How to Support Those Impacted by the Russian Invasion of Ukraine

On February 24, 2022, the world held its breath as Russia invaded Ukraine.

Today, our news feeds flood with videos of families ducking underground while their neighborhood is hit by an air strike. Newspapers and magazines launch front-page photos of children on trains wearing ripped jackets and bruised cheeks.

It can be crushing to feel so helpless from so far away. The good news is that there are things you can do to support those impacted by the Russian Invasion of Ukraine.

Donate to Helpful Organizations

Over 10 million Ukrainians have fled the country. Many of these refugees are looking for help to cover their basic needs. Looking for organizations that can help on the ground? Here’s a handful you can send donations to:

  • UNICEFHeavy firearms in Ukraine have destroyed imperative housing and plumbing infrastructure, keeping clean drinking water out of reach for many Ukrainian families. UNICEF’s emergency teams and partners are responding by offering mental and physical health support, food, clean drinking water, and education for children. Your donation would support these efforts.
  • Doctors Without BordersDoctors Without Borders (also known as MSF which stands for Medecins Sans Frontieres, or Doctors Without Borders in French) has been in Ukraine since 2014 helping citizens with HIV, tuberculosis, and other chronic illnesses. Since the war began, they’ve shifted their efforts to providing emergency services and expanding teams to several nearby countries. Your donation would help them receive urgently needed medical supplies, ranging from war-related surgeries and traumas to key medical supplies to which citizens with chronic illnesses no longer have access.
  • Voices of Children: Reduce the effects of war trauma on the lives of children by donating to the non-profit, Voices of Children. Your donation will go towards mental health treatment, rehabilitation, and easing the everyday concerns of their families.
  • Care: This 75-year old organization is aiming to touch the lives of 4 million displaced Ukrainians. Your donation goes toward providing critical first aid and recovery, food, clean water, hygiene kits, and more to family refugees.
  • Revived Soldiers Ukraine: Many Ukrainian citizens are choosing to move their families to safety, then stay and fight for freedom. Support them with a donation to Revived Soldiers Ukraine, an organization dedicated to providing medical and humanitarian support to soldiers in need of expensive emergency care and rehabilitation.

Got an AirBnB? Offer it to Ukrainian Refugees

AirBnB has already arranged housing for over 20,000 Afghan refugees and is on the road to housing 20,000 more. At the end of February, AirBnB announced they’re also offering support to house 100,000 Ukrainian refugees.

If you own an AirBnB, you can host a refugee family through their partner nonprofit, As long as you have an AirBnB account, you also have the option to donate to help refugees’ stays to be completely free.

Support Journalists Reporting from Ukraine

Independent publications from Ukraine send their journalists into the heart of the war. These brave storytellers report from bomb shelters, train stations, and crumbled neighborhoods. Educating the world about what’s really happening in Ukraine will lead to more donations and assistance.

By donating to journals like The Kyiv Independent or The New Voice of Ukraine, you can help Ukrainians be heard. You can also share their stories to keep the people around you educated.

Keep Yourself Healthy so You May Help Others

Brené Brown, a social work researcher, academic, and speaker, recently found that the variable that highly compassionate people share the most is whether they have (and uphold) personal boundaries.

It’s now proven by research that the fuller your cup is, the more you can give to others. Support yourself during this crisis by prioritizing your mental health and starting therapy with me.

Schedule your first appointment today.

Why do people cheat?

By: Jeni Woodfin, LMFT

Recently, I was asked the question, directly, “Why do people cheat”?

Such a good question and so many answers. The question I hear from every single betrayed spouse I work with is the “Why?”

There are reasons, fairly well-understood reasons, and none of them bring comfort to the betrayed partner. But they are a good starting point when looking at what needs to be tweaked in the relationship and the betraying partner.

Some of the reasons I see are:

  1. The affair-involved spouse is looking for an exit to the relationship. Some people really struggle with ending relationships or feel they need someone to accompany them in the break-up process. We all have walls up to protect what we hold dear and the walls around that protect the relationship are down leaving room for an affair to bring comfort during a rough breakup.

  2. They want change in the relationship and have felt minimized, unheard, or have been too anxious/uncomfortable to ask for change so they, as I often refer to it, create an explosion that blows the relationship to bits (I don’t use the word bits). This is an unhealthy, messy way to begin the conversation about what they want different in the relationship.

  3. The connection of the relationship has been damaged or severed and the affair-involved partner is angry or resentful. Rather than continuing to try to repair the connection, they look for a separate, idealized connection.

  4. They are unhappy with who they are in the relationship and they find themselves having an affair and exploring new aspects to themselves. In the affair, they get to be sexually daring, bold, fun, young … And in the marriage, they get to be steady, reliable, predictable.

  5. There are also the affairs that stem from narcissistic traits, the “I want this so I deserve this” tendency. A bit of this trait is required for each type, but if there are repeated infractions over a long period of time, these traits typically play a larger part.

There are so many combinations of reasons, it’s very difficult to get to the bottom of the Why. It’s also an important piece to figure out if the couple would like to repair the relationship.

Recovery is an incredibly difficult process, but it is one that can be done successfully if both parties are willing to be open, vulnerable, and take risks.

If you’re asking the question, “Why did you cheat?”, it’s time to reach out. Figuring the answers out is a delicate process. Reach out now and let’s begin.

What is Trauma and What Causes it?

Most of us won’t get through life without our own fair share of stress and heartache. But some people experience not just stress, sadness, or grief, but actual trauma. This can be from events like being involved in a bad car accident, rape, a natural disaster, or war.

The result of experiencing such events is called post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), a condition where the mind is unable to process the event as it processes ordinary life events. The result is a brain that misfires information, causing the person to live much of their life distressed as if the event were still happening to them.

Symptoms of PTSD

There are many symptoms associated with PTSD, but the most common ones are:

• Nightmares
• Flashbacks
• Psychological and physiological distress at reminders
• Avoidance of internal and external reminders
• Dissociative amnesia
• Negative beliefs about oneself and the world
• Distorted blaming of oneself
• Negative persistent emotional states
• Loss of interests
• Detachment from loved ones
• Hypervigilance
• Exaggerated startle response
• Difficulty concentrating
• Difficulty sleeping
• Irritability or outbursts of anger
• Self-destructive or reckless behavior

Causes of PTSD

Researchers are not altogether clear on why some people experience PTSD and others don’t. What makes one soldier come home from war with PTSD and another one not develop the disorder?

The best we can guess is that the development of PTSD is likely from a combination of complex factors such as neurological, stress, life experiences, personality, and genetics. It is also worth mentioning that pre-traumatic psychological factors (low self-esteem, for example) may increase the risk factor for developing PTSD.

How Can Trauma be Treated?

The most common form of treatment for PTSD is something called cognitive behavioral therapy. This kind of therapy involves meeting with a specially-trained therapist over a number of sessions to learn strategies and techniques that will reduce and/or eliminate symptoms of PTSD such as recurring thoughts, emotional numbness, sleep issues, and concentration problems. Beyond finding a trained therapist, it’s important to find one you and your family feel comfortable with, so make sure to interview a few candidates to see who might help you on your journey to wellness.

If you or a loved one are suffering from PTSD and would like to explore treatment options, please be in touch. I would be more than happy to see how I may be able to help.