Thursday, April 17, 2014

Staying Connected

Staying Connected
It doesn’t matter how long you’ve been with your partner or what type of relationship you have, there is always room for improvement. However, it’s not always clear what steps you should take to enhance your connection, which is where we can help. At the Relationship Center of Albuquerque, Dr. Marji Prefontaine has more than 30 years of experience providing quality marriage therapy to couples in New Mexico, and she can help you and your partner stay connected as time goes by.
Couples therapy isn’t just for major problems, such as infidelity. Often, it is the smaller problems, including basic communication issues, that couples should focus on, and Dr. Prefontaine will act as a third set of eyes and ears to help you identify issues that you may not be paying attention to in your relationship. Therapy will also help you gain some basic tools for recovering from any problems in your relationship.
Whether you feel that your relationship is functional and happy or you notice that you and your partner are having some problems, couples therapy is a great way to resolve conflicts and help you and your partner stay connected through open and effective communication.
Schedule a session with Dr. Marji Prefontaine by calling 505-821-1948. For more information, visit

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Patterns of Conflict

Patterns of Conflict and Arguments
Patterns of conflict in relationships often emerge when couples repeatedly argue about certain topics. As a couple argues repeatedly, communication is broken down, preventing constructive conflict resolution. This leads to the development of poisonous patterns of hurtful or unproductive behavior. There are four main behaviors that couples engage in that can lead to conflict in their relationship. These behaviors are criticism, contempt, defensiveness and stonewalling.  
Criticism, in this case, is described as attacking your partner’s personality, rather than their behavior. While airing a complaint can be a healthy relationship activity, criticism is a personal attack that can lead to a breakdown in communication. Contempt is a behavior that often follows directly from criticism. Contempt is similar to criticism, except that contempt implies one partner’s intent to insult or psychologically abuse the other. It is usually expressed through snide or antagonistic remarks, a mocking attitude and hostile humor.
The third common relationship problem is defensiveness, which is what emerges when both partners feel victimized by the each other. It often becomes a reflex and prevents conflicts from being resolved. After defensiveness, there is stonewalling, which appears when relationships are in serious decline. This behavior occurs when one partner or both stop responding to each other, even to act defensively.
With the help of Dr. Marji Prefontaine, you can find how certain common behavioral problems are leading to a pattern of conflict in your relationship. At the Relationship Center of Albuquerque we offer couples counseling that can help you and your partner communicate more effectively and strengthen the bonds of your relationship. Call 505-821-1948 to schedule a therapy session. For more information, visit

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Learning to be Vulnerable

Learning to be Vulnerable
Vulnerability is necessary for developing and maintaining trusting and intimate relationships, but being vulnerable with one another is one of the biggest challenges that couples face. Although individuals often let fear and shame prevent vulnerability, it is the glue that holds a relationship together, helping couples navigate their day-to-day lives together. Vulnerability allows a couple to feel comfortable around one another and communicate honestly and openly. If you and your partner are struggling, emotional discord that accompanies a lack of vulnerability may be the cause.
Shame and fear are major factors in preventing vulnerability and are the main reasons that couples engage in power struggles and destructive relationship dynamics. If you are afraid of showing weakness or exposing yourself to your partner, you might not be aware that you are letting fear prevent you from completely engaging in your relationship. Don’t let fear ruin your opportunity for love.
You will find help at the Relationship Center of Albuquerque, where we can help you and your partner improve your relationship by learning to be more vulnerable. With couples or individual therapy, we can help you develop shame resilience and learn to be vulnerable. Enrich your relationship; call 505-821-1948 to schedule an appointment. For more information,

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Rebuilding Trust

Rebuilding Trust                                                                   
Emotional safety is a vital aspect of any healthy relationship, but it can only be accomplished with trust. If your trust and emotional safety have been compromised, it can be difficult to rebuild, but it is not impossible. Here at the Relationship Center of Albuquerque, we can help you and your partner heal after betrayal and restore the trust to your relationship.
When rebuilding trust in a relationship, it is important for partners to acknowledge the impact of the hurt that has occurred. If partners don’t understand how they’ve hurt each other, they cannot regain trust in one another. Partners must also understand why betrayal occurred in order to move on and not repeat the hurt.
During the trust-rebuilding process, it is also important not to do more damage to the relationship. This means not punishing your partner, which may make you feel better in the moment but does not help you heal or rebuild trust.
Rebuilding trust begins with open, honest and respectful communication on a regular basis. Couples must remember to keep promises and to follow through with commitments with each other. If you or your partner is experiencing emotional pain, it should be expressed without blaming.
These are only a few of the tools used to restore trust to a relationship. It takes time and patience, but with counseling you can rebuild your relationship. We can help at the Relationship Center of Albuquerque. Dr. Marji Prefontaine has practiced marriage and family therapy for more than three decades and is committed to helping couples like you develop a more positive relationship. 

Friday, March 14, 2014

Panic Attacks

Panic Attacks
Panic attacks are often associated with anxiety disorders, which are the most common mental health disorder to have. More than 25 million people in the United States alone suffer from anxiety, many of whom also get panic attacks.
A panic attack may be brought on by a trigger, such as an extremely stressful situation, though others are completely random with no warning. The general characteristics for panic attacks are shortness of breath and difficulty breathing, shaking and trembling, nausea, sweating, chest pain, and dizziness.
Many people believe they are experiencing a heart attack, since many of the symptoms are similar.
Here at the Relationship Center of Albuquerque, we treat panic attacks to help our patients experience less of them, as well as treat their anxiety disorder. Panic can affect their lives in many ways, often keeping them from going through normal daily activities like leaving the house, going to work, or attending social functions.
Some of the common treatments provided by our therapist Dr. Marji Prefontaine for panic attacks include cognitive behavioral therapy and counseling to help reduce general anxiety from the patient’s life, find the cause of the anxiety, and offer methods of reducing the severity of panic attacks.
Call us at 505-821-1948 to learn more about your treatment options.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014


Dr. Marji Prefontaine provides therapy and counseling for many different reasons here at the Relationship Center of Albuquerque including addictions. Someone can become addicted to nearly anything, though alcohol, drugs, smoking, shopping, sex, and gambling are the most common. An addiction is identified as having a compulsive need to have a certain thing or substance at all times, often affecting the person’s life as a result of the need for it.
The following criteria is used to determine whether or not a patient is struggling with an addiction:
1. Building a tolerance where the substance increases gradually over time.
2. Experiencing withdrawal symptoms without the addiction, including physical, emotional and psychological changes.
3. Feeling lack of control over the substance or situation.
4. Dealing with negative consequences as a result of the addiction, and continuing to use the substance.
5. Putting off social or other activities for the addiction.
6. Spending a good deal of time or energy on the addiction.
7. Having a desire to cut back but being unable to on their own.
If you are showing any of these signs of having an addiction, the sooner you get help, the better off you will be. Visit the Relationship Center of Albuquerque in Albuquerque, NM to learn more about addiction treatment options.

Friday, February 28, 2014

Anger Management

Anger Management
Here at the Relationship Center of Albuquerque, we treat patients who are struggling with anger management. Dealing with anger is often a very difficult thing because any number of situations can trigger intense feelings of anger, making it almost impossible to control on your own.
Everyone deals with anger on some level, but some of our patients have a much harder time with it, often feeling it at random moments and to a much more severe degree than what the situation calls for.
This type of anger is often the result of an inability to express emotions, which then leads to violence, rage, or hostility. It could mean harming themselves or others, which puts everyone at danger. It is very important that anyone feeling like they don’t have control over their anger see us for anger management.
We provide patients with individualized treatment options for anger management, but beginning with one-on-one counseling and cognitive behavioral therapy. At these sessions, patients learn why they feel these angry and aggressive emotions, learn how to deal with their feelings, and find ways to avoid bottling up emotions until they explode. Not only does this help our patients live a normal, healthy life, but it prevents substance abuse and self-harm, which is common among patients with anger management issues.
Call Dr. Marji Prefontaine at 505-821-1948 in Albuquerque, NM to learn more about anger management treatments.

Sunday, February 23, 2014

What is Psychotherapy?

What is Psychotherapy?
Here at the Relationship Center of Albuquerque, we utilize various types of treatments to help our patients, including psychotherapy. Psychotherapy is a type of treatment that treats mental and anxiety disorders, as well as various psychological disorders.
Our therapist, Dr. Marji Prefontaine, assesses each patient’s individual needs and bases her treatment plan on what the patient is struggling with, to what degree it is affecting his or her life, and what the patient feels most comfortable with.
There are several types of psychotherapy offered, including cognitive behavioral therapy, humanistic therapy, and psychoanalytic.
We encourage patients experiencing any of the following situations, to see us for psychotherapy:
  • Not being able to concentrate on school or work activities.
  • Not finding relief, regardless of self treatment activities.
  • An overwhelming feeling of sadness or helplessness.
  • Constantly worrying or being on edge.
  • Participating in self-harming activities like drinking alcohol or doing drugs.
These are only a few of the commonalities we see in people that visit us in our office.
Any time you are having difficulty with issues in your life that are making a significant change in how you live your life, psychotherapy is recommended. When you’re ready, make an appointment with our office in Albuquerque, NM by calling 505-821-1948.

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Self Esteem & Life Transitions

Self esteem is extremely important to us as it affects how our patients live their everyday life. There are a lot of life transitions that can cause a lack of self-esteem, and a lot of ways that low self-esteem affects people in a negative way.
From not wanting to meet new friends to avoiding social situations, low self-esteem is damaging to a person’s self-worth. We have discovered that not getting help for self-esteem can lead to social anxiety and clinical depression in some patients.
That’s why we here at the Relationship Center of Albuquerque help our patients find their confidence and improve their self-esteem through counseling and therapy. No matter what the situation, there are ways to improve a person’s self-esteem. In some patients, behavioral therapy to teach the person about their own worth and value is high.
It is our job to determine the best course of treatment, and we treat each of our patients individually and uniquely. Regardless of the cause surrounding the self-esteem and life transition issues, we encourage all patients to seek help in our therapy office.
Patients can schedule an appointment here in Albuquerque, NM with Dr. Marji Prefontaine. In addition, call us today for a free telephone consultation.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Social Anxiety

While it is very common for people to be nervous or shy in new social situations,social anxiety is something else entirely. It is not simply a matter of being nervous around people, but having extreme difficulty with social situations.
Having social anxiety can be debilitating, keeping the person who has it from forming or maintaining friendships or relationships. Many people with social anxiety avoid speaking in public, fail to take jobs because of the interview, and rarely go out in public when there will be others around. It keeps them from everyday activities, which is why we feel it is important for patient to start getting treatment as soon as possible.
There are many treatments for social anxiety from Dr. Marji Prefontaine can help, including:
  • Speaking in public.
  • Dating and romance.
  • Being more assertive.
  • Building self-confidence.
  • Making new friends.
  • Building interpersonal skills.
  • Advancing at work.
We help in a variety of ways, including identifying the overall cause of the anxiety, providing one-on-one counseling sessions and behavioral therapy, and helping with individual desires, like relationships or learning interpersonal skills.
If you have social anxiety, visit the Relationship Center of Albuquerque in Albuquerque, NM today. For our patient’s convenience, we offer morning Saturday hours.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Compulsive Disorders

Here at the Relationship Center of Albuquerque, we provide treatments for patients for a variety of conditions, including compulsive disorders. A compulsive disorder is an addiction to anything, whether it is sex, shopping, drugs and alcohol, smoking cigarettes, or eating. With an addiction, the sufferer feels like they need to do something and do not have control over it. It goes beyond abusing drugs, alcohol, or cigarettes, and becomes a need, rather than a desire.

We understand how damaging compulsive disorders can be not only to the individual, but others involved as well. This is why we offer counseling to help the individual and their loved ones get through the disorder without permanent damage.

Through regular visits, Dr. Marji Prefontaine provides behavioral therapy sessions, group counseling, and individual cognitive counseling to work through the cause of the compulsive disorder. This helps the individual identify where the problem started, in order to devise a proper way and treatment plan to manage it.

We recommend calling us at 505-821-1948 if you or someone you love is dealing with a compulsive disorder and is ready to get help.

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Social Anxiety Disorder

Here at the Relationship Center of Albuquerque, we treat a variety of anxiety issues, including social anxiety disorder. While many people experience some level of nervousness in social situations, people with social anxiety disorder find themselves to have a deeply-rooted problem that causes them to avoid most social functions. These individuals find that the social situations are so stressful, it becomes debilitating to them.

Having social anxiety disorder can also affect everyday situations sufferers need to be involved in, such as:

1. Eating or drinking in public.

2. Working in front of other people.

3. Using public restrooms.

4. Speaking on the phone.

5. Being the center of attention.

6. Working in an office environment.

Social anxiety disorder prevents itself through a variety of symptoms, including not being able to introduce yourself to others, constantly worrying about embarrassing yourself, and avoiding social situations just so you don’t deal with these intense emotions.

Dr. Marji Prefontaine treats social anxiety disorder, including diagnosing this disorder and helping patients with a wide range of situations. In particular, this includes helping patients in a one-on-one environment with dating, public speaking, making friends, gaining confidence at work, working on interpersonal skills, being more assertive, and being more confidence in social situations overall. If you are experiencing social anxiety in Albuquerque, NM, don't hesitate to call us directly and confidentially at 505-821-1948.