Multiculturalism When Working with Blended Families

November 18, 2021

The number of blended families has been growing all over the world. Blended families have also been called mixed, step, reconstituted, and complex families. Just as the name is adaptable, so is the definition of blended families. In many articles, and most research, a blended family is defined as one where one or both parents…

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Featured Therapist for November, Kelly Wallace-Baxter

Every month, Council for Relationships features one of our staff therapists. This month’s Featured Therapist is Kelly Wallace-Baxter, MA-CMHC. Learn more about him in the below interview! What makes you unique as a therapist and as a person? I’m just as human as everyone else. I’ve made mistakes. I cry. There are moments where I am…

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A Q&A About Internal Family Systems (IFS) Therapy

October 21, 2021

What is Internal Family Systems (IFS) therapy? Internal Family Systems (IFS) is an approach to therapy that treats the psyche as a unique system of parts that influence each other and the external world. It was developed by Richard Schwartz, a family therapist who observed patients describing themselves in terms of conflicting “parts,” and then…

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Featured Therapist for October, Tessa Peoples

October 7, 2021

Every month, Council for Relationships features one of our staff therapists. This month’s Featured Therapist is Tessa Peoples, MFT. Learn more about her in the below interview! Why did you decide to become a therapist? I used to think that therapy was for people with problems that were bigger than mine. Then, during a particularly challenging…

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Insights on the Aftermath in Afghanistan

September 13, 2021

The last troops have left Afghanistan, but our work with the fallout from the longest war in U.S. history continues. At Council for Relationships (CFR) our therapists are continuing to see their veteran and veteran-connected family member clients. We know from our own clients and from other veteran service organizations that many veterans are upset…

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Opening Our Eyes to Opportunities for Change

September 2, 2021

Sitting in my office at 40th and Chestnut Streets, I often look east and admire the beautiful mural of a young Black man, titled “Colorful Legacy,” by Willis “Nomo” Humphrey and Keir Johnston. As I gaze at the image, I sometimes shake my head when reflecting on my initial misunderstanding of the artists’ message; I…

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Featured Therapist for September, Madeline Hoch

September 2, 2021

Every month, Council for Relationships features one of our staff therapists. This month’s Featured Therapist is Madeline E. Hoch, MFT. Learn more about her in the below interview! What do you consider to be the goal of therapy? What do you help your clients work towards?   I think that therapy can help you learn to understand yourself, your reactions, and…

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Our Athletes Are Coming Home

August 12, 2021

On July 23, 2021, some of us watched the opening ceremony of the 2020 Summer Olympic Games. The global pandemic pushed the start date back an entire year and forced an experience that was vastly different from all other prior games. Athletes spent years in deep anticipation for these games and now, just 20 days…

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Featured Therapist for August, David MacFarlane

August 5, 2021

Every month, Council for Relationships features one of our staff therapists. This month’s Featured Therapist is David MacFarlane, MEd. Learn more about him in the below interview! What makes you unique as a therapist and as a person? I began my work life as a chemist (!) where I learned a lot about asking the right questions to get…

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Toxic Positivity: It’s Ok to Not Be Ok All of The Time

July 15, 2021

“Good vibes only.” “Never give up.” “Just keep smiling.” “Look on the bright side.” We’ve heard these phrases time and time again. In times of difficulty, we may be told to “stay positive” and to “count our blessings.” We may tell ourselves that, comparatively, “others have it worse” and that “everything happens for a reason.”…

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CFR Celebrates Disability Pride Month

July is Disability Pride Month. Disability doesn’t discriminate, so every social justice movement has a disability contingent, and the Disability Rights Movement is actually a synthesis of all the other civil rights movements. Every social justice movement needs to include representation of their Disabled members. For example, Disabled LGBTQI+ are calling out Pride celebrations for not…

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Featured Therapist for July, Virginia Mittnacht

Every month, Council for Relationships features one of our staff therapists. This month’s Featured Therapist is Virginia Mittnacht, LSW. Learn more about her in the below interview! What makes you unique as a therapist and as a person? It sounds simple, but I genuinely love connecting with people and their stories. I receive my fuel from outdoor…

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An Ode to CFR’s Post Graduate Certificate Program

There is a part of my life in which I am very fortunate: I have a job that I love and, even beyond that, a job that feels like a calling. I am the Director of Council for Relationships’ Post Graduate Certificate Program in Marriage and Family Therapy. As is relatively obvious from the name of the program, our training prepares master’s-level students for…

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Teach Your Children Well

The 2020-2021 school year has officially ended at schools across the country, and we are heading into another season of mixed thoughts and emotions. Just as has been the case in the past year of the COVID pandemic, that will mean different things to different people and families. While we are eager to put the…

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An Open Letter to Naomi Osaka

June 10, 2021

Dear Naomi, It’s with a heavy heart that I write you this letter because I feel the weight of the emotional pain you must be experiencing. Not only are you carrying the weight of the depression you sometimes feel, but there are also certain people/organizations that are wanting you to carry the weight of their…

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One for the Yearbooks: A Time to Process the End of Another School Year in a Pandemic

We have arrived at the end of another school year in a pandemic. Many of the meaningful traditions we look forward to this time each year may once again not be possible. As many schools move to re-create significant events like graduations and proms in order to follow safety guidelines, they may look and feel…

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Ending the Stigma Surrounding Bipolar Disorder

How does social stigma surrounding bipolar disorder impact those coping with the illness? As a therapist, I have seen varying responses when people are diagnosed with bipolar disorder. Some individuals react with shock, worry, or fear, and others with relief and even hope. Some people may wonder if who they are has somehow changed. They…

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Featured Therapist for May, Sarah Valdivieso

Every month, Council for Relationships features one of our staff therapists. This month’s Featured Therapist is Sarah Valdivieso, M.A., MFT. Learn more about her in the below interview! What do you consider to be the goal of therapy? What do you help your clients work towards? Therapy is a unique journey for each individual and/or family. When…

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The Importance of Homeostasis & Self-Love

April 15, 2021

Mental health conditions do not discriminate based on race, gender, ethnicity, hue, or identity. All humans can be subjected to experiencing mental health challenges. The objective is to determine how to manage these conditions to avoid losing control of your life and mental state. African Americans are a vulnerable population because of past and present…

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“My Name is Tiger”: Navigating the Road to Recovery After Acute Injury

Tiger Woods’ road to recovery is just beginning. For many people who have experienced devastating injuries, the stabilization and mitigation of acute injuries is just the beginning. A car accident like the one that Tiger Woods experienced can have long-standing ramifications, some of which could even be lifelong. Although it’s not possible to speculate on…

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Featured Therapist for April, April Piercy

April 1, 2021

Every month, Council for Relationships features one of our staff therapists. This month’s Featured Therapist is April Piercy, PhD, MFT. Learn more about her in the below interview! What makes you unique as a therapist? I meet the client where they are. Making the decision to seek therapy can be scary for some and as therapists we…

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