Thursday, January 28, 2010

All the Action has moved to Sunray Counseling's blog!

Come on and join us at Sunray Counseling's blog, and keep tuned in for our website moving to a WordPress format!

And you can be a fan of Sunray Counseling (and Change Artist Coaching and Sheryl Brown Art) even without a Facebook account! Right now the name is a long tangle of letters and numbers, so I've made a tiny url of it. When our numbers are high enough (is it 40?), then we'll have a nice memorable name like I have for my art fan page.

Check us out on Facebook here!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Seasons change and the holidays advance!

It's always amazing to me how quickly the season changes from crisp fall colors to wind-blown soggy leaves on the ground. And summer doesn't seem that long ago to me either.

In the same way, there are seasons in a relationship. Sometimes everything seems new and bright and sunny, just like spring. Then it can move into a phase more relaxed and warm, like a summer day. Later, there may be changes in the air, just like fall. At times it is invigoratingly cool, yet colorful - and then comes the gray and drizzle. (And we're not even going to talk about winter yet!)

How would you relate these seasonal changes to describe what's going on for you now with your partner? Are you in a new and exciting dating relationship, or eager for that beautiful wedding you're planning? Are you experiencing some serious chemistry and great passion? Are you feeling deep contentment and the bliss of security? Are you going with the flow and able to tolerate dips in overall harmony?

Or you may say, "What harmony? We are arguing all the time." It could be that the conflict is a sign there's still some life, something left to salvage - it's not all ice cold yet.

If you find these images spark some ideas in you, I'd love to hear back from you either on my blog here, on my Facebook Sunray Counseling page , or in a personal note to .

(PS Check in soon to hear about an interesting interview on "Family Gatherings" I had recently with a close business associate of mine.)

Friday, September 12, 2008

Welcome Back!

Welcome back! is what I say when a client couple has completed a round of therapy in a previous year or quarter, and feels the need to return for more work.

Coming back for more counseling need not be seen as a confirmation of failure, but rather as the desire to go deeper and further as a couple - or in the case of an individual, as a whole person.

As with any intense training or learning, there can be a need to pull away and rest, or focus on application. Some couples and individuals do better with keeping a regular schedule of therapy, like a "maintenance" level, and others do intense work for several sessions, then back away for a spell.

As a therapist, I flex easily with these kinds of varying needs. You get to set your own pace in this work.

Sometimes clients are returning because of a new crisis or rising issue, and some actually come back for something like a wellness check up as a preventative measure.

Now that school is back in session, with summer travel and outdoor events receding behind us, I say to you, Welcome back!

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Don't wait till it's almost too late!

It's very interesting to see when the ebb and flow of client calls occur - both in a therapist's calendar and in the client's life.

There is a definite trend for people to start therapy in the new year. Holidays with the family can re-awaken left-over family of origin issues.

Another surge of client calls may occur once school has resumed - after all the vacation, travel, and kids at home stuff has gone back to a dull roar - a normal routine.

On the flip side, it's interesting to note when things slow down with therapy appointments. I'm convinced people feel better in the summer (we sure notice it here on the west coast) when there's some relief from possible Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)!

The other slow time begins around Thanksgiving and goes through Christmas - there is so much activity - you just can't do everything!

But over-arching those factors, sometimes people wait until things are at the point of talking "divorce" or close to it. Not the best idea really - you wouldn't want to do that with a bad tooth or when you're hemorrhaging!

In any case, whether it's you-know-what hitting the fan or a lesser situation surfacing, therapists are prepared to deal with any level of problem you bring in. You can wait until crisis proportions, or you can come in for a well-family check-up!

Call me at 425 652-1413 or email me at if you are ready to do some serious relationship upgrade.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Different Reasons for Therapy

I find clients come to me for all different reasons, even though pretty much all of them boil down to wanting relationship help.

It can be a real heartbreak when one partner wants out of the relationship, but the other desperately wants to keep it.

Sometimes it seems there is no real reason given, and the person being left behind, or kicked out, is completely baffled, maybe even shocked.

Other times, an affair is suspected, or found out for sure.

Even if you cannot influence your partner to stay with you, you can work on the things you have control over - in yourself - and make it more likely to be successful in a future relationship.

It's hard to go through a loss of this magnitude. But when you are willing to look your own issues in the eye and deal with them, you can be much happier - with or without a partner in your life.

If you need to talk about a break-up you have experienced, call me at 425 652-1413 to set up an appointment. You don't have to face this alone.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Togetherness and Apartness

There's nothing like a shared activity that both members of a couple enjoy equally well. For many, it could be traveling, dancing, watching movies, taking long walks, or even getting "lost" in a bookstore.

But doing things apart can also be an effective way of cementing your relationship. Sometimes it is just the way things pan out--one is meeting a friend while the other has a commitment or an opportunity in a different place.

For example, today I met a friend while my husband went to the horse races. He enjoys my friend, and I enjoy being with him at the races too, but today, we each did our own thing.

These opportunities can be golden moments to remember who you are as an individual, regardless of who else you are connected with. And that makes for good, healthy relationships--to have a well-defined and well-developed sense of self. (Otherwise known as a mature self!)

It takes conscious effort to keep togetherness and apartness in balance, to take your partner's well-being and state of mind into consideration, and make sure it is always a win-win situation.

If you are struggling with either too much togetherness or apartnes, or not being on the same page as your partner, consider discussing it with a more experienced couple or with a therapist.

Remember, I'm here for you in your relationship challenges! Call me at 425 652-1413 or email me .

Sunday, April 20, 2008

It's all better now!

A trend I have noticed in some couples, is that just when things are starting to get better, they feel so positive and enthusiastic that they stop coming in for sessions.

Now that can be a very good thing, if one or two sessions is all it takes to get you back on track. Not everyone who comes in for therapy has an earth shattering matter to solve.

I'm all for getting on with life, and not being a "professional client."

(Remember people who went to college year after year--trying to figure out what they wanted to be when they grew up--calling themselves "professional students"?)

(And please don't mistake me for rushing the person who has had serious trauma, that does take the time that it takes, and I honor that.)

Just like the role of parenting, one of a therapist's goals is, "to work themselves out of a job."

So that being said, sometimes people sabotage their success by quitting too soon, by not taking the time to get new patterns of relating really reinforced.

Looking forward to doing that deep and meaningful work with you in making your relationship everything you want it to be!