Marriage Counseling Dallas TX / Richardson — Heather Carlile, MA, LPC

Heather Carlile, M.A., L.P.C.
Marriage Counseling - Dallas / Richardson

Relationships • Stress • Grief • Life Decisions

Marriage Counseling Dallas TX / Richardson - Heather Carlile, MA, LPC

Fighting – Don’t Waste Your Good Mind

FIGHTING AND THE UNDEVELOPED MIND (HONORING DOMESTIC VIOLENCE AWARENESS MONTH): Part of my mission is to help stop fighting. Verbal or physical fighting is something that decent people know how to calm and derail in small children. Then, starting in childhood, we refuse to waste our time and intelligence in conflict. It feels bad. It causes harm.

AIR OUR GRIEVANCES SAFELY: When differences arise, we can learn how to solve the problem by willingness to understand both sides. That means the mental ability to sidestep the need to agree, the need to have control over someone else or their opinions, the use of power to force or assault others or the drive to deliver punishment. The best approach is understanding human or social interaction and how communication works. Our ability to be confident, empathetic and knowledgeable makes it effective and respectful. We can be willing to listen completely and to air our grievances safely. We can mentor our children by helping them practice. Some schools implement Peer Mediation or Peer Facilitation prepping the students for thoughtful conflict management through their lifespan.

CHESS VS MONOPOLY — INNER EXECUTIVE VS PROTECTOR: Using the Internal Executive Function is like playing Chess in your thoughts rather than Monopoly. Monopoly rides on the randomness of a throw of dice and staying on a linear path and protecting our money and property. Chess offers many possible moves and series of moves.

One Road

One Road

EGYPT VS DALLAS: It reminds me of my trip to Egypt. When we were taken on a beautiful air-conditioned German bus to The Valley of the Kings, there was just ONE road and it was straight North and South along the Nile River. Contrast that with the options offered to me by my GPS just to get to our friend’s house for dinner; I look at the detours around parks, the traffic, the size of the roads or streets, rush hour, etc. and choose my most effective strategy knowing that it may change during the course of the trip.

Labyrinth of Possible Road Strategies

Labyrinth of Possible Road Strategies

WILLINGNESS TO LEARN: When a couple comes to me for help with their fighting, I am responsible to deliver accurate and practical information. When my clients say, “That makes sense.” Their next words are usually: “What do we do?” They are ready to learn. And, in my field as a marriage counselor, there is always more to learn, more excellence, more refinement, more maturity, more wisdom ahead. I like to think: “If you don’t ask, you won’t know what you are missing.”

MENTAL WOUNDS REQUIRE MORE: This all makes logical sense. And, with information available online, we can find education which suits us. My You Tube Channel has eight one-hour videos on my Couples Communication Guide…free to anyone. However, when I encounter people who were abused or traumatized, pure logic, knowledge and emotional intelligence won’t work. That’s when we need professional guidance.

DOMESTIC VIOLENCE: In 2000, 1,247 women and 440 men were killed by an intimate partner. In recent years, an intimate partner killed approximately 33% of female murder victims and 4% of male murder victims. Intimate partners committed 3% of the nonfatal violence against men (2003). Intimate partner violence made up 20% of all nonfatal violent crime experienced by women (2001). Approximately 1.3 million women and 835,000 men are physically assaulted by an intimate partner annually in the United States (2000). In a 1995-1996 study conducted in the 50 States and the District of Columbia, nearly 25% of women and 7.6% of men were raped and/or physically assaulted by a current or former spouse, cohabiting partner, or dating partner/acquaintance at some time in their lifetime (based on survey of 16,000 participants, equally male and female) (2000).

LEAVE ABUSE: Here is the link to Belleruth Naparstek’s trustworthy article: How to Leave your Abuser.   If you need help, encouragement or a listening ear, please call me ASAP: 214-636-5889.

PARENTING: Consider how often you hear yourself say: “Well my Dad/Mom did it this way…” We determine the goodness of our children’s lives and relationships by how we behave, solve arguments and help them to find resolutions.

Each time we encounter a child, we are having an impact.

The Best Couples are Equally Smart: 27 Types of Intelligence

Best Friends

Best Friends

What  happens when a couple experiences irritation because of intelligence mis-match? As a Marriage Counselor, I feel responsible to ensure that a couple can respect each other as equals. So, even when our talents and intelligences don’t completely match, if we understand how our differences benefit the marriage, we can treasure our spouse or mate for bringing other abilities to our relationship and our life. My opinion is that this is the best foundation of being best friends in our intimate relationships.

When I’m asked about how many intelligences there are, this is my best information. I did research and found several systems of intelligences. The most widely-known comes from Dr. Howard Gardner’s seven intelligences. But there are broader definitions. I like to be comprehensive so that we don’t have blind spots in our understanding.

Multiple Intelligences

  1. PRACTICAL INTELLIGENCE is the ability to think in concrete examples and solve daily problems directly without necessarily being able to explain how; the tendency to survive or succeed through taking straightforward, responsive, concrete action. (Also called marketing, strategic or political intelligence — since it focuses on “the art of the possible” — or just common sense or simple effectiveness.)
  2. VERBAL INTELLIGENCE is the ability to think and communicate effectively and creatively with words; and to recognize, use and appreciate linguistic patterns.
  3. LOGICAL INTELLIGENCE is the ability to think in terms of (and to appreciate) abstract parts, symbols and sequential relationships, conceptual regularities or numerical patterns, and to reach conclusions or construct things in an orderly way. (Also called rational, analytic or mathematical intelligence.)
  4. ASSOCIATIVE INTELLIGENCE is the ability to think in non-sequential associations — similarities, differences, resonances, meanings, relationships, etc. — and to create (and appreciate) totally new patterns and meanings out of old ones.
  5. SPATIAL INTELLIGENCE is the ability to visualize, appreciate and think in terms of pictures and images; to graphically imagine possibilities; and to observe, understand, transform and orient oneself in visual reality. (Also called pictorial or imaginative intelligence.)
  6. INTUITIVE INTELLIGENCE is the ability to know directly, to perceive and appreciate whole or hidden patterns beyond (or faster than) logic.
  7. MUSICAL INTELLIGENCE is the capacity to perceive, appreciate, resonate with, produce and productively use rhythms, melodies, and other sounds.
  8. AESTHETIC INTELLIGENCE is the ability to produce, express, communicate and appreciate in a compelling way inner, spiritual, natural and cultural realities and meanings. (This can include aspects of verbal, musical and spatial intelligences.)
  9. BODY INTELLIGENCE is the ability to sense, appreciate, and utilize one’s own body — movement, manual dexterity, tactile sensitivity, physical responsiveness and constraints; to create and think in terms of physiological patterns; to maintain physical health; and to relate to or meet the needs of others’ bodies. (Also called kinesthetic or somatic intelligence.)
  10. INTERPERSONAL INTELLIGENCE is the ability to perceive, understand, think about, relate to and utilize other people’s subjective states, and to estimate their likely behavior. This includes, especially, empathy.
  11. SOCIAL INTELLIGENCE is the ability to work with others and find identity and meaning in social engagement; to perceive, think, and deal in terms of multi-person patterns, group dynamics and needs, and human communities; it includes a tendency towards cooperation and service. (Also called team intelligence.)
  12. AFFECTIONAL INTELLIGENCE is the ability to be affected by, connected to or resonant with people, ideas, experiences, aesthetics, or any other aspect of life; to experience one’s liking or disliking of these things; and to use one’s affinities in decision-making and life.
  13. MOOD INTELLIGENCE is the ability to fully experience any mood as it happens (without having to judge it or do anything about it), to learn from it, and to move out of it at will — especially to generate resilience.
  14. MOTIVATIONAL INTELLIGENCE is the ability to know and to work with what moves you; to sense, think and initiate in terms of needs, wants, will, courage, responsibility and action — one’s own and others. (This can include that aspect of mood intelligence that can marshal emotions in the service of a goal.)
  15. INTRA-PERSONAL INTELLIGENCE is the ability to recognize, access and deal with one’s own subjective (or inner) world. (This can include aspects of affectional, mood, motivational and body intelligences.)
  16. EMOTIONAL INTELLIGENCE is the ability to experience, think and deal with emotional patterns in oneself and others. (This can include aspects of interpersonal, intra-personal, affectional, mood and motivational intelligences.)
  17. BASIC INTELLIGENCE is the ability to move toward what is healthy and desirable and away from what is unhealthy or undesirable. (This can use affectional and practical intelligences, or be almost automatic and instinctual.)
  18. BEHAVIORAL PATTERN INTELLIGENCE is the ability to recognize, form and change one’s own behavioral patterns, including compulsions, inhibitions and habits.
  19. PARAMETER INTELLIGENCE is the ability to create and sustain order and predictability — to recognize, establish, sustain, and change rhythms, routines/rituals, boundaries, guiding principles/values/beliefs, etc., in one’s own life.
  20. HABIT INTELLIGENCE is the ability to recognize, form and change one’s habits (which naturally embraces many aspects of behavioral and parameter intelligence).
  21. ORGANIZING INTELLIGENCE is the ability to create order in one’s own life and in other lives/groups/systems. (This can include aspects of parameter, team/social, and logical intelligences)
  22. SPIRITUAL INTELLIGENCE is the ability to sense, appreciate and think with spiritual and moral realities and patterns — to operate from an awareness of ultimate common ground (consciousness, spirit, nature, or some other sacred dimension). (This is usually dependent on intra-personal intelligence.) (Also called moral or transcendental intelligence.)
  23. NARRATIVE INTELLIGENCE is the ability to perceive, know, think, feel, explain one’s experience and influence reality through the use of stories and narrative forms (characters, history, myth, dreams, scenarios, etc.).
  24. ECO-INTELLIGENCE is the ability to recognize, appreciate, think and feel with, and utilize natural patterns and one’s place in nature, and to empathize with and sustain healthy relationships with animals, plants and natural systems.
  25. Existential Intelligence – Deep Question Clever: Life is your mystery – you have to solve it. “Why?” is your favorite question, and the bigger the question, the better. Learning needs to be deep and wide for you.
  26. Spiritual Intelligence – God Clever: You know there is more than mind. You let intuition guide your life. Synchronicity and soul are known to you. You don’t need proof, faith is enough for you. Learning is revealed.
  27. Moral Intelligence – is the capacity to understand right from wrong and to behave based on the value that is believed to be right. There are seven main points that build someone’s moral intelligence, such as empathy, conscience, self-control, respect for others, kindness, tolerance, and fairness.

Another way of looking at our talents:

Streams of Development

  1. Emotional
  2. Kinesthetic
  3. Morality
  4. Creativity
  5. Aesthetics
  6. Gender
  7. Sexuality
  8. Empathy
  9. Relational
  10. Cognitive
  11. Spiritual
  12. Contemplative
  13. Politics

Here are my best sources:

  • Howard Gardner (Frames of Mind , 1983),
  • Daniel Goleman (Emotional Intelligence, 1995),
  • Jennifer James (Thinking in the Future Tense, 1996),
  • Thomas Armstrong (Seven Kinds of Smart: Identifying and Developing Your Many Intelligences, 1993),
  • Elaine De Beauport (The Three Faces of Mind: Developing Your Mental, Emotional, and Behavioral Intelligences, 1996)
  • Peter Koestenbaum (The Heart of Business, 1987).

Post Traumatic Stress (not a Disorder) is the Healthy Response to Trauma

Even the professional community is just beginning to know how to treat trauma. We have learned that, if we use the classic methods taught in grad school, we can re-injure a client who has been traumatized. So, keep looking until you find someone with mind/body experience for helping those who have been traumatized with methods beyond just communicating.

BIG T AND LITTLE t: Big T traumas are like an accident or a natural disaster. Little t traumas are usually forms of abuse…often the complex trauma which children experience in childhood from parents who are out of control.

Invisible Heroes: Survivors of Trauma and How They Heal by Belleruth Naparstek 2004.

Invisible Heroes: Survivors of Trauma and How They Heal by Belleruth Naparstek 2004.

Here is trustworthy information about a practical way to help you or your loved-one to heal an emotional wound or trauma.
This is from Belleruth Naparstek at Health Journeys. Her company is the source of superlative mp3 and CD products and is my top recommendation for guided imagery and visualization audio tracks. In collaboration with those designing help for soldiers, she constructed the book so that anyone, anywhere, can get this book and the audio CDs to use on their own.

Three Stage Program of Guided Imagery

by Belleruth Naparstek from Invisible Heroes: Survivors of Trauma and How They Heal

  1. SKILL FOR SELF-SOOTHING: Simple, basic self-soothing to help return to calm when disturbing images and memories intrude. Rebalancing biochemistry. Regaining locus of control. Mindfulness – blessed distance and detachment. Sidestepping word traps through metaphor and symbol. Grounding and reinhabiting the body. Cognitive retooling: Learning conscious placement of attention. Serotonin: the body’s natural high of heart-opening to love, gratitude and connectivity. Spiritual connection.
    1. Personal readiness to tolerate feelings.
    2. Peaceful Place Imagery; Imagery to Ground Awareness in the Body; Imagery to Focus on the Heart; Imagery for Protection and Support; Affirmations.
    3. Imagery for Restful Sleep
  2. Three Stages of Healing Trauma - Audio CD

    Three Stages of Healing Trauma – Audio CD

    CONNECT WITH FEELINGS: To help reestablish a connection with the world of feelings, face down unpleasant symptoms and move under them to the core of the hurt, in order to cognitively and emotionally integrate what has happened.

    1. Imagery to Support Awareness of Feelings; Imagery to Face Down Anxiety; Imagery for Softening Pain; Imagery to Ease Depression; Imagery to Release Grief; Imagery for Transforming a Symbol.
    2. Imagery to Heal Trauma.
  3. STRENGTHS AND HEALTH: Help with the longer-term fallout: the toll trauma takes on confidence, self-esteem, the possible emergence of compulsive or addictive behaviors, or difficulties with relationships.
    1. Imagery for Confidence
    2. Imagery for Anger and Forgiveness.

Belleruth Naparstek also gives a list of “The Ten Comprehensive Healing Approaches” for Trauma:

The Ten (plus two) Comprehensive Healing Approaches

by Belleruth Naparstek from Invisible Heroes: Survivors of Trauma and How They Heal

Find a therapist who is willing to function as a “general contractor” connecting with the ten techniques as-needed.

Or, for yourself, create the conditions and do the practices that heal guided by the ten comprehensive healing approaches.

  1. Regular sessions or check-in times with a trustworthy therapist or counselor, who functions as the supportive anchor or “reality-check coach” at the center of the work.
  2. A support group or therapy group with fellow survivors who have faced similar traumatic circumstances.
  3. Some basic cognitive information on the nature of the PTSD and how it affects those who suffer from it.
  4. Phases of support, primarily from the class of antidepressant and anti-anxiety medication known as SSRIs–selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, such as Zoloft, Paxil Prozac, and Luvox–especially in the beginning, when symptoms are at their most severe and before self-soothing practices take hold.
  5. Some form of regular prayer for believers, and symbolic ritual for those with a more tenuous connection to matters of the spirit.
  6. Developing skills at a regular relaxation, attunement, or self-soothing practice, such as guided imagery, self-hypnosis, progressive relaxation, breathwork, prayer, meditation, or all of the above.
  7. Some sort of physical exercise or moving meditation, such as yoga, tai chi, qigong, tai bo, aikido, karate, belly dancing, brisk walking, swimming, or aerobic movement.
  8. Some manner of bodywork, using modalities such as masso-therapy, Therapeutic Touch, Zero Balancing, Myofascial Release, Polarity Therapy, Craniosacral Therapy, Reiki, and other forms of energy healing.
  9. Regular journaling in a personal diary or some other form of expressive practice, using dance, movement, poetry, or artwork.
  10. And, of course, guided imagery, both as a stand-alone healing modality, to help integrate deep change; and imagery as it appears in one or more of the new, structured, short-term behavioral methods–the “alphabet therapies” such as EFT, EMDR, PET, SE, and WHEE.

Two additional sources of healing:

  1. Therapeutic Altruism – being involved in some sort of voluntary service or meaningful work to alleviate the suffering of others.
  2. Nutrition and substances – pay careful attention to diet avoiding caffeine, alcohol, sugar, grains, etc. If addicted, maintaining sobriety with support from 12-Step, religion, coach or counselor.



Here is a quote from one of Belleruth Naparstek’s newsletters:

“We continue to be blown away by the reaction that Mimi Guarneri’s Scripps study is getting.  This is the RCT (randomized, controlled trial) where 123 combat exposed Marines, newly returned and between deployments at Camp Pendleton, with symptoms of PTS, were assigned to either 6 sessions (over the course of 3 weeks) of treatment with Healing Touch plus our Healing Trauma imagery; or treatment as usual (which I think was individual counseling with EMDR).

The study found that, over those 3 short weeks, symptoms of PTS declined significantly, as did depression and cynicism.  Pretty exciting stuff, eh?  So there’s been a huge amount of interest coming out of the DoD and the V.A., we’re happy to report.

Some of us are not so surprised to see that biofield therapies plus guided imagery are not only a potent combination for reducing PTS, but one that the service members will actually use and recommend to each other, without any sense of stigma or reluctance.

Kudos to the Samueli Institute for making sure these results got published. The findings appeared in the September 2012 issue of Military Medicine.”

I recommend that you subscribe to the Health Journeys newsletters; you can depend on the excellent quality.



Here is the 60-page report on the newest research by the Department of Defense. The list of mind/body treatments is impressive. We know that it is not effective to try to treat trauma using typical talk therapy. It is necessary to reach the unconscious parts of the brain. Here are some of the best methods which have been vetted by a panel of experts.


Mind Body Skills: Defense Centers of Excellence for Psychological Health & Traumatic Brain Injury website

White Paper from the Department of Defense – 60 pages

Here are screenshots which I took of the report results. If you or a loved one has trauma, I hope you find some possibilities here which inspire you to another way to stop the pain.

Mind/Body Research Paper Table of Contents

Mind/Body Research Paper Table of Contents



Mind/Body Table1 of 4

Mind/Body Table 1 of 4



Mind/Body Table 2 of 4

Mind/Body Table 2 of 4



Mind/Body Table 3 of 4

Mind/Body Table 3 of 4

Mind/Body Table 4 of 4

Mind/Body Table 4 of 4