Lois Zsarnay
LMFT, BCPC, RD
Latest Articles

Ventura Marriage Counseling, Communication Skills, Intention to Understand

by Lois Zsarnay, LMFT, BCPC, RD

Part 1 is realistic expectations of ourselves and others. Part 2 starts with the INTENTION to communicate my needs and wants in a way my partner can truly hear and understand as well as my intention to really try to hear and understand what my partner is communicating to me. It is like visiting another country where they don't speak our language - both people have to make the EFFORT to try to communicate and meet the other person part way, otherwise the message will probably get lost or misunderstood!

Couples marriage or relationship counseling with Ventura Therapist Lois Zsarnay, LMFT, BCPC, RD

by Lois Zsarnay, LMFT, BCPC, RD

One of my favorite types of clients to work with is couples so I thought I would blog on some of the common struggles I often see in couple’s sessions at my therapy office in Ventura. Relationships of any kind are complex and constantly changing. Our relationship with our “Significant Other” or spouse is often one of the most challenging. Whether a couple is married or living together or dating, the relationship goes through normal phases of change as well as each person in the relationship is growing and changing over the months or years of the relationship. In an ideal world, everyone who is considering being in a serious relationship would come in for some foundation counseling to explore what each person’s expectations are and how they communicate their needs or wants to each other. There are some common areas where conflicts and discord often develop so the first in this series will be exploring the expectations part.

Our Relationship with Food can be Healthy or Unhealthy, Functional or Dysfunctional, Disordered Eating or a Full on Eating Disorder

by Lois Zsarnay, LMFT, BCPC, RD

Relationships of any kind are very complex and constantly changing. Our relationship with food or eating can move from being relatively healthy to being more unhealthy so gradually that we don't notice it until it is causing problems with our functioning in life or our relationships with others (home, family, friends, or work). Sometimes it slips into being Disordered Eating and, if something doesn't change, that often continues the slippery slope into a full Eating Disorder (Anorexia Nervosa, Bulimia Nervosa or Binge Eating Disorder). Remember, probably no one has woken up one day and said, "I think I will develop an Eating Disorder - that sounds like a good idea!" Everyone thinks initially that they are in control and that this fad diet or this thing they are doing is only temporary and that they will be able to stop once they get whatever it is they want from it. Most people don't understand the direct relationship that nutrition has on their psychological functioning which then impacts every other area of their life. Sometimes I tell clients, you have one foot on a slippery slope and the other foot is on a banana peel! Where do you want to go from here?

Is it Perfectionism or People Pleasing Behavior or Anxiety or Is It Really a Coping Mechanism?

by Lois Zsarnay, LMFT, BCPC, RD

People often come in with a pattern of thinking and viewing their world that creates problems for them in their life and in their relationships. When we think we need to be perfect or do everything right or make everyone happy, then we will naturally feel pressure to perform at an unrealistic level which then creates an anxious feeling and fear of not being able to live up to those unrealistic expectations we have put upon ourselves.

Family relationship conflicts, unrealistic expectations or the family we choose with radical acceptance

by Lois Zsarnay, LMFT, BCPC, RD

I often have clients who come in for counseling because they are having conflicts or relationship issues with their family members. Sometimes they say, "I just don't have anyone else but they're not there for me either!" I reflect to them that they can choose how they define "family." Who would they choose to be "family" if they could choose?