Jul 29, 2020 in Counseling

Work through your relationship, marriage and family issues.

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George Stack is an Online Counselor with over 20 years of experience. He is empathetic, caring and respectful toward all Clients. George's main areas of expertise include relationships, depression, anxiety, family issues, decision-making and more. He can help you to overcome any difficulties you’ve faced and help to find a solution to move forward. Let's get to know more about George:

WikiExpert: One of your main services is relationship and marriage counseling. What does your typical online session look like? What do you cover?

George Stack: My online counseling sessions deliver fast support, immediate value for money, and confidentiality while being very accessible. 

I help people rebuild and strengthen their primary relationship in an Expert, safe, and confidential manner, saving them the hassle of traffic and delivering a much-needed relief. 

  • With secure phone and video sessions, couples are guided through a process of communication and active-listen, with individual and joint sessions:
  • Individual sessions unpack an impasse for communication and trust, by teaching the individual to express and share feelings and issues, like insecurity, rigid-beliefs, anger, unrealistic expectations, and possessiveness;
  • Joint sessions open the individual and the couple to safe-talking. Often, the couple is initially unable to actively understand each other’s pain; unpacking rigid beliefs and mistrust for emotional relief and intimacy deals with a lack of patience and hence, misplaced blame. 

As an experienced Relationship Counselor, my therapy guides the couple to the best solution for their relationship, be this either by deciding to rebuild it or by deciding to part, always safely and with mediation. 

I identify the couple’s issues and I help them resolve these issues before they morph into a long-term problem. 

By leading them to commit to actively listen and by encouraging them to communicate their true feelings, even when their differences appear too high to get over, peace and solutions can magically appear.

 WikiExpert: Due to COVID-19, many are struggling with financial issues. How do you advise couples to deal with this without it causing a rift in the marriage?

George Stack: COVID-19 creates, among other things, financial stress/trauma, and this can lead to separation, domestic violence, divorce, and suicidality. 

A confined couple, already dealing with poor communication and anger issues, maybe facing a downward spiral to anxiety, depression, anger outbursts, abuse, and domestic violence when faced with the aggravation of financial stress. 

Counseling helps with trust, boundary setting, communication, and anger management, supporting the couple as they navigate their way to a safe, peaceful, and long-term solution. 

Interestingly, COVID-19 has highlighted the issues surrounding traditional family roles: the man as the “bread-winner”, and the wife as the “home-maker.” Experience shows that counseling the couple for “changed-roles” responsibilities does lead to understanding and positive role-adjustment.

As a Financial and Relationship Counselor, I help the couple move towards improving communication, trust and confidence in themselves and their partner, and then in the couple. However, in some cases the relationship cannot survive: sadly, domestic violence and abuse can be present, and the marriage fails.

A couple facing financial stress needs a double-barrelled focus to deal with the couple’s individual issues. These sessions are practically-focused on learning new communication skills, mindful that during discussions children are often present. Individuals will be taught to meet and deal first with their own self - ego, anger, rigidity, insecurity, and avoidant blame - before looking at their partner.

This requires time, expertise and a couple committed to finding a way to solve their financial insecurities by building a relationship that is loving, trusting, confident, and understanding.

WikiExpert: Abusive behavior has also been on the increase in the last couple of months, how do you help the victims of this? What can they do to move forward?

George Stack: Abusers can be parents, parents-in-law, siblings, family members, friends, children, or colleagues. 

Many victims think that only physical violence is domestic violence; they generally avoid reality until it is too late. Often, the victims become so accustomed to such behavior that either, they fail to recognize it, or they hesitate to talk about it due to societal pressure, fear of losing self-esteem, and financial security issues.

Firstly, we actively-listen for alerts of abuse type - domestic, physical, emotional, sexual, or economic - as abusers’ use different tactics to control and exert their power over their victims, like dominance, fear, guilt, humiliation, isolation, threats, denial, and blame, among others. 

Recognizing and counseling domestic violence requires immediate action for the victim’s safety and financial security, in particular for the children. 

I help both the abuser and the victim understand which legal and criminal laws apply in their case. 

Separation and vigilance for the abuser to understand his violence and reflect on stopping this requires a long-term plan, where counseling develops the individual’s understanding of:

Healthy negative emotions: concern, sadness, healthy-anger or being annoyed, regret, guilt, frustration, healthy jealousy. These healthy negative emotions can be a natural response to problematic events. It is worth noting that applying positive thinking can only be a distraction when facing negative emotions. Counseling develops a healthy acceptance of adversity, and suffering, and elicits self-help, community-based support, and helping activities;

Unhealthy negative emotions: anxiety, depression, anger, guilt, embarrassment, hurt, unhealthy jealousy. These unhealthy negative emotions obstruct positive activities and result in procrastination or negative behavior. Here the Counselor becomes a trusted person to whom the victim can externalize and so, safely hear their feelings. This can support the victim to use the law in the right-way, until they can stand on their own, away from the abuser.

WikiExpert: For couples who have issues with their in-laws and extended family issues, what strategies and methods do you use to help them to break free and overcome this?

George Stack: Having strategies and a proven-method to balance your lives as a couple, separate from the wider family, is important in developing and maintaining a healthy, caring relationship. Many couples strain their own emotional relationship over this balance, especially when in-laws are aged and have health issues. 

Counseling focuses firstly on strengthening the personal relationship, and behaviors, before turning to those of the in-laws. It helps the couple identify underlying emotions, and to keep potential toxicity away from their relationship and emotional life. 

It puts in place boundaries: trust, communication, avoiding negative talk, and loss of individual or familial values. It includes a private session to identify personal grievances, impasses, complaints and issues, using active-listening to help the couple solve their own issues first, teaching them ways and methods to deal with their extended family in a kind, calm, mature way, and with a sense of humour. 

However, it can be said: "Some relationships are like broken glass. If it is broken, it may be better to leave it broken as you will hurt yourself and your partner emotionally, by trying to put it back as something it never was." Therefore, it may hurt the couple’s primary relationship less to accept things for what they are.

WikiExpert: In your online sessions, do you prefer to work with both partners? Or do you counsel them individually?

George Stack: In online couple counseling, the sessions are targeted to bring both partners together by identifying their issues, their stated goals and that of them as a couple: communicative, trusting, empowering, and loving for emotional and sexual intimacy. 

It can be both necessary and required to work with a partner individually as part of unpacking a blockage. Privacy and confidence will develop through these stepped- sessions, which focus on stimulating their unique operative therapeutic progress to achieve the couple’s stated goals. However, ethically, the Counselor cannot and will not be one partner’s distinct Counselor while counseling the couple.

Couple counseling includes: 

  • Intense active-listening, while speaking and not speaking;
  • Reading of emotions;
  • Giving feedback on the couple’s interactions, including that of a partner;
  • Observing the individual’s body language as well as that of the couple, with questions and answers, which unpack their unique language, way of life, emotions, behaviors and ideations.

This observation will focus on how the couple communicates emotionally and physically, looking for unique patterns of communication, dominance, emotional integrity, sexual intimacy, and trust. It can be at times more intense than individual counseling.

WikiExpert: How Divorce/Separation Impacts Family & Children. How can parents who have separated and divorced ensure that their decision does not have a negative impact on their children?

George Stack: Many studies prove that kids living with married parents do better in physical, emotional, and academic aspects. 

For children, parents are their own first role-model, believing that they can fix any problem, and create a happy atmosphere. Divorce can disrupt this innocent, simple belief. 

When divorce is inevitable, showing patience and love, while learning how to communicate with the child is, therefore, crucial. It is of strategic importance to keep fights and verbal arguments away from the child, as well as avoiding placing blame on the other, showing anger or frustration. Any negative talks and complaints must happen in front of a Counselor or a friend. The way of announcing the divorce should be decided together. 

Counseling will help minimize the most common ways divorce can affect children, both emotionally and physically. Body language and verbal signs that the child is suffering and needs professional help include the decline in their academic performance, deterioration of mental health and tendency to spend more time alone, depression, frustration, loss of faith in love and the system of marriage, feelings of guilt, and showing destructive behavior. 

Going to counseling individually, as a couple, and ultimately involving the children, can deliver a strategically safe pathway, through clinical care on suggestions and guidance to parents and children, to better handle their family’s unique situation. 

WikiExpert: How do you help them to maintain a healthy relationship with one another despite being divorced so that the children remain unaffected?

George Stack: Children are often at the receiving end of the side effects of a divorce, and while there are studies showing that it affects children in a bad way, sometimes divorce is the best option available in a bad-relationship. 

Expert counseling will help the couple and their children through transiting from staying together to divorce and living apart from one parent, with clinical support for the child and parents. 

Therefore, before getting a divorce, when the couple is under counseling, the sessions elicit blame avoidance, while talking to the child and keeping negative comments, arguments and blame away from the child’s ears. 

Counseling elicits - making a point the child understands on a safe emotional level - that their parents respect each other, even after the divorce is final. The parent’s emotional integrity and factual honesty are key: exaggerating or hiding things will create trouble in the child’s future life. Equally important is that each parent is openly supported to spend an equal amount of time with the child so that no one is grieved. 

With a divorce, questions arise which may create more differences if not answered the right way. Counseling sessions will help handle these questions as parents adjust their counseling goals to the respective child’s age, expressions and understanding.

Clearly, counseling can be viewed as a long term through parental sessions, to deal with child issues uniquely faced after divorce. Sitting together with both parents, if advisable, actively listening, and asking pertinent questions, supports self-discovery and communication changes, a needed behavior for the child’s development and healthy well-being. Usually, through counseling, most parents do come to understand and embrace their child’s healthy maturing, at least for the sake of their love for their child, over personal fears.

WikiExpert: Please describe a happy and healthy marriage/relationship.

George Stack: The definition of happy marriage differs from person to person and hence, couple to couple. No two marriages are the same, so what works for some may not work for others.

Generally, a happy marriage is one that, whatever happens, your partner will be the first person you run to, as the relationship is one that includes friendship, trust, confidence, and understanding between the couple. 

In a healthy relationship, the couple will often have realistically-shared personal benefits, over going at it alone: being honest with each other, identifying their partner’s strengths, weaknesses, and accepting them as they are, even if they don’t have the same interests and hobbies. The key point is to be able to enjoy each other’s company along with nurturing personal interests. A balance between personal time and the couple’s (family) time will mean fewer arguments, even if this doesn’t necessarily mean that couples who argue have an unhappy marriage. The way to constructively argue can be a main point in the couple being the couple.

Couples who accept change, emotional or physical, who respect each other’s preferences and are sensitive about their needs, who have a bond of friendship, togetherness, are good listeners and communicate well, laugh with each other, and have an acceptable level of sexual intimacy, remain in a healthy relationship longer. Saying, “thank you” and “I love you” often, as cliché as it may sound, leaves a partner happy and feeling heard and loved. 

With proper guidance, through professional counseling, even a relationship that seems broken can be mended and rebuilt, and lead to a “happy marriage”.

WikiExpert: In decision-making, how do you ensure that your Clients make healthy choices?

George Stack: We are all required to make decisions daily, but it is difficult to measure what a good decision is. Making decisions is not a skill that everyone gets by birth; rather, people learn that skill via experiences, practices, and advice from Experts, including Personal and Relationship Counselors. 

Healthy decisions are accountable, pragmatic, and involve others since knowledge, data, and opinions of others always help fine-tune decisions. Expert counseling is required when a couple wants their decisions to be made more certain and, hence, more long-lasting and effective; this is achieved by following a certain and systematic process.

Expert marriage and couple counseling guide people and couples through the healthy pros and cons of each decision or choice, by use of eliciting questions that highlight the importance of personal and shared reasons. This creates healthy, so-called good decisions, which help to live life more efficiently, and productively. Many healthy decisions are determined by cognizance of all the factors, including those that are unstated or hidden, and those factors that may not be in the Client’s control. Therefore, the Expert Counselor can listen and focus on the stated outcome, helping the individual and the couple to identify positive factors while avoiding the negative ones so that they can educate themselves on safely achieving their preferred outcome.

WikiExpert: How do you guide them to do this?

George Stack: There are a few basic steps for good decision-making. Simple decisions - like what to wear and what to eat - don’t need external guidance, but certain situations arise wherein a person will have to make life-changing decisions. This requires the empathy and understanding of an Expert Counselor. 

The Counselor is to be skilled, experienced and well versed in engaging the Clients as a couple so they can face and deal with their - the couples - decision-making process. 

Therapeutic steps provided in suitable, proven and timely sessions, either on-line or by mobile phone, help the individual and the couple focus on the real issues while lessening the burden from each Client. The couple emerges as their new identity, which will move them to understand their decisions and their probable outcomes. The couple matures to identify its issues, gather information, list its own outcome and, finally, learns to evaluate its past decisions. 

Each decision undergoes brainstorming: the main contribution in making a good decision is identifying the couple’s purpose for the decision. 

These live online sessions help the couple identify what is important in their relationship, and in their lives. It assists in gathering all the relevant information, including emotional stressors, before the couple decides safely, through weigh options, mutual support, and jointly communicating, to determine what is good for them as the couple. 

A good decision is one that is made thoughtfully, considering all the relevant supportive factors, and taking into account the couple’s philosophies and values.

WikiExpert: For those who are suffering from depression and anxiety, what is your number one approach to help them to overcome this?

George Stack: Getting into a low mood, feeling sad or angry is a normal and common symptom that can, untreated, quickly descend into depression, where the long-term therapeutic treatment is more severe and exhausting. 

Untreated or undiagnosed anxiety is the main reason for the deterioration of a person’s mental well-being, and yet, the individual’s care is often forgotten, ignored, or a forbidden topic amongst couples. One of the goals of Expert counseling is to break this nexus or stigma and help the individual person take timely steps to improve their own mental health. 

In care, the Expert Counselor - using online face-to-face sessions – quickly delivers effective therapy that, in most cases, offers better tools to enable the Clients to cope with the primary issue, helping them find ‘peace’. The Counselor sets-up a healthy-routine, validates/measures improved emotions through the session’s efficacy, inculcates good personal care, including understanding, diet and the importance of sleep. 

As the Client becomes more comfortable with their results, they gain exponentially confidence and trust in their therapeutic process. Through improved communication and their own active listening skills, they improve self-care, find the courage to share their feelings, long-held fears and thoughts. Through this, they gain new insight and perspective which helps them facing and moving on to deal with old-issues, therefore, building self-confidence. All with the assistance of research-based solutions. 

Unfortunately, this process can be likened to peeling an onion; tears can flow and are only achieved over- time, with patience and care.  

Effective therapeutic care is long term, as it requires patience and perseverance from the Client, but regular attendance in the sessions will bring significant and positive changes: the Client goes about healing to improve their and their loved ones’ lives.

WikiExpert: What is your approach to helping people who have suffered from a traumatic event?

George Stack: Facing emotional and psychological trauma is sometimes inevitable, and coming out of trauma takes some time. 

Traumas can be caused by a series of events, or a one-time event, - accidents, health issues, crimes, a break-up, or even childhood issues - and they leave the individual feeling weaker, insecure, and helpless. This can lead to several troubles, like anxiety, depression, and disappointment. 

Coping and overcoming a trauma has its own set of challenges. Talking about the trauma with others, giving some time to heal, and asking for support, are necessary actions the Client needs to take. 

Through counseling, you are supported to clarify subliminal pain and hurt as a cause of the trauma present in your life. Through Expert active-listening and care you are supported with patience and care to find your path to your way out with guidance and therapy you come to learn and accept the truth as your coping method. With necessary support and help you get into your healthy routine through having your trusted listening ear that helps overcome past traumatic memories. 

Timely, and regular sessional interaction produces trust and therapeutic benefits from proven counseling methods that safely and securely see you objectively exposing the trauma with safety and security. There emotional healing can occur. Clearly, the process requires care, sensitivity, maturity all within ethical boundaries.

The Counselor is experienced in treating PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder), using therapeutic modalities over avoidant behavior. 

Now, let's get to know more about George: 

WikiExpert: When you're not helping others, where can we find you? What do you enjoy doing in your spare time?

George Stack: I am available and reachable online via this medium, or via email or calls. Any person having trouble dealing with personal or societal issues can contact me anytime. 

Reading, thinking and quiet, prayerful meditation centers and calms one, while re-energizing. This motivates them to enter more fully into a life of faith. Research and reading exercise the mind and sheds light on presenting issues for considered application and improved outcomes. 

Establishing clear therapeutic channels of communication with individual Clients, including the couple, along with a little empathy, is a way of helping self-awareness and healing. 

Interestingly, people do comment on the presence of infectious-positivity, and subliminally, this helps with subliminal healing from within themselves. Personally, I feel a spiritual connection with someone who can wholly express satisfaction and self-acceptance in a word, glimpse, or smile.

WikiExpert: What inspired you to become a Counselor?

George Stack: The example of Christ speaking to the ‘Woman at the Well’. Respectful, calm and actively-listening to someone suffering and gently conversing with her spirit and so to help a victim of domestic abuse; in particular the innocence in children. Also, in supporting people to develop through understanding and applying their personal-power within to have to work in loving cooperation, their own ‘Adult’ maturity and their, ‘Emotional Child’s’ loving needs met. 

Children especially, respond to boundaries through loving guidance to follow the light within. 

Other than this, I always try to see Christ within.

WikiExpert: Do you have any plans? Both professionally and personally?

George Stack: Simply, I am a product of years of lived-experience with a faith-commitment to learn through a process of personal interactions and values.

The marriage and relationship cases I have encountered are worth mentioning. The couple is the overarching result of the coming together of 2 bodies, souls, emotional and sexual drives and needs, lives, hopes, dreams and aspirations miracles of creation and how they learn to communicate to become ‘one’, loving body, mind, emotion and produce the fruit of couplehood in children is central to my learning, long term view and output.

WikiExpert: If there was anything you could change about the world, what would it be?

George Stack:  Self-Love and the individual’s responsibility in manifesting agape-love within. Here, self-love is at the root of any long-term therapeutic outcome.

Whatever issues you're facing in your relationship, get help now! Message George Stack for free now to book a session. 

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