Who We Are

We all yearn for peace in our lives, but sometimes it seems impossible. At the Love Institute we develop tools and strengthen relationships through counseling and coaching, couples, parents, and teens.

The Love Institute was founded in 2016 by Jessica Gaffney. Jessica is clinical social worker who provides counseling and coaching to families. Her career began as a domestic violence advocate, and teen dating violence speaker. Today she is an expert on abuse prevention. The Love Institute created the LOVE Principle which is a self-guided tool to enhance, strengthen and improve relationships in an effort to reduce the risk of abusive relationships.  At the Love Institute, we teach, coach and provide counseling to and coaching, couples, parents, and teens. When a relationship begins to fail, it simply means that one person’s needs have been put before the another’s, this leads to defensiveness and walls go up. The LOVE Principle can bring down those walls and repair communication at home.

The Love Institute is currently developing “Take Home” Curriculum comprised of video, exercises and reading for families and couples. The Love Principles were created from a bled of emotional needs and research, showing how and why teens need to relate to their caregivers over these four primary arenas.

How to Heal for Domestic Violence Abuse Survivors

First off, let me qualify this article by saying, “I wish someone sent this to me when I was in recovery.” Recovering from Domestic Violence is a journey, how long you stay the course depends and guard your mind and heart is up to you.Believe it or not, you have a choice. You have power. You are back in control.

Here are a list of the steps mentioned in the WikiHow article posted below.

1.) Take care of YOU- and cut communication or contact with your abuser.
2.) Challenge Negative Self-Talk
3.) Practice Peace- Sit still and quiet your mind (mindfulness)
4.) Exercise- (this increases healthy brain chemicals to fight off the abundance of stress created in your body.)
5.) Practice Gratitude
6.) Honor Yourself
7.) Reconnect with your hobbies
8.) Get Support

We will be developing more with our curriculum.

Amazing article that shows you what to do.

4 Keys to Keeping Calm during Divorce

4 Keys to Keeping Calm during Divorce

By Jessica Gaffney, MSW

Are you going through a divorce?  Does it feel like a long drawn out process? Are you trying to maintain a positive attitude in public, but inside you feel full of fear, anger and confusion? Divorcing couples often experience a breakdown in communication, the very opposite of the intimacy you felt when you first got together. You may find it difficult to communicate with your spouse, and might not even know exactly what you want – with the exception of just wanting it to be all over!


But now, more than ever, hearing each other can save you decades of bitterness. These guidelines will keep you calm during your divorce. If you take a minute to really think about what you want – it’s probably peace of mind. If it’s going to end, end it well. Here’s how…

You want to be able to laugh and enjoy life now, not once the ink is dry.

You want to be able to sleep at night.

You want clarity and to believe that you have a future and a life outside of the divorce process.

“Peace does not mean to be in a place where there is no noise, trouble, or hard work.
Peace means to be in the midst of all those things and still be calm in your heart” ~ Unknown

Right now you may be thinking that if God cared enough about you, He would change your spouse and they would fix the marriage… and that would give you peace. But here is where the work begins. You need to shift your focus off your spouse and take care of you. After all you, are you in control, even if you feel like you’re not. You get to choose how you handle your life. This is a unwanted transition your life. Now what do you do?

Let’s ask you what you want. Using the LOVE Principle from the LOVE Institute you can find out immediately. Part One- Listen. Listen to the thoughts and fears in your head. Write them down!

There may be a lot of worries and negatives. The best thing you can do is arrange them by issue. Fear of the future, Concerns for your Kids, Social outcomes, Spouse Issues, Financial, etc. You can highlight them once you write them all down and put them in their own little box.

Once you have done that, you need to observe how you are acting out, lashing out, and how your emotions are impacting you. This can happen with your sleep, work performance, weight and energy levels etc. Write down your observations for each area. If you don’t feel like getting out of bed, why is that? Write down the thoughts associated to it. Are your drinking alone, are you excessively exercising, are you unable to focus or are you ranting in front of the kids? WRITE IT DOWN.

These occurrence will pile up quickly. Do you want to know why? Because all of your fears, concerns, and anger needs to be validated. All of your reactions and feelings are part of healing and part of separating from the two shall become one. When god said he would all things together for his good, you may have misinterpreted that to mean your marriage would not end, and that this was a test. I understand your thinking, but that doesn’t mean it’s right.

Your use of scripture here needs to be encouraging. You need to build you up, not the marriage. The marriage is ending, (Not that God can’t save it) but that is between He and your spouse, because your desire to save it has already been stated. The Word of God is useful for building up, rebuking, for counsel. It can be all those things for you.

Allow your relationship with God to grow so he can show you the area of your life where he will provide and protect you, including giving you grace. Know that it is possible to go through the divorce process without losing your sanity!

The Emotional Trauma of Pending Divorce

Some marriages end suddenly while others seem to fall apart over a long period of time. Regardless of your circumstances, if you are dealing with a separation or divorce this is probably a very difficult period in your life. If your marriage is dying you are likely feeling a multitude of intense emotions ranging from […]

Some marriages end suddenly while others seem to fall apart over a long period of time. Regardless of your circumstances, if you are dealing with a separation or divorce this is probably a very difficult period in your life. If your marriage is dying you are likely feeling a multitude of intense emotions ranging from guilt, depression, sadness, withdraw, anxiety, insomnia, worry, confusion or loneliness.  So why is this happening?

Coming to grips with the finality of divorce can be a healing journey. Your acceptance of the divorce will require a time to grieve the dreams and plans you had for you and your spouse and/or children. For most people, it’s a shock when a relationship breaks down. Even if your spouse mentioned divorce, and made no plans to follow through, your emotions have been put in shock mode. If you do not discuss the pending divorce, it’s most likely going to take you by surprise. Has your spouse apologized for mentioned the divorce or are you looking for hints that the marriage is still alive? Are you comfortable asking them for clarification or is the thought of knowing too overwhelming?

The problem with not knowing is that you put your life on perpetual hold. During this time it’s common to find yourself catastrophizing each scenario increasing your anxiety and decreasing your ability to focus on the day to day aspects of life, work and parenting. Another habit during this time is walking on egg shells, researching ways to heal the marriage and disabling boundaries in an effort to convince the spouse that you can change or make them happy. These are not healthy behaviors and can lead to long term problems.

If you need to speak with a coach regarding your current relationship status, click our link to JessicaGaffney.com to book a free online 15 min consultation. OR call 772-242-6335 for information.

The Emotions of Post-Abortion

Women and teens who have lost a child due to abortion can feel captive to toxic emotions, but they do not have to stay there. If you are ready to take some simple steps toward healing from the emotions that remind you of what happened here are some helpful tips using the LOVE Principle: find a listening ear who can validate your feelings and encourage you to seek help.

A trained coach can help. Sometimes going to a good friend or unqualified source only brings you more invalidation and can cause more trauma. The first time you reach out may not give you the listening ear, and validation. Make sure your choice can edify your grieving process. Counselors and coaches, even friends or professionals can condemn abortion and invalidate your grief. This is your story.  How you feel is what matters. Know that you can recover from the emotions that are making life difficult includingTeenage Problems, Social Issues and Bullying: overwhelming sadness, guilt, lack of concentration, day-dreaming, insomnia, anxiety or depression.

A strong first step is to share your secret. As in any path to healing from life altering situations, it is important that you be honest with yourself and give  yourself permission to re-visit the occurrence regardless of how much time has passed. Consider the possibility that keeping the secret is requiring more energy than you have available. The issue has decided to surface.

Give yourself a break.  Many times if we can’t find others to condemn and punish us, we will take over the job ourselves!  Understand that abortion can involve many losses even separate from the pregnancy. The outcome often impacts other relationships, trust, intimacy and future pregnancies. Give yourself permission to mourn your losses and feel the emotions of those losses.

Do not confuse the latest political, legal or religious debates with your own past decision. If you listen to all the rhetoric from both sides you will become paralyzed with fear and confusion which will increase your anxiety.  Know that walking out of the darkness and into the light of healing will free up space in your mind and heart to put towards positive outcomes in your life.

If you are ready to talk as a result of this article, I welcome a free 10 min video chat to encourage you to get help. Visit JessicaGaffney.com to book a time slot.