1-281-826-4380 galina@followyourheartcounseling.com
Dealing with the Emotional Aftermath of Harvey - Harvey came, went and left Houston devastated. After the first shock and disbelief passed and the flurry of rescue activities slowed down, many of us began to feel the emotional effects of the destruction.  It’s understandable that people who were directly affected are still in ...(Read More)
10 Essential Ingredients of a Healthy Marriage - Couples and family therapists work predominantly with people who didn’t grow up in a healthy family or home. As a result, many of our clients don’t even know what healthy marriage looks like. Here I’ll list some of the ingredients that are necessary for creating ...(Read More)
Domestic Violence and Cycle of Abuse - Domestic violence is much more prevalent than most people realize. It's so shameful for victims to admit that they live with an abuser that they keep silence about it. One of the most puzzling questions that a lot of people ask is why do women ...(Read More)
Don’t wait for the “D word” bomb - Many therapists run into an especially frustrating situation – when clients come to us too late: when one of the partners (more often than not it’s the wife) drops “the Divorce bomb.” And what’s regrettable is that sometimes this is the only way for someone ...(Read More)
Bruce Springsteen’s memoir and Family Constellations - There was an article in local newspaper yesterday about Bruce Springsteen’s new memoir, "Born to Run." The article discussed Springsteen's life-long struggle with depression and the stigma associated with mental illness. What struck me was his statement that “he was afraid he might reprise his ...(Read More)
How to stop fighting with your partner - I recently watched (yet again!) this wonderful and touching movie with Bruce Willis and Michelle Pfeiffer – "The Story of Us." It depicts very realistically fights that couples often have: She: “You are not really hearing me!” He: “You are so goddamn critical!” She: “It’s ...(Read More)
Two states of being - At any given moment we can only be in one of two states. One is “YES” – openness, agreeing, yes to life, to a current situation and our feelings about it. In the state of “YES” – we are in harmony with ourselves and the ...(Read More)
What we say to our children becomes their fate - “The way we talk to our children eventually becomes their inner voice,” said Peggy O’Mara, the famous publisher and Chief Editor of “Mothering” magazine. She's also the mother of four children. This saying is so true; our words and sentences, the tone of our voice ...(Read More)
How to stay in love When you just start your relationship - I was at a hair salon the other day. My hairdresser and I stroke a conversation about life in general, about the fact that sometimes her salon clients confide in her and tell her their stories. I mentioned that I was a marriage and family ...(Read More)
Illusions of the Mind - Our minds are one of the most fascinating things about being a human. Scientists consider our minds to be the most complicated things in the universe! Sometimes they seems to be running the show and sometimes they can be our worst enemy. Our minds can ...(Read More)
How to build harmony in relationships - Love should be the foundation of a solid relationship. You love you partner, your partner loves you. This is a good start, but love is not enough. You’ll also need to master some skills to make love last and grow stronger over time. Relationships are ...(Read More)
How to deal with difficult emotions and feelings? - One of the most common problems I observe with people who come for couples counseling is fighting. A lot of times, the fighting starts or escalates due to intense emotions and feelings that one or both partners experience during (or before) their fights. The question ...(Read More)
abusive relationship Do you suspect you might be in abusive relationship? - Once again Jessica cried herself to sleep. Josh, her boyfriend, yelled at and cursed her – again. All because of a broken plate. It was an accident! She felt so scared, lonely and desperate - nobody to turn to. Nobody would believe her because all ...(Read More)
Is Your Marriage Worth Saving? - Contrary to what many people think, the answer in the majority of cases is yes! Especially, if you have children. Children are always happier in a full, original family unit. In general, the exceptions involve cases of abuse, addictions and some form of mental illnesses. ...(Read More)
Science Says Lasting Relationships Come Down To 2 Basic Traits - What are some of the things that make marriages succeed or fail? Emily Esfahani Smith wrote a wonderful article in The Atlantic about the research that sheds the light on this issue. Here is an excerpt from the article: "Science says lasting relationships come down ...(Read More)
Saved by the Bell (or rather Fire Alarm) - If we closely examine our past and the events in it, we might be able to realize that it’s not the actual events and situations that affect us, but rather the stories we later tell ourselves about them and the meaning we give them. I ...(Read More)
When Couples Fight: State-Dependent Memory - A couple I’ve been seeing for a few months is sitting in front of me. She is crying, feeling overwhelmed, despondent, “sick and tired” of their relationship, ready to give up and hopeless. He seems guarded and defensive, with a distant expression on his face. ...(Read More)
The Eleventh Commandment: Enjoy your life - By Aleksander Kazakevich (Translated from Russian by Galina) Those who have visited Belgium’s Capitol have probably noticed an intriguing sign which often hangs in local cafés and bars. The sign says: “The Eleventh Commandment: Enjoy your life.” What is this? A slick marketing trick designed ...(Read More)
How to change relationship for the better? - When couples (especially young ones) come in for marriage therapy, they usually believe that it is the other person who needs to change. If only it would work! First of all, most people don't want to change. And even if they want to, more often than ...(Read More)
Inner child - How do you treat your inner child? If well, it will reward you with wonderful qualities.
First Steps In Finding Right Relationship - So, you decided that you don't want to be alone any longer. You have had some - let's put it this way - unsuccessful relationships in the past and you are wondering why you were not able to find this special one that was made ...(Read More)
Resistance to what is - We spend much of our lives in an attempt to run away from feelings of anxiety, insecurity and various fears. The perfect example of this resistance is the phrase "I don't want to feel this way". We, therapists, hear this all the time. A huge ...(Read More)
To those, who want to change - Once-in-a-while I discover something that puts into words what I have been thinking about, but could never express with such clarity and eloquence. This is one of those writings which I ran into in LiveJournal. I would love to share it with you. By Viktoriya ...(Read More)
Manipulations - Manipulations… This is an amazingly wide and rich topic. Many wonderful books are written about it. The abundance of opinions is staggering. However, I will still dare to offer some musing about this subject. My opinion has changed many times over the years and might ...(Read More)
How to Stop Creating Codependent Relationships and Overcome Codependence - Article by Elena Ryabtzeva (Translated from Russian by Galina) The question about how to stop creating codependent relationships and overcome codependence is a loaded one. One can write several books on the subject and yet it wouldn’t be enough. For starters, I want to say ...(Read More)
Driving lessons - For as long as I remember I always wanted to have a car and drive. First it was one of those little “toy” pedal cars made for children to sit in. Then it was a bicycle (fortunately, I had several during my childhood) and in ...(Read More)
The Paradox of Choice - We’ve all probably heard people talking about “making choices." You always have a choice, we are told. Teach our children make the right choices. On the surface it seems that we do have choices – at least between what is right and what is wrong. ...(Read More)
Somebody is looking… - Recently I learned a very important lesson in life... If you think that nobody sees you and nobody pays attention to you, look up and you might see a lot of eyes looking at you... If you look down at the floor you might not ...(Read More)
Nature of pain and suffering - In this article I will make an attempt to describe some revelations and insights I had during a course of Vipassana. I don’t understand everything and some things I don’t understand at all, but I hope my thoughts might help other people seeking to free ...(Read More)
Intimacy and Fear of intimacy - Intimacy is being able to communicate without the fear of being judged and rejected, without getting defensive. It also means being understood and heard – beyond words and actions. It’s sharing of thoughts, feelings, bodies and souls on every level. It is feeling safe with ...(Read More)
Love, Openness and Creativity - If we go to the most basic level of feelings and emotions, we can discover that all of our feelings and emotions essentially originate from only two states – love or fear. In their pure and ultimate form these two states are mutually exclusive. When ...(Read More)
How to create a happy life How to Create a Happy Life - I want to share some of my thoughts about how to create a happy life (whatever it means for each one of us). These thoughts are based on my own observations, personal experiences, reading, knowledge of psychology, my work with clients and God knows what ...(Read More)
Some thoughts about marriage - Recently, I had some thoughts about marriage. Marriage, besides other things causes a perpetual inner conflict between a desire for freedom and self-determination, and longing for true intimacy, total openness and even merging. It appears that partners are constantly looking for a compromise between these ...(Read More)
The Princess and the Frog - Once upon a time there was a Princess. Like every other princess, most of her life she was dreaming about her Prince. When she grew up and it was time for her to settle down, fate smiled at her and she finally found her Prince! ...(Read More)
At the beginning… - I’ve started this blog to share my musings about life, people, personal growth and therapy. I am a Marriage and Family Therapist intern, gradually earning hours towards my license. I’ve been on this journey for several years and I’m very passionate about helping people, including ...(Read More)
Expectations - One of the sources of misery for us is expectations. When we expect something to be different (a specific situation, person or the world around us), we stop seeing the reality “as it is.” We get imprisoned by our own illusions and wishful thinking. When ...(Read More)
 
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