Couples class November 2020

Taos psychotherapist Michael Boyle will host a free online class starting at 5:15 p.m. Wednesday evening (Nov. 18) for couples looking for ways to cope during the pandemic.

When it comes to relationships, tough times are part of the deal, but the pandemic this year introduced challenges most couples probably never saw coming.

On Wednesday evening (Nov. 18) at 6:15 p.m., Taos psychotherapist Michael Boyle continues his series of free livestream classes meant to help people cope during the public health crisis. This one is designed specifically for people and their partners looking for tools to keep their relationships strong.

"As you know, the isolation and strains are putting lots of pressure on families and that will likely worsen with the cold, which will bring more isolation, and the holidays," Boyle said. "This free class is an effort to give people some practical skills to cope and thrive in a way that is also relatable to men, who typically may not like the idea of 'therapy.' "

Boyle, who is married with three young children, started his own psychotherapy practice early this year after working for a variety of behavioral health agencies in Taos.

After the pandemic began spreading across New Mexico, he realized that people socially isolated and without their usual outlets were probably finding themselves experiencing heightened levels of stress, which can strain relationships.

Statistics reported in September by Community Against Violence and The Northern New Mexico Child Advocacy Center certainly agree. The agencies reported spikes in cases of child abuse and protection orders, which local experts believe are correlated with the isolation and economic difficulties caused by the pandemic.

While Boyle used to meet with clients in person, he is continuing his practice online on social media and through his website, brotherhoodofmen.us.

Unlike a lot of traffic on social media comprised of stressful news posts and divisive conversations, Boyle's videos are meant to break up the anxiety with practical lessons on meditation and mindfulness.

People interested in attending Wednesday's class can register for free at brotherhoodofmen.us/event.

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