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How do I know if my partner and I need therapy?

Making the decision to go to couples therapy can be challenging. Instead of having to get yourself onboard, you also have to get your partner on board as well.

However, many don’t realize that couples therapy does not have to be a “last resort” for a troubled relationship. Couples Therapy can also be preventative. Even couples who have very few issues can go to therapy to prevent issues from happening in the future.HOW DO I KNOW IF MY PARTNER AND I NEED THERAPY?

Couples therapy is great because it serves as a channel of communication between partners. It allows for large disagreements to be turned into small ones because they were effectively communicated.

While it can be preventive, Couples Therapy is typically seen as something designed for a struggling couple. It can be for those who have been feeling disconnected or those who need help understanding how their partner is feeling. Perhaps the communication is not meeting the needs of one or both partners. Or, there are unresolved issues that are affecting aspects of the relationship. There are common examples of why couples start therapy.

 

Sitting down with an unbiased third party can help take the emotion out of disagreements. Speaking with a licensed clinician who is trained in couples therapy can improve the direction of your relationship.

At Apple Psychological, we offer couples therapy in online settings, as well as in person. The ease of doing an online telehealth appointment allows for flexibility in scheduling and more comfort, being in a familiar place.

Here are some tips when introducing therapy to your partner:
● Couples therapy is used to strengthen a relationship
● Therapy is not only used as a “last resort”
● Through Apple Psychological’s couples therapy specialty it can all be done online!
● About 49% of couples attend couples therapy and over 90% of clients said they were given more effective strategies/tools for dealing with their obstacles

If you are hesitant about introducing the idea of therapy to your partner, point them to an article like this one.

If you have any questions about Couples Therapy at Apple Psychological, or want to learn more, please reach out to our team at: (917) 526-0766, visit our website HERE or book a FREE consultation call Today!

An experienced counselor specializing in Couples Therapy can help.

A Guide to Tackling Academic Pressure

In the fast-paced world of academia, students often find themselves grappling with the pressure to perform well in exams and meet the demands of a challenging curriculum. Stress can become a significant obstacle, hindering academic success and overall well-being. However, mastering stress is a skill that can make a significant difference in your ability to navigate the test curriculum successfully. In this blog, we will explore effective strategies to help you manage stress and ultimately excel in your studies.

Understanding Stress:
Before delving into strategies for managing stress, it’s crucial to understand what stress is and how it affects your body and mind. Stress is a natural response to challenges and demands, triggering the “fight or flight” response. While a certain amount of stress can be motivating, chronic stress can have detrimental effects on your physical and mental health. Recognizing the signs of stress is the first step towards mastering it.A Guide to Tackling Academic Pressure

Time Management:
One of the primary sources of stress for students is the feeling of being overwhelmed by the sheer volume of coursework and study materials. Effective time management is key to alleviating this stress. Create a realistic schedule that includes dedicated time for studying, breaks, and other activities. Prioritize tasks based on deadlines and importance, ensuring a balanced approach to your studies.

Break Down the Curriculum:
Rather than viewing the entire curriculum as an insurmountable mountain, break it down into smaller, manageable chunks. Focus on one topic or chapter at a time. This approach not only makes studying more digestible but also helps build a sense of accomplishment as you make progress through the material.

Develop Effective Study Techniques:
Not all study methods are created equal. Experiment with different techniques such as active recall, spaced repetition, and concept mapping to discover what works best for you. Using effective study methods enhances your understanding of the material, reducing the anxiety associated with the fear of the unknown.

Healthy Lifestyle Choices:
Your physical well-being has a direct impact on your ability to manage stress. Ensure you maintain a healthy lifestyle by getting regular exercise, eating nutritious meals, and prioritizing sufficient sleep. Physical activity, in particular, is known to reduce stress hormones and boost mood.

Mindfulness and Relaxation Techniques:
Incorporate mindfulness and relaxation techniques into your daily routine. Techniques such as deep breathing, meditation, and yoga can help calm your mind and reduce stress levels. These practices are valuable tools for staying focused and composed during high-pressure study sessions and exams.

Mindfulness-Based CBT:
Combine mindfulness techniques with CBT strategies to enhance your ability to manage stress. Mindfulness involves staying present in the moment without judgment. Practice mindfulness meditation regularly to cultivate awareness and reduce the impact of stress on your overall well-being.

Seek Support:
Don’t hesitate to reach out for support when needed. Whether it’s discussing challenging topics with classmates, seeking guidance from teachers, or talking to friends and family, sharing your concerns can provide a fresh perspective and emotional support.

Cognitive Restructuring:
CBT emphasizes the importance of identifying and challenging negative thought patterns. When faced with academic stress, pay attention to any irrational or overly negative thoughts. Challenge these thoughts by asking yourself if they are based on facts and evidence. Replace negative thoughts with more balanced and realistic perspectives to reduce anxiety.

Behavioral Activation:
CBT encourages individuals to engage in positive and goal-directed behaviors. Break the cycle of stress by incorporating enjoyable and rewarding activities into your routine. These activities can serve as effective stress-relievers, providing a much-needed break from academic pressures.

Problem-Solving Skills:
CBT emphasizes the importance of developing effective problem-solving skills. Instead of dwelling on problems, approach them with a solution-oriented mindset. Break down academic challenges into manageable components and focus on finding practical solutions. This approach can empower you to address stressors proactively.

Graded Exposure:
For situations that cause significant stress, consider a graded exposure approach. Gradually expose yourself to the stressor in a controlled manner, allowing yourself to adapt and build resilience over time. This can be particularly useful when dealing with challenging subjects or exam anxiety.

Self-Monitoring:
Keep a stress journal to track your thoughts, feelings, and behaviors related to academic stress. Identify patterns and triggers, allowing you to implement targeted CBT strategies. Self-monitoring enhances self-awareness and provides valuable insights into areas that may require additional attention.

Conclusion:
Mastering stress is an ongoing process that requires self-awareness and a commitment to adopting healthy habits. By incorporating these strategies into your daily routine, you’ll not only enhance your ability to tackle the test curriculum but also cultivate resilience that will serve you well throughout your academic journey. Remember, it’s not about eliminating stress entirely but learning to manage and leverage it in a way that propels you towards success.

Learn More about our Master Your Stress so You can ACE the Test Curriculum and Manual with Effective strategies on ways to improve your ability to manage stress and advance your overall performance in every area of your life.

Click Here to Contact Us if you have any questions. You can also Book An Appoinment By Click Here

Are You Trying To Be The Perfect Partner?

Being in a relationship is a foreign feeling to many, especially in comparison to being single. You go from having your own space, friends, hobbies, plans to having another person constantly in your space, You make new, mutual friends, and have joint plans. 

As someone who prides themselves on being a truly independent individual, being in a relationship was a very weird experience in the beginning. Besides having someone else to be reliant on and vice versa, being in a relationship was difficult for me at first due to the ‘perfect’ front I was trying to put on.

As a woman in today’s society, we are taught men love well-groomed women who always have their hair and makeup done perfectly and have the best outfit on. Not only that, you must always know what to say, be funny but not too funny, be respectful, not be loud but still be extroverted, and the list goes on and on. As someone who had never been in a relationship before my current one, it was definitely a challenge for me to lower my walls and let my partner see me for who I really was, and not some try-hard version of myself. 

I vividly remember listening to a podcast months before I got into a relationship. I listened to a model speak on her experience with her personal romantic relationship. She mentioned how she was terrified of even letting her partner see her with bedhead first thing in the morning, so she would wake up one hour before he did and do her whole skincare and hair routine and then get back into bed so he could wake up to the edited version. I remember listening to this part and being in shock at how fearful women are of letting their partners see the less perfect and real versions of themselves.

Fast forward a few months later when I was in a relationship of my own, I did the same exact thing! I would wake up quietly before my boyfriend would wake up and brush my teeth (because morning breath is gross and who would want to kiss someone with morning breath), do my hair, pick all the morning crusties out of my eyes, and do my skincare so my skin was all glowy and moisturized looking. As a raging feminist, I could not understand why I had to constantly show my boyfriend the best version of myself, regardless if we were on our 20th date or chilling in bed watching movies. 

 

I felt as if there were constantly cameras around me and I had to look and act my best. Especially, since my boyfriend had no issue showing me all the good and ugly parts of him, and this only made me love him even more. But for some reason, I could not let go of trying to be the perfect partner. 

My partner thankfully caught on pretty quick that I was showing him some edited and perfected version of myself. He was upset by this, and worked with me to stop essentially fake being myself. I expressed my fears of him leaving me for someone prettier than me if I didn’t have my hair or makeup done for a day, or him being disappointed at what was behind the shield I put on, and he assured me this was not the case with him. He even told me that me trying to be the perfect partner made him feel further away from me. 

 

Over the next few months, he worked together to make me feel more comfortable and safe in the relationship, and now I go more days bare-faced and with messy hair than with a full face of makeup and some elaborate hairstyle. Letting go of the idea of a perfect partner only brought my boyfriend and I so much closer together and allowed us to strengthen our friendship within the relationship.

Please send us a quick message if you have any questions.

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If you are having difficulties in your relationship, or want to learn more about our practice, please reach out to our team at: (917) 526-0766, visit our website at: https://applepsychological.com/contact-us or book a FREE consultation call at https://applepsychological.janeapp.com

 An experienced counselor specializing in Couples Therapy can help.

THE IMPORTANCE OF PERSONAL SPACE

So, you did it. After multiple failed attempts at dating, you finally found the one. Life is perfect- love prevails! Everything is all rainbows and butterflies. You are no longer the single friend and now have someone to spend your Friday nights with. Gone are the days you go to company parties alone. No more inquisitions from family members on where your special person is, and absolutely no more cuddling with pillows to go to sleep at night. 

 

Everything is going great, so obviously you take the next big step together: moving in together. You cannot wait. Plans of getting a dog are in the works as you settle into your first apartment together. But then, all of a sudden, you feel trapped. You feel confused, as you do love this person, but why is it getting hard to breathe and have space to think? Is it perhaps the clash of your cute girly things becoming infested with masculine tones and items. Is it perhaps maybe you actually prefer sleeping alone (good thing you planned ahead and got a pull-out couch). Whatever it is, know that these are all normal feelings. From my experience, almost all couples feel this way once moving in together, yet it is barely discussed or brought up. It is seen as negative and almost a taboo topic because it is actually totally realistic and lacks romance.

Living with a partner is completely different than living with roommates. With roommates, there are (usually) separate rooms, shared lists of chores, and a clear distinction between shared and personal spaces. Most of this goes away when you live with a partner. It is the norm to share a bedroom with your partner, so your own personal space disappears. For this reason, many may feel suffocated when first living with a partner. If personal space is not brought up and clearly made distinct, both of you may go on quietly feeling suffocated and eventually may decide to go separate ways. When in reality, this can totally be avoided if the topic is simply brought up and discussed- the sooner the better. 

So what exactly is personal space and why is it so essential? Personal space allows an individual to have a space where they can exist, act, feel, and express exactly how they want to without the presence of other beings, opinions and criticisms. Personal space is essential for each and every individual, as it provides us space to be with our thoughts and just simply be ourselves. If personal space is constantly intruded or does not even exist in a household, it could be significantly harmful to personal and emotional well-being. Personal space has a lot to do with boundaries, another topic that could be difficult for couples to bring up and discuss. However, placing clear boundaries and having clear distinctions of what is considered personal space can easily help a struggling couple. It would give the opportunity for both partners to have a space where the other is not present and they can put themselves first. You can finally take time to do things for YOURSELF and not for your partner or the benefit of the other person. Personal space could give many a chance to practice self-care, a practice that is highly necessary for mental and emotional well-being. 

 

So, next time you feel the walls of your shared space with your partner get smaller and smaller, suggest craving our personal space areas. You might just be surprised at how much improvement you see after a few days!

Please send us a quick message if you have any questions.

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If you have any questions about this program, or want to learn more, please reach out to our team at: (917) 526-0766, visit our website at: https://applepsychological.com/contact-us/ or book a FREE consultation call at https://applepsychological.janeapp.com/ 

 

An experienced counselor specializing in Couples Therapy can help.