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Navigating Family Dynamics for Happier Holidays

The holidays have a way of bringing out the kid in all of us. We long to innocently enjoy all the wonder (blissfully unaware of the work involved!). We treat ourselves to hot chocolate with a candy cane stirrer because, after all, it’s the holidays. The first time we turn on the tree lights, we remember our very first tree and clap our hands with the same joy and excitement. Innocent childhood delights adding a special flavor to our adult celebrations. No harm in that, right? Right! But what if your holiday-inspired temporary reversion to childhood isn’t quite so harmless? What if you get together with your family and find yourself acting like the bossy older sister, a role you thought you’d outgrown a long time ago? Or what if a step through Granny’s door takes you instantly from competent, capable mother to     . . . read more

Parent Strategy Sessions

Does this sound like you? You know in your heart you’re a good parent. Sometimes you wish you had a little more patience, a little more confidence. You feel like you could use a few new parenting tricks up your sleeve. You want to become the parent you know you can be. The truth is parenting can be so hard.  And it’s way too easy to start feeling beaten down and discouraged.  Let’s face it. There are times when we all feel like we’ve done less than our best when it comes to being a parent. Here at New Approaches, we get it! And that’s why we’re so very pleased to be offering Parent Strategy Sessions. These are 2.5 hour consultations that are facilitated by Laura Watters, LCPC. Laura is a family expert and therapist as well as a parent     . . . read more

Mature Behavior in 10 Easy (okay…actually pretty difficult) Steps

Though I strive to be sensible and balance reason with carefully considered emotions, I have had to put myself in time-out several times recently. My kids drive me nuts because they are children and we are inside together a lot because it’s winter in Maine, and I want to lose my mind. “Those people” on the internet drive me nuts because, in case you have not observed, things are tense out there. It seems like no matter who you are, every emotional button is being pushed in the current climate. Keeping myself under control is not always easy. Perhaps you can relate. I find it facinating how we work so hard to teach our kids to behave appropriately, meanwhile often misbehaving ourselves. My daughter’s school is amazing. They have beautifully explained expectations for how people treat each other- in the classroom,     . . . read more

5 Ways to Strengthen Your Bond (And Make a Good Relationship Even Better)

It’s a new year, and there is likely a resolution you have forgotten: investing in your relationship. As a culture, the new year tends to signify a time for reflection and for commitment to betterment in some sense.  We make resolutions to improve ourselves individually. Sometimes we commit to taking action to improve the world or our community. We consider seeing friends more or spending more time with family.  Life gets busy, and it’s important to reflect on our priorities so we don’t lose sight of them in the flurry of day to day living. However, one area that tends to get overlooked, unless there is a glaring problem or a new and exciting milestone (like marriage, a new baby, a special anniversary), is our commitment to bettering, or strengthening, our long term romantic partnerships.  In the chaos of life,     . . . read more

3 Ways to Repair a Relationship Rut

Feeling a disconnect between you and your partner? Perhaps even seething with anger and frustration toward him/her? You’ve been hurt or misunderstood. Or perhaps you’ve done the hurting or been misunderstanding. Relationships are full of ruptures – moments or experiences of missing each other on an emotional level. Often we feel wounded by the fracture.  “It’s like he doesn’t even know me!”  “She has no idea how much thought I put into this, and all I get is criticism!”   Get the Right Perspective When a rift occurs, the instinct is to fight, dwell, vent and stew- sometimes to friends and sometimes to our partners directly. Often the more we dig in, the more we prolong and deepen the pain. When emotions run high, it can feel that there is no way out. We decide we can only budge if     . . . read more

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