An Honest Conversation About Conscious Uncoupling

Posted by Alyson Jones.

When I first heard that Gwyneth Paltrow and Chris Martin were going through a “Conscious Uncoupling” I felt annoyed. My initial reaction was, can’t they just separate like everyone else; does it really have to be a vegan-induced, higher conscious uncoupling? Then I had to pause and have an “honest conversation” with myself.

I must admit that I have held a completely ungrounded prejudice against Gwyneth. Possibly it is my perception that she is completely different than me, and there would never be any common ground between us. She appears so earnest about her choices, and something about her made me highly aware of my own imperfections. Yes, I am far more comfortable with messy imperfection, and Gwyneth’s life (or hair) had just not appeared to have been messy enough for me to become a fan. Now I know this is a silly, self-involved perception, and it is unfair for me to hold any judgement against her as I do not know her. But then there is still the fact that she named her child after a fruit, and that one is a bit harder to get past.

So, once I check my own judgments and let go of my initial reaction, what do I really think about this “unconscious uncoupling”? As a Therapist who is a specialist in Divorce and Separation issues, this level of consciousness is actually what I have been attempting to guide separating couples towards for years.

The 7 Rules of Conflict Resolution: Fighting Fair

Posted by Alyson Jones.

Conflict is neither good nor bad; it is simply part of our life whether we like it or not.  Conflict can act as a catalyst pushing us deeper one way or the other.  It can lead to an opportunity to transform things into something positive or it can blow things up and make a big mess.  If we follow the rules of a fair fight, we are much more likely to move conflict in a constructive direction. However, if it is a free for all, we might dig ourselves deeper into the mess.  It is up to us what we do with the conflict and how we choose to approach the inevitable conflicts that life will present.

How to Prepare for Announcing Your Divorce

Posted by Alyson Jones.

January is often referred to as the “divorce month” since it is the number one month in which parents decide to separate and tell their children about the marital separation.  Most parents do not want to put their children through the grief associated with “telling the kids” during the holiday season so they hold off on the big announcement until all the seasonal festivities are over.  This is one of the biggest and hardest “reality checks” for children and often a very sad time for families that are about to go through a major life transition.  Here are some helpful tips for parents so that they can be better prepared and lessen the negative impact that this decision and “the talk” can have on their children.

How to Check In With Your Priorities in 4 Easy Steps

Posted by Alyson Jones.

Now that the New Year has arrived and we have put the Christmas decorations away, it is time to plan how to move our vision to reality.  We do not have to overwhelm ourselves with an elaborate goal setting process, complete with a Martha Stewart vision board and a step by step list of how to achieve all of our goals over the next 12 months.  That would lead us down the dark road of perfectionism and limit our ability to live an exceptional life.  Actually, a bit of good old common sense is needed right now.  Once we have put some thought into our vision for the future, the next steps are to identify and evaluate our priorities and create a concrete plan to move forward in these areas.  In order to achieve this, I offer a simple and practical structure to get you going.

How to Manage Anger Instead of Avoiding Anger: An Honest Conversation

Posted by Alyson Jones.

Let’s have an honest conversation about anger.  Many people try to avoid conflict and see anger as a negative emotion.  Even the word anger can bring up anxiety and avoidance in people.  However, anger is just like any other emotion as it has both a constructive and a destructive side.  Anger can fuel us and focus our energy.  Anger can let us know when a boundary has been crossed.  But if it is left unresolved and unmoved it can turn into destructive anger or rage that can harm others and ourselves.

Without movement, anger can simmer or explode.  Simmering anger and resentment can become bitterness, and I believe that bitterness is one of the least attractive traits in a human being. We do not want to connect with a person who is bitter and angry; it sucks out our energy to the point where we start to avoid that person.