In today’s society, we have more technology than we know what to do with. It is astounding to see how much we rely on it, too! In an average household, you may find a cell phone for each member of the family, a laptop and a couple of tablets. Essentially these are all types of mobile computers that allows us to be connected with one another every second of every day. We eventually become hard pressed to find any alone time when we have our cell phones constantly with us. When someone texts us, we text back as soon as we receive it. When someone calls, we answer whether we are busy doing something else or not. We constantly refresh our emails and social media pages. With us constantly being attached to our technology, are our relationships suffering? Do we actually have good quality time when we are on our phones when we are together? In reality, do we become more disconnected with our loved ones when we are always on our phones and tablets?

Earning her Master’s Degree in Marriage and Family Therapy from East Carolina University, Jamie Criswell is managing partner of Foundations Family Therapy in Fuquay Varina, North Carolina. Jamie is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist who has been serving individuals, couples and families in different capacities for over 5 years. She has served clients in outpatient, inpatient and community settings. In addition to working with couples, Jamie has experience working with domestic violence, substance abuse, crisis stabilization, and child behavioral problems. Jamie is committed to further education to further education and advancing the field of Marriage and Family Therapy and currently serves as the Treasurer for the North Carolina Association of Marriage and Family Therapists and is a Clinical Fellow in the American Association of Marriage and Family Therapists. Jamie has completed level 2 training in GOttman Method Couples Therapy as well as certification as a PREPARE/ENRICH facilitator. She also provides supervision to master’s level interns and associate licensed professionals.

To find out more about Jamie Criswell and her practice, Foundations Family Therapy, you can visit their website or call (919) 285-4802 for an appointment.

Each and every one of us responds to stress differently. Some of us respond to stress by eating more than we usually do while others eat less than they are used to when they are stressed. Some of us exercise until they push themselves too far while others may stop their exercise regimens. Some use smoking, drinking and drugs to try to escape the stress in their lives. Sometimes, we may choose to withdraw from our friends, families and activities while some of us fill up every minute of the day to avoid facing problems, which leads to added stress. How does our stress response impact the way we respond to others? Are we often even mindful or aware of this? How can this affect our relationships? What can we do to improve the quality of our relationships?

Earning his Master’s Degree in Counseling and License in Marriage and Family Therapy, Mr. Jude Johnson practices at Akeen Mind in Charlotte, North Carolina. Jude specializes in the practice of mindfulness, meditation and cognitive behavioral therapy. He has attended extensive training on the practice of Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction and has applied these skills into clinical practice. Jude has worked in an array of settings including inpatient psychiatric/substance abuse, home based family therapy, alternative schools, emergency services, and outpatient clinics both as a therapist and administrator. Jude utilizes mindfulness and family systems theory as base ingredients to optimize the well-being of organizations, professionals, and people from all walks of life. He has experienced the benefits of practicing mindfulness first hand and is passionate about helping others discover their own inner resources for managing stress, pain and illness.

To find out more about Jude Johnson and his practice, Akeen Mind, you can visit their website or call (843) 364-5921 for an appointment.

Having trouble understanding your partner?

We all go through life trying to understand who we are and what we are meant to do. We have to learn how to differentiate our needs from our wants and truly discover who we are. It is difficult for us to do this for ourselves and even more challenging to understand someone else’s needs and wants. When we come into a relationship we have to learn to acknowledge and share our own needs and wants as well as discover our partner’s needs and wants. We do this so that we can understand each other and our motives in life so that we can better communicate and coexist. But, how do we know exactly what motivates us in life? How would knowing what motivates our lives benefit our relationships?

Earning her Master’s Degree in Social Work from Fordham University in New York City, Mrs. Patricia Pirone is the Senior Vice President of Pratt Assessments. While attending graduate school, Patricia worked extensively with children in foster care. After earning her Master’s in Social Work, she began working in an outpatient mental health clinic with children, adolescents, and families. In 2010, Patricia started her private practice where she returned to clinical work with children, adolescents and adults. Over the next several years Patricia grew the practice and in 2014 decided to create Pratt Assessments and began selling a tool that revolutionized her practice. Pratt Assessments is the parent company to Touchstone Assessments, Elevate Assessments, and Assessment Athletics.

To find out more about Mrs. Patricia Pirone and her practice, Elevate Assessments, you can visit their website or call (704) 350-2380 for an appointment.