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Archive for the ‘Blog’ Category:

How to Choose a Counselor

Deciding to seek the services of a counselor is a big step in the right direction when you want an empathetic listening ear.   A qualified therapist is trained to provide you with insight and tools to improve your life, relationships and major life changes.  Yet, you may be confused about how to choose the best counselor.  Finding a counselor doesn’t have to be a series of trial and error when you know some key things for which to look.

What is Codependency?

Codependency is an often used, but frequently misunderstood term.  It is a form of dependency, but it also differs from dependency.  “Dependency” in and of itself is not a bad thing and doesn’t automatically imply weakness.  It is healthy to be vulnerable in a relationship and allow yourself to depend on another at times.  A certain amount of dependence, vulnerability, and reliance upon another is necessary for a successful partnership.  A healthy relationship requires a mixture of self-care and care of another and necessitates healthy boundaries giving knowledge of when to say “yes” and when to say “no”.

Struggling with Codependency? Schedule an Appointment with Sylvia Flanagan to Find a Better Way For Healthy Dependency.


It is true that codependency is a form of dependency, but the “co” implies two people are dependent on each other in different ways.  In a nutshell, a codependent gives, rescues, enables and over-functions and the other person is in some capacity dependent upon and under-functioning in the relationship.  A codependent is mostly focused on another person to the detriment of him or herself.  I like the following definition of codependency: (more…)

The Fleas Come with the Dog

Every relationship has some difficulties. And, every person has their limitations and challenges. In my sessions, I often jokingly, but seriously, point out that “the fleas come with the dog” when someone is annoyed with their significant other over insignificant issues. But, how many fleas are too many? The answer to this question can save you a lot of time and perhaps heartache. I see many individuals and couples trying to fit a square peg into a round hole when it comes to relationship compatibility.

There is no magic formula to answer the above question, but there is a pretty good outline to help you reach a trustworthy conclusion. First off, you should have a good understanding of who you are… basic insight into your values, goals, dreams, and lifestyle and what you need in a partner. And, coupled with that should be the ability to set boundaries when called for. It’s necessary in a relationship that each person can communicate effectively about who they are, what they’re feeling, and what they need. (more…)

Letting Go

Letting Go

Usually, we grow and learn the most during times of pain and struggle. Life can deal us a rough hand at times. Perhaps you’ve lost a job, are going through a breakup or divorce, are having financial difficulties, have lost a loved one or you or someone you love is experiencing health problems. These are only a few examples which cause us to experience pain and fear. Unwelcome circumstances are the most difficult because we’re faced with our lack of control, yet they also offer tremendous opportunity. This is relieving for many since it feels daunting and oppressive to think our hardship will leave us in a wake of vanity and meaninglessness.The examples above all deal with loss of some form. Perhaps we are faced with the reality of losing something important to us. Perhaps it’s the loss of a person, position in life, hope or dream. And, loss may involve acknowledging a part of ourselves or another person to which we don’t want to confront. (more…)

Saying “No” Without the Guilt

Saying “No” Without the Guilt

Many people struggle with effectively communicating their needs and desires in relationships because they lack healthy boundaries and struggle with guilt. Often, people speak their mind but feel guilty.  Other times people avoid the feeling of guilt but do so by putting their needs aside. Unfortunately, neither of these are healthy choices. The healthiest choice is to communicate needs and desires directly with the understanding that doing so is an exercise in self-care and care of the relationship. Guilt is an unwelcome deceiver.When we say “yes” to something we don’t want to do, we usually do so for one of two reasons.


The first reason we fail to set boundaries in the form of saying “no” is wanting to avoid something that feels uncomfortable or negative. Perhaps we want to avoid an argument, a disagreement or don’t want to see the person we care about become disappointed. This is where guilt plays a part for many. If we say “no” to something and that boundary results in our partner becoming sad, disappointed or upset, many people blame themselves and thereby feel guilt. So, to avoid feelings of guilt, people begin saying “yes” to things (more…)