Rindie Eagle, MA, LPCC
Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor
From around the web

If you would have been asked a year ago if you were concerned about a global pandemic grinding life as you know it to a halt, you probably would have raised your eyebrows and laughed.  There is no doubt that the world we are in is not the world we knew then.
The ongoing threat of COVID-19 on health, employment, economy and social connection rolls on with no real end in sight.  The overall sense of uncertainty is pervasive across the entire planet and especially in the U.S. where the virus continues to seep into even the small towns of all of our states.  This is no longer a crisis of cities only.  On top of this is the division in attitudes around this pandemic and a lack of uniform approach to it.  We need to continue to stay buckled in here because apparently nobody is getting off this ride any time soon.
With trauma, it used to mean that we could work through the past to feel safer, to live a “life after trauma.”  But the world we live in is traumatic.  According to trauma expert Janina Fisher, PhD, we are “living in a war zone.”  A COVID war zone.  Whether

Originally published at http://loveandlifetoolbox.com

Richard Nicastro, Phd, takes a closer look at some of the obstacles to forgiveness in intimate relationships.  
Imagine this scenario:
Your spouse/partner has wounded you in some way. S/he has now expressed what feels like genuine remorse to you. Maybe you’ve even said you accept the apology you were offered, but now you’re wondering whether that was just lip service, because you don’t feel forgiving at all. Quite the contrary. You feel frozen in an anti-forgiveness stance.
However, you really and truly want to forgive. You don’t think your partner is going to repeat the behavior that caused the hurt. You know that forgiveness is good for you, that holding onto resentment will ultimately rob you of peace.
And yet, you can’t forgive him/her. Why?
What’s holding you back? Obstacles to forgiveness
The mind is powerful, complicated, and incredibly nuanced. And to make it even more complex, there are different levels of mind: there’s the conscious mind that we’re in touch with, but there’s a whole ’nother level that’s at work beneath the surface, while we’re carpooling the kids or weeding the garden or prepping for a work presentation.
We don’t need to stop what we’re doing to zero in on what’s going on in our subconscious,

Originally published at http://loveandlifetoolbox.com

Does your emotional status depend on the day, hour or possibly minute?  You are not alone.
If you’re like me, you’ve noticed an increase in online content around COVID19 and psychological health.  Because there is such a range of experiences in this pandemic, the topics are vast and what may speak to one sub-group, will be off the mark for others.  I’ve noticed myself challenged when attempting to write helpful pieces, feeling sensitive as to how they might be read by those who can’t relate.   In this country (and world) there are so many in survival mode while others, at least for now, are secure enough to “only” be facing the massive changes in family, work, school, social and community dynamics.  But there is one thing we are all doing during this pandemic.
We are all riding on our own personal emotional roller coasters.
No matter who you are, you have feelings about this situation and how it impacts you now and how it might impact you later.  The collective trauma yields different feelings depending on circumstances and how you typically deal with emotions.  You might be angry in one minute, sad in the next and even hopeless the next hour.  Perhaps you

Originally published at http://loveandlifetoolbox.com

Linda Graham, MFT and author of Resilience: Powerful Practices for Bouncing Back from Disappointment, Difficulty and Even Disaster, explores ways to tap into your own resilience to be able to cope with the most challenging of circumstances, even a  global pandemic.
Resilience is always needed. The current pandemic of COVID-19 is a new disease, and a deadly one.  So far unpreventable, untreatable. It’s easy to be scared and wise to be concerned.
Resilience – capacities to deal with any stress and bounce back from any adversity – is as necessary to our well-being as the new virus is disruptive to it.
Resilience really means our learned capacities to cope with anything, anything at all.
We can cope with disappointment now, as we all are, when restaurants and bars are closed, trips are cancelled, sporting events and cultural events are postponed, and workshops at Kripalu and other venues are re-scheduled.
We can cope with difficulty now, as we all are, when schools, day care centers, and libraries close and colleges shift to online learning. And when so many closures threaten the livelihood of almost everyone we know.
We can cope even with disaster, as many of us are now, as we and loved ones are in danger of falling disastrously ill, as people we

Originally published at http://loveandlifetoolbox.com

The mental health crisis unfolding against the back drop of the pandemic is a story of its own.  The worries of people are vast and steeped with layers of anxiety, numbness, stress, lack of control and the unknown.  Feelings of joy, optimism and aha moments are also swirled in this emotional cauldron.  Anger too.
Something I’ve struggled with when writing pieces to help support emotional health and relationships during this pandemic is how to be helpful while honoring everyone’s experience.  Many are relatively comfortable while sheltering in place as they weather the storm and have the “luxury” of time to practice self-care or contemplate silver linings.  But others are in serious crisis wondering how they are going to pay for food to feed their families or living in logistically challenging circumstances.
I read something speaking to this recently.
We are Not in the Same Boat
I heard that we are all in the same boat, but it’s not like that. We are in the same storm, but not in the same boat. Your ship could be shipwrecked and mine might not be. Or vice versa.
For some, quarantine is optimal. A moment of reflection, of re-connection, easy in flip flops, with a cocktail or coffee.

Originally published at http://loveandlifetoolbox.com

“Why did I do it? I love my wife, I have so much to lose, why?!”
Many of the men I work with are seeking answers to questions like the one above. They’ve acted in ways they later regret and, at some point, they had to face the painful fallout of their actions: a devastated loved one who might end the marriage/relationship; the shame of behavior that conflicts with their values; the despair and humiliation of losing a job or getting into legal trouble.

In each instance through the acting-out experience, these men have built a secret reality where they escaped to again and again, a dream-like existence that allowed them to feel and experience things they couldn’t imagine feeling in their “real” lives.
Some have used their secretive world as an escape, an exit from an un-namable (and therefore un-manageable) malaise they cannot shake. Others sought relief from an overly constrictive sense of self, a self subsumed by fear and inhibition.
But the “solution” sought through acting-out isn’t realized (and therefore isn’t a solution at all). In fact, as many have discovered, often more harm is caused to self and others through acting-out; and acting-out ultimately prevents one from going inward in order to

Originally published at http://loveandlifetoolbox.com

We are in unprecedented times. The impact of the pandemic is significant on multiple levels, including psychological, as it contradicts what is familiar and expected in the world leading to confusion and uncertainty.  For some, it may be impairing your ability to cope with all that is happening leading to strong emotional responses like grief, panic, anxiety or depression.
Trauma experts Dr. Peter Levine, PhD and Dr. Bessel van der Kolk, MD, recently sat down together (from afar) for an online webinar to discuss the pandemic from the perspective of psychological impact.  They shared their thoughts on some of the primary risks of the COVID19 pandemic as well as what can be done.
A Few Pandemic Psychological Risks

Unpredictability
Immobility
Not being sure who to trust or they know what to do.

No one really knows what’s going to happen or the full scope of impact to our society and world at the hands of the virus.  We are wired to asses threat and not knowing what’s coming makes our brains unable to do that accurately which can lead to chronic  stress.  Our lack of ability to move around in ways we are used to has hindered and removed normal social activities.  These are unnatural states

Originally published at http://loveandlifetoolbox.com

To the Spouse who Happens to not be the Parent, Please tell me you understand. For starters, it was an overwhelming day. You see, I had 2 interviews for a position I was eager to fill, a workshop I had facilitated, and only half an hour between all 3 of these tasks. Did I mention…
The post A Letter to the Spouse who Happens to not be the Parent appeared first on Start Marriage Right.

Originally published at http://loveandlifetoolbox.com

One of the saddest posts that I have seen thus far on Facebook regarding the lockdown was this: “Dear single friends, stay positive and optimistic. After 3 weeks of lockdown there will be plenty divorces and new opportunities” My heart literally broke. This was posted by a friend of mine who is a Believer and…
The post COVID-19, Lockdown, and Marriage appeared first on Start Marriage Right.

Originally published at http://loveandlifetoolbox.com

“Some of you will rebuild the deserted ruins of your cities. Then you will be known as a rebuilder of walls and a restorer of homes.” (Amos 9:11, NLT) I know that you are asking God to fulfill these words in your marriage, and I earnestly join you in that prayer, believing that God’s heart…
The post Hope for a Hurting Husband appeared first on Start Marriage Right.

Originally published at http://loveandlifetoolbox.com