5 Things that Indicate it’s Time to Call

by Sheryl Brown on September 10, 2016

Here are 5 things that indicate you are ready to talk to a professional..

1. You keep going around on the same old issues with no improvements.

2. Your irritability is increasing.

3. You feel more and more hopeless about being happy together.

4. The kids hear you and your partner getting out of control.

5. You’re doing things like drinking or shopping more to cope with the stress.

If one or more of these things is true for you, consider contacting me at 425 652-1413.

Or email me at Sheryl@SunrayCounseling.com

Sheryl R Brown, MS LMFT
I see couples.. with or without their partner..!


Ups and Downs in a Relationship

by Sheryl Brown on September 16, 2013

What do you do when you are past fed up with a recurring problem?

Maybe your partner is stuck in a behavior that is a deal breaker for you, like substance abuse, an emotional affair or some other boundary issue. It doesn’t even have to be a deal breaker to drive you crazy with total frustration.

Maybe you are the one with the recurring problem, or maybe it is completely co-created and you each have a part in it.

You may have tried therapy, and it helped somewhat, then you feel you’re back at square one. Quite possibly the answer is not to give up yet, but to commit to a set number of weeks or months to really work on it.

When is enough enough? Tell me some of the guidelines you use to help you make the decision to cut bait and move on.


Holding Hope

by Sheryl Brown on September 13, 2013

One of the functions of a good therapist is to hold the hope for you when you feel hopeless in preserving your relationship.

In the middle of the deep work you are doing in the counseling session (and between times), it can seem overwhelming and like you’re stuck. Maybe you despair that things will ever change.

But I tell you true, if you both want things to change and totally dedicate yourselves to do what it takes, you do have a very hopeful prognosis, especially if you are availing yourselves of professional help with someone who gets you.

Do you have a time in your past that you can point to feeling it was all over, and yet things turned around and you are having it better than ever?

Write and let me know..!


What Does Self Care Look Like for You?

by Sheryl Brown on September 11, 2013

At any given moment, self care will look different for each of us.

Sometimes we need to get out there, and do and go and move, and at other times, we need to retreat and rest, rejuvenate.

Which is it for you today, or is there a third option?

How can you bring balanced self care into your relationship?


Sometimes when we discuss relationship challenges, it can all seem so overwhelming. We think of the way we have the same old fight and never seem to get anywhere.

But sometimes, once in a while, it only takes a small tweak or adjustment in what each person is doing to make a big difference for the better.

For example, a couple might feel like their intimacy is on the decline, but doing something minimal, like making a point to go to bed at the same time more nights than before, could well turn things around.

What small adjustments have you made in your relationship that caused a significant improvement in how you got along?

I’d love to hear from you in the comments section here, or on our Facebook page.


What are your most frustrating marital issues? Are they the same as your most frustrating relationship issues..?

Are they major issues, or are they minor issues? I truly believe we can get over the top frustrated with things that may not be overly serious in the big scheme of life. But they still add to discontentment, and can make a deep impact on the peace in your household, thus becoming a major issue.

What are your plans for solving some of these issues? Being stuck and limping along ‘as is’ might not be in your best interests.

I love working with couples to achieve better, more effective communication, and that includes figuring out what to do about these same old arguments.

Tell me some of the things that have worked for you in the comments below.


Acceptance or Rejection – How it Works..

by Sheryl Brown on July 27, 2013

Being rejected is truly one of the most painful experiences a person can face. And it comes in many different forms.

People may get rejected overtly for things they have said, or for attitudes or behaviors. Sometimes they are rejected for a job application, or even sometimes as a lover.

It may be for a one time occurrence, or it may be for you as a person. Sometimes the rejection may be considered fitting.

Then there is the rejection that is more subtle. It may come in the form of being ignored, or being slightly diminished. This can sometimes be a more crazy-making form of rejection, because the person being rejected might have difficulty putting their finger on what exactly was done amiss.

Rejecting behavior can happen between strangers, mere acquaintances or even between best of friends. We might not be too stung when a complete stranger walks away from what we are saying, but when the rejection comes from a loved one and is permanent, the pain can go deep.

In contrast, people can do things that show acceptance, either of another person’s actions or of the person as an individual.

What makes you feel accepted? Write me some of your thoughts on the topic.


When I hear the word, ‘healing,’ I like to think of gentleness, comfort and rest. We definitely do need those things in order to heal.

But the truth is that healing also has its painful and sometimes grueling side.

Just think of a person recovering from a burn. There is excruciating pain, as the dead layers of skin need to be sloughed off, allowing the new skin to regenerate. Antiseptics need to be applied that almost always sting.

It’s a great metaphor for healing in a relationship. There is very often a painful process of  stripping away unhealthy ways of relating that have caused a kind of death in parts of your relationship.

The only way to get through it is to go through it. If you want to have a healthy relationship with your significant other, spouse or other family member, as well as in your friendships and work relationships, you have to get rid of damaging ways of communicating.

Let me know some of the ways you have been successful in stripping away dysfunctional styles of communicating. I always love having the discussion. Just click on the Comments link below and speak away 😉


Self Care and Your Relationships

by Sheryl Brown on July 5, 2013

Self care.. How is that related to your relationships?

When you take good care of yourself, you are bringing your best self into the relationship. It’s that simple. Consider the opposite. When you are run down and exhausted, it’s much easier to get into an unnecessary tiff.

A careful distinction needs to be made between over self-indulgence and complete and necessary self care.

Is this an easy line for you to discern? What are signs that you have neglected your own self care? Do you ever go to the opposite extreme?

Write me a line and share your thoughts..


It’s a real challenge when your life partner has a different opinion than you on something which ends up causing you true dissension.

There are many things we can differ on with other people and not get particularly offended, for example, simple preferences where each can easily have their own choices accommodated. This might include things like what you order to eat in a restaurant, clothing you wear or how you arrange your office.

Even though some folks may choose to get into a huge conflict on these possibly more minor differences (where we’d like to think it’s fairly easy to find a win-win), when it comes to faith and values, these differences can be truly more aggravating and potentially divisive.

Those being the opposite ends of the spectrum, what about when you or your partner believes it is essential to get some couples counseling, or to visit a financial expert to work out important issues, and the other does not? What about when one is feeling unmet needs? What do you do in a situation like that?

Is it a deal breaker for you?

Join this discussion in telling me what some of your deal breakers are, and how you persuade your partner to see your angle on something. Good brainstorming discussions can make all the difference in finding solutions.

It all begins with a conversation.