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 September, 2013

Quote of the month


"It's best to 

not confuse optimism with 

hope. Optimism 

is a psychological attitude toward 

life. Hope goes further. It is an anchor that one hurls toward the future; it's what 

lets you pull on 

the line and reach what you're 

aiming for and 

head in the right direction." 


by Pope Francis I.


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My Services
Pre-Marital Counseling
Certified Prepare/Enrich Program Facilitator
Marital Counseling
Infidelity Issues
Self-Esteem Support
Problem-Solving Support
Renew Marital Excitement
Family counseling

Divorce Support
Collaborative Law Communications Facilitator
Redefining Life Purpose
Grief/Loss Support

Family Counseling



I welcome the opportunity to help you work through current issues and to look at your future with a sense of hope and purpose.


Masters Degree - Applied Psychology from Seton Hall University


Post-Masters Degree-Marriage and Family Therapy from Seton Hall University


Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist


Private Practice 

since 2008


NJ work experience totaling 5 years


Married 24 years


Mother of 2 young adult daughters 


Lived in Indiana, 

New Jersey and Texas


Passionate about 

what I do




This coming month brings about a change in seasons. In order to move on from one season to the next, it is very important that we take time to heal from any hardships or negativity that may have carried over from the summer season or from earlier in the year. Read below and be sure you set yourself up for a successful fall season.


As always, please pass along this information to anyone you feel may benefit from its content.



Maryellen Dabal, MA, LMFT

Southlake Counseling & Neurofeedback Center

420 North Carroll Ave Suite 140

Southlake, TX 76092




Missed previous newsletters??

Go to www.dabalmft.com.  Click on the newsletters link at the bottom of the home page. Enjoy.....


From The Positive Perspective.......


We are all familiar with physical healing, where we allow our body to correct itself from an injury or misfortune that has occurred.  Most of us take some time to let our body heal from its wounds before we move on.  What is great about physical healing is that we can see actual improvement by the decreased size of a wound or the improved flexibility in a certain body part. 


What about psychological healing?  Have you experienced a tragedy this year that you have yet to be able to move past or grieve?  Is there a lingering issue with a family member that has yet to be addressed? Are their struggles at work that need resolution but you are nervous about bringing them up with your boss?   We need to be sure we are taking the time to heal our minds and our hearts, even though the end of this type of healing process is not quite as clear-cut as with physical healing.  So how do we get started?


First, acknowledge that you need some healing before you begin this new season of colored leaves and cooler weather.  Acknowledge that you have some unresolved issues you want to address.  Just bringing these thoughts to the forefront of your mind can have a calming effect because you are not trying to avoid thinking about the topic any longer. You truly have a desire to confront the issue and resolve it so you can enjoy what is coming up next in your life.  Please don't stop here, though, as this could cause the issue to linger and potentially cause more problems.


Next, begin to put words to the feelings you are experiencing.  Examples would be that you are sad about a loss that occurred in your family this year and you have not yet taken the time to grieve the person who passed; or that you are nervous about a possible move or scared of the unknowns that lie ahead due to a decision you made earlier in the year. 


Tell yourself that it is OK to be scared, nervous or sad.  You are normal and feeling these feelings is just part of the process.  This self-talk can be just the ticket you need to be able to move past the feelings.


Try some relaxation exercises to get in tune with YOU.  Take a few moments when you are alone to get comfortable, close your eyes and just listen to your breathing.  Relax and tell yourself that it will be OK.  You will figure out a way to move past these feelings after you have fully understood them. 


Confide in a trusted friend or family member who would truly understand you and be able to listen.  Venting can be great for relieving stress and allowing you to heal through the support of others.


Finally, once there is understanding about what is holding you back from being able to enjoy life, define the issue in words and what you see as options for resolving the issue.  For example, if you feel you made a wrong decision earlier in the year that is now "haunting" you, give yourself the benefit of the doubt that you made the best decision you could at the time.  Now that you may have different information, think about how you can make your current situation work to your advantage.  Am I giving 100 percent to making the situation work?  Am I expecting too much from the situation?  If I am still regretting that earlier decision, how can I change the outcome now?  What is within my power to control and how can I alter what should be happening? Continue until you feel you are making some progress.  Evaluate your feelings and the situation on a constant basis so as to measure for improvements. Take credit for those improvements for sure.


How do you know the psychological healing process has ended?  It may never completely end per se, but you will feel yourself moving toward some positive feelings on the issue without much effort.  There is not as much anxiety associated with the issue.   For example, when thinking about what it will be like to spend the upcoming holidays without your spouse who passed away during the year, you will continue to feel sad at the loss of that individual, but you may also begin to feel that you know who your true friends and family members are and feel some comfort in their support.  You may begin to feel that the individual who has passed away will want you to move on with life in the best way possible. You may even be able to smile when you think of them. 


I wish you well in resolving any issues that fit into this category.  Know that you can give me a call if you need assistance in being able to move into this new season with a sense of hope and a positive attitude.


As always, thank you for spending this time with me and looking at the upcoming season....... From The Positive Perspective. 


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I welcome feedback regarding the newsletter or questions about my practice.  I can be reached at maryellen@dabalmft.com.  I cannot, however, give advice through email. For more information on my practice please visit my website: www.dabalmft.com

I wish you well...