Relationship counselor is thankful this Thanksgiving

//Relationship counselor is thankful this Thanksgiving
Relationships can be improved when you eat Turkey and share all those appreciations with one another.

Happy Thangsiving to all of you!

With Thanksgiving around the corner I wanted to list the things I am going to be thankful for this year. Thanksgiving is a day when many of us gather around to watch football and eat too much. One of the traditions my family is acknowledging all the blessings in our life. I appreciate all of you being in my life. Here are the top 19 things that I am thankful for this year.

 Relationship Counselor’s 19 Appreciations This Thangsgiving

19. My new office at Kierland Commons. This year I have made the leap to open my own office in an executive suite location. I really love my office and feel very fortunate to have found this location. I want to thank all of you there who have made me feel welcome. Brooke thank you for your good nature and making me feel welcomed. One of the most positive things about my office is  I can bring to work with me one of my best friends, my faithful companion, Ollie, my therapy dog.

18. Volunteering– I am incredibly thankful for all the volunteering opportunities my wife and I participate in. From DLRR(Desert Lab Rescue), Safeway volunteering opportunities, , volunteering for the PF Chang marathon all of these opportunities have allowed me to feel good about how my wife and I have given back to the community.

17. My mistakes– You heard that right. I am thankful I am not perfect. I make mistakes and ask for forgiveness for those I have hurt. I am thankful I make mistakes and have been able to learn from the mistakes I have made in my life. If you ask my children they will tell you I make many of them. One of the things about mistakes all of us make is our ability to forgive one another and learn how to appreciate the errors we all make.

16. My love for cultural arts– I am going to be vulnerable here and confess I absolutely love all of the shows on television like The Voice, Americas Got Talent, American Idol, and yes all of you guys that don’t admit to Broadway theater musicals. I am an ex actor who tried to make it on Broadway unsuccessfully. I love theater, dance, comedy shows, etc. I love the fact this is part of my life and admit to it here and now.

Stuart Fensterheim LCSW reports relationships can be improved by the good times on Broadway

Welcome to Broadway my favorite place.

15.  My car– I drive a Toyota Prius- I am thankful this year for my Prius and being one of the fortunate ones all of you glare at in rush hour traffic when I am legally in the carpool lane with only me in the car.

14.  Relationship with my children– I have two children, Sarah, 20 and Rachel, 17. I really am thankful for my children’s health. We don’t always get along, but I am so thankful I have two children who care about people and animals and want to give back to the world. They make me glad that I am their father and I am very proud of both of them.

13-  My parents – I am 59 years old and I have three living parents. All three are in their mid to late 80’s and going strong. I am sooo thankful I have three parents who have lived a long life and demonstrated the importance of staying young physically, spiritually, and being of good character. I love having parents that are healthy and continue to be able to enjoy the time we have together. We are all able to talk and communicate teaching us what is important is the love we have for one another. I am so thankful for this and our relationship.

12  OllieOllie is a dog my wife and I rescued from the pound through our work as fosters for Desert Lab rescue. Nothing is more warm and cuddly than Ollie and now I get to share him with all of my clients who can see the healing power he has on any and all relationships. He is a certified therapy dog through Pet Partners. We have over the past few years fostered 14 dogs and have found them all a forever homes. Ollie was our third rescue and has been with us through all of them. No one is better to laugh with or cry with all he does is love you and has you feeling important in his life.My relationship with Ollie is something I treasure.

11.  My family’s support and love– I am so very thankful for a healthy and happy family. I am saddened at times about the fact my family is spread across the county and am unable to see my brothers and sisters on a regular basis but fortunate to know we are so connected in such a loving way and know that we are there for one another. All of us know if we need something we all will pull together at a moments notice. We have had to do this a couple of times in our lives. When I went through a crisis in my life everyone was there for me and I so appreciate them for that. The relationship we all have with one another is special to me.

10.  Work Satisfaction – This is an area I do not want to minimize and it also encompasses a lot. Not many people can say they love what they do. I am so thankful I have found a career I love so much I can’t wait to go to work in the morning. I am a marriage counselor and work with a group of people who all are dedicated and found a connection both personally and professionally. My road to this has not been quick but the fact that at my age I can say that I love my job, my work brings me joy both personally and professionally is something to be very thankful for. I have talked to many people who s have worked for many years in jobs they can’t stand. There is nothing sadder than that. SO I am thankful for my job as a marriage counselor and for finding emotionally focused therapy and all of the people I have the privilege to be in the community of helping professionals.

9.  Living in America- Unless you have traveled outside of this county you cannot really appreciate the privilege it is to live in this country. I want to acknowledge living in a country where there is religious and political freedom and the privileges we all have of being an American should not be taken lightly. I am proud and thankful to being an American.

8.  Financial independence- I want to also express I am thankful I have found a job I love which has allowed me to develop a lifestyle of financial independence. Finding a career that allows me to pay my bills and support my family is something I appreciate.

7.  Good food– cultural foods- I love to eat. My wife will tell you I love to eat too much and too often. She probably is right. However, this is definitely something I am thankful of this thanksgiving. I love turkey, cranberry sauce, (the canned one), mashed potatoes, knishes(some of you may know what this is), lox and bagels, Mounds candy bar, New York style pizza, (not the Chicago kind), and kosher hot dogs with mustard and sauerkraut (not Chicago style hot dogs). However all of it is good.

Knishes. Stuart's favorite bad for him snack. Fried lots of starch but really good. Potatoe is best!

Knishes..Stuart’s favorite bad for him snack. Fried lots of starch but really good. Potato is best!

6. Laughter– I am so thankful for laughter. Nothing is more enjoyable than hearing laughter from the people in your life you care about. A good belly laugh is so much fun and brings people close together. Being silly with those in your life and having people to do this with is indeed something to be thankful for.

5 .Love– I love to love and love to be loved. This is why I have chosen to be a relationship counselor and so thankful that there is love in my life. I am loved by many people in my life from parents, children, wife, brothers , and sisters, and friends. I am so appreciative and thankful that there is love in my life. I have many different kinds of relationship and express my love differently with each one.

4.  Love of my wife– This I could truly write a book about. It is rare you find someone that you truly know you can count on. After many efforts at this I finally have found someone who I can absolutely know I can count on. I teach my clients that each of us needs someone who is accessible, responsive and engages with you. Those three components describe my wife to a tee. She is not perfect just perfect for me. All I can say is I am so thankful Debbie that you have agreed to be in my life. I don’t know what I did to deserve this gift but whatever I did I am so appreciative you picked me. I can never repay or thank you in words, because words will not say what I feel about this. Finally I have found true love.

3.  Music– I love music and am thankful for the impact it can have on me and those in my life. I have many good memories precipitated by songs that bring me back to the good times in my life. I love the Greateful dead, Allman Brothers, Loggins and Messina, Moody Blues, Fleetwood Mac, Rolling Stones, Taylor Swift, Christina Aguilera and many different musicians that take me back to good times in my life. Oh I forgot one Beach Boys who can listen to the beach boys without smiling.

2.  Good health– running , exercise, feeling young due to my wife’s insistence I be around a long long time. I love being healthy and at my age feel good about the way I look and feel. Running in 5k’s and 10k’s feel so good and is so much fun. I want to live a life and see my children married and with children of their own. I refuse to miss out due to not taking care of myself.

1.  Me– I am thankful for all of my strengths, weaknesses, insecurities and doubts that makes me who I am. I have learned to appreciate who I am and to be able to see mostly the good have to offer those in my life. I now have been able to appreciate my presence in the world has made a difference. I know now with my career path I have the opportunity to help generations of couples and families who are touched by my presence in their life and the transparency I display in my work. I am thankful for having a good heart that I share with everyone every day of my life.

So there you have my list. I hope you and your family have an incredibly loving Thanksgiving. There only is one problem with Thanksgiving being around the corner it means I need to figure out what I am doing about Christmas and Hanukkah presents. Take care.

photo credits- Flickr-creative commons


Broadway- Spreng Ben

Knish- Sarah K


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