Does Couples Counselling or Therapy Really Work?

In general, couples who are fleeting through distressed relationship doubt if couple counselling would never work for them or not or would it be a wastage of time and money – and that stops them from seeking professional help from an expert who can save their relationship and marriage.

The problem arises because there are myths about the low success rate of couples therapy. People with no experience of good counselling or who don’t know about the subject, give the worst advice to distressed people. “Couple Counselling is a waste of money”, “rather wear gems or consult an astrologer, do yoga, meet new people” but don’t trust a trained and certified expert who is trained and experienced especially to help distressed couples and to save their relationship and marriage.

Delhi’s eminent Psychologist and Couple Counsellor Shivani Misri Sadhoo tell us that the success rate of couple therapy is extremely high. She says there has been much research done to check the success rate of couple counselling and the results are always extraordinary, for example recently a research was done by the American Association of Marriage and Family Therapists, families and couples who have attended family or couples therapy sessions indicate high levels of patient satisfaction. Over 98% of those surveyed reported that they received good or excellent couples therapy. Respondents also reported improved physical and emotional health and the ability to communicate better at work after attending therapy.

So how couple counselling work? Counsellor Shivani Misri Sadhoo says good couple counselling works on certain basic principles and that pulls out couples from their distressed state to a positive and healthy relationship condition. These principals are:

1. Good couple counselling changes the views of the relationship.

First, the couple therapist helps both partners see the relationship in an objective manner.  The therapist helps the couples to learn to stop the “blame game” and instead look at what happens to them when they involve each partner negatively.

2. Modifies dysfunctional behaviour.

Effective couple therapist attempts to change the way the partners actually behave with each other. This means that in addition to helping them improve their interactions, therapists ensures that their clients are not engaging in actions that can cause physical, psychological or economic harm to self or to their partner.

3. Decreases Emotional Avoidance

Couples who avoid expressing their innermost feelings put themselves at a greater risk of becoming emotionally distant and hence grow apart. Effective couples therapist helps their clients bring out the emotions and thoughts that they fear expressing to the other person. Attachment-based couples therapy allows the partners to feel less afraid of expressing their needs for closeness.

4. Improves Communication

An effective couple counsellor focuses on helping the partners to communicate more effectively. The new communication mode which the counsellor redevelops within couples is not abusive, nor does it ridicule partners when they express their true feelings. The counsellor helps the couples learn to listen more actively and empathically.

5. Promotes strengths

Effective couple therapists point out the strengths in the relationship and build resilience particularly as therapy nears a termination.  The point of promoting strength is to help the couple to gain back their trust, their love, their bliss and satisfaction which was put on the back burner by both the partners.

Why Today’s Teenagers Are More Prone To Psychological and Emotional Issues?

According to India’s National Crime Records Bureau India reports a maximum number of depression cases of depression, anxiety and the suicidal tendency among teenagers originates from exam pressure and from pressure to perform. But the question is why today’s young generation is emotional & psychologically fragile? so much so that they become highly prone to suicide and psychological disorders and issues?

According to Delhi’s leading Psychologist & Counsellor Shivani Misri Sadhoo, among many reasons, today’s teenagers are more prone to psychological issues due to a massive shift in food habits in metropolitan Indian families. Today’s Indian kids find extreme joy by consuming nutrient deficit burgers, pizzas, cold drinks etc. These foods not only hamper adolescent’s physical growth but affect their brain development too and when the time for exam pressure comes and huge numbers of them just get emotionally and psychologically shattered.

Junk foods” such as cakes, croissants, and doughnuts) and fast food such as hamburgers, hot dogs, cold drinks and pizzas not only misses essential vitamins and minerals (required for child growth) but they also contain a very high glycemic index. High glycemic index foods are referred to those which are rapidly digested, absorbed and metabolized and result in marked fluctuations in blood sugar (glucose) levels and blood sugar fluctuation images a person mood.

Counselor Shivani Misri Sadhoo suggests that no one should eat junk food on a regular basis. Kids especially should be encouraged to foods rich in the B-vitamins, folic acids, such as lentils, bean, spinach, oranges, asparagus, avocado, seeds, tomatoes, and fortified cereals along with foods high in vitamin D develops can help their child’s brain development and better functioning process.

Along with balanced died today’s parents should also encourage their kids to play every day and keep them away from fast food joint and from junk food, as much as possible.

Are You Sure You Are Not Lonely in Your Relationship?

Loneliness is not the same as being alone. Being alone is a fact whereas loneliness is a feeling. You can feel lonely when you are with friends or with your partner.

At the same time, you don’t need to feel lonely when you are alone.

In other words, loneliness can be termed as the desire to get connected with someone and that someone is not available. This can certainly occur when we are alone, but it also occurs in relationships when one or both partners are unavailable for connection perhaps due to anger, doubts, distrust, withdrawn, tired, ill or just being complacent in the relationship.

So what really causes loneliness in a relationship? According to Delhi’s eminent Relationship and Marriage counselor Shivani Misri Sadhoo, in relationship loneliness is created by certain situations and conditions and there are:

1. When a person is emotionally fragile, many times it’s seen that such personalities start protecting themselves from getting emotionally hurt by expressing anger or by withdrawal. In such a scenario, their partner finds it difficult to connect with them.

2. One may feel lonely with his/her partner when their partner deliberately shuts them out with work, TV, food, alcohol, hobbies, the Internet so on and so forth.

3. One may feel lonely when he/she tries to have control over their partner’s feelings. Since no one in this world likes to be controlled and such tendencies soon pushes away the person’s partner physically and emotionally.

4.  One may feel lonely if the other half keeps judging them regarding their thoughts, feelings, looks or actions. Judgment creates disconnection, and disconnection can be very lonely.

5.  One may also feel lonely when their partner can’t connect with them due to being overly tired, frazzled and overwhelmed or unwell.

Do You Know People Mostly Judge Intelligence Based on Voice and How Fast The Person Speaks?

Be it be proposing a girl, pitching to a client, talking to an investor or appearing for a job interview, in fact in every important conversation that we have in our life, it is utmost important that the other person should recognize our intelligence and maturity. On the contrary, people generally get nervous, tense and anxious during important conversations that suppress their intelligence and they feel being a loser.

It’s true that the more we experience a particular situation, the more we become better at it, but that involves a lot of time wastage and loss of opportunity till the time one develops his/her mastery conversation skills. But is it possible for a person to boost his/her first glance appearance to others and convey to strangers immediately that he/she is intelligent? Or in other words is there a key that unlocks people’s perception for you as intelligent or not?

The answer is “YES” says Delhi’s leading psychologist and Counsellor Shivani Misri Sadhoo. Counsellor Shivani says the factors that determine the first glance perception of strangers to be intelligent or not are his/her tone of voice and how fast he/she speaks.

There have been many scientific studies done in this area, one of the famous one is the study published in the Journal of Psychological Science where MBA students had been videotaped while they had given pitches on why they should be hired. Prospective employers and professional recruiters were then given three options: viewing the video, listening to the audio, or reading a transcript. Here’s what the study concluded:

The evaluators rated a candidate as more competent, thoughtful, and intelligent when they heard a pitch rather than read it and, as a result, had a more favourable impression of the candidate and were more interested in hiring the candidate. Adding visual cues to audio pitches did not alter evaluations of the candidates. For conveying one’s intellect, it is important that one’s voice, quite literally, is heard. To summarize, when it comes to first impression on intelligence, looks don’t matter; your voice does. The reason behind this finding is attributed to human evolution; our voices are the tools that have been carefully honed for communication.

Here are 3 Keys To Making a Good First Impression

Since your voice is important in making your first good impression, Counsellor Shivani shares the key factors that help a person to make a good first impression.

1. Use a lower pitch and vocal inflexion.

People associate a high pitched tone with nervousness or childishness. Hence deliberately lower your vocal pitch if you generally talk in high pitch during an important conversation or to important people. This will help you to express both your confidence and maturity.

2. Avoid Filler Words

Filler words, sometimes called vocal crutches, are words such as “aha”, “um”, “like”, “so”, “you know”, “yes yes” and other similar phrases. And while everybody uses filler words, overusing it makes a person looks under confident and incompetence at times.

The problem with filler words is that people generally are not aware that they use them. Hence to avoid using filler words, one can record themselves in conversations and listen to the recordings five minutes a day for two weeks. The awareness of using fillers helps a lot along with conversation practice where one can learn to substitute silence for these fillers; verbal pauses, even when overused, only serves to increase a speaker’s credibility.

The 4 Habits of Long-Lasting Couples – Relationship Tips By Counsellor Shivani Misri Sadhoo

In today’s fast moving lifestyle, building a healthy and long lasting relationship with your spouse is not easy; a large portion of the population that daily faces professional, travel and financial pressures, find the least time and energy to devote to their family and spouse.

According to Delhi’s eminent marriage counsellor and relationship expert, Shivani Misri Sadhoo, the key to maintain a healthy and long term relationship is not to take relationship or spouse for granted rather put a constant effort to enhance the romantic bond by – building healthy relationship habits. These good romantic relationship habits could be:

1.  Always go to bed together.

One of the effective good relationship habits is to go to bed at the same time. Remember happy couples resist the temptation to go to bed at different times. There’s nothing more soothing than a bedtime cuddle.

2. They don’t expect their partner to read their mind; they ask for what they need: 

The happiest couples generally ask for what they need and listen to each other’s needs. Running around hoping that another person will know what you need or that you are supposed to know exactly what they need is a recipe for disaster. The happiest couples are delighted to openly talk about needs and honour differences in needs without feeling like anyone should have already known or that their ‘soul mate’ will have the same needs as them.

3. Always trust and try to forgive.

In every relationship, there would be arguments and small fights but couples who are dedicated towards their relationship make a habit to trust and forgive, rather than distrusting and begrudging as their default setting after an argument.

4. They focus on what they do right, not what they do wrong.

Positive reinforcement is an age-old concept used with children but it’s also important for fully grown adults too. So compliment your partner when they deserve it and try not to look for things they do wrong.

Things You Should Never Tell Your Child

Every parent wants their kids to be successful and they try to convey and teach them attitude that they believe will help their child to achieve his/her goals. But one important thing most of us tend to forget that our kids belong to a different generation, i.e. in different time zone, social structure, economic condition, technological advancement and hence what proved successful in our lives possibly may prove counterproductive in their life.

Hence it’s been found in many recent surveys and studies many things that today’s parents teach may produce good results in short term but even eventually, this leads to burnout and we get — less success.

Today Counsellor Shivani Misri Sadhoo shares a few of the possible damaging things many of us are currently teaching our children about success, and what to teach them instead.

1.  Don’t Constantly Remind Your Child to focus on the Future Goals.

Set target to get admission in IIT, Medical, best Delhi University college and best course etc. are some of the most common advises that we hear most Indian parents generally give their kids. It’s true that every parent desires good academic and career progress for their child’s so they can settle well and live a happy and content life.

A mind that is constantly trying to focus on the future — from getting good grades to applying in good colleges — will be prone to greater anxiety and fear. While a little bit of stress can serve as a motivator, long-term chronic stress impairs our health as well as our intellectual faculties, such as attention and memory. As a consequence, focusing too much on the future can actually impair our performance.

Children do better and feel happier if they are learning how to stay in the present moment. And when people feel happy, they’re able to learn faster, think more creatively, and problem-solve more easily. Studies even suggest that happiness makes you 12% more productive. Positive emotions also make you more resilient to stress — helping you to overcome challenges and setbacks more quickly so that you can get back on track.

It’s certainly good for children to have goals they’re working towards. But instead of always encouraging them to focus on what’s next on their to-do list, help them stay focused on the task or conversation at hand.

Hence instead pushing or constantly reminding the child to focus on the future and keep an eye on goals, what we should be telling them is Live (or work) in the moment.

2. Don’t tell or Show Your Child that Stress is inevitable and we need to keep pushing ourselves.

Generally, parents don’t directly tell their child that stress is inevitable and we need to keep pushing ourselves, rather in today‘s age, a large population of parents display this message through their actions and conversations.

Those who are overburdened in offices, live in a constant state of overdrive, burn themselves out and become terrible when they miss a professional goal and at night becomes so wired that they use alcohol or sleep medication to calm them down.

Children in such environment tend to develop feelings of anxiety at a young and they start to worry too much about grades and feel pressurised to do better in school or in competitive exams. Most distressingly, we’re even witnessing stress-induced suicides in children.

All in all, this is not a good lifestyle model for children. It’s no surprise that research shows that children whose parents are dealing with burnout at work are more likely to experience burnout at school. What we should be telling them instead: Learn to chill out.

It’s recommended that parents should consider teaching their children the skills they will need to be more resilient in the face of stressful events. While we can’t change the work and life demands that we face at work and in school, we can use techniques such as meditation, yoga and mindful breathing to better deal with the pressures we face. These tools help children learn to tap into their parasympathetic “rest and digest” nervous system (as opposed to the “fight or flight” stress response).

3. Don’t tell your child it’s a dog-eat-dog world, rather teach them to show compassion

Research shows that from childhood onward, our social connections are the most important predictor of health, happiness, and even longevity. Having positive relationships with other people is essential for our well-being, which in turn influences our intellectual abilities and ultimate success.

Moreover, likability is also one of the strongest predictors of success. According to experts, when you express compassion to those around you and create supportive relationships instead of remaining focused on yourself, you will actually be more successful in the long term — as long as you don’t let yourself be taken advantage of.

Children are naturally compassionate and kind. But at the same time, many young people are also becoming increasingly self-involved. So it’s important to encourage children’s natural instincts to care about other people’s feelings and learn to put themselves in other people’s shoes and cultivate empathy.

It’s true that it’s a tough world out there. It would be a lot less tough if we all emphasize on less cut-throat competition and put a higher premium on learning to get along well on the journey that’s called life.

Why Must You Smile More Every Day?

If you think smiling is just a social courtesy, way to greet a person, and then think again. Research has found that human smile holds an unlimited potential to improve the person’s social, psychological and physical well-being.  Today Counsellor Shivani Misri Sadhoo shares various reasons why it’s important to smile more often as you can.

1. Smiling reduces stress.

Smiling helps in reducing body stress. According to Smithsonian, people who smile through stressful events (whether the smile is genuine or not) have fewer physiological stress reactions and reduced stress hormones, and they report less stress than those who don’t smile. So next time you’re stuck in traffic or working against a deadline, stop to smile.

2. Smiling helps your heart.

Smiling not only can relax your body, it also has the power to slow your heart rate, reduce blood pressure, and decrease your chances of a heart disease.

3. Smiling improves relationships.

According to a University of California, Berkeley study, people who smile often are more likely to have fulfilling and happy marriages and relationships than people who do not. Try smiling at your spouse every day to see if the research holds true for you.

4. A smile builds trust.

Studies have proved that a genuine smile increases the trust that the recipient of that smile feels. In fact, the bigger your smile (not a crazy smile, but a big approachable smile), the more trustworthy you appear. Building trust is an absolute must for business and individual successes, and when you give your clients a warm smile, they are likely to trust you more.

5. Smiling makes you happier

We know we smile when we’re happy usually but do you know its works in reverse too. The human brain is stimulated when facial muscles move into a smile, whether or not the smile is caused by happy emotions. Hence as per the study, people who hold a smile, regardless of their emotional state, have reported feeling happier afterwards.

Qualities to Look in an Ideal Life Partner

Relationship expert and marriage counsellor Shivani Misri Sadhoo suggest if you are in dating world or if your family is arranging a meet with prospective guy or girl for an arranged marriage, here are 4 qualities of a romantic partner that you can look for in the person.

1. Look for similarities between you two

A lot of relationship research across the world has identified that opposites do not always attract in the long term. People tend to find more opportunities to develop their marital relationship when they share similar interests, value system and attitudes. For example, a girl who loves to trek would possibly get better opportunity to enhance her relationship with her husband if he loves to trek as well and they can trek together. However, if there are differences in taste and/or hobbies largely, the couple then should check if they both hold the capacity to respect each other’s individual preferences and can offer each other the freedom to explore their individual interests.

2.  Kindness, fidelity, and support

While selecting an ideal life partner, a person and his/her family in India put a lot of emphasis on personality, career, and earning potential and physical attractiveness. But remember more than anything else, it’s the person’s kindness, loyalty, emotional support and understanding that really defines who he/she is and that will determine if you would really be happy with this person in life.

Since all superficial traits are conditioned to time and situation, like someone who is an average earner today could reach an excellent career point in future or vice versa, or someone who looks extremely beautiful today would be overweight after child birth or vice versa.

But someone who is kind, capable and puts efforts to understand another person’s unspoken words i.e. emotions and feelings–will be like this possible for rest of his/her life. Hence look for these traits and check if it’s genuine or pretended.

3. Have to mean in life.

Appreciate and value the person who is leading a purposeful life, holds a passion, a mission or larger meaning to his/her life. This happens when a person uses his/her strengths to help something they believe in. It might be volunteering with NGO, being an active part of a spiritual process, contributing to a good cause.

Remember a person, who has a bigger mission in life and live more than its materialistic dimensions, holds much better chance to live an emotionally healthy and peaceful old age and that would certainly make them a better life partner than others.

4. Check for emotional stability

This trait is the most important harbinger of relationship success, and should ideally be at No 1. Those who lack emotional stability and are high on the trait of neuroticism, tend to be moody, touchy, anxious, and quicker to anger, all traits that can be destructive in any given relationship. Those who have low emotional intelligence or EQ, tend to be negative and are more prone to be combative with others and their partners. There is a strong link between high levels of neuroticism and divorce.

How to check if the person is emotionally stable? Marriage Counsellor Shivani Misri Sadhoo suggests looks for the following clues.

  • An emotionally stable person treats others well. They view other people with compassion and treat them with kindness that is a hallmark of their own emotional well-being.
  • An emotionally stable person is flexible. People who have emotional wellness have an ability to adapt to all kinds of situations that life throws at them. They’re able to assess a situation mindfully — they notice their surroundings, their own emotions and other’s reactions to a given situation — and then they use these factors to decide what the best course of action would be for them. Hence if a person shares a difficult period of his/her life and how they overcame time, try to identify how they coped with it, took help of others or used situational assessment, searching inner strength, overcoming fear and doubt etc.
  • An emotionally stable person holds gratitude in life. If a person is emotionally healthy, it’s likely he/she easily feels and shows gratitude for the people and the things in their life. Holding gratitude is a way of purposefully looking at our life with a sense of appreciation for what we have, rather than focusing on what we are lacking. And indeed, research has shown that counting our blessings has added strong benefits to our emotional well-being.

How to Bring Work Life Balance in Today’s Corporate Life?

Developing and maintaining work-life balance can seem impossible in today’s competitive workplace and fast lifestyle. Technology has made employees accessible around the clock. Fears of job loss increase longer working hours. Physicians and mental help experts agree that the compounding stress from the never-ending workday is damaging. It can hurt relationships, health and overall happiness.

According to Counsellor Shivani Misri Sadhoo, despite these realities, there are people who are managing to carve out satisfying and meaningful lives outside of their work and maintaining good work-life balance. She suggests for bringing work-life balance, people must understand and try to bring certain habits in their life. These habits are:

Make Deliberate Choices

Instead of just letting life happen, people who achieve work-life balance make deliberate choices about what they want from life and how they want to spend their time. They talk to their partners, spouses, and others who are important in their lives and come up with a road map of what is important to them, how they want to spend their time and commit to following their path.

Time for family, Friends and Important Interests

People who have managed to bring work-life balance in their life, commonly don’t just wait to see what time is left over after work. They make a point of planning and booking time off to spend outside of work and powerfully guard this time. Hence when they are home, they don’t think or get bother about office worries, when they are at the office they guard themselves against having any home worries.

Strong sense of what they expect from their life

People who manage work-life balance have developed a strong sense of who they are, their values, and what is important to them. Using this as a guideline for everything helps them determine what success means to them. They know what makes them happy and strive to get more of that in their lives. In short, they don’t run a blind race that causes professional, mental and emotional complexities.

They stay away from mobile addictions

People who maintain balance commonly control their mobile habits. When they spend time with family they silent their electronic devices to enjoy the quality uninterrupted time. Having developed the ability to compartmentalise their time, they seek out moments to simply enjoy the experience and savor life.

They devote time for healthy habits

People who manage work-life balance often develop an interest in healthy activities and perform them daily. Activities like yoga, aerobic, meditation, music, sports, or some other interests allow them to get away from the pressures of everyday life to relax, rejuvenate, and regenerate themselves.

Always Be Nice to Your Partner – Suggests Marriage Counsellor Shivani Misri Sadhoo

One of the hardest things to do in a relationship is to be nice to your partner when you’re upset with them. It’s also one of the most important moments to be kind.The act of not choosing kindness is therefore doubly hurtful to our partners and to ourselves because it undercuts our efforts for growth and the potential for greater intimacy.

I see couples in my chamber who want to “solve” their issues first before going out for an ice cream or relaxing over dinner. It will never work. It’s not possible to solve problems with someone you don’t want to collaborate with.

I often encourage couples to do an activity together to enjoy their love – despite their insinuations! It is much easier to discuss problems with your best friend than with your enemy.

It’s easier to offer a smile and to extend an olive branch to the person who is in the struggle with us – not against us.

 

About the author:  Counsellor Shivani Misri Sadhoo is the consulting Counsellor at Fortis Hospital, IBS (Indian Brain & Spine) Hospital and with Express Clinics. She has served over thousands plus happy & satisfied individual and couples in India and abroad. She is one of India’s eminent Marriage Counsellor & Relationship Expert, who is frequently been featured by leading newspapers, magazines and TV channels.