Couples Workshop Category
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Depression: Does it only affect adults?
According to the Canadian Mental Health Association, 3.2million Canadian youth between the ages of 12-19 are at the risk of d...
Executive Therapy for Ceo's, Attorneys, CPA, Doctors etc 100% CONFIDENTIAL
Executive Sober Coaching As a Business Executive, CEO, Attorney, Pilot, Business Owner, Philanthropist, or other high profil...
Your Most Important Relationship Is With Yourself
If you aren't happy, but know what makes you happy, you’re already halfway there. Your challenge is to figure out why y...
Plan More Than Your Wedding: Plan Your Marriage
When planning your wedding, don’t forget to plan your marriage. Pre-marital planning includes, but goes beyond, figurin...
You May Be The Victim Of Domestic Violence And Not Even Know It
Domestic Violence (Non-Physical Type) Many victims of domestic violence don't realize they are being victimized because they...
What Is Love?
Today’s word is love. A lot of conflict happens because people have different definitions to this simple word. Most of the time, I think those definitions are wrong. So what is love? After all the poetry, music, books and movies on the subject, you’d think we’d have this one down by now. Here’s some ideas of what I think love is.
Love is like my garden. When I look at it, spend time out there, I have a number of feelings and behaviors. I admire it, I praise it, I share peaceful moments with it. Those satisfying feelings are not love. Love is not a feeling. So if it’s not a feeling, what is it?
To know what love is, let’s first turn to what it’s not. In my consulting room, one of the most common definitions of love is admiration. When people fall in love, they form a mutual admiration club. That’s not love. Neither is the lust they feel. Falling in love should be called falling in lust. You only lust for people you want to...
Creating Boundaries When you are in a Relationship with a Sex Addict:
What are boundaries? They are a dividing line between you and anyone else. These lines represent physical, emotional, and spiritual limits that other people in your life may not violate. It may help to envision a psychological fence that separates you from others in your life. You may have different boundaries for loved ones, friends, acquaintances, and strangers, depending on the area of focus and the situation. Boundaries are meant to protect you from physical danger, anger, hurt, fear, or any other painful emotions that you would experience if someone violated these limits. They keep us from agreeing to things that we really don’t want to do and then feeling resentful. They help to regulate the personal space in relationships. With good boundaries, you’ll feel more empowered and less like a victim.
Boundaries help to keep you safe and communicate your expectations to others. They are one way that you...
"I just don't understand what she wants!" is a commonly repeated phrase amongst frustrated men endeavouring to please the woman of their dream. Yet this complaint is reduced to insignificance compared to the amount of times I hear women comment: "How could he be so selfish? Doesn't he have any idea how that makes me feel? Doesn't he care?"
Solving relationship conflict here becomes more challenging when we understand that these common complaints are not exclusive to 'highly disfunctional couples'. They are not typical only of couples where a man may genuinely be evaluated to be indifferent (thus justifying her complaint) nor of couples where the woman may have more unresolved inner conflicts than the Gulf war. Time and time again I hear these words from people who have done some basic self-development, who are genuinely in love with their partner and who actually care about pleasing the other party. So what can help couples in the process of solving relationship conflict once and...
Aside from my wonderful family, therapy is my great love. Seriously, I can’t imagine myself doing anything else all day. (Though, I did really want to be a flight attendant for a long time; I would love all that travel.) So, when potential clients call me up to inquire about my services, I can barely contain myself. I want to tell you everything right away. I have books to offer and pointers to share. I want to explain how cool my new office is, and brag on the many folks who have turned their lives around through the hard work they have done in the therapy room. But mostly, folks aren’t ready to hear that yet. When they’re in distress, all they want to know is if I have any experience working with their particular brand of trouble. I think that’s reasonable, actually. I mean, why would you want to bring your heart and your relationship to someone who hasn’t got the foggiest idea where to start?
So, let’s get down to brass tacks, as my grandmama use...
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...
“When you make another suffer, he will try to find relief by making you suffer more.” –Thich Nhat Hanh
Do you see that handsome devil over there to left? Yeah, I know, he looks a little like he might be able to kill you with his Jedi mind tricks. Shoot, if I was going to put my money on someone who actually does have Jedi mind tricks, it would be that guy. Let’s all be really still and back away slowly…
Just kidding. This is Thich Nhat Hanh. He is a Vietnamese buddhist monk who among other things, was nominated by Martin Luther King Jr. for a Nobel Peace prize for his work in non-violent civil disobedience. So, I think if anyone was going to know a few things about feeling justifiably upset and finding a constructive way to channel it, Thich Nhat Hanh wins.
I think often of my buddhist friend as I go into session with couples who are staging bloody rebellions within their own relationships. When the stakes are so high, the bitterness can grow exponenti...
Would you like to know a little-known secret revelation about couples therapy? Here it is: the first session is often the most helpful. That doesn’t mean that it’s all you can benefit from, or that a longer course of counseling wouldn’t yield even better results. Of course it would. However, I have noticed that for many folks, those first sessions are pretty profound.
Why is that, you ask?
* Triangulating another person into the relationship provides relief from gridlock
* Therapists can help clients begin to change the tenor of their conversations immediately
* Couples therapy gives each partner permission to change while saving face
* The main job of any couples therapist is to help clients inject kindness back into their lives
* Couples therapists offer resources (readings, exercises) that clients may not have discovered otherwise, and can complete outside of session
I think couples often deny themselves the benefits couples work provides because time and fi...
If there’s any one thing that I am extremely dedicated to doing when we first meet for couples therapy, it’s finding out how weird you are. I’ll just let that sink in, because I mean that in the most flattering of manners.
See, it’s like this–each relationship is similar to a thumbprint. Who you are together is different from who you would be alone, or who you would be with any other person you had chosen for yourself. Embedded in that conjoined uniqueness is the sweet spot for your relationship. And doggone it, I’m not going to stop until we find it, own it and honor it. You are in the process of writing a story together that doesn’t read like anyone else’s. I want to know more about it. Exploring each couple’s mythology and helping you reauthor disempowering narratives is my area of joy and expertise.
Couples often tell me that they like working with me because I’m irreverent. I can go with that, actually. But, part of the...
Couples therapists probably have an interesting view on what’s normal. We spend our lives as invited guests on the insides of other people’s relationships. Starting couples therapy is kind of like inviting someone over when you haven’t cleaned up your house and you’re still sitting around in your PJs. It’s your personal space–one in which you are at your most vulnerable–and you may not be all that happy with the state of it. But, as therapists our jobs are to help you take a look at the clutter, streamline and do a good spring cleaning. At our best, we help you find your own special brew of normal.
As I mentioned in my last blog, ‘normal’ is a relative term. Each relationship has its own balance point that is unique and special. So, in the case of this blog, what I really mean to say is, “is it common?” But frankly, “Is it Common” just didn’t sound as good as a title. So, we’re going with normal ...
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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