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Emerton SeanneSeanne has been writing for Her View From Home, an online magazine "dedicated to enjoying the view from your home." Seanne writes about several topics, but you'll find she loves to write about marriages most. You can see all of her articles Here.

Elder Leanne

Therapist's Corner...
Growing a Positive Self-Image 

One of the most important components for growth in a happy, healthy, and productive life is a positive self-image. What you believe about yourself affects everything you do in life. Having a positive self-image helps ensure those choices will help move you towards the YOU you want to be. Below you will find the words positive self-image with words attached to each letter to assist in establishing and increasing your own self-image.

P Make positive choices.  Have a positive attitude.   Be patient with yourself; be proud of yourself.
O:  Be outspoken and optimistic.  Share your opinions.  You are one of a kind.  It's okay to be you.
S:  Embrace the sunshine in your life. Know you are special.
I:  Cultivate your interests.
T:  Spend time with family and friends.
I:  Regain your inner spirit.
V:  Value yourself.
E:  Exercise.
S:  Have a healthy sense of humor.  Capitalize on your strengths.
E:  Embrace challenges. Enjoy hobbies.
L:  Let your love be unconditional.  Let the light shine in your life.  Have balance in your life.  Listen to your heart.
F:  Forgive yourself.  Stay focused. Be free to choose your life path.  Have fun.
I:  Focus on your inner strength. Believe that you are important.
M:  Make the wisest decisions you can at the time. To err is human. We learn from our mistakes.
A:  Practice acceptanceaffection, and approval.  Awareness is the first step to change.  Gain confidence by being assertive.  Read or write positive affirmations.
G:  Look for growth opportunities. Gaze into any given day and enjoy its beauty.
E:  Enjoy the little things.

Above all, be kind to yourself.   Believe in yourself.   Celebrate YOU.

~Leanne Elder, Therapist

Kristen Headshot CroppedGuest Segment...
Growing Your Personal Strengths

As a new counselor gaining experience with a range of people, I’m frequently amazed by how people develop—it’s a constant process of growing, unfolding, or blooming. The tiniest seed of an idea or a hope can become something big and beautiful. In my current work setting, I see many clients who have gotten stuck somewhere in the process. A variety of things outside of their control may hold them back, but other things are in their control. One thing in their control is their knowledge and use of their own personal strengths—yet many of my clients can’t list a single personal strength, or understand how to apply that strength to improve their lives. You may relate to feeling stuck or feeling like you are unacquainted with your own strengths. So how to move forward and bloom?

First, figure out your strengths. You may feel clueless, especially if you’ve been going through a particularly trying phase in your life. Take some time to reflect, by yourself or with someone you trust. What talents or personality traits do you like about yourself? What did you enjoy doing when you were younger? What do your friends say about you? Where do you stand out in work evaluations? If you’re really struggling, consider talking to a counselor. He or she can help identify strengths, informally through conversation, or formally through any number of assessments or inventories.

You may find yourself needing to expand your definition of strengths, especially if your strengths aren’t the “glamorous” kind. They’re all are valuable. For example, much of American society places value on being outgoing, in-your-face, and carefree, so it can be tough coming to terms with your own strengths if you’re more reserved, careful, and observant. As you become more personally comfortable with your strengths, avoid underselling them to yourself and others. Keeping a nice house, being dependable at work, or being a loving spouse may not be “glamorous,” but they matter to the important people in your life.

When you’ve figured out your strengths and have embraced them for what they are, do what you can to bloom where you’re planted. To me, this means making the best of your current situation and keeping your eyes open for opportunities. How can you use your strengths to improve your life and the lives of those around you right now? If you’re interested in new opportunities, how might you get started? Where would you look?

Last—and most importantly—find supportive people and keep them around! These are the people who know what your strengths are (possibly long before you did), who help you cultivate them, and who encourage you on your journey. In short, people who promote growth.

If you’re feeling stuck, tapping into your strengths empowers and uplifts. You could even say that cultivating your strengths acts as a little bit of “fertilizer” for your personal growth, allowing you to continue growing and blooming!

~ Kristen Eckhardt, MS Ed., Guest Columnist

Sandstrom Judy

Tips from our EAP...
Giving Couples Counseling a Try (Part 3 of 3)

Although couples are unique, few problems are new to couples counselors. Sexual issues, money problems, children and parenting issues, religion differences, in-law difficulties, and communication issues are common struggles. Infidelity and cheating, jealousy, balancing work and home, differences in goals and values, and concerns about compatibility all bring couples into counseling.If your spouse or partner refuses to go to couples counseling, it does not mean that your relationship can’t be helped. Couples counseling often starts with one person, with the more reluctant partner joining later. Even if your partner never joins you, it is still possible to make some significant improvements in your relationship.

Couples counseling is usually provided by licensed mental health professionals who have experience and training in working with couples. Marriage and family therapists, clinical social workers, psychologists, psychiatrists, and professional counselors may offer services.

Family Resources of Greater Nebraska, P.C. has several licensed marriage and family counselors on staff and the other counselors are knowledgeable in this area. Ask your provider or counselor if health insurance can cover the cost of counseling. Your HMO may also have other options for struggling couples. But remember, if you must pay out of pocket, it might be worth it.

~Judy Sandstrom, EAP Coordinator

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