Therapist Radio Show: Selecting a Therapist

Posted by on Mar 20, 2017 in Marriage Counseling | Comments Off on Therapist Radio Show: Selecting a Therapist

Linda Miller deBerard-2 03 17 Therapist I’ve recently had the opportunity to do three radio shows and was interviewed by Muriel Donnelley at Empire broadcasting. In the first show, we talk about my evolution as a therapist. Including my belief that my practice is a ministry that brings me great blessings by seeing people have success in counseling. I also discuss how my faith helps me cope with difficult situations. Part of the conversation is about my early experience on a suicide crisis line and some of the things I do when I treat a suicidal client. I discuss why I integrate family members into the treatment of individuals and how this can be beneficial. I give tips to a caller about selecting a therapist and how my concierge service helps clients feel comfortable establishing a therapeutic relationship. I also discuss my belief that showing up for counseling even if your not sure the marriage can survive can often be beneficial because the worst that can happen is that a couple will learn healthy communication that will help with coparenting long term if the marriage does not survive....

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Radio Show Interview: Importance of Couples Therapy Training

Posted by on Mar 6, 2017 in Marriage Counseling | Comments Off on Radio Show Interview: Importance of Couples Therapy Training

Linda Miller deBerard- 1 20 17 Counseling In this interview with Michael David I discuss what makes me different as a counselor being my many years of experience. We discuss the importance of seeing a therapist with specialty training to work with couples and the reason it’s helpful to include your partner in treatment. We look at how a healthy relationship can bring you healing from childhood wounds. And we talk about how little training we get to help us become successful partners....

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Diminishing The Sting Of Divorce, by John Kennedy

Posted by on Feb 17, 2017 in Marriage Advice | Comments Off on Diminishing The Sting Of Divorce, by John Kennedy

People seem to want to know if I advocate for divorce. I don’t, anymore than I advocate for cancer. But both of them happen. When divorce happens families need to learn to treat each other with kindness, dignity and respect. They need help making decisions for their lives and their families. They don’t need to spend thousands of dollars paying an attorney to make decisions that leave a winner and a looser and breed life long contempt. This article is by John Kennedy of PE News. Diminishing the Sting of Divorce Mediation service is designed to keep couples talking through the process, rather than raising the stakes through courts. By John W. Kennedy Christian marriage counselor Linda Miller-deBerard of Colleyville, Texas, never advocates that couples, including Assemblies of God adherents, divorce. Yet, in her more than 25 years of practice, Miller-deBerard has witnessed many husbands and wives who are unable to resolve their differences hire attorneys to initiate proceedings. And when that happens, Miller-deBerard says, partners who might have been able to settle matters amicably often turn nasty. The bitter sentiments can last a lifetime, and when children are involved, Miller-deBerard says families can be damaged beyond the already turbulent upheaval of divorce itself. The traditional route of hiring a lawyer to develop a legal case against a spouse can quickly turn antagonistic, according to Miller-deBerard, especially once the attorney files temporary divorce orders. These legally binding decrees typically invoke terms ranging from forbidding the other partner from moving funds in joint bank accounts to not associating with child sex abusers. “It looks as though the spouse is being accused of stealing money and child molestation,” says Miller-deBerard, who has been married for three decades. Customarily attorneys charge $3,000 to $6,000 to file such orders, but Miller-deBerard contends such an expense is unnecessary in most cases. Certainly when spousal abuse, neglect, or drug addiction is involved, a judge needs to make decisions for the safety of the victim. But those constitute a minority of cases, and in the past decade various therapists and attorneys have noticed that the litigation system can be unhealthy for families. Besides the cost, Miller-deBerard says unexpectedly being served with legal documents can wound and offend the other party — and start a mudslinging exchange as a husband and wife become entrenched in trying to finagle a better financial settlement from courts. Miller-deBerard believes she and an attorney friend, Stacey H. Langenbahn, have devised a better path. Under their Détente Family Mediation plan, couples are invited to sit down together and discuss what their lives — and the lives of their children — will look like after the split. What will be the related expenses for the spouse who retains ownership of the home? How will the daughter’s braces be paid? Who will keep attending the home church? Will the family still be able to gather for holidays? “Our goal isn’t to get them divorced, but to get the couple to continue talking in ways where they can co-parent and the child doesn’t have to choose sides,” Miller-deBerard says. Langenbahn, newly elected president of the Academy of Professional Family Mediators, cites the apostle Paul’s admonition in 1 Corinthians 6:1-8 as a reason for believers to use neutral mediators rather than the government judges in...

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Put Love In Your Marriage for Valentines Day

Posted by on Feb 7, 2017 in Marriage Advice | Comments Off on Put Love In Your Marriage for Valentines Day

Valentines Day is just around the corner. This year don’t go out buy a gift for you loved one. Yep, I said that. Do something truly special. You have a few days to truly notice your partner. Pay close attention to what they do on a daily basis to make your life easier, then make a card expressing gratitude for all those things and what they mean to you. Offer a shower of love: Have them sit down, slowly walk around them and tell them all the things you love about them physically, emotionally, personally an intimately then jump up and down and shout I LOVE YOU a couple of times. You’ll both get a belly laugh which builds intimacy. Ask them about their dreams then just listen to them with a smile on your face. Offer to do an activity that THEY enjoy, even if it’s not your favorite thing. Find anything that will bring the two of you laughter. Make a personal coupon book for your partner to use throughout the year. Put specific things in it that your spouse would like to receive like a foot rub, a shoulder massage, putting gas in their car etc. Being in a relationship requires effort. The effort doesn’t have to always be difficult or expensive. It needs to be fun and light sometimes. Imagine what your marriage would look like if you both did these things for one another on a monthly basis! You will build positive neural pathways- you’ll have positive feelings about each other and you’ll build emotional intimacy. Here’s wishing you relationship...

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Blending Families

Posted by on Feb 3, 2017 in Marriage Advice | Comments Off on Blending Families

Going into new relationships is difficult after divorce. Hopefully, you have spent some time learning how to raise your children in two homes and you’ve built a co parenting relationship with your ex. The first thing you must establish when you start dating someone is that no matter what went on in your divorce, the best thing for your kids is to have open communication about your children with their other parent. Reassure them that you will not be discussing personal issues in your relationship or in their lives unless it directly impacts your children. this can be hard hard for your partner to accept if they have an antagonistic relationship with their ex. If thats the case, encourage one another to take the high road for the children. It’s particularly difficult if your partner has no children or no ex. It’s sometimes difficult for previously single partners to accept the necessity of an ongoing co parenting relationship with your ex. Help them understand that your ex will forever be in your lives because your children will never stop being something you have in common. This goes for grand children as well Talk about your parenting strategies before you move in together. Even if you do this you will see parenting strategies that are different form your own or that you don’t even like. Most of our parenting skills come from the way we were raised then evolve over our lives with our children other parent. Thats a lot of influences that you bring into your new relationship. They also have those influences. Your now tasked with finding a style that works for the two of...

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Building A Relationship with Step Children

Posted by on Jan 27, 2017 in Marriage Advice | Comments Off on Building A Relationship with Step Children

One of the reasons blending a family is so difficult is because couples who fall in love with each other now have the task of participating in raising someone else children. Children are often heard to say “your not my mom/dad” to step parents. They are challenging your position in their life. It’s often difficult for children, particularly teens who are considering their own sexuality to accept a new partner in their parents lives. Remember that they are doing their job as a teen and trying to assert their independence by challenging the authority figures in their life. Don’t take this as a personal attack or insult. Try agreeing with them because, you truly are not their mom/dad. Tell them instead: “you right, I’m not your biological parent. But I am your step parent so that means I signed up to participate in caring for you. Your parent and I will make decisions together and agree on boundaries and rewards”. A Let them know the hopes you have for your relationship with them for example, I hope to be a bonus parent for you, I hope we can establish a friendship, I hope I can be another person thats here if you need me or any other hopes and dreams you might have for the relationship. You might ask if they have any hopes for their relationship with you given the reality of the situation. Don’t be offended if they wish you just weren’t part of their parents lives. You being in a relationship with their parent solidifies even more the fact that mom and dad will never reconcile. Be sure you have this conversation when things are calm and you can both listen to each...

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Addressing Problems As A Step Parent

Posted by on Jan 20, 2017 in Marriage Advice | Comments Off on Addressing Problems As A Step Parent

As a step parent it’s important that you help the biological parent establish a loving environment for one another’s children. It’s important that you don’t step in as the rule maker or the enforcer. Take a good look at how your partner sets boundaries and expectations for their children. It’s important to ask yourself if you can live in a household with the kind of parenting your new partner does. Remember that this has become a way of life for your partner and their children. You being in their lives does not and should not mean that there will be drastic changes to the parenting pattern that has already been established. Before expecting changes, talk to your partner about how they would feel about making certain alterations. If you don’t get on the same page there will be major conflict with the kids and between the two of you. Falling in love with your partner does not necessarily mean that you have fallen in love with their children. That’s ok as long as you remember that your partner loves them and will always love them no matter what they do. If you remember this you’ll be sensitive about not being negative or critical of your partners children. Being critical or negative about someones children very seldom ends well. It usually puts people into fight mode which can be very toxic to your relationship. Instead think very hard about what is bothering you and find a way to express it that eliminates criticism and blame. It’s ok to say I’m uncomfortable when little Mary does x. Then propose a solution I’d like it if they would do y instead and suggest an action plan would you be ok if I/we do z. None of this assassinates the child’s character like your child is _____ they never or always________. Your partner has no choice but to defend the children they love which makes it impossible to help you with your...

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Fear of Counseling

Posted by on Jan 14, 2017 in Marriage Advice | Comments Off on Fear of Counseling

Occasionally I hear from a potential client that they feel strongly that their relationship needs professional counseling but their partner is concerned about sharing personal problems with a stranger. My guess is that they fear judgement or at the very least discomforting sharing their problems. As a good counselor it’s important for me to create a non judgmental atmosphere. I often reassure my clients that there is very little that they could tell me that would cause me to be shocked. There is also nothing they could tell me that would cause me to think less of them. My training in Social Work is based on respect for others and human dignity in all situations. Counselors are also legally and ethically bound to confidentiality. That means that I absolutely can not disclose that I have seen someone for counseling unless they sign consent allowing me to do so. Because I live in a small community I tell my clients that if I run into them in public I might smile and say hello because I do that to everyone I make eye contact with but no one will know that they have seen me professionally unless they choose to tell them. I go an extra step in my office. Everyone in my building is trained in confidentiality. That includes all the professionals. My client records are secured behind three locked doors which goes beyond general practice guidelines. I believe that once people meet me, they find me easy to talk to and quickly feel comfortable sharing their concerns and issues. Its taken years to perfect my interviewing style so it now resembles a simple conversation with someone who is interested in them. I like to think that this takes away the element of talking to a stranger and they instead experience a human being who is truly interested in...

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How Counseling Works

Posted by on Jan 9, 2017 in Marriage Advice | Comments Off on How Counseling Works

I’ve recently been asked how talking to a counselor can help. There was once a study in which college students wrote a letter about a problem they were experiencing. Half of the group read the letter out loud to themselves the other half read it out loud to another person. The half who read it to another person reported decreased distress about the problem. It’s no secret that as human beings confiding is someone helps us overcome problems. With a trained counselor however your also getting the benefit of years of training and experience. We know what questions to ask to help you look at your problems from various angles. We have training in specific interventions. We’ve studied research about specific techniques that are proven to help people overcome emotional and relational discomfort. The added benefit to counseling is confidentiality. You never have to wonder if someone else will discover you personal feelings. Counselors also have training in being non biased. We’re trained not to judge or to offer our personal opinions. Unlike your mom or your best friend who think they know whats best for you, our job is to help you find the answers that work best for...

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Tips for Making your Relationships Better

Posted by on Dec 15, 2016 in Marriage Advice | Comments Off on Tips for Making your Relationships Better

People often ask me if what they are experiencing in their relationships is “normal” I tel them that “normal doesn’t exist. We are all unique individuals making our relationships unique as well. We all have a desire to feel valued and loved in our relationship. Most of us have the hope that the people in our extended families will want to spend time with us and will be there when we need each other. Particularly around the holidays. This very difficult for more people than you would imagine. If there has been serious wounding by a parent in childhood it can be very disappointing to hope for healing from that parent in adulthood. Here are some things you can do: Try to have a conversation with the person who hurt you, have in mind what you might ask of them that could help you heal. Try to empathize with their childhood wounds to find some understanding of what led to them causing you pain. Give yourself permission to interact with them as much or as little as feels safe and comfortable to you. Most importantly, work on forgiveness. Forgiveness is a gift to yourself that can erase the negative bitterness that will make you emotionally...

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