Category: Chris Adams AMFT

Excitement vs. Anxiety

Rollercoaster RideWhen looking at this picture, what happens to you? What story do you tell yourself? Do you find yourself imagining the death that awaits you or do you find yourself looking forward to the adventure that is within reach?

As a child, and let’s be honest I still today, enjoy what I would call a healthy fear of heights. I remember being terrified of the idea of strapping into a roller coaster that would then shoot me to my death. As a child my family rode the Star Wars ride at Disney Land and was so disturbed by the prospect that I was permitted to sit and watch them as they participated in the experience.

Now, a confession. I HATE missing out! I remember my family leaving the ride and laughing and talking about how cool it was and I had nothing to contribute. I stood on the sidelines. I was so bothered.

A few months later, I found myself again at a theme park. This time it was Lagoon and my enemy was the Fire Dragon Colossus! A huge drop that went immediately into two huge loops at top speed! My anxiety was through the roof and I was convinced that one of those loops would kill me if I happened to survive that first fall!
I stood there watching my family discuss who was going to forgo the experience so that I would not be left outside alone and something changed within me. Seemingly out of nowhere I announced! Come on guys! Let’s go! I ran onto the ride and low and behold was given the front seat on the roller coaster. My family’s excitement was infectious and pretty soon I was telling myself that this was going to be awesome and that I was so lucky to get the front seat! (My brother was jealous of my place and I admit that helped).

I rode that roller coaster 6 times that day. My anxiety did not change. Every time I stood in front of that (to me) monster roller coaster I felt the same tightening in my chest, swelling in my throat and nausea in my stomach but it was now accompanied by a new story. One that told me I was going to have a story to tell and an experience to remember. An adventure was born and I am proud to say that my wife has yet to go to a theme park with me without throwing up! I love rollercoaster’s and the anxiety that comes with me! They are my happy place. My adventure beat my anxiety. It is still there but now I am in charge!

So often we miss out on life’s experiences as a result of anxieties and fears that are well warranted. They are there to protect us and to keep us safe. At times however, those anxieties can forget their place and begin making our decisions for us. When this happens, it may take the care and help of a professional to help us to get on the rollercoaster and show us how to ensure our safety.

Anxiety is complex and invasive. Just jumping on a ride will probably not beat these feelings. However, there are techniques and processes, support and validations that can help you to take your life back from the debilitating reality that is anxiety! We would love to meet with you and help you to start living again on your terms. Let’s put you back in the front seat of your monster coaster!

Call today to schedule and appointment with Chris at 801.272.3420

What WE want to be

Max De Pree an American Business man who died in August of 2017 was known to have said,

“We cannot become who we want to be by remaining what we are.”

Stronger Family relationships Becoming is a process of forward progression. Often times however, couples define their relationship by the hurts of the past (but she said… or how could he if…). Those hurts DO matter and they need to be validated and understood so as to not allow them to be repeated in the future and yet they need not define the marriage. When couples begin to use statements like, we are it interrupts the ability to become something better.

Couples are only limited by what they believe they can become together. That belief may need some tender persuasion, as it may have been lost in the quagmire of hurt and mistrust. In some instances one partner bears, seemingly alone, the hopes of something better. Don’t walk alone. Let us walk with you until you and your partner can lift together and choose what the marriage will become.

When we believe in what we can become, we change who we have been and together, we define what we will be.

Christopher D. Adams

Call today to schedule and appointment with Chris at 801.272.3420

How Does Marriage Counseling Work?

By Chris Adams, AMFT

Marriage therapy is a complicated dynamic. One in which we have to manage what each individual partner may want from the experience as well as what will be truly beneficial to helping the relationship which when done correctly, really becomes the patient that the three of us (yourself, your spouse and the therapist) are trying to heal.Marriage- it is not about being right, it is about getting it right.

One of the misnomers about marriage therapy is that we are here to help a couple to stop fighting. However, much like a virus or a bacterial infection, the fights that a couple engage in are most often a response to a foreign idea or experience that needs to be understood and addressed, not just ignored.

Humans are passionate and dynamic. When you put two of them together in close quarters and invite them to work together, there are bound to be arguments. What makes a marriage successful is each partner’s ability to repair.

Marriage therapy is not about teaching you to ignore the problem, but it is about getting into the middle of it and learning not how to be right but how to get it right. At Connections Counseling Services, our therapists have specialized training to help you and your partner to learn how to repair hurts, listen, receive and understand one another. As you do, you will notice that although the fights may still happen, they will resolve more quickly and you will feel closer to your partner not farther apart. There is hope and healing ahead. We can help you to find it.

“…Everybody is going to hurt you…”

by Christopher Adams, AMFT

I make this post with some hesitancy.  I want to be very honest without justifying the specific pains that come from instances of abuse or blatant mistreatment of a spouse or a loved one.

Bob Marley, is not one that I have ever gone to for advice on how to live a successful life up to this point. However, when I read this quote of his, I was moved by the simple truth that it taught.

“If she’s amazing, she won’t be easy. If she’s easy, she won’t be amazing. If she’s worth it, you won’t give up. If you give up, you’re not worthy. … Truth is, everybody is going to hurt you; you just gotta find the ones worth suffering for.” – Bob Marley

“…Everybody is going to hurt you…” I find it interesting that we make the choice to live with a stranger and somehow believe that we will be nothing but happy for our entire lives.  I love the fairy tail and I want that to be true but when reality sets back in I understand that marriage, specifically, is one of the hardest endeavors that we choose to undertake.

John Gottman, a researcher who studies successful marriages, reports that couples who report being happy after 30 years of marriage are those couples that fight.  The catch to that is that after they fight, they have learned how to repair the hurts that have been sustained.

IF you have “found the one that is worth suffering for,” don’t give up on your marriage.  If they have been that person before, let’s see if they can be that person again before you walk away.  Marriage is hard and can be painful at times but it is, in my opinion, worth saving.

ChrisaChris is a Marriage and Family
Therapist, specializing in individual,
relationship, and family work.

85 Years Married and Going Strong

By: Christopher D. Adams, MFT

In 2009, the record was set for the longest marriage; Herbert and Zelmyra Fisher had been married for 85 years.  When I heard this I was so impressed and so I began to search to find how they have been so successful. Marriage is hard for every couple at one point or another and I wanted to hear how they got through the hard times.

In an interview that they gave on Valentines Day, they answered 14 questions about their relationship and how their marriage could survive that long. As I read up on their journey I heard them discuss arguments that they have had over the years. Zelmyra cited a way toward success for them was “learning to bend, not break.”

As a marriage and family therapist, I spend a lot of time with individuals who are at their breaking point.  The imagery of a straw that breaks the back of the proverbial camel is a visual that is discussed regularly in my office. If you are approaching that break point or you may even feel that you have been broken several times in the past, you deserve some help to know how to bend and not break.  At Connections Counseling Service, we pride ourselves in helping couples to bend and repair their relationships before and after that straw has been placed on tired shoulders.

Herbert and Zelmyra remind us that,  “marriage is not a contest – never keep a score. God has put the two of you together on the same team to win!”

If your marriage has become a contest, if you feel that not only are you loosing the game but that you are just getting too tired to play, please call us and set up a consultation.  It is not too late to give it another shot. Let us help the two of you get back on the same team.


Bringing Back the Joy of Marriage

By: Christopher Adams, AMFT


In the micro culture of a marriage, we make lots of decisions. There is an entire system of rules and expectations that are consciously and unconsciously decided by our partner and us.  Unfortunately, couples fight and often times it is about this system that isn’t making sense.

In their book, Love that Lasts, Gary and Joy Lundberg talk about how to survive the arguments of marriage.  One of the best things that a couple can do is to make a conscious decision to laugh.

As a Marriage and Family Therapist I have learned the value of helping my clients to see the humor in the arguments that they are having and teaching them to do the same.  This does not mean that I do not take seriously the hurts and betrayals that occur in the marriage relationship.  There are many tears and devastations that come in the course of couples counseling, however, as Marie Osmond has said,  “If you are going to look back at something and laugh, why not do it now.”

Laughter in marriage can have a powerful effect.  It creates chemical releases that allow the human body to bond and to repair hurts both past and present. If you and your spouse have forgotten how to laugh together, come and see us at Connections Counseling Center and let us help you to bring the joy back into your relationship.

You both deserve to laugh, let’s see if you can do it together.