Category » Family

An illustration for a mental health nonprofit featuring a stylized, circular composition with a silhouette of a contemplative pregnant figure at its center. Soft waves and plant motifs in a palette of greyscale, purples, pale blues, and light greens create a serene background. The title "Ambivalence During Pregnancy: Navigating the Unspoken" is placed prominently at the bottom with the author's name "Sonja Spangler, LSW" just below it. The organization's name "Council for Relationships" is subtly placed at the top. The overall design conveys a sense of calm and introspection.

Ambivalence During Pregnancy: Navigating the Unspoken

March 27, 2024

Pregnancy is often portrayed as a time of joy and anticipation, but for many, it’s a period marked by complex emotions. Ambivalence during pregnancy, a state of having mixed feelings about the impending arrival of one’s baby, is a common yet seldom discussed phenomenon. This silence fosters a sense of isolation, shame, and fear, leading…

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Artistic cover image for a blog titled 'Identity Shift in Motherhood – Navigating New Challenges & Rediscovering Yourself', by Sonja Spangler, LSW. The illustration features a woman's profile made of swirling, leafy patterns in a harmonious blend of purple and green hues, symbolizing growth and transformation. Butterflies and soft, floating elements signify change and rebirth. The bottom of the image includes the 'Council for Relationships' logo, emphasizing the theme of personal development within motherhood.

Identity Shift in Motherhood: Navigating New Challenges & Rediscovering Yourself

March 19, 2024

Embarking on the journey of motherhood introduces a profound “identity shift in motherhood” that many are unprepared for. This transformative phase brings various challenges, from the loss of personal identity to the struggle to find joy amidst the chaos of parenting. This blog delves into the heart of these experiences, offering insights and practical advice…

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This is a collage of black and white images with a central color image, laid out to create a promotional graphic for an article or a discussion topic. The central color image shows two people, with a focus on their hands gently resting on one another, showcasing rings, implying a significant relationship. Surrounding this image are various black and white photos depicting different forms of affection or companionship: two people laughing together, a person resting their head on another's shoulder, two individuals sitting by a body of water, an elderly couple smiling at the camera, and a person cuddling with a dog. Overlaid on the collage is a block of text that reads "QUEERPLATONIC RELATIONSHIPS & QUESTIONING ROMANTIC HIERARCHY BY ANDY PHAM & CASEY HERGER" with the logo "COUNCIL FOR RELATIONSHIPS" at the bottom. The composition suggests a focus on the depth and variety of relationships beyond traditional romantic frameworks.

Queerplatonic Relationships & Questioning Romantic Hierarchy 

February 15, 2024
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This blog discusses the overlapping of different types of relationships, particularly in queerplatonic bonds. It also explores the complexities of human connections. Queerplatonic relationships go beyond labels and involve people who identify as asexual, aromantic, or sexual and romantic feelings. They show deep emotional intimacy. Queerplatonic partners display characteristics commonly linked to romantic partnerships, yet…

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How to Manage Stress During the Holidays

December 21, 2023

Ask any AI chatbot about how to manage stress during the holidays, and you’re bound to find out that there is a lot of stress management advice out there. Council for Relationships is here to clear a path through the clutter. We asked Matthew McCrickard, the Associate Director of CFR’s Postgraduate Certificate Program, for his top…

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Guilt-Free Holidays: A Parents’ Guide to the Holiday Season

December 19, 2023

Parenting during the holiday season is not easy. Stress, guilt, and fear can arise from various sources during this time. But do not fret, parents! Guilt-free holidays are within your grasp. Lia Pezzato is a therapist who specializes in helping marriages and families. She has a plan to help you manage guilt and stress during…

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Mental Health Lessons from Hallmark Holiday Movies

December 18, 2023

Hallmark is popular during the holidays for its stories of love, tradition, and family. It also provides us with plenty of valuable mental health lessons. Hallmark’s holiday films teach us to be ourselves, be courageous, and find help during tough times. However, certain lessons should remain confined to fictional towns like Candy Cane Town or…

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Emotional Regulation: Everything You Need to Know to Improve Your Relationships

Many of us struggle with regulating (or managing) emotions. Looking inward and taking stock of our emotional regulation skills is critical to maintaining healthy adult relationships. Often, the source of conflict and struggle in relationships can be traced back to poor regulation of emotions by those in the relationship. Improving your relationships, though, takes more…

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Caring for an Aging Parent: 3 Tips to Keep You from Losing Yourself

July 20, 2023

Caring for an aging parent can feel daunting, frustrating, isolating, and sad. But it does not have to be this way. Read on to the learn more about the following tips to help keep you from losing yourself as you care for your parent.  Tip #1:  Take it slow. Caring for an elderly parent is…

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Black and white image of a young women in a dark shirt and light pants with a sad facial expression and hands in her pockets. She is surrounded by pointing fingers.

5 Bully Prevention Tips for Parents and Schools That Work

Schools should be a safe place for everyone to come, as they are, and learn skills for their future. Bullying makes schools unsafe. Ending bullying is not solely the responsibility of parents or schools, but it does require both to work together to help create good humans and future leaders. Read on for 5 bully…

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New Parents, Social Media & Pregnancy: What You Need to Know

From over-the-top pregnancy reveals to momfluencers with hundreds of thousands of followers, social media might lead new parents to believe pregnancy is relatively easy. It is not. Pregnancy is complicated. The pregnancy reality for new parents is often more complicated than social media wants you to believe. At best, pregnancy is a joyful time for…

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Five Things Virginia Satir Would Tell You About the Therapeutic Process

Council for Relationships is known for couples and family therapy since 1932. But who discovered and developed Family Therapy? Virgina Satir is considered the Mother of Family Therapy. Her findings and therapeutic process remain highly influential for therapists. Read on the learn more about Virginia Satir and the five things she would tell you about…

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Going “Home” for the Holidays

November 14, 2022

For some of us, including me, the phrase “going home for the holidays” invites anxiety, dread, and avoidance. Every year I struggle to decide what to do for Thanksgiving. The “holiday” has a lot of difficult subjects wrapped up in it. This is especially true for many queer and trans people, Indigenous Americans, and sometimes…

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“I Don’t See Color”: White Caregivers Raising BIPOC Children

In previous generations, the phrase “I don’t see color” was a mark of being progressive. Parents would use the phrase to explain why the differences of another person were not important when cultivating relationships. By telling children the color of a person does not matter, it also allows for parents and caregivers to avoid having…

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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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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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Help for Young Adults with Autism and Their Families

February 18, 2021

Having been around autistic young people since my youngest son was born with the disorder nearly 20 years ago, I recently began conducting small social groups for young men with autism. Our goals are simple: to provide a safe space for young adults with social emotional deficits to gather weekly with each other, practice listening…

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How to Talk to Loved Ones with Differing Political Opinions

October 22, 2020

As the 2020 presidential election draws near, and during a time when the world seems more divided than ever, families may experience an uptick in challenging and stressful conversations. Often, when families gather together, politics become a topic many shy away from. This, in part, may result from the uncomfortable emotional toll these conversations can…

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The Transition Back to School

September 10, 2020

September brings with it the realization that we are still living within the confines of COVID-19 restrictions. As families transition into this new school year, it’s a reminder of how challenging this “new normal” can be for children and parents. It’s a parent’s role to help children manage their stress; This can be especially difficult…

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How to Handle Thanksgiving Among Family Members with Different Political Views

November 26, 2019

Amy Jones, MSW, MFT, LSW, works with individuals, couples, and families at our University City and Paoli offices. Read on to learn her approach and tips for dealing with family members with different political views during Thanksgiving. Amy Jones also provided her professional opinion on KYW Newsradio. Click here to listen to the radio segment…

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Michelle and Barack: The Perfect Imperfect Love Story

November 21, 2018

Dr. Michele Marsh is a licensed psychologist and certified sex therapist at Council for Relationships’ Center City Office. Dr. Marsh is also the Director of the Sex Therapy Track in the Master’s in Family Therapy Program in partnership with Thomas Jefferson University. Pictures of President Obama and Michelle Obama glow with energy and broad smiles,…

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What is the Intersystem Approach to Therapy?

October 30, 2018

Dr. Rita DeMaria is a staff therapist, office director, and director of Healthy Relationships and Wellness Programs at Council for Relationships.  The Intersystem Approach is an integrative and dialectical meta-framework, which explores how individuals, couples, family systems and communities are functioning in their relationships with self and others. These four domains constitute a comprehensive approach…

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