Couples’ and Premarital Coaching
Loss or Grief
Well-Being Learning Opportunities
As our name indicates, the Replogle Center for Counseling and Well-Being is committed to focusing on the ongoing well-being of individuals. We offer a wide range of workshops and seminars designed to integrate mind, body, and spirit and to help participants enrich their daily living and their relationships with others. Our goal is to teach you to be creative with your time and resources and to strengthen your resiliency and resourcefulness in self-care.
The Center’s therapists lead seminars on a variety of mental health-related topics, including parenting, attachment, premarital, marital, as well as mood and anxiety disorders. Seminars are typically one-and-a-half to three hours in length.
From series like “Mindful Parenting” and “Introduction to Meditation” to workshops and retreats that explore journaling and “The Labyrinth as a Path to Ourselves,” educational offerings at the Replogle Center are intended to leave participants with creative means and strategies to facilitate transformation, renewal, and enhanced quality of life.
Spiritual arts and practices are also offered as a way to increase self-awareness and cultivate more balance and joy in daily living.
Issues Addressed by Well-Being Offerings
Anxiety includes worry, dread, and the anticipation of something negative looming in the near future, restlessness, distractibility, and inattention. Sometimes anxiety is tied to a specific person, event, or place, or it can also be more free-floating.
Anxiety is often accompanied by unwanted physical sensations such as “butterflies” in the stomach, muscle tension, headaches, tightness in the chest, or dizziness. Well-being offerings are particularly well suited to help manage anxiety. Specifically, meditation, spiritual practices, and improved coping skills can all serve to manage and reduce anxiety.
Couples’ and Premarital Coaching
Couples’ Coaching is designed to help two people in a committed relationship improve the quality of their interaction. Often this involves looking at each person’s family of origin (the family in which you grew up) to understand the meaning of certain relationship behaviors (such as silence, anger, humor, sacrifice, or commitment). It involves learning and practicing new skills to better communicate feelings and motives.
To seek couples’ coaching when a relationship is stressed but before a relationship is in distress is a healthy well-being strategy. Couples’ coaching is a valuable investment, producing a significant, positive effect on a relationship.
People spend years getting an education, decades to reach the top of their professions, yet most people devote minimal, if any time, to learning the skills that will enhance the most important relationship of their lives. Conventional wisdom suggests that the selection of a life partner determines to a great extent how happy and successful we are in life.
Every couple embarks on their marriage journey with differences and good intentions. Premarital coaching provides an opportunity to explore various facets of the relationship, including many that couples may not yet grasp as important.
Premarital coaching lays out skills needed to nurture a relationship; it helps couples identify strengths and potential areas for growth and explores healthy conflict resolution as well as other skills that contribute to long-term relationship success.
The premarital coaching program at the Replogle Center helps couples learn to share feelings and ways to work together toward mutual goals, establishing a strong foundation for a shared future and healthy, enduring marriage.
Our popular Premarital Seminar is presented five times a year on Saturdays. The seminar is built around decades of data from the successful Prepare/Enrich Inventory, developed at the University of Minnesota by Dr. David Olson. The Replogle Center is the one of the largest users of this powerful program, and couples from a wide variety of backgrounds continue to share positive feedback about the Center’s use of it, the Premarital Seminar, and its positive effect on their marriage journey.
While clinical depression symptoms are best addressed with counseling, many of the Center’s well-being offerings will help one care for themselves when dealing with depression. Self care such as meditation and self-exploration through an offering like SoulCollage® is often helpful. Spiritual direction can also address some of the questioning that occurs when one struggles with depressive symptoms.
Change is inevitable; growth is optional. And some change is really hard. Some of the more challenging life transitions with which we work include
Life transitions can be difficult in and of themselves. They are often made more challenging because they cause us to questions ourselves, our self-confidence, our values, and our beliefs in human nature or to even ask bigger questions about why we are here. Learning new ways to attend to the natural resiliency of the human mind, body, and spirit can turn a life transition into an opportunity for change and growth, thus increasing well-being.
Loss or Grief
Loss is an integral and regular part of life, and grief is an inevitable consequence of loss. The Center’s commitment is to companion with people at such a time so that they know they are not alone in their grief and to encourage and strengthen them for their journey.
Loss in the death of a loved one, friend, or colleague; the loss of a job and income; the loss of a relationship; even the loss of our illusions and dreams can impact each of us. In the wake of such losses we usually experience a sense of grief with feelings of sorrow and sadness. Being a magnet emotion, grief sometimes attaches itself to other feelings such as anger, guilt, fear, bewilderment, anxiety, and relief.
Grief is the physical, emotional, and mental condition that is experienced with the loss of something we held dear. Although the loss that prompts a grief response usually refers to a person in our life, it can also be in response to losing a pet, a job, a marriage, our health, a role, or a dimishment of one’s self. Grieving is a normal and natural part of being human. Although grieving has some general characteristics, each person’s grief and what is needed to do to move through it is unique to that individual.
Symptoms of grief differ from person to person but may include—but are not limited to—shock, numbness, mental rumination, preoccupation with death. problems focusing or remembering or getting things done, fatigue, insomnia, weight gain or loss, a sense of vulnerability, a desire to isolate, intense sadness, anxiety, anger, loneliness, confusion, helplessness, guilt, and feeling the weight of the world on one’s shoulders.
Luther I. Replogle, the founding benefactor of the Replogle Center, was married three times. Each of his wives preceded him in death. He thus was particularly committed to encouraging the Center’s staff to help people deal with their grief.
That encouragement became the Center’s mandate. Through personal counseling, frequent workshops and seminars on the subject of grief, and an ongoing program of grief support groups, the Center seeks to help people shift the focus of their attention away from a preoccupation with what they have lost to an acknowledgement and appreciation of what they have left. This can point them to the acquisition of something new in their lives, to moving beyond being stuck in the trauma of past pain, and encouragement to move forward into a future of possibility and hope.
Because grief is a normal human reaction, counseling is not always indicated when one has experienced a loss. However, the counseling relationship can be a place where one feels safe to explore the impact and meaning of the loss on one’s life. This may be more important if someone does not have an adequate support system.
Grieving often involves a lot of second-guessing of one’s self, with questions about whether one should be farther along or whether one is feeling too much or too little. If these questions persist, it can be helpful to consult with a counselor to determine if one’s grieving is proceeding in a healthy manner.
Under our well-being offerings, any strategy to promote self-care can facilitate the normal grieving process. Our regular grief support group is particularly helpful in processing one’s grief. A spiritual director is also qualified to be a companion and a witness to your grieving process and help prevent isolation, which can make things worse.
Parenting is often described as one of the most difficult and challenging jobs in the world. Yet at no time in history has there been such an abundance of resources for parenting. While many parents have benefited from these, many also report confusion regarding the conflicting advice and philosophies offered by parenting experts.
Most experts and parents do agree that appropriate parenting goals include keeping their children healthy and safe while also developing and equipping them with the self-esteem, skills, and resources needed to succeed as an adult. Our well-being offerings include seminars on mindful parenting and individual parent coaching.
Some people are more social than others, but there’s a difference between having healthy peer relationships and having a full social calendar. The depth and intimacy of your relationships is of far more importance than the number of your friends, acquaintances, or contacts on your speed dial.
Strong and healthy relationships with peers actually enhance physical and mental health, while isolation and a sense of disconnectedness can lead to depression, anxiety, and physical manifestations of stress. In this fast-paced, social-media-infused world, finding and maintaining meaningful connections is a challenge. The Center routinely has well-being offerings that address relationship skill building and improving one’s communication.
Signs that you may benefit from enhancing relational skills are
You have a sense of isolation, even when surrounded by others
You feel like no one knows the true you
You desire close friends but are unable to find any
You feel unsure of how to risk closeness with others
You keep highly rigid boundaries in your present relationships
Healthy self-esteem has been defined as having several cohesive elements and is seen in the person who is neither self-diminishing nor arrogant.
Self-esteem problems generally take two forms. The more commonly recognized one is seen in people who lack self-confidence. They put themselves down and expect themselves to fail and be a disappointment to themselves as well as others.
The other form of poor self-esteem is a person who is arrogant, boastful, and given to exaggerating his or her accomplishments. Someone who craves admiration and attention from others actually has low self-esteem too.
Learning to integrate self-esteem (how I feel about myself), self-confidence (how others see me), and self-efficacy (how I accomplish goals in my life) leads to an improved sense of well-being no matter where one is in his or her developmental life journey. A meditation practice improves one’s ability to accept and be present with one’s self, and that in turn builds self-esteem.
Stress is the amount of “stuff” coming at you that needs to be managed. Even positive events are stressful—such as the birth of a child, graduation, or a job promotion.
Strain is the negative effect that stress can take on us. Strain is the proverbial “weight on the shoulders” that comes from prolonged exposure to stress. Symptoms can affect nearly every site in the body, whether as tension headaches, shoulder and neck pain, back pain, general body weakness, gastrointestinal distress, fatigue, depression, anxiety, irritability, or angry outbursts.
Effective stress management involves attitude change and behavior change as well as learning effective exercises to reduce the harmful effects of stress. Most of the Center’s well-being offerings—and especially any kind of meditative practice—will help one effectively manage and reduce stress.
See also these pages on the Replogle Center: