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Prepare for a lifetime of “I choose You Everyday”

Summer is here, and that means its wedding season! After a couple of years of isolation, we are all ready to kick up our heels and dance the night away to celebrate love with friends and families. I am always amazed at the time and effort that goes into planning these amazing celebrations of Love and Commitment. It makes me wonder though, how much of this planning goes into what happens the day after, or even the year after? Which is why I am a big fan of premarital counselling; specifically, how it gives you the tools to uncover the potential pitfalls facing all newlyweds.

An average wedding costs about $40,000 just for the day and takes 200-500 hours to plan. Depending on the couple, these numbers can fluctuate greatly. Couples planning their dream day will budget for the wedding attire, rings, flowers, decorations, transportation, food, drinks, banquet hall, entertainment, and honeymoon. Very few will budget for premarital counselling.

Couples may begin premarital counselling on someone’s suggestion, or because it was another item to check off on a long list of wedding-to-dos, often left to the last minute as a low priority. However, making premarital counselling intentional allows you to get more out of your marriage and perhaps prevent major challenges down the road. Premarital counselling prepares you for a realistic perspective on marital expectations, it is an investment into your marriage and your future.

Premarital Counselling sessions focus on areas such as marital expectations, communication, finances, conflict resolution, family and friends, children, parenting, blended families, personalities, spirituality, sexual expectation etc. These sessions can help you practice crucial relationship skills, so that you can be more aligned on major aspects of your relationship, creating a stronger foundation on which to begin your marriage. Couples are challenged to explore their values, greatest fears, speak their truth, be vulnerable with each other, and share parts of themselves that they might not have done during the romantic dating phases. An experienced therapist will support you, guide you, and even dig a little deeper and explore personal traumas that may affect the marital relationship. The aim is to get you started on a solid foundation.

This might be too much and even too personal, but isn’t that what you are getting into, a personal intimate relationship with each other? This journey can be fun filled, laughter inducing, serious, and even tearful at some stages. However, it looks, it is an absolute “must do” on the planning list.

At Elpizo, we offer twelve (12), 90-minute sessions to discuss the abovementioned topics, and to aid the couple in creating a marriage plan. Your investment: 12 weeks, 18 hours, and a financial investment of about $3,000-$4,000, which you claim back on your health insurance. The time to start a plan for your lifetime partnership is now. Prepare for a marriage of “I chose you, every day”. Be informed, be intentional, build a solid foundation, begin from a place of knowledge, transparency, and alignment in creating a successful marriage. Congratulations for taking this bold journey of premarital therapy. We look forward to seeing you!

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[FREE DOWNLOAD] Post-Holiday Blues: Dealing With The Aftermath of the Holidays

Even though the Holiday Season may be enjoyed for some, a lot of the time for others it is the other way around. For some people, they might not have any holidays at all and have to work while others get a break from work. Some folks might experience anxiety from seeing family or during current times seeing family during a pandemic. When the holidays are over mixed emotions will have to be dealt with, and Elpizo has created tools to help you deal with the holiday aftermath. 

Some tools that we go over are things like how to deal with changes in a healthy way when the holidays come to close. One of these ways is by using coping strategies to help sudden shifts, whether good or bad. 

Another tool that we go over is how to plan for those post-holiday blues. One tip that we give in planning is to “Reach Out” which has you reaching out to talk to a mental health professional. You can do this now by calling Elpizo Counselling Services at 1-877-335-7496. 

To read the tip list on how to deal with the aftermath of the holidays, click the cover below.

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Looking Back: November with Elpizo

Elpizo Counselling Services observed November as Domestic Violence Awareness Month. 

Domestic Violence occurs when one person in a relationship tries to intimidate and control their partner through fear, guilt, shame or power.

 On November 10 2020, Elpizo Counselling hosted a virtual panel discussion for Domestic Violence Awareness. The event was free to join and was hosted on Facebook/Instagram Live from 7:00 pm to 8:00 pm EST.

Watch the panel discussion here:

Elpizo’s client-centred practice provides a non-judgmental and safe space for people to process crises, trauma, challenges and to rebound from adverse experiences. Furthermore, Elpizo is making every effort to raiseawareness about abuse against women and also hosted a discussion on November 25 to mark the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women.

For more information, visit us on https://elpizocounselling.com/

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Safety Planning for Victims of Domestic Abuse

It might seem overwhelming to prepare a safety plan when you wish to leave an abusive relationship. Here are some tips for those who are thinking about starting their path to a safer place: 

  • If it is safe to do so, always have a phone accessible and know what numbers to call for help, including friends or family and your local shelter. Know where the nearest public phone is located. 
  • Plan and practice with your children and identify a safe place where they can go during moments of crisis, like a room with a lock or a friend’s house.  
  • Back your car into your driveway when you park at home and ensure your gas is at a full tank. If possible, keep the driver’s door unlocked with the rest of the doors locked to allow for quick access to the vehicle. 
  • Let trusted friends and neighbors know about your situation and develop a plan and visual signal for when you might need their help. Give them clear instructions on who you do or do not want them to contact in moments of crisis, including law enforcement. 
  • When preparing to go to a shelter, if you can, call ahead to see what the shelter’s policies are. They can give you information on how they can help, and how to secure a space when it’s time to leave. 
  • Have a backup plan if your partner finds out about your plan. 
  • What to bring:  
    • Driver’s license or Ontario Photo Card 
    • Social insurance card 
    • Health card 
    • Birth certificate and children’s birth certificates 
    • Financial information 
    • Money and/or credit cards (in your name) 
    • Checking and/or savings account books 
    • Protective order, if applicable 
    • Copies of any lease or rental agreements or the deed to your home 
    • Car registration and insurance papers 
    • Health and life insurance papers 
    • Medical records for you and your children 
    • School records 
    • Work permits/passport/visas/immigration papers 
    • Any legal documents, including divorce and custody papers 
    • Marriage license 
    • Medications and refills (if possible) 
    • Emergency items, like food, bottles of water, and a first aid kit 
    • Multiple changes of clothes for you and your children 
    • Emergency money 
    • Address book 
    • Extra sets of house and car keys 
    • Pictures and sentimental items 
    • Valuable items, such as jewelry 
    • Safe cell phone, if necessary 
    • Numbers of your attorney, local domestic violence program or shelter, local doctor’s office and hospital, criminal legal resources, children’s school

You might want to consider keeping copies of these items at a friend’s place so it won’t raise suspicion if found by your abuser and in case your abuser decides to destroy these items as they may anticipate your plan to escape.

 No matter the severity of your situation, just know that you are not overreacting or being drastic. Signs of abuse can begin to show up in small ways, so it’s important to be mindful, watchful and prepared at all costs. You are not alone. There is a world of support to help and encourage you through your circumstance.

For more information, please visit the Government of Canada website at: https://www.canada.ca/en/public-health/services/health-promotion/stop-family-violence/plan-your-safety.html