Category Archives: Families

How to Talk with Your Children About Anti-Semitism

How to Talk with Your Children About Anti-Semitism

by Sarah Miller

In light of the recent tragedy in Pittsburgh I have been reflecting on why this shooting, and this event, has impacted me more than others in the past. I have come to this conclusion: the world is a much scarier place now that I have a daughter living in it.

As someone who identifies as Jewish, anti-semitism has been a part of my story and experience. I have heard the jokes, seen the movies, and have directly been on the receiving end of anti-semitic remarks. I never considered the possibility that I would have a child go through similar experiences, and honestly, it terrifies me.

How do I explain to my daughter that there will be people in the world who hate her, solely because she exists? Because half of her is Jewish—the half I passed down to her.

I have come to the realization that these conversations are unavoidable because the history of our people is filled with times of adversity and challenges. However, they are also filled with stories of resilience and community. Continue reading

But, are YOU in Recovery?

But, are YOU in Recovery?

By Sarah Miller

When one works in the addiction field, it is common to be asked, “are you in recovery?” I remember the first time I was asked this; I felt flustered by the question because it didn’t feel like a simple “yes or no” to me, it was more of a “no, but…” or “yes, and….”

However, I’ve learned that when people ask this question, they are really asking: “Will you judge me?” or “Will you be able to understand me?” — because at the end of it all they’re just hoping to find someone who will listen and genuinely care.

Addiction 101

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Don’t Be a Stranger: Checking-In with Your Partner


I have had a number of first sessions with couples where one of them ends up saying some variation of “I didn’t know.” Whether that is “I didn’t know you were so unhappy,” or “I didn’t know we were in such a bad place” or even “I didn’t know I was so miserable.” Sometimes this realization comes after a life-changing circumstance comes to light such as infidelity, addiction, financial betrayal, etc. Sometimes the realization comes too late and the relationship ends. While there are multiple issues and patterns that can leave a partner or partners in the dark, I would like to recommend one tool that can help to increase emotional connection and a couple’s ability to truly know each other: frequent check-ins. Continue reading

Healing in a World of Hurt

Healing in a World of Hurt

Our Basic Human Needs

As a therapist I often find that my children teach me a lot about my clients. I don’t mean to say that my clients are childish, only that they have the same basic emotional needs as my children. To me that says that human needs do not change drastically over our lifespan. And this is encouraging because it tells me that instead of complicating our ideas about what we want and need out of our relationships, we can keep things simple by focusing on children.

One of the lessons I have learned from my children is that humans need their hurt to be acknowledged by people that matter the most. Continue reading

Living a Meaningful Life

Living a meaningful lifeThe Secret to Happiness

Robert Waldinger, a psychiatrist and Harvard Medical school professor conducted a fascinating study on the secret to happiness. Here’s what he learned:

“The quality of people’s relationships are way more important than what we thought they were—not just for emotional well-being but also for physical health. Close relationships and social connections keep you happy and healthy. That is the bottom line. People who were concerned with achievement or less concerned with connection were less happy. Basically, humans are wired for personal connection.”  

We need each other. This is both obvious and easy to forget. We can become obsessed with chasing “success” or being “efficient” or thinking too much about ourselves and lose sight of the fact that engaging in deep and meaningful relationships is what makes life worth living. Continue reading

Pornography’s Impact on Society

Pornography's EffectsOn Society

By Kevin Hales, MA, LPCC

My previous two posts covered pornography and it’s effect on the individual and on a relationship. Studies are finding more and more that pornography is not simply a harmless endeavor that doesn’t affect anyone else. It actually changes the brain makeup of the individual looking at it. Pornography has a numbing effect on the individual, causing him or her to see others in a less empathetic manner. In fact, the individual comes to see others as merely objects, something to please him. Engaging in viewing pornography, either willingly or unwillingly, eventually leads one to inferior relationships with others, which is damaging to the well-being of that person and to others who know him. Continue reading

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About Kevin Hales

Kevin Hales, MA, LPC offers marriage counseling as well as individual counseling for adults and teens at Colorado Counseling Center. Kevin’s clients find that he wholeheartedly devotes himself to helping them heal and move forward in life. To learn more about Kevin's counseling specialties, please visit

What if I Can’t Forgive?

What if I Can't Forgive-


Hurt, Betrayal, & Forgiveness

Forgiveness is frequently the goal in the work I do in couples counseling dealing with betrayal—as well as in individual counseling with clients who have been hurt by others. And thankfully I can say I have been able to witness the relief and healing that comes from forgiveness. Forgiveness, however, is usually a hard-fought battle that is most likely to be won when the victim and the offender are both involved in the healing process.

But what about when the offender is unavailable, unrepentant, or seemingly incapable of understanding the depth of hurt he or she has caused? Continue reading

Reaching Out to an Angry Teen

Reaching Out to Your Angry Teenagerby Lisa Rosen

Stomp…stomp…stomp.  Slam!

Has your teenager ever come home from school this way? Maybe stopping on the way to her room to yell at you or comment under her breath.  She is angry and irritated.

You have no idea why. You have no idea what to do about it.

She isn’t talking. But she is giving you, with nonverbal gestures you can’t miss, a signal that something has had a strong impact on her life. It may not feel like it, but this is an opportunity to understand, support, help, and guide her.

 What’s Really Going On with Your Teen

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Getting Through to Your Teenager

“The Look” from Your Teenager

Getting Through to Your Teenager Do you ever get “the look” from your teenager? You know the one I am talking about—the teen angst and disgust mixed with rolling of the eyes. You have something vitally important to say! They need to know this for their future! But you can’t get out of the starting gate. No one is listening. The information that you hold is valuable. Your teen would no doubt benefit from hearing what you have to say. The one barrier is…  Continue reading

Why Do We Argue So Much?! (Part 1)

Marriage Counseling Denver | Why Do We Argue So Much?!

By Kevin Hales, LPCC, (with contributions from Paul Sigafus, LMFT) Part 1 of 3

Here at Colorado Counseling Center, we work with a lot of couples who seek help with their relationships. With marital problems, certain topics tend to surface more than others—like sex, finances, parenting, division of labor within the home, etc. In reality, the actual topics don’t matter as much as how you resolve (or don’t resolve) these issues. This is what matters most in the grand scheme of things. Let me elaborate. Continue reading

Avatar for Kevin Hales

About Kevin Hales

Kevin Hales, MA, LPC offers marriage counseling as well as individual counseling for adults and teens at Colorado Counseling Center. Kevin’s clients find that he wholeheartedly devotes himself to helping them heal and move forward in life. To learn more about Kevin's counseling specialties, please visit