Couples Workshop Category

What to Do About Your Little Boy Husband

By Matt W. Sandford, LMHC
I don’t mean to stereotype (too much), but do you think that husbands or boyfriends come in “types”? Although I not a fan of labeling people, I do believe that there are categories of issues that people struggle with. And by taking a look at and understanding a type, which in this case is just a description of a cluster of issues, we can gain perspective on our spouse and we can learn how to be involved in their lives in more helpful ways. My goal is not to start a bash-fest on certain husbands, but rather to equip wives (and girlfriends) to be able to engage with their partner in a way that moves him towards his best self. You see, it is true that you cannot change another person directly and that we cannot control people. But, it is like my friend says to me, “Yes, you can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make him drink it. But you can sweeten the water.” Let’s see if we can understand what would be ways to influe...

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Helping couples cope with psychological issues surrounding abortion

Written by Dr Dorothy Ojarikri, Chartered Clinical Psychologist and Director of UK Private Psychology.


Making the hugely difficult decision to terminate a pregnancy is a choice that can be life- changing and impact upon people’s perception of self, relationships and society at large for decades to come and perhaps forever. The term ‘choice’ when it comes to the difficult issue of abortion indeed may seem insensitive or inappropriate to individuals and couples who have lived through abortion and feel that the personal circumstances surrounding their pregnancy precluded them from having the unborn child.


My therapeutic work with couples both married and unmarried who have lived through the emotional difficulties that are sometimes related to abortion has highlighted the psychological and relationship dilemmas that couples face. The mandatory counselling session that females in the United Kingdom are required to attend prior to an abortion are usually offered only to t...

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Sometimes Not Happy But Loving


Lorna Hayim-Baker
Licensed Clinical Social Worker

When two people love each other is it true that they will always make each other happy? I do not think "happy" is a fitting adjective to use when discussing marital goals or one that describes a committed and loving relationship between two people that have said "I love you" to one another because happiness is a an incomplete and trivial measuring rod of life. Most mature people, whether married or not, don't expect life only to be joyful. Happiness as the primary goal of a marriage/loving relationship can become its undoing, for it easily leads to self seeking, self centeredness and self indulgence.. That is why couples, young and old, seeking release from a marriage/relationship in trouble often cry out and say "I have a right to be happy".

I see marriage or any two partners who are in a committed monogamous relationship as the creation of two imperfect people who are willing to make compromises, work out adjustments and control emotio...

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Getting to Know You?!

Getting to Know You?!

By David I. Brandt, LCSW

Posted 3/29/14

"A man must eat a peck of salt with his friend, before he knows him.” Miguel De Cervantes

And that is A LOT of salt! It takes time to really know if someone will become a friend or not (or a lover or not). Too often we impulsively jump into a relationship, whether out of desperation, fear of being alone, insecurity, and/or over-exuberance - only to find that we actually had very little on which to base the relationship. We were really living out some projection, vision or fantasy in our heads. It takes time to allow ourselves to be more vulnerable, which is what we need to do in order to grow and evolve greater intimacy. One cannot rush this process!!!

Additionally, getting to really know someone takes work at times and is definitely NOT all fun and games. Part of eating a lot of “salt” together is, indeed, taking the time needed to learn about our interactional dynamics and styles and then learnin...

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This Holiday Give Yourself and Your Partner the Gift of your Presence

So much of the holidays can be taken up with the busy stuff of gift buying, travel plans, and food and festivity preparations that we’re often left exhausted and depleted. It’s easy to forget what the holidays are fundamentally about: to connect and be with family, friends and loved ones. This holiday, offer the gift of your presence to both yourself and your loved ones.

What do I mean by “the gift of your presence”?
Simply put, being present is about being a human being as opposed to a human doing. It’s about being with yourself or your partner instead of busily doing something with your mind elsewhere. You can also practice being really present while doing something fun with your partner. For instance, you could be on a bike ride with your love, enjoying and participating in the experience, giving both your partner and yourself the gift of your full presence. On the other hand, you could be on that bike ride with your mind a million miles away, thinking ...

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Weddings: Marrying your Soulmate

"A soulmate is someone who has locks that fit our keys, and keys to fit our locks. When we feel safe enough to open the locks, our truest selves step out and we can be completely and honestly who we are; we can be loved for who we are and not for who we're pretending to be. Each unveils the best part of the other. No matter what else goes wrong around us, with that one person we're safe in our own paradise. Our soulmate is the one who makes life come to life." - Richard Bach

I find it incredibly exciting and rewarding to offer Premarital Counselling as well as Wedding Ceremonies to my clients. I truly believe that bringing together Soulmates is a sacred responsibility, and I take my work very seriously. In my private life, I have been married for 15 years to my very own Soulmate, and we have been blessed with a wonderful life. I would consider it an honour to share my years of experience with you in preparation for your blessed event. I believe that every couple who desires to marry h...

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Couples Counseling Myths Debunked and Why I'm a Geek

You know, I’ll bet that if you gathered all my couples counseling clients in a room and made them contestants in some Trivial Pursuit of marriage data contest, they would blow the other team away. They might do it groaning about how they never want to hear the words “Gottman” or “Research Says” again, but they would kick serious behind. And that is because I’m a big ol’ geek. If you’re sitting down with me to work on your relationship, you’re going to learn more than a little bit about how scientists figure out what makes joyful couples tick.

Don’t get me wrong here–couples are emotional units that have their own rules of governance–many of which are spiritual, emotional and pretty abstract. However, as couples therapists, we are invested in doing more of stuff that is helpful and less of stuff that isn’t. So, people like scientist John Gottman spend an awful lot of time trying to figure out what kinds of th...

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Divorce, Dating, and PTSD

What often goes unacknowledged in the dating world is the trauma that can come with a divorce or a break-up. Trauma is an event or situation that causes great distress and disruption. This trauma can turn into what is known as Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.
Post-traumatic stress disorder symptoms typically start within three months of a traumatic event, and on occasion symptoms may not appear until years after the event. Post-traumatic stress disorder symptoms are generally grouped into three types: intrusive memories, avoidance and numbing, and increased anxiety or emotional arousal (hyper-arousal). While PTSD is usually associated with natural disasters, real physical danger, and war, it can be a side effect of a very stressful break-up.

Symptoms of intrusive memories may include: Flashbacks, reliving the traumatic event for minutes or even days at a time, upsetting dreams about the traumatic event.

Symptoms of avoidance and emotional numbing may include:
Trying to avoid thinking or...

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When You're the One Holding the Smoking Gun Infidelity Recovery for Dummies

Though I do lots of different kinds of counseling–from hypnotherapy to depression–the bulk of my day is spent in couples work. I have always heard that your clients will tell you what you’re best at doing, and that someday you’ll take a look around and recognize that the constituency of your practice is skewed in one particular direction. So, if the clients have spoken, I can shine my own apple that I’m a pretty bang-up couples therapist. My mama will be so proud.

One of my most important jobs as counselor who works with couples, is helping folks weather the storms of infidelity. I take this role seriously, because I can think of no other time in which relationships are more vulnerable. I will happily bet my life savings that most people don’t start out in their intimate relationships with the intention to cheat. Rather, affairs (both physical and emotional) happen when the relationship is weak and resolve is low.

So, what if you are the partner wh...

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Being Grateful Pays Off!

For many families, these have not been the best of times. But cultivating gratitude when times are hard can be one of the best things we can do for ourselves and those we love.

Being Grateful Pays Off

Research shows that, relative to people who don’t pay special attention to expressing gratitude,

 Grateful people are happier. They have positive feelings more frequently and more strongly. They talk about their lives with a greater sense of satisfaction and optimism. They have lower levels of depression and less stress. They are more likely to make progress toward important personal goals.

 Grateful people are healthier. When people start focusing on expressing gratitude, the amount of time they spend exercising goes up. They sleep longer and their sleep is more restful. They have more vitality, and fewer physical problems.

 Grateful people get more of what they want from life. People who focus on gratitude are more likely to make progress toward important personal go...

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