Well, the Holidays are quite suddenly upon us and I'm finding myself wondering, once again, where the time went this year...

In this issue, see my article on gratitude and appreciation. Yes, it's that time of year when we try to be thankful; thankful for what we have and for those in our lives.

Also, see my book review on Hold Me Tight by Sue Johnson, a wonderful book for couples on healing wounds and building emotional closeness.

Tools & Tips: Apprecation & Gratitude

These days, thanks to Oprah and others, the term gratitude gets thrown around a lot. Sometimes it's to the point where I wonder if we really absorb what gratitude and appreciation can do for our health and relationships.

Here are some tips and reminders about gratitude:

1) When you find yourself absorbed in negative thoughts about your life or your loved one, shift your thoughts to something you're grateful for about your life or that person. This stops the downward spiral and helps you keep a more balanced perspective.

2) To aid in restful sleep, keep a journal next to your bed and write down a few things you were thankful for that day.

3) It really does help our relationships when we share spontaneous feelings of gratitude. It's a treat for others when they feel like they've delighted you suddenly. And, it extends your feeling of gratitude for a lot longer when you speak it or acknowledge it in some way.

4) Being specific about praise and gratitude helps shape behaviors we want to see in others. Things like, "Oh that's just what I wanted you to say or do! Thank you!" or "Wow, that bedroom looks great. I really appreciate that."

5) I often hear something like, "Why should I thank him or her for doing something they're expected to do?" Well, sometimes being thanked for doing the mundane daily chores is exactly what we need when we're feeling stressed, bored, or generally unappreciated. Give the gift of every once in a while thanking your spouse or your kids for doing the dishes, filling bottles, putting gas in your car, picking up the living room, etc.

6) Consider instating an "Appreciation Day" for your partner and kids. This is a day where the person gets to do what they want (within reason!) and are generally catered to. Make sure you get that day too! We all need to feel pampered in whatever way makes us feel good.

Bottom line: appreciation makes both others and ourselves feel good. So go ahead and delight someone with your gratitude. It will make both your days!

Upcoming Couples Class

Next Couples Class starts Wednesday,January 5th If you know any couples who want to sharpen their communication skills, understand how gender influences how you connect, and find out more about what makes relationships strong and what tears them down, forward this newsletter!

Click here for more information or to sign up!

Book Recommendation!

I recently read the book, Hold Me Tight by Dr. Sue Johnson. It's an extraordinary book for couples who especially need help healing wounds and building emotional closeness. She takes the approach of healing our attachment wounds that we create with each other and helps you have healing conversations. If you feel stuck in a dance pattern of feeling deeply hurt and frustrated, then likely you both are continuing to trigger wounds you have from early in your relationship or early in your lives. I highly recommend this book for helping you change the dance.

Want Even more Advice on Relationships?

Subscribe to my blog and read at your leisure. Topics range from date night, to what to do with anger during arguments and how to keep relationships close.

There's lots to read these days and certainly not enough time to read it all. Tuck this blog away for those times when you really need to read something to get perspective on your relationship.

Click here to read my latest blog entry

Also, I'm offering free articles to those who request them. Articles are entitled: "Communication: Making Your Relationship Work," "Building Closeness in Your Relationship." and "Affair-Proofing Your Marriage." Stay tuned for future articles on other topics available by request. Click on the following link to get your free articles!

Request for Endorsements!

If you feel so inclined, it would be great if you all would do a couple of things for me.

1) Take the time to write a brief review of me on my Linked In Profile.

2) Become a fan of my Facebook Page.

3) Check out my my website from time to time. I'm always adding things-- soon there will be lots of relationship quizzes to take!

I would deeply appreciate it!

I'm so grateful for all of you. You teach me more than you can possibly know about love and life. Happy Thanksgiving!


Karen Holland, LMFT 4155 E. Jewell Avenue, Ste 703 Denver, CO 80222 (720) 210-5452/office & fax

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