Kari Marshall, MA, LPC

"Life isn't about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself"

George Bernard Shaw

Kari Marshall, MA, LPC
2055 South Oneida Street
Denver, CO 80224


Providers we are affiliated with:


Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield 



Coventry Health Care

Denver Health Medical Plan

First Health

Magellan Health Services

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Tips & Articles

Making Marriage a Success

Kari Marshall writes …

"It’s the ‘good stuff’ in a relationship that makes the work that you have to do worth doing: Being able to remember your partner’s strengths and good qualities on a daily basis, taking time to relax, play and enjoy is as necessary as water to a thriving plant"

Page 172, Making Marriage a Success -Pearls of wisdom from experts across the nation by Jaleh Donaldson – Published by Booklocker.com, Inc. 2011

Breathe Deeply

Breathe Deeply

People under stress tend to breathe with their chest muscles. If you take a deep breath right now, you may find that your chest puffs out as you fill your lungs with air instead of your abdomen—this breathing habit is adding to your stress. Watch a child as he sleeps and you’ll see the stomach muscles rise up with each breath as the diaphragm—not the chest—fills with air. Many adults have lost this natural breathing mechanism that is most efficient in bringing restorative oxygen to all tissues of the body. Regaining the ability to breathe from your diaphragm is the most basic tool one can learn to relax:

  • Place one hand on your chest and one on your upper stomach.
  • As you take a deep breath in, feel the hand on your stomach rise.
    The hand on your chest should not rise up.
  • Let the air go. Don’t push it out—-let it go gently. Feel the hand on your stomach go down.

When you have the knack of diaphragm breathing, focus on the pace of your breathing: Short, shallow breaths are stressful to the body. As you practice this deep-breathing technique, change your pace to 6 breaths per minute. (If you check your “natural” breathing pattern right now, you may find that you’re taking about 10 breaths per minute.) Take in a slow, easy breath to the count of four. Then release the breath to the count of four. Hold your breath for 2 seconds. This 10-second cycle will give you six breaths per minute. Deep breathing is a strategy you can use anywhere. No one around needs to know you’re practicing a stress reduction technique. It’s a technique you can engage in whenever you feel your stress level rising. Automatically, deep breathing will change your body’s stress reaction. In the beginning, you’ll find that although deep-breathing exercise is easy, your chest-breathing habit will return as soon as you’re not paying attention. Give yourself a couple of weeks of practicing deep breathing just a few minutes here and there throughout the day, and soon you’ll find that your body will relearn how to breathe correctly on its own.

Recommended Books

Boundaries: Where you end and I begin ~ Anne Katherine, M.A.

Codependent no more ~ Melody Beatti

The Courage to be Yourself ~ Susan Thoele

The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work ~ John Gottman

The Feeling Good Handbook ~ David D. Burns

The PTSD Workbook ~ Mary Beth Williams, & Soili Poijula.

Seeking Safety: A Treatment Manual for PTSD and Substance Abuse ~ Lisa M. Najavits

The Mindfulness & Acceptance Workbook for Anxiety ~ John P. Forsyth & Georg H. Eifert.

Life After Trauma: A Workbook for Healing ~ Dena Rosenbloom, & Mary Beth Williams.

Trauma Recovery and Empowerment ~ Maxine Harris.

The Self-Esteem Workbook ~ Glenn R. Schiraldi.

A Wife’s Guide to In-laws: How to Gain Your Husband’s Loyalty Without Killing His Parents ~ Jenna D. Barry

Making Marriage a Success: Pearls of Wisdom from Experts across the Nation ~ Jaleh Donaldson

Depressed & Anxious: The Dialectical Behavior Therapy Workbook for Overcoming Depression & Anxiety ~ Thomas Marra.

Ideas for Self-Care

  • Listen to my favorite music
  • Enjoy a long, warm bubble bath
  • Go for a walk
  • Share a hug with a loved one
  • Relax outside
  • Practice feeling contented
  • Physical activity (of my choice)
  • Spiritual prayer
  • Attend a caring support group
  • Practice diaphragmatic breathing
  • Do stretching exercises
  • Reflect on my positive qualities: "I am…"
  • Watch the sunrise/sunset
  • Laugh
  • Concentrate on a relaxing scene
  • Create a collage representing "the real me"
  • Receive a massage
  • Reflect on: "I appreciate…"
  • Write my thoughts and feelings in a personal journal
  • Attend a favorite athletic event
  • Do something adventurous!
  • Read a special book or magazine
  • Sing, hum, dance or whistle a happy tune!
  • Play a musical instrument
  • Spiritual meditation
  • Work with plants (gardening)
  • Learn a new skill
  • See a special play, movie or concert
  • Work out with weights
  • Ride a bike or motorcycle
  • Make myself a nutritious meal
  • Draw/paint a picture
  • Swim, float, wade, relax in a pool, or on the beach
  • Do aerobics/dance
  • Visit a special place I enjoy
  • Smile & say: "I love myself."
  • Take time to smell the roses (and other flowers I enjoy!)
  • Imagine myself achieving my  goals and dreams
  • Go horseback riding
  • Enjoy a gourmet cup of herbal tea or coffee
  • Participate in a favorite sport, game, recreation
  • Practice a relaxation exercise
  • Practice the art of forgiveness
  • Reflect on "my most enjoyable memories"
  • Enjoy a relaxing nap
  • Visit a museum/art gallery
  • Practice yoga
  • Relax in a whirlpool /sauna
  • Enjoy a cool, refreshing glass of water or juice
  • Enjoy the beauty of nature
  • Count my blessings: "I am thankful for…"
  • Play as I did as a child
  • Star gaze- stay up late, get up early!
  • Window shop
  • Daydream
  • Tell myself the loving words I want to hear from others
  • Attend a special workshop
  • Go sailing/paddle boating
  • Reward myself with a special gift I can afford
  • Take myself on a vacation
  • Create with clay/pottery
  • Practice positive affirmations
  • Pet an animal
  • Watch my favorite TV show
  • Reflect on my successes: "I CAN…"
  • Make a bouquet of flowers
  • Relax: watch the clouds
  • Make myself something nice
  • Visit a park/woods/forest
  • Read positive, motivational literature
  • Reflect on: "What I value most in life…"
  • Phone a special friend
  • Go on a picnic in a beautiful setting
  • Practice feeling awe for life
  • Treat myself to a nutritious meal at a favorite restaurant
  • Participate in a hobby
  • Discover a new place
  • Hug a tree!
  • "Meow" with a cat; "bark" with a dog, "chirp" with a bird!
  • Create my own list of self- nurturing activities
  • Have FUN!!!