Giving Your Full Attention

In today’s world, it is easy to forget the value of listening. We are constantly on the move, and our minds are continuously thinking of the hundreds of items on our to do list. With all of life’s demands, it can be hard to truly listen when someone is speaking to us. A powerful way to show gratitude for the people we care about is to slow down, listen with intent, and show interest in that they are saying. The next time someone in your life is coming to you with something on their mind, make a conscious choice to be fully present with them in that moment. When you give them your full attention and show genuine interest in what they are saying, you are telling them that you truly care and are grateful for your relationship.

The Power of Compliments

A kind and sincere compliment honors someone’s strengths, skills, and hard work. This expression of admiration lets them know that they are valuable and appreciated. Compliments also help us feel increased self-worth and enhance our self-esteem, and they create a reciprocal attitude, making us more likely to notice and appreciate the people who compliment us.

Whether you are complimenting your partner, a friend, a family member, a student, or a co-worker, you are demonstrating an appreciation for that person and creating a more respectful and supportive relationship with them. Think about the people who you value and respect in your life. How can you compliment them?

Here is an example: The next time you notice a co-worker working hard on an important project, let them know that you recognize their effort and appreciate the time and energy they have contributed.

Saying “Thank You”

Saying “Thank you” is a simple, yet powerful message. It tells the person you care about, “I notice you and I am grateful for you.” When saying thank you, try being specific and say it even when it’s something you expect. Pointing out specific actions, tells the person you care about that you really are paying attention to them and appreciate their efforts. Here is a great example of taking a simple “Thank you” a step further: “Thank you for picking the kids up from soccer this afternoon. I really appreciate you taking something off my plate, so that I could finish preparing for my big presentation tomorrow morning.” This expression of gratitude is wonderful for all types of relationships!

Be Grateful and Give Thanks: Showing Gratitude during Thanksgiving Season

Gratitude is good for you! Practicing gratitude is associated with increased happiness and life satisfaction. It helps us see our self worth, makes us feel more connected to the people in our lives, and it enables us to have a more positive outlook on life (Carter, 2012).

Check out this video from the UC Berkeley Greater Good Science Center for more information about why gratitude is so beneficial:

Not only does gratitude increase our happiness and make us feel appreciated, but it also strengthens our interpersonal relationships. When we feel appreciated by our friends, family members, coworkers, and partners, we are also more likely to be receptive to their needs and show gratitude in return, creating a cycle of gratitude and generosity (Gordon, 2013).

During Thanksgiving, we often stop to reflect on the people in our lives who we are thankful for, and an important part of being thankful is showing gratitude through our actions. Over the next couple of weeks, HRI will be providing tips to help you show gratitude in your different relationships this Thanksgiving season and throughout the year!


Carter, C. [Greater Good Science Center]. (2012, November 13). Christine Carter: Why Gratitude Works [Video file]. Retrieved from

Gordon, A. (2013, March 1). Is Gratitude the Antidote to Relationship Failure. Retrieved from


2/12/19: HRI Lived Experiences Professional Training: The Roller Coaster Ride of Infertility

Professionals who work with individuals, couples, and families facing infertility and impaired fertility should understand the full range of experiences and emotions that may occur.

Join HRI and our partners at the Guilford County Coalition on Infant Mortality, the March of Dimes, and the Guilford County Department of Health and Human Services for this training to learn helpful information, skills, and resources to enable you to provide the best support for people facing the challenge of impaired fertility.

Date and time: Tuesday, February 12, 2019, from 9:00 to 10:30 a.m.

Location: Guilford County Department of Health & Human Services, 1203 Maple Street, Greensboro, NC 27405, Room 123

Space is limited, and advance registration is required. To register for this FREE professional training, please go to  

This event is free. However, anyone interested in receiving a certificate verifying 1.5 contact hours approved by NBCC (National Board of Certified Counselors) must pay a $15 fee here:

How Do I Find a Counselor?

Once you have made the decision to reach out for the help of a professional counselor, it can be difficult to know where to go or what to do next. We have provided a few recommendations to help you find a counselor to best serve your mental or relational health needs.


  • Ask for recommendations! Asking people you know and trust for their recommendations is one of the best ways to find a counselor. If you have a friend who works in the mental health field, reach out to them first. Other people you can ask include: your family doctor, a faith community leader, a teacher, or a school counselor.
  • Search the online directories of counselors. Online directories allow you to look at a wide network of potential counselors, and you have the ability to refine your search based on location, insurance providers, and areas of speciality, such as couples or family counseling. Many counselors also have websites for their practice or agency, so once you have found a few potential counselors, check out their website to see if they are a good fit. Here are some of the most prominent directories:


      1. Psychology Today
      2. The American Association of Marriage and Family Therapy
      3. Counselor Find


  • If you are seeking counselor with one or more other people (i.e. your partner and/or children), make sure to determine whether the counselor is a good fit for everyone involved. By considering everyone’s needs and preferences for a counselor, you will create a counseling environment that is conducive to success.
  • Once you have identified potential good fits, reach out to speak with the counselor. Many counselors allow potential clients to reach out through email or by phone. If this is true for the counselors you are considering, use this opportunity to ask questions which will help you determine if they are a good fit for your counseling needs. Some questions you could potentially ask are: 1) Can you describe your counseling approach to me?; 2) What training have you received to work with couples and families?; 3) What experience do you have with the current issue I am facing?; 4) What are your fees and payment options? Do you accept health insurance, and if so, which providers do you accept? 5) How long do your sessions last, how often can I expect to come in for counseling, and are there any limits or expectations regarding how long you would see a client?


Here are a few other tips to keep in mind when looking for a counselor:

  • Look for someone who explains things in terms that you can understand.
  • Find someone who makes you feel comfortable and safe, as this is essential to feeling like you can be open and honest in the counseling relationship.

How Do I Know if I Should Go to Counseling?

People often seek counseling when facing life challenges or crises. It can be helpful to reach out to a counselor when experiencing problems in your relationships, when you feel like you are stuck and don’t know what to do or where to go next in life, after the loss of a loved one, or after facing a significant trauma. These are only a few of the many reasons individuals seek counseling. Although counseling is especially important and beneficial during periods of crisis, it is also helpful to see a counselor for personal growth in areas of our lives where we could improve. Checking on your mental and relational health is just as important as keeping up with your physical health!