Marina Lombardo, LCSW
Within Every Challenge...

...Are the Seeds of Opportunity

Winter 2016

In This Issue...

Feature Article
What's New
Feedback from Readers

Marina Lombardo
Psychotherapy, Counseling & Personal Coaching
Lake Bennet Medical Center
1151 Blackwood Avenue, Suite 120
Ocoee, FL 34761
(407) 615-0848

Welcome Everyone


Every day in my office I have the privilege or working with people who have the courage to transform their relationships with other people. They move away from relationships that are unsatisfying, toxic, or even abusive to create ones that are grounded in mutual respect and well-being.


Making real change takes courage because this process is not only about working through your own personal challenges (hard enough), but also about dealing with how these changes impact those around you.


If you imagine that your positive growth will cause others to magically fall into place as well, you may be in for a rude awakening. Knowing what to expect can make a crucial difference between being able to create lasting and meaningful change…or not.

Feature Article

The Change Effect

Probably the best way to understand this is to look at an example.


Imagine you have a close relationship with a friend who has become very emotional high maintenance. She is self-centered, dramatic, totally engrossed in her own life and barely gives a nod of interest to yours. You remember the early days, when things were fun, and you keep trying to be there for her to make things right in the hopes that those days will return.


Finally, you’ve had enough. You’re tired of being over-extended and ignored. You decide to set boundaries, which essentially means to know where you begin and this other person ends. You begin to take care of yourself, to say no, to set limits, to stop putting up with bad behavior.


All good things. But how does this other person react?


In my experience, and in what I’ve seen in my clients, people usually respond in one of four ways.


1. They say “Yay! Finally…you are asking to be treated with respect. Yes, of course I’ll cooperate!” Sadly, this doesn’t happen very often.


2. They ramp up the old behavior in an effort to pull you back into the old pattern. For example, your friend’s acting out increases…she has tantrums, she pulls a guilt trip, she tells you that you are a terrible person. Essentially, the toxic behaviors increase in an effort to pull you back into playing your part. This is a very common reaction, by the way.


3. They will leave the relationship. Again, if your friend needs someone to act out her drama (pick up the phone in the middle of the night, break your plans to accommodate hers), and you no longer wish to do this, she will find someone else who will. End of story.


4. They put up a fight (see #2), but eventually get on board because they have no choice if they want to have a relationship with you. Of course, this means you have to hang tough in your convictions. And this gets really sticky when the person involved is someone with whom you have deep emotional and/or financial ties, like a spouse or a parent.


Knowing in advance that making positive change in your life may set off a chain reaction with those closest to you is the only chance you have of being truly successful. Anticipating these possibilities is important because it lets you know that you’ll need support to get through the rough patches.


This support may be a close friend with whom you agree to be accountable. It may mean investing in counseling, or being part of a support group. (The 12 Step Programs do a wonderful job with this).


Whatever it is you choose, just know that meaningful and lasting change is worth the price. And you don’t have to go it alone. Relying on others to support your growth is what having healthy, functional relationships is all about.


Until next time…
Be well!


What's New


EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) is a powerful technique that has been successfully used to treat phobias, complicated grief, panic attacks, performance anxiety, sexual and/or physical abuse, trauma, pain disorders, as well as personal coaching, performance enhancement and much more.  For more information on EMDR, go to their website at


My work with couples has taken on a new dimension with the integration of Emotion Focused Couples Therapy. Studies have shown that this type of counseling, which helps couples address and heal problematic cycles in their relationship, has been found to have the highest degree of long-lasting success. Check out their website at


Many thanks for your referrals and your outstanding support of my practice!


For more information about my practice, be sure to visit my website at


My book, I Am More Than My Infertility: 7 Proven Tools for Turning a Life Crisis into a Personal Breakthrough, is available through These tools are timeless and can apply to any crisis or life challenge.

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