Uncategorized


John and Julie Gottman, through their working with couples for over 40 years, have found that couples who have shared rituals have stronger relationships. Planning fun events together as a couple creates shared meaning.  Intentionally looking for things that you both enjoy and then following through with planning and doing them helps focus on the positive and creates the opportunity to connect. One of the rituals that my husband and I do, after work, is set in our spa and share about our day.  We feel relaxed when we get out and then enjoy dinner together.  It helps set the stage for a nice evening. Another ritual we have is going to a small little town in Northern California for our anniversary almost every year.  We take our bikes and enjoy the weekend eating out and enjoying the beautiful scenery. Those are just two of our rituals for connection. What rituals of connection do you share with your spouse and family?  If you do not have any, then talk about rituals you can create to look forward to and connect.  If you are a young family, decide what rituals you want to create that are unique for just your family.  Do you have traditions around the holidays that you want to pass on to your children and what knew ones do you want to incorporate with the old. Looking forward to a planned event keeps your relationship moving forward in a positive direction.  Plan vacations together or just spending an evening together with friends or alone is important in keeping the vitality of your relationship healthy.  Be creative in thinking about different fun things you can do together.  Geocaching is a great way to get outside and enjoy the nice weather, you can download the app and learn how to play, if you haven’t already. For more ideas on how to create rituals in your relationship go to Gottman Institute and check out their web site.  They have great tools to help connect as a couple or as a family. Enjoy. Vickie Parker, MFT vickiemft.com...

Read More
Updates on My Practice

Updates on My Practice


Posted By on Apr 9, 2017

Greetings: I want to take this opportunity to thank all of my clients that I have had the privilege to counsel for the last 8 years.  You have enriched my life with your unique stories and you have let me in to very private and personal parts of your lives.  I also want to thank you for trusting me with referring me to your friends and colleagues. I appreciate your confidence in my abilities to counsel. October of 2015, I took level 1 training in Gottman Couple’s Therapy in San Francisco.  I was very impressed with their 30 years of research, evidence based therapy.  They are well known all over the world for their work with couples. In October of 2016, I attended another one of their trainings in Seattle for affairs and PTSD related to affairs.  A lot of my couples that I counsel, unfortunately, deal with that pain. I was able to learn some interventions that help rebuild trust and restore the relationship in 3 steps; 1) Attonement, 2) Attunement, and 3) Attachment. In January of this year, I attended level 2 training and again learned some interventions for therapy.  One of the tools that John and Julie Gottman use for couples, is an assessment of their relationship. The couple takes the assessment, separately, online and the results are sent to me. It shows the strong and weak areas in different levels of their relationship. They call it “The Relationship House”. The interventions, that are needed, are introduced in therapy to strengthen the weak areas.  I have found it to be very affective. I am scheduled to take level 3 training this coming September and after that I can apply to become a Certified Gottman Therapist.  They evaluate videos, couples have given me permission to film, doing the different interventions.  They are very thorough in making sure therapist are qualified to become certified. I have also hired a company to help me become more visible on the internet.  As you probably know, Google has certain requirements before they will move you up in the rankings of searches. One of the things they look at is my reviews, which does not work well for therapist because of confidentiality. If you are so inclined and you do not mind giving your name, reviews are appreciated on Google. I am also available for online counseling for clients in California that want to do private pay. The main reason I am writing this blog, is to give you an update and to thank you for allowing me to be a part of your life in whatever capacity you have needed me....

Read More

Married with children? The secrets to keeping a merry marriage (WITI) — Are you married with children? It can be a challenge to keep the romance alive once a couple has kids. But, it isn’t impossible. Child development expert Jessica Lahner joins Real Milwaukee to talk about the keys to keeping a merry marriage....

Read More

2014 will soon be gone.  This year has not been easy as my brother died of cancer in July. This Christmas was not the same without him and although I know he is enjoying his new home in heaven, we all miss his presence here. We never know from day-to-day what life is going to bring us.  How we live our life on a daily basis really determines how strong we are to handle adversity when it comes. If we think we have any control of our lives, then we are living in a delusion.  The best way to live is realizing we do not have control and learning to relax and let go of our expectations of what we want our life to be. I try to have an attitude of gratitude for all the things in my life, even the hard and painful things. Those things build character and strength and by not fearing them I can embrace them and know God is with me and His grace is sufficient. I do wonder what 2015 will bring. My parents are getting older and I could lose them at anytime. The economy is getting better, or so they say, and still it seems like there is more month left than money each month. So thankful for all that we have and we never go to bed hungry, like so many others in the world.  I am grateful that I live in America. So many have sacrificed to give us our freedoms. I am also thankful for all the rain we have been getting. I love those rainy days and never want to take them for granted. We need the water. I turn 65 this year and I will now be on Medicare and getting social security.  How did that happen! Cannot believe I am reaching that age and how quickly it has come. I do not know what this year holds for me, but I do know Who holds the future and I know that whatever comes I am not alone. There is always a certain excitement about the New Year.  It is like an opportunity to love and give more and hopefully be a blessing to others. Life is what we make it and living one day at a time and being thankful for all things is vital if we want to grow. So as the New Year approaches, my prayer for you is that you, also, will continue to grow and if you need to make changes in your life, that you will have the courage to do it. Everyday is an opportunity and there is...

Read More

My Dad’s heart is getting weak and at 87 he has lived a full life.  My son is very close to my dad and so when I saw my dad going down hill, I contacted him so that he could know what was happening.  He lives 700 miles away and has not seen my dad for about 18 months.  He and his family moved away 5 years ago and have really only been back once as a family to visit.  We have been up there many times, because it is easier for us to get away than for them to come down. When my son realized how weak my dad was, they made a quick decision to come for a visit.  My parents live a few doors down from us, so staying with us was good because he could just walk down to visit them whenever he could. It was wonderful to see them and it really gave my mom and dad an emotional lift when they came.  When my son and his family arrived, it brought back so many memories for them  when they lived here.  Their wedding, the birth of their daughter, the house they lived in and now rent and places they used to go frequently.  My 10-year-old grand-daughter started crying when she saw her old room. Reconnecting with friends and family was wonderful for them.  I could tell that it made them  homesick.  Most of their family live in this area and not having us around where they now live is hard. So many changes in the last 5 years.  Their children are older, parents and grand parents getting older and adjusting to not being so young anymore; the reality of life and we must keep moving forward.  They cannot move back as much as we all want them here.  Life does not always give us what we want and embracing the reality of the future is sometimes difficult. It was so hard to see them leave. We had such a wonderful time together for 2 days., but life goes on and every time we part I struggle with sadness and I have to focus on the positive.  We have so much and we can stay in contact with them through the social media and cell phones.  Twenty years ago we would be much more disconnected. I do not want to live in the past.  I want to be thankful for everything I have today and I want to embrace the future with a positive attitude even when my heart is heavy. Having a family is so valuable and accepting what life brings us and...

Read More