when we are hurting or grieving, we stay busy to avoid letting the pain in. The busy fills the empty spaces and helps distract you, if only for a moment, that you are missing your loved one. It can feel impossible to remain still in these moments. You want to avoid reality at all costs, but there is no way around grief. Grief demands to be given time to mourn and then process how to live life in the next season. This journey will look different for everyone, and the way you deal with your grief is a personal choice. Let the hurt in, feel their absence, honor their life. Invite God into your heart and let him help you heal. Grieve with others When Jesus saw her weeping, and the Jews who had come along with her also weeping, He was deeply moved in spirit and troubled. “Where have you laid him?” he asked. “Come and see, Lord,” they replied. Jesus wept (John 11:33-35). As Mary grieved the loss of her brother Lazarus, others grieved with her. Jesus also grieved his death and felt her pain. It can be helpful to reach out to others who know our struggle. Joining a local bereavement group can help you heal with others who are battling the same storm. You can tell your story, and the story of the one who you lost. This will keep their memory alive and provide you with a safety net of confidants who can support you on your toughest days. Know that there is still a life worth living “Now is your time of grief, but I will see you again, and you will rejoice, and no one will take away your joy” (John 16:22). It may not seem possible in the current moment, but you will find joy again. Worshiping God through life’s pain can be difficult, but he will restore what was lost. He says he will make all things new. I choose to believe that you will get to be with your loved one again without pain or suffering. But that is in heaven and you are still here. So what do you do? Start by working on accepting the reality that life will be different and adjustments will need to be made. Seek God and He will help you pick up the pieces. Death can shatter lives and devastate beyond belief, but God always comes through. Cast your worries and anxieties on Him. Look for people, activities, time with God and other ways you can reduce the pain and eventually start bringing joy back into your life. Each day will seem impossible, but you will look back and realize that He gave you the strength you needed to make it through. If you or someone you know is struggling with grief, we have the resources and help you need. Next Steps At New Vision Counseling and Consulting, we have a team of compassionate and faithful therapists who will guide you through your loss. Many of us have experienced grief and we want to provide you with the comfort you need. Some struggle to cope with loss and this is understandable. Everyone processes grief in their own way. We want to help you find your way as you honor your loved one. Grief is not simple and it can get messy, but we are here to help you make sense of the mess. As faith-based counselors, we will sit with you in your pain. We will create a non-judgemental space for you to grieve. We will be by your side to listen, encourage and guide you into God’s healing in a way that is right for you. We can help you experience hope and love again. The natural next step is to contact us at (405) 921-7776.

Signs and Symptoms of Anxiety

Posted on February 13, 2023
What is anxiety? Anxiety is an intense fear response that causes the nervous system to go into overdrive. When this happens, the body’s fight or flight response kicks in causing increased heart rate, shortness of breath, high blood pressure, and muscle tension. The normal functions of the mind shut down and all attention is directed toward the experience or thought that initiated hyperarousal. Sometimes, we may not know what triggered our anxiety and that is normal too. When we experience anxiety, our body perceives imminent danger and responds accordingly. Anxiety exceeds the normal stress levels that life inflicts on all of us through common stressors such as finances, relationships, parenthood, and careers. Anxiety can strike without warning or cause. If you feel anxious most of the time on more days than not, it may be a sign that you are suffering from an anxiety disorder. How does anxiety feel? Anxiety can make you feel out of control. Like chaos is coursing through your veins and thoughts are flashing through your mind. Your skin may become warm or feel like you’re being poked by pins and needles. You may feel light-headed or experience shortness of breath. Your heart may pound and your muscles may tighten. If you have experienced these symptoms, you are not alone. Other common symptoms of anxiety: Nausea or heartburn Increased body temperature or flushing of the skin Dizziness Blurred or tunnel vision Pounding heartbeat Inability to relax Panic attacks Muscle pain Rumination What does anxiety look like? Anxiety looks different for everyone. Some experience intense anxiety surrounding a certain event and others experience a general blanket of anxiety on a constant basis. Generalized anxiety disorder causes the mind to worry about anything and everything. The future may seem hopeless and you may dread normal obligations. You may struggle to get out of bed or frequently miss work. Below we have listed signs that indicate you or someone you love is suffering from anxiety. Flaking out on responsibilities Avoiding certain scenarios or people Not answering the phone Perfectionism Needing to be in constant control Isolating from others Fidgeting or chewing on fingernails Talking fast or not at all Stress or Anxiety? You may be asking yourself what the difference between stress and anxiety is. Stress is actually your body’s natural way of dealing with the unknown or alerting you to possible dangers. When we encounter a stressful event, it is normal to become irritable, tense, or restless. Anxiety is stress on steroids and can be difficult to deal with because there is not always a clear-cut cause for the anxiety we feel. Anxiety can be more debilitating and crippling. It can cause a person to never want to leave their house or suddenly quit their job. It exceeds worry and minimizes logical thinking. Next Steps The New Vision Counseling and Consulting team is here to empower you. We can provide you with coping strategies and provide you with a safe space to work through your fears. We don’t expect you to know how to solve anxiety on your own and want to meet you where you are. The world and the future can be terrifying, but your anxiety does not have to be. Your anxiety is unique and personal, so your journey to wellness should be too. Whether you just want a trusted individual to vent to, or are in desperate need of therapy, we are your answer. We are waiting to hear your story and look forward to meeting you. If you are ready to break free from anxiety the natural next step is to call (405) 921-7776

Trauma – Helping Friends and Family

Posted on February 13, 2023
Knowing how to support someone you love and care for after they have had a traumatic or terrifying experience can be challenging. Although it’s normal to want to help someone you care about feel better, it’s crucial to accept the painful reality of what happened. Nothing you say or do in the moment can take away their suffering. However, with enough processing, grieving, and healing over time things can get better. Show compassion, sit with them in their pain without giving unsolicited advice. Your loving presence can comfort them in ways words never could. Offering Support Asking a family member or friend who has gone through a traumatic event in what specific ways you can support them. There are countless ways to give support. Here are a few ideas. Spend time with your loved ones experiencing trauma. Let them know you are there for them and sit with them as they grieve. Refuse the urge to give unsolicited advice. Don’t take any negative responses to the trauma personally. Their mood can be inconsistent and even aggressive at times. A helpful way to be supportive in these moments is through empathy and trying to understand how stressful such a traumatic experience must be for them. Offer assistance in practical ways that are useful to them such as household tasks, helping with any children such as supervision or school pick-ups/drop-offs and providing meals. Don’t be afraid to prioritize self-care, such as reminding them to drink water, eat or shower. In the same breath, it’s just as important to assist them in avoiding self-destruction, such as engaging in excessive substance use or abuse. One way to provide support is by giving your loved one(s) some space to be alone. This can be challenging but helpful depending on what they need. How to Talk about Trauma Allow your loved one to talk about what happened, even if they become upset. Focus on listening and validating them. Refuse the urge to jump in and give your opinion. Refuse the urge to pressure them to open up and talk about it. Reassure them that you are there to listen whenever they are ready to open up. If they are not willing to open up to you then ask if there is someone else they may like to talk to. Refuse the urge to take this personally. Remember, you are there to help so try to keep giving them what they need the goal. If time sensitive decisions must be made following a traumatic event, offer help to your loved one. If they accept your help; do your best to guide them to make decisions that reflect their best interest. And make those decisions in a way you feel they would if they were in a different mental state. Things to Keep in Mind It is highly valuable to do your own research on trauma, distress, and depression. It Is important to understand not only what to expect from your loved one during this time, but also to understand what they may be expecting from you. Allow them to talk when they are ready without added pressure or judgment. Make sure to empathize and allow them to see your tears, your anger in ways that let them know you care and are in this with them. Do not allow yourself to get to the point where they feel the need to care for you. If this happens then it would be good for you to seek help so you can process how the trauma is impacting you. You know your person. Don’t be afraid to offer them support in ways that you know how; in ways that you think they need it. You can do all this remaining respectful to their stated desires and their healing process. If you have found this to be helpful and would like more help, then there is hope. New Vision Counseling and Consulting is here to help you. We are a team of highly trained therapists who care and will meet you where you are and help you heal and move forward. We start by making your therapy sessions safe and non-judgmental. We walk with you and give you the encouragement and resources to heal and start living again. The natural next step is to reach out by calling (405) 921-7776. We look forward to hearing from you and hope to meet you soon.

Conquering Conflict in your Marriage

Posted on February 13, 2023
Every marriage comes with conflict whether that be problems with money, parenting, expectations, intimacy, or a sin committed by a partner. If you are unable to successfully communicate with one another it might feel as though you are on a merry – go-round, constantly having the same conversations about the same topics. If this is you I have good news. It’s called speaker-listener technique and it can help. This approach will help you and your partner communicate in a clear and safe way. The goal is for both parties to be able to speak their mind, but also get the chance to genuinely reflect on how their partner is feeling as well. How it Works This technique is successful because both people get a chance to be the speaker and the listener. Knowing your role will help you stay on topic instead of jumping from one subject to the next. It will also avoid dealing with interruptions, mind-reading, and jumping to conclusions. Helpful Tip: Hold an object like a pen, phone, or a paper with the rules on them when you are the one speaking. This will help clarify and respect the person expressing their thoughts and feelings. Speaker Role When you are the speaker it is important to remember that you are going to get more than one time to talk, so you don’t have to say everything all at once. Set a timer and talk for 3 minutes, making sure to give time to for the listener to rephrase what they hear every 30 seconds or less. This gives the listener a better chance of understanding what you are saying because there is not as much information. When its a really hot topic make sure that the speaker keeps statements brief. And never go on and on or you will likely not be heard and the listener may become overwhelmed. As the speaker you want to focus on your own actions and feelings, not your partners. A good way to do this is by using “I statements”. Using these statements helps keep the topic on how something is affecting you instead of putting blame on your partner. Here are some examples: I feel frustrated when my feelings are not acknowledged. I felt embarrassed the other night when the topic of my weight came up in front of our friends and was hurt when you told everyone how much I weighed. I don’t feel valued when you are playing games on your phone when I am talking to you. Listener Role The biggest role of the listener is to paraphrase what you are hearing from the other person. By paraphrasing your partner will be able to identify if you are following along and understanding what they are communicating to you. It is not your job to rebut, argue, or state your case when it comes to what your partner is saying. This is not an exercise in forcing you to agree with them but to simply understand them. In relationships so many arguments stem from misunderstandings. You will have time to ask questions and speak your mind when you are the speaker. As the listener, focus on the feelings and concerns of your spouse. This is just a quick overview to help every couple improve their relationship by teaching them ways to better understand each other. There are so many more nuances we could jump into on how to make this amazing for your relationship, business, friendships… And after all that, there is a need to practice with real topics. This is where so many of us start fighting and need help. Next Step If you are having conflicts in your marriage and are looking for a change, New Vision Counseling and Consulting is here to help. We have trained therapists who will help navigate you and your partner through whatever struggles you may be facing. The next natural step is to call us at (405) 921-7776. We look forward to hearing from you soon!


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