Category Archives: Blog

What Couples Can Do to Be Great Parents

There are few things that are more important to most parents than doing a great job with their child or children, and this is a mutual effort among couples on a daily basis. There are numerous things couples can do to be great parents, not only in terms of how they interact with their children, but also in terms of how they interact with one another. 

At Sunrise Solutions, we’re proud to offer a wide range of family counseling services to clients around Draper and nearby areas, including marriage counseling and couples counseling for a variety of potential needs – including those who are looking to improve both their own relationship and their parenting qualities as a couple. Here are some basics on why it’s important for couples to think of parenting as a partnership, some of the kinds of hindrances that can sometimes arise to this partnership, and how to overcome these and work together to be the best parents you can be. 

What Couples Can Do to Be Great Parents

Importance of a Parenting Partnership

For any couple who cares for one or more children, considering a partnership when it comes to parenting is crucial. This means working together as a team, sharing responsibilities and decisions, and supporting each other in all aspects of raising children. When parents are united and on the same page, they create a stable environment for their children to grow and thrive in. 

This also sets a positive example for the child about healthy relationships and communication. Additionally, a strong parenting partnership can strengthen the bond between partners and improve their overall relationship.

Discussing and Defining the Partnership

On a continuous basis, it’s important for couples to regularly communicate and discuss their roles, expectations, and goals as parents. This allows both partners to feel heard and valued in the partnership, leading to a more successful parenting dynamic. 

It’s also helpful to define specific responsibilities and tasks, such as who will handle discipline or bedtime routines, so that each partner knows what is expected of them. Simply having a known, well-communicated parenting plan can prevent conflicts and misunderstandings in the future.

Furthermore, you can also take steps to define other support structures within your parenting approach. While you and your partner are the primary caregivers, family members, friends, and even professionals like teachers or counselors can all play important roles in supporting your child’s growth. Ensuring both parties in the couple are on the same page here can go a long way. 

Challenges to a Parenting Partnership

There are many factors that can hinder a successful parenting partnership, such as differing parenting styles or outside stressors like work or financial struggles. It’s important for couples to be aware of these potential challenges and address them proactively. Some examples include:

  • Feeling secondary: One issue that many parents, particularly newer parents, face is feeling like they come second to their children. While putting your child’s needs first is important, it’s also crucial for couples to maintain a strong and healthy relationship with one another.
  • Blaming or criticizing: When disagreements arise over parenting practices, it can be easy to fall into the trap of blaming or criticizing one another. This only creates tension and can lead to a breakdown in communication.
  • Unequal division of labor: In many cases, one partner may end up taking on more responsibilities and tasks than the other. This can lead to resentment and feelings of inequality, so it’s important for couples to regularly check in and make sure both parties are contributing equally.

Working Together to Overcome Challenges

When faced with challenges, it’s important for couples to work together as a team and communicate openly and honestly. Here are some approaches that are often effective here:

  • Working out conflicts privately: Anytime a disagreement or conflict arises, it’s best to address it privately rather than in front of the children. This models healthy communication for the child and prevents them from feeling caught in the middle.
  • Compromise and understanding: It’s important for couples to be willing to compromise and understand where the other person is coming from. Remember that you are both working towards the same goal – raising happy and healthy children.
  • Seek outside help: If conflicts or challenges become too difficult to handle on your own, it’s always a good idea to seek outside help from a counselor or therapist. They can provide unbiased support and guidance for couples looking to improve their parenting partnership. 

Being great parents is a constant effort that requires a strong partnership between couples. By communicating openly, defining roles and responsibilities, and addressing challenges together, parents can create a stable and loving environment for their children to thrive in. 

At Sunrise Solutions, we are dedicated to helping couples strengthen their relationship and improve their parenting skills. Contact us today to learn more about our family counseling services around Draper, or about any of our individual or other counseling and therapy programs. 

Helping Parents Understand Child Gender Identity

There are a few potentially sensitive topics that parents need to be cognizant of with their children as they develop, and gender identity development is a great example. There are a number of ways parents can both understand gender identity and promote healthy gender identity development in their children, and these approaches are often highly beneficial.

At Sunrise Solutions, gender identity is a common topic we discuss with kids and parents during our family counseling programs, which we offer to clients around Sandy and Draper along with other counseling options like marriage counseling, grief counseling and more. Let’s look at some important concepts surrounding gender identity – how gender and sex are different, how gender identity tends to develop in children of varying ages, some of the stereotypes that have developed here but should be avoided, and some other ways parents can help their children with gender identity development.

parents understand child gender identity

Gender Vs. Sex

One of the most important things for both parents and children (of a certain age) to understand about gender identity is what exactly “gender” means, as opposed to other potential terms it may be confused with. At birth, babies are assigned male or female based on their physical characteristics – this is their “sex,” and it is biologically determined.

Gender and gender identity, on the other hand, refer to a person’s internal sense of self. This can refer to the gender they feel they are, whether that aligns with their biological sex or not. It can also include other aspects like gender expression and societal expectations around gender roles.

It’s important to realize that when it comes to gender identity, this isn’t necessarily an either/or thing. Some people may identify as strictly male or female, while others may identify as non-binary or something else entirely. This is a spectrum, and it’s important to allow your child the freedom to explore and express their own gender identity in a safe and supportive environment. While most children’s gender identity will align with their assigned sex at birth, some won’t – and that’s okay.

Gender Identity Development by Age

While this is not meant to be a precise measure, and different children will reach varying stages of gender identity development at slightly different points in their lives, here are some of the general age ranges where certain important elements of gender identity development begin to take shape:

  • Age 2 or so: Around this age, children begin understanding the physical differences between boys and girls, but may not yet have a full grasp on the concepts of gender and sex.
  • Ages 3 to 4: Here is when children start to identify with their own gender more and understand that it’s different from the opposite sex. They also begin to mimic behaviors they see in same-gender people.
  • Age 4 to 5: By this age, most children have a solid sense of their own gender identity and may start to express it more.
  • Ages 6 to 7: Children begin to understand that gender identity can be fluid and that not everyone fits into the traditional male or female categories.

How Children Express Gender Identity

Again, this is an area that can vary widely between children. However, some common ways kids express gender identity as it develops include:

  • Clothes or physical style: Children may prefer to dress in clothes typically associated with the opposite sex, or they may express themselves through hairstyles or colors.
  • Role playing: Kids may mimic behaviors and roles they see in same-gender people, such as playing house or pretending to be a superhero.
  • Verbal expression: As language skills develop, children may use words like “girl,” “boy” or “tomboy” to describe themselves.
  • Preferred toys or activities: Some kids may naturally gravitate towards certain toys or activities that are typically associated with one gender over another.

Dealing With Stereotypes

Unfortunately, there are many stereotypes and societal expectations surrounding gender that can be harmful to children’s development. Some examples might include:

  • Girls should only play with dolls or wear dresses.
  • Boys shouldn’t cry or express emotions.
  • Only girls like pink, while boys prefer blue.

It’s important for parents to challenge these stereotypes and allow their child the freedom to explore different interests and expressions without judgment or pressure to conform to gender norms. This includes allowing them to play with any toy they choose, regardless of its “intended” gender target audience.

Other Helpful Tips for Parents

  • Encourage open communication and a safe space for your child to express their thoughts and feelings about gender.
  • Respect their chosen name and pronouns, even if they may differ from the ones assigned at birth.
  • Educate yourself on gender identity and its complexities, rather than relying on societal norms or stereotypes.
  • Seek professional help if your child is experiencing distress related to their gender identity.

By following these tips and promoting a culture of acceptance and understanding in your home, you can help your child develop a healthy sense of gender identity. Remember, gender identity is unique and personal to each individual – it’s important to support your child in their journey and allow them the space to explore and express themselves.

At Sunrise Solutions, our therapists are trained in working with families on issues related to gender identity development. Contact us today to learn about any of our counseling programs for individuals and families around Sandy, Draper and nearby areas.

On the Value of Taking Breaks as a Parent

The concept of taking breaks when we’re overwhelmed is a common one that many people employ, but it can be a bit more nuanced when it comes to caring for your children. Some parents understandably feel bad about taking time away from their kids, even for short periods – but the reality is that, when approached correctly, parental breaks are hugely beneficial for both parents and kids alike.

At Sunrise Solutions, we’re happy to offer family counseling services to families around Sandy, Draper and nearby areas in addition to our relationship and individual therapy programs. Here are some of the facts on how taking periodic breaks can benefit both parents and kids, plus some best practices for doing this without creating further problems. 

family hugging cheerfully

Parenting is Important; It’s Not Your Whole Life

For many parents, it’s a real struggle to balance parenting and work, or to create meaningful relationships outside the family. It’s important to remember that parenting isn’t everything: it’s just one vital part of your life, and taking regular breaks can help you stay in tune with all the other aspects that make up who you are.

Simply being okay with taking breaks and not feeling guilty about it is a huge step forward in creating healthier relationships with your children. 

Helps Refresh the Parent

In many cases, taking a break can actually help you be a better parent. When we take time off and re-energize, we’re in a much better position to deal with parenting challenges when they come up. A refreshed parent is more likely to find creative solutions to even the most complicated problems, while exhaustion and stress can make those issues seem overwhelming. 

It’s also important to remember that parenting isn’t something that should go on forever, and it’s perfectly okay to take a break every now and then.

Helping Kids With Separation

Furthermore, periodic breaks can actually help children learn to cope with the concept of separation and practice self-care. This is especially true for younger children, who often have difficulty understanding why their parents need or want to take a break. 

By providing examples of healthy separation early on in life, you can help your child become more independent. Breaks show kids that while they may have to spend brief periods of time away from you, you’ll always return and love them. 

This, in turn, helps kids learn how to take care of themselves and trust that everything will be alright even when their parents aren’t around. 

Letting Your Kids Enjoy Their “Me Time”

It’s also important for your own self-care to remember that taking breaks isn’t only beneficial for you, it can help your children too. A break from the everyday stresses of parenting can help both kids and adults appreciate the time they get to spend together. 

Whether it’s a simple activity like going on a walk or enjoying some outdoor playtime, having moments that are just theirs – free of parental oversight – can provide much needed mental breaks for your kids too, while still providing them with structure and security. 

Best Practices for Parent Breaks

Here are some general tips from our professionals on taking breaks as a parent:

  • Lean on your spouse for support: For couples with children, having a partner can make taking breaks much more manageable. If you must go solo, make sure to let your partner know what’s going on;
  • Make the most of short breaks: Taking a break doesn’t have to be an all-day affair. Just 20 minutes of me time can do wonders for relieving stress. If you’re feeling overwhelmed and can’t take the whole day off, try taking small but regular breaks throughout the day; 
  • Take advantage of technology: For parents who can’t take physical breaks, tech-based solutions like video games and virtual reality experiences provide a great way to enjoy some quality “me time” without leaving home. 
  • Planned breaks: For some parents, it’s helpful to plan ahead and schedule breaks for themselves. Whether it’s a morning jog or a regular night out with friends, making sure you take time off on a regular basis can help prevent burnout and ensure that you’re well-rested. 

Ultimately, taking periodic breaks as a parent is an important part of being mentally healthy – not just for you, but for your children as well. When done right, parental breaks can be a great way to gain perspective and create stronger family bonds. 

At Sunrise Solutions, we offer family counseling services to help families find a better balance, as well as individual therapy programs for those looking for more specialized support. To learn more about our services for patients around Sandy, Draper and nearby areas, please don’t hesitate to contact us today! 

Uncovering and Managing Blocks In Your Relationship

There are a few forms of issues that sometimes hamstring couples and cause them problems in their relationships, and the presence of emotional blocks (or emotional barriers, as they’re known in some circles) is a good example. Possible in both the conscious and subconscious realm, emotional blocks often contribute to major wedges in relationships – but can also be addressed in positive ways.

At Sunrise Solutions, we’re happy to offer the very best counseling services in Sandy and Draper, including marriage and couple’s counseling for any kind of relationship issue you’re dealing with. What are emotional blocks, what are some of the common types that may interfere with relationships, and what can you do to both recognize and manage these barriers? Here are some basic tips.

uncovering managing blocks relationship

Defining Emotional Blocks

Before we dig into some of the specific types of emotional blocks, it’s important to understand that these are psychological roadblocks. They can be conscious or unconscious – meaning they may exist without you even being aware of them, but can still interfere with your relationship in a negative way.

Think of emotional barriers as metaphorical walls – they can keep you and your partner at a distance, making it difficult to truly connect. It’s important to recognize the signs of emotional blocks as early as possible, and be proactive in addressing them before they cause any additional damage.

Common Types Of Emotional Blocks

Here are some of the most common types of emotional blocks that couples may encounter:

  • Fear: This could be fear of commitment, fear of intimacy, or any other kind of fear that keeps a couple distant.
  • Anxiety: Anxiety can also keep couples apart and inhibit them from being emotionally open with each other.
  • Jealousy: Jealousy is an emotion that can get in the way of relationships and cause all kinds of issues.
  • Unresolved trauma: If a partner has a past trauma that hasn’t been addressed properly, it can lead to emotional walls – both conscious and unconscious.
  • Trust concerns: If one or both partners are not completely trusting of each other, it can put a strain on the relationship and lead to emotional blocks.

How Emotional Blocks Impact Relationships

The ways in which emotional barriers impact relationships can vary quite widely. For some couples, it could be a minor irritant that gets in the way but doesn’t prevent them from enjoying each other’s company. For others, however, it can be much more serious.

For some couples, emotional blocks can contribute to feelings of isolation and separation – making it difficult for the couple to connect on an emotional level. It can also lead to resentment and anger, as one or both partners feel that the other is withholding something from them.

With the right counseling and therapeutic techniques, though, these kinds of issues can be addressed successfully.

Recognizing Emotional Blocks

In many cases, one of the most important things to do when it comes to emotional blocks is simply recognizing them. This can mean actively looking for the signs, or perhaps just taking an honest and open look at both yourself and your partner.

Pay attention to how you feel when around each other – are there times when you feel like there’s a distance between you? If so, take some time and really think about what might be causing it.

It can also help to talk openly with your partner. Ask your partner if they’re feeling any kind of emotional block, and see if you can come up with an open and honest way to address the issue together. You might be surprised by how much an open, straightforward conversation can do to help.

Managing Emotional Blocks

If you and your partner have identified some emotional blocks in your relationship, the next step is to work together on managing them. This could mean anything from talking openly about how you feel and why, setting clear boundaries that are comfortable for both of you, or seeking outside help from a therapist or counselor.

However you choose to approach it, this should be a mutual process. It’s important that both partners feel like they’re being heard and understood – that way, the conversation can be productive and help lead to a stronger relationship in the end.

At Sunrise Solutions, we’re here to provide you with the very best counseling services in Sandy and Draper. Reach out today for more information or to get started with marriage or couples counseling, or any of our other services. We look forward to hearing from you!

Understanding Your Avoidantly Attached Partner

People have varying communication and attachment styles that may show up in their close relationships, and one that can involve some nuance and challenge in communicating with is those who are “avoidant” in nature. The avoidant attachment style can be a struggle to deal with for some, but if you understand the possible underlying reasons for it and some basic strategies for how to communicate with someone who has this style, it’s easy enough to find workable setups. 

At Sunrise Solutions, we’re proud to offer quality marriage and couple’s counseling to people around Sandy and Draper, plus several other forms of counseling as well. Here are some basics on how avoidantly attached people may behave or communicate within a relationship, plus some healthy ways of communicating with them on a regular basis.

How Avoidantly Attached People May Communicate

For many people who have this communication style, letting their “guard down” in a relationship can be difficult. As a result, they may do things like cancel plans often or keep conversations at surface level without going into deeper topics. They might also be more emotionally withdrawn or shy away from making commitments to their partner.

And within particularly stressful situations, they may exhibit some common behaviors:

  • Getting defensive: A person may become defensive in order to protect themselves from potential hurt or rejection.
  • Shutting down: This is a sign of avoidance and withdrawing from the situation.
  • Attempting to control the conversation: Many people with an avoidant attachment style feel more comfortable if they’re in control, so they may attempt to control conversations by changing topics or steering the talk away from their emotions.

Just because it may be tougher to communicate with someone who is avoidantly attached doesn’t mean it’s impossible. In fact, if you take the time to understand them and their attachment style, you can create a healthy relationship with open communication. This is what our next several sections will look into.

Don’t Rely on Guilt

Because an avoidant person may feel uncomfortable with too much closeness, it’s important to not rely on things like guilt or manipulation in order to get them to talk about their feelings. This can make the situation worse and cause further emotional distance between you two.

Instead, focus on small steps that can help improve communication gradually but surely. For instance, taking short walks together or having regular meals can be good ways to start building up trust.

Help Them Feel Safe

Another key way to create a better connection with someone who’s avoidantly attached is to help them feel safe. This may involve setting up various physical and emotional boundaries that you both can agree on, like agreeing not to bring up certain topics or giving each other space when needed.

When talking about tough issues, focus on staying calm and using clear language so that your partner can understand where you’re coming from. Additionally, avoid rushing them into decisions and give them time to process their thoughts so that they don’t feel overwhelmed.

Be Soft in Communication

Wherever possible, and particularly during any kind of conflict or disagreement, remember to remain soft and understanding with your communication style. Avoidant people may react negatively or withdraw if they feel like they’re being attacked, so always be sure to keep a gentle tone and use phrases that focus on solutions instead of the problem at hand.

Give Them The Benefit of the Doubt

It may sometimes sound like your avoidant partner is directly insulting you when they say certain things. But instead of getting mad or offended, try to give them the benefit of the doubt and keep in mind that they may just be scared of deepening their relationship with you.

With the right mix of empathy, understanding, and patience, you can help your avoidant partner feel safe enough to open up more and create a stronger bond with you. Just remember that it will take time, and that’s perfectly okay.


Finally, just like in many other kinds of relationships, patience is key when it comes to an avoidant attachment style. Your partner may not always be able to open up right away, so being patient and understanding their needs can go a long way in helping them feel more comfortable with sharing their thoughts and feelings with you.

Keep in mind that this process will take time, and that it’s okay to give yourself and your partner space when needed. Over time, the relationship should become more balanced and healthy as you both get better at communicating with each other.

Understanding an avoidant attachment style is essential in order to create a strong relationship with someone who has this type of communication style. While it may be tough at first, remember to focus on small steps and give yourself and your partner time to adjust. With a bit of empathy and patience, you can both create a strong bond with each other that is based on respect and understanding.

And at Sunrise Solutions, we’re here to help with marriage and couple’s counseling and various other forms of therapy for patients around Sandy and Draper. Contact us to set up an appointment.

Managing Grief Within a Relationship

There are a variety of themes or issues that may impact relationships in various ways, and one of the most significant for many people – and for understandable reasons – is grief. The loss of a loved one or friend is never easy, and there are times where this sort of thing can heavily impact many of our closest relationships. 

At Sunrise Solutions, we’re proud to offer numerous forms of marriage counseling, couples therapy and even grief counseling to patients around Draper. Here are some of the ways grief may impact a relationship, some of the approaches couples take to managing grief, and some other healthy basics to be aware of in this area.

managing grief within relationship

Different People Experience Grief in Varying Ways

One of the first ways that grief can impact relationships is the way each person experiences it. It’s important to understand that everyone has different backgrounds, outlooks and feelings on life, so they may handle grief in completely different ways. This can cause conflict if one partner is expecting the other to experience and act a certain way, when that isn’t reality.

For instance, one partner may find solace in talking about the person that has passed, while another might want to remain silent and avoid the topic altogether. This can lead to arguments or feelings of misunderstanding between two people, so it’s best to be aware of this before it becomes an issue.

Grieving at Different “Paces”

Down related lines, it’s also important to note that everyone grieves at their own speed. Some people may immediately accept the loss and start moving on, while others might take months or years to come to terms with it.

So long as each partner is supportive of one another’s process, there shouldn’t be any problem here – but again, this can cause issues if one partner feels the other isn’t moving on fast enough or is spending too much time in grief.

Differing Needs for Emotional Support

Another possible complicator from grief can be a difference in needs for emotional support. A partner that is currently grieving may need more care, understanding and attention than the other, making it difficult for both to feel satisfied in the relationship.

Again, this comes down to communication and understanding – if each partner knows what their expectations are going into it and works together on finding a middle ground, this problem can be easily avoided.

Exacerbating Existing Issues

If your relationships already has its fair share of issues, the additional stress and strain from grief can make matters much worse. This is especially true if a couple lacked communication or understanding prior to the passing – sudden changes in emotions and needs can easily overwhelm people that weren’t used to being so open about things before.

In cases like this, certain forms of counseling can be immensely helpful – both for learning how to cope with the passing and for dealing with any existing relationship issues. Professional help can be invaluable in these sorts of circumstances, so don’t be afraid to look into it if you think your situation could benefit from it.

Healthy Approaches for Managing Grief in Relationships

While this is far from an exhaustive list, here are a few general approaches that are often effective for both partners within a relationship while managing grief of any kind:

  • Full honesty: It’s important that both of you are open and honest with each other about your feelings on the passing – keeping any issues to yourself can only make matters worse. Take the time to listen and understand each other, as well.
  • Take breaks: If emotions are running high, take a few minutes apart from one another to relax and decompress. This can help both of you go back into the conversation with a clearer head afterwards.
  • Focus on supporting: Direct your energy towards helping each other instead of trying to top one another in the sadness department.
  • Be patient: Everyone grieves differently, so don’t be too hard on either of you if it takes longer than expected to move past it. Above all else, treat each other with understanding and kindness – that’s what matters most at a time like this.
  • Prepare for challenges: Especially if grief is due to the passing of a loved one that was close to both of you, be aware of the fact that some challenges may arise in the relationship. Work together to navigate them and try to come out stronger on the other side.
  • Consider counseling: Even if grief issues are not causing major issues in the relationship, talking to a professional can help both of you process it and come out stronger from the experience. It doesn’t hurt to look into it. And if your relationship is experiencing struggles partially or fully due to the grief, it can be an invaluable tool.

Ultimately, grief is difficult no matter the circumstance – but when two people are working together to manage it, there’s always hope for coming out on top after all is said and done. Don’t let grief take over your relationship – instead, use it as an opportunity to strengthen your bond and grow together.

At Sunrise Solutions, we are here to support you both during this difficult time – so please don’t hesitate to reach out and let us help. Contact us today to learn about any of our couples therapy.

Possible Impact of Depression on Relationships

There are many things that can affect our personal and romantic relationships, and one of the most well-known such concerns is that of depression. Those dealing with depression may see this condition impact their relationships in several different ways – but there are also things that both you and those you’re close to can do to combat this if you’re among these people.

At Sunrise Solutions, we’re happy to offer marriage counseling, couples therapy and many related services to help with relationships in the lives of our patients in the Draper area. We know how difficult conditions like depression can impact not only the person managing them, but also many of their closest relationships. Here are some basics on how this can happen, plus some of the general tips we often provide patients on how to deal with this.

possible impact depression relationships

Romantic Relationships

Because we’re often closest to the person we’re in a romantic relationship with, depression can have a particularly large impact on these connections. Here are some examples:

  • Many symptoms seem like “pushing away”: One of the chief issues with depression is that it can lead to feelings like lethargy, sadness, or even anger – all of which can seem like the person is pushing away from their partner. This isn’t intentional, though, and can be a sign of needing help instead.
  • Communication difficulties: For those managing depression, communication with any romantic partner may become difficult for any number of reasons. This can make it hard to keep the lines of communication open, which is essential for any healthy relationship.
  • Reduced activity: Those dealing with depression may have reduced energy levels and desire to do activities they used to enjoy with their partner. Again, this isn’t intentional, but can make it difficult to sustain a connection over time.
  • Uncertainty or lack of understanding: Because depression isn’t always easy to recognize, family or friends may not understand why it’s happening. This can lead to estrangement from the person dealing with depression and make it hard for them to get the help they need.
  • Lessening sexual interest: Due to the fatigue and negative self-image depression can generate, those with it may have little desire or even an aversion to sex. This can strain relationships that are often already dealing with other forms of difficulty.

Non-Romantic Relationships

Depression can also impact non-romantic relationships – with friends, family members and even colleagues. This can come in several forms, from interpersonal tension to more serious issues. Some of them will be relatively similar to those we went over above – for instance, difficulty in communication or reduced interest in social activities.

But there are also other concerns that can arise, such as guilt and anger felt by the person suffering from depression. This may lead to irrational thoughts or behaviors that can come across as hostile, making it hard for those closest to them to remain supportive.

Dealing with Depression in Relationships

When it comes to helping those dealing with depression manage their relationships, there are several robust tactics to consider:

  • Greater understanding: With any relationship, understanding – both of one’s self and those around them – is essential. In the case of depression, this means learning more about the condition itself and how it affects people in their lives. For romantic relationships, those dealing with depression may benefit greatly from simply helping their partner understand what’s happening.
  • Open communication: In any relationship, open communication is essential to dealing with difficulties that arise. This means ensuring both parties are comfortable enough to talk openly and honestly about their experiences and emotions. It’s especially important in the case of depression as it can be a very sensitive topic.
  • Acknowledge loneliness: Though it may not be easy, it can also help to simply acknowledge that loneliness and sadness are natural components of depression. Doing so – either in a romantic relationship or with family and friends – can go a long way in creating an atmosphere of understanding.
  • Ask for what you need: You may feel as though you’re being a burden, but asking for help or support when needed is a sign of strength, not weakness. This may be especially true in the case of those dealing with depression and their partners – so don’t feel ashamed to reach out if you need to.
  • Seek professional help: When it’s necessary, there’s nothing wrong with seeking professional help – this could mean visiting a therapist, counselor, doctor or any other qualified professional. This can be helpful in both understanding the condition and exploring ways to make things easier for everyone involved.

By taking these steps – and those that we’ve discussed previously – it’s possible to help those dealing with depression manage their relationships more effectively.

And at Sunrise Solutions, we understand the unique difficulties surrounding depression and its impact on relationships for patients in Draper. We specialize in providing quality counseling and mental health support, so don’t hesitate to reach out if you ever need help.

Understanding Trauma-Focused Therapy Approaches

There are many different kinds of therapy out there that may benefit individuals, couples or families, and one that’s especially important for some people is known as trauma-focused therapy. This form of therapy, as its name suggests, focuses on understanding past traumatic experiences and how they’re impacting you today – and it can be enormously beneficial for many people with trauma of any kind in their past. 

At Sunrise Solutions, trauma-focused therapy is one of several forms of therapy we offer to patients in Draper, and nearby parts of Utah. Let’s dig into what trauma-focused therapy refers to, some of the common activities or treatments that may be involved in it, and its key benefits for many people.

trauma-focused therapy approaches

Defining Trauma-Focused Therapy

As we touched on above, trauma-focused therapy is a type of counseling that focuses on helping people with past traumas confront and better understand their experiences. It often involves exploring the way in which these experiences have impacted your life today. The goal here is to help you work through any residual pain, anger or other emotions associated with the traumatic event itself.

Common Treatment Activities

Depending on several factors, including the nature of your trauma and more, there are several activities or treatments often utilized within trauma-focused therapy. These include:

  • Cognitive-behavioral therapy: This type of therapy works to identify and challenge any unhealthy or unhelpful thoughts associated with the trauma. It will also involve identifying any behavioral patterns contributing to the trauma and working on ways to change them.
  • Exposure therapy: This type of therapy, as its name suggests, involves exposing individuals to the thoughts and feelings associated with their traumatic experience in a controlled setting. The goal here is to help you become more comfortable with these emotions over time – not necessarily relive the experience.
  • Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR): EMDR is a type of therapy that involves stimulating specific parts of your brain with visual or auditory stimuli while you talk about your traumatic experience, in an effort to help you better process those memories.
  • Brainspotting therapy: This type of therapy is similar to EMDR in that it involves stimulating certain parts of your brain, but it also encourages you to focus on physical sensations associated with the trauma.

How does trauma-focused therapy help many people who have dealt with past trauma that’s still impacting their lives? Our next several sections will dig into this question.

Establishing (Or Re-Establishing) Safety and Comfort

For some people who have experienced trauma, the thought of talking about that experience can be terrifying. In these cases, one of the primary goals of trauma-focused therapy is establishing (or re-establishing) a safe and comfortable environment where you can talk about your experience without fear or shame.

This may involve several activities such mindfulness practices, relaxation exercises designed to help you recognize and manage physical sensations of stress, or other activities. By doing so, many people find that they can begin to work through the emotions associated with their traumatic experience in a safe and comfortable setting.

IDing and Managing Triggers

Another major benefit of trauma-focused therapy is learning to identify and manage any triggers associated with your past trauma. A trigger is anything that causes you to suddenly experience flashbacks, intrusive thoughts or other intense emotions related to the traumatic event. These can vary from person-to-person, and may include certain sounds, smells, objects or even conversations.

By working with a therapist in this setting, many people find that they can better recognize when these triggers arise and learn to manage their emotional response to them. This can help you be better prepared for the occasional trigger and its associated emotional responses, allowing you to take back control of your life.

Developing Coping Mechanisms

Trauma-focused therapy can also help you develop healthy coping mechanisms for dealing with the occasional stress, anxiety or other emotion associated with the trauma. This might include breathing exercises, visualizations or simple conversation techniques that allow you to better process and manage negative emotions as they arise.

By doing so, many people find that they are better able to navigate life’s daily challenges and take back control of their emotional wellbeing.

Decreasing Traumatic Stress Symptoms

Many who have experienced trauma report a variety of symptoms associated with that experience, such as PTSD, depression and anxiety. By working through traumatic memories in therapy, many people find that they can lessen the intensity and frequency of these symptoms, allowing them to lead more fulfilling lives.

By making use of trauma-focused therapies like those described above, many people are able to better understand and manage their past traumatic experiences, allowing them to better live in the present.

Reaching Closure

Finally, trauma-focused therapy can help many people reach closure on their past traumatic experience. By engaging with these uncomfortable memories in a safe setting, many are able to come to terms with what happened and begin to move on with their lives.

Ultimately, trauma-focused therapies can be enormously beneficial for many who have experienced any kind of past trauma. By engaging in these activities, many are able to let go of the past and focus on building a better future for themselves.

For more here, or to learn about any of our trauma-focused therapy or other caring counseling services for patients around Draper, and nearby areas, speak to our team at Sunrise Solutions today.

Goals and Reasons for Draper Family Counseling

There are several forms of therapy and counseling that can be beneficial for multiple people in many settings, and a great example here is family counseling. Whether to help address issues a single family member is going through or that the whole family is dealing with, family therapy is often extremely beneficial to multiple members of the unit. 

At Sunrise Solutions, we’re proud to offer caring, quality family counseling services to Draper and nearby clients. Our services apply to numerous situations, from individual issues that the whole family is trying to help with to concerns of family dynamics that impact everyone. What is family therapy, what are some of its common goals, and how does it benefit many families in significant ways? Let’s have a look.

goals reasons family counseling

Defining Family Therapy

For those who are unfamiliar with family counseling, it is a type of therapy that focuses on the relationships between family members. Depending on the setting and situation, this type of counseling can involve just a few people or include all individuals in the family. Common issues addressed through family therapy can be anything from communication problems to dealing with trauma or depression, and even resolving conflicts.

During family counseling, a common element involves looking at issues as systems or patterns that require adjustment and addressing. A family therapist will also focus on resolving negative patterns of behavior, teaching new tools and techniques for communication, and analyzing the roles that each individual plays in an issue.

Reasons for Family Therapy

There are a wide range of reasons why families might seek out counseling as a group, and none is “better” or worse than another. Here are just a few common examples:

  • Major family trauma: In some situations, such as the death of a parent or a major medical issue, family therapy can be beneficial in helping those involved to process their emotions and come together in times of sorrow. Many families will use this type of counseling to help them bond together and cope with the trauma in a healthier way.
  • Conflicts between family members: Whether through poor communication or unresolved issues, families may seek out counseling as a way to address conflict between different members of the unit. A family therapist is able to view the issue from an unbiased standpoint, helping to facilitate a resolution.
  • Changes in the family: Throughout life, changes and transitions can occur that affect the entire family, such as new siblings or parents getting divorced. In these situations, counseling can be beneficial to help members adjust to the change and ensure that everyone is being heard and understood.
  • Child behavior or related issues: In some cases, a family might choose to attend counseling together in order to address the behavior of one or more child in the home. Through therapy, parents can learn better ways to communicate with and discipline their children, as well as find guidance for addressing behavioral issues or mental health concerns.

These are just a few examples of why family counseling can be an extremely beneficial tool for multiple members.

Common Goals of Family Counseling

While many of the goals of family counseling will relate directly to addressing the issues we just went over above, there are also some common threads that tend to appear in most family therapy sessions. These include:

  • Improving communication: One of the primary goals of family counseling is to help improve communication within the unit, both on an individual level and as a whole. This allows for better understanding between family members, as well as fostering deeper connection and trust among those involved.
  • Learning new skills: Through family therapy, members can learn new skills that are beneficial for handling issues and maintaining healthier relationships. These may include effective communication techniques and tools for problem-solving or conflict resolution.
  • Improving self-esteem: Working with a family therapist can help individuals in the unit build confidence and gain a better understanding of themselves and their roles within the family.

Ultimately, attending family therapy is an effective tool for helping improve relationships between family members, working through trauma or difficult situations, and finding more effective ways to communicate with one another.

By attending family counseling, families can gain the tools and skills they need to build healthier relationships and create a better understanding of themselves as individuals, as well as within the unit. It’s an incredibly powerful tool that can help multiple members of a family in numerous ways.

For more on the benefits of family counseling, or to consider this or any of our other caring therapy programs for Draper clients, speak to our team at Sunrise Solutions today.

How to Recognize Negative Trends in a Relationship

There are a number of challenges involved in repairing a damaged relationship, whether a marriage or otherwise, and one of the most notable in many cases is simply recognizing the issue to begin with. Some people don’t begin to notice negative trends in their relationships until it’s too late to do anything about them; on the flip side, the right attention to the nuances of your relationship might allow you to spot negative trends and address them before they spiral out of control. 

At Sunrise Solutions, we’re here to help. We offer services like marriage counseling and couples therapy to help people address and manage the issues facing their relationships in positive, organic ways. Here’s a primer on how to spot negative trends, both in a two-person relationship and in yourself throughout multiple relationships, plus some tips on how to get to work on these.

recognize negative trends relationship

Recognizing Individual Patterns

Firstly, before we dig into some of the telltale signs that your specific current relationship might be struggling, we wanted to touch on a related but different area: Individual patterns. Many people bring certain biases or behaviors from past relationships into their present ones, and these can be more difficult to recognize because they become so commonplace.

When you have a hunch that something isn’t quite right in your relationship, but can’t put your finger on it – consider looking for any individual patterns you might have adopted as a result of past experiences. For instance, after some introspection, some people realize they have a tendency to become overprotective of their partners after a breakup, or to become passive-aggressive when their partner is too busy to spend time with them. Once you recognize these patterns in your own behavior, you can then work on improving them and avoiding similar issues moving forward.

Our next several sections will move toward more specific signs that your current relationship could be struggling.

Communication Has Broken Down

Communication is one of the single most important factors for a happy, healthy relationship. When communication between two people breaks down, it can be difficult to resolve conflicts and make sure both parties feel heard and respected. If you notice that you or your partner are using fewer words when talking, or that arguments become more frequent, this could be an indicator of a relationship in need of repair.

Another telltale sign of a communication problem in your relationship is when one or both partners start to become more closed-off. If you feel like you’ve stopped talking about the things that matter, or if it feels like your partner has stopped listening to what you have to say, this could be a sign that something needs to change.

Major Codependency Issues

In other cases, a relationship can be damaged by too much reliance on the other person. Codependency is when one partner starts to rely on the other for their own sense of self-worth, or when two people become so dependent on each other that it becomes difficult to maintain an individual identity.

If you notice that either you or your partner has become excessively clingy and/or dependent on the other, this could be a sign that your relationship is in need of repair.

Jealousy That’s Not Addressed

Another common sign of a damaged relationship is when one or both partners start to become overly jealous. This can happen even in healthy relationships, but if it’s not addressed and discussed in an open and honest manner, the underlying issues can cause major problems down the line.

If you notice that your partner has started to become excessively possessive or jealous of you, it’s important to address it head-on. Talk to them about their feelings, and do your best to ensure that both of you feel heard and respected in the process.

Control-Seeking Behavior Becomes Noticeable

Have you begun to notice that your partner has started to try and control you? Maybe they are overly critical of the decisions you make, or they are doing their best to dictate how you live your life. This type of behavior is a sign that something needs to change in order for the relationship to be salvaged.

It’s important to recognize this type of behavior early, before it becomes too entrenched and difficult to address. If you notice that your partner is trying to control you, talk to them about it in an open and honest manner.

By recognizing the potential signs of a damaged relationship early on, you can start working on repairing it and getting back to a happy, healthy state. Pay attention to individual patterns you might have, and be sure to address any communication, codependency, jealousy, or control issues that arise. With some patience and diligence, you will be well on your way to restoring the happiness in your relationship.

For more here, or to learn about our caring couples therapy, marriage counseling and other forms of counseling, speak to our dedicated staff at Sunrise Solutions today.