Three Questions for: DR. RONDA FUCHS

SocialMiami's CLAUDIA POTAMIKIN speaks to the licensed psychologist about women's empowerment before, during and after marriage.

Dr. Ronda Fuchs

Ronda Fuchs Psy.D is a licensed psychologist and advocate of women through her mentorship and board service. As vice president of the Collaborative Family Law Institute, Dr. Fuchs has been counseling individuals, couples and families for 26 years, integrating her expertise in psychology, physical therapy, behavioral medicine, and the mind body connection in her private practice.

As Women’s Empowerment Month ends, SocialMiami’s Claudia Potamkin sits down with Dr. Fuchs to discuss how women can empower themselves in their own lives, in merging their lives through domestic partnerships and afterwards, if those partnerships should end. In such cases, Fuchs advocates for Collaborative Divorce, a practice in which she’s an accredited professional and statewide speaker, saying it’s a process known for keeping divorce out of court, where it’s less likely to destroy families and more likely to facilitate decisions fair to both people.
Claudia Potamkin: Dr. Fuchs, when considering the term, “Women’s Empowerment”, what is the first thought that comes to you?
Dr. Ronda Fuchs: As a flight attendant will direct us to put our own oxygen masks on before we put them on others, many women’s natural instinct is to help those around us first. If we as women allow ourselves to become depleted, we are not only unable to empower ourselves but cannot be there for our loved ones and other responsibilities.
CP: That is a terrific analogy, and one I try to remember. What’s the next important point you’d recommend to empower your female clients?
DRF: Biologically, women the ones able to give birth. There’s a time when we may be raising children and taking the greater role in the home. Getting back to work after not being in the work force for some time can be very difficult.
Women need to be – and remain – financially knowledgeable. This includes family finances, being a part of financial decisions and learning to live within means. A sense of control and certainty is empowering to anybody. When we give up full control and oftentimes it’s in the financial area, it’s hard to make fiscally responsible decisions.
Whether married, single, divorced, widowed, we never know what will happen in life. While women have become a powerful force in the workplace, traditional roles and values still exist. It’s really important for young women to be guided through their schooling to have a career or at least a job. It doesn’t need to be a professional career but to be able to work outside of the house, even part time. During child rearing years, whichever parent may be in the home should keep a foot in the door so that if the situation changes, if it’s ever needed or desired, they are back in, to assist the family in whatever form that takes.
CP: What else would you recommend for our female readers, to round out a healthy and empowered experience in life?
DRF: Invest energy in the quality of relationships. Not just romantic relationships but relationships with female friends. There is a release of serotonin when women are together; connecting, talking and sharing. Also oxytocin, and these things raise your mood. Time with girlfriends is important and this support can lead a woman to feel encouraged emotionally.
Physical health is really important. When you feel good physically and emotionally you’re going to feel some sense of accomplishment and empowerment.
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