Couples Workshop Category
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Establishing Healthy LGBT Relationships
There is a stereotype that LGBT persons don't desire long-term, meaningful relationships‑that we would rather experience an...
Counselling in the Community
When people ask me:” at what point shall I seek counseling?” I tell them: “if you feel like you are not as ...
The Molecular Weight of Secrets...
May 9, 2013 It is a beautiful Spring day in Portland, Oregon. I turn in my chair to look out the big skylight in my office. ...
Are You Procrastinating Again?
We all do it, we set goals, create actions to take, say we are going to do something but somewhere along the way we lose sigh...
Anxiety Symptoms and Treatment
Anxiety Symptoms & Treatment It’s important to remember that when dealing with anxiety we first understand that it...
Recently, I heard of a woman complain that she kept running into the same type of man. She went on saying that each time she goes out looking for the “right” type of man she is often disappointed that she only finds the ones that treat her poorly. Is this you? Do you seem to struggle with the same issue? Are you ready for a relationship that is worthy of your time and energy? Then it is time to stop this cycle and get into the relationships that you desire!
The truth is many of our relationships reflect how we feel internally. For example, if you often experience poor self esteem, you will find relationships where you need constant encouragement to feel good about yourself. Another example is that a person who struggles with insecurity will often chose a person who has a problem with being faithful and has several infidelity issues. The important point to remember is that for you to find the “good” relationship you seek, you may want to consider resol...
I use this analogy frequently after a client has said, "But I said I was sorry..." and then wonders why that changes nothing:
A little boy hit his sister. When she cried, he said, "I'm sorry." His sister kept crying, and he was adamant about his apology. His mother took a hammer and a nail and told her son to go to the back fence and hammer the nail into the fence. Then she instructed him to remove it. When he was finished, she pointed to the hole and said, "The nail is how you hurt your sister. You say you're sorry and pull the nail out, but the hole is still there."
Sex can be intimate; talking can be intimate. Talking can also be a lie. Sex can be a shield. For adults dating, often times if they haven’t had sex by the third date, then “something is wrong,” or, “it’s not going anywhere.” Because we give sex has a unique status in the continuum of actions we can take in our life, it is easy to assume intimacy where there really is none at all. In my practice, I often meet couples that have been married for a long time that are not intimate; sometimes they are having sex and sometimes they are not.
Intimacy is a mutual vulnerability; some crave being held close as if in a primal cradle while others like to be rocked as if released from the chains that bind that have always bound them. Sexual intimacy is animal and angelic at once, intuitive, yet studied. When one takes the time to be curious of the other’s particular desire and makes them vulnerable enough to try to please their partner (with no guarantee t...
Ever get stuck trying to solve something the same way over and over? No matter how hard you try it just doesn't work? In the immortal words of my grandmother, "every problem has a solution." If what you're doing isn't working, stop. It is time to rethink the solution in another format. This has happened to me twice recently. One issue involved a conflict with a business partner and one with my wife. The solution, as it turned out, was easy. The problem was not the message, but how it was delivered. Instead of face to face, I tried texting with the first person and e-mail with the second. Both issues have been fully resolved. All it really took was slowing down and rethinking the solution. This would make my grandmother happy because she used to say, "if something isn't working, try something else!"
I was walking with a friend of mine yesterday. We were having one of our usual deep conversations and I said to her that I was happy with my life and really wouldn't change too much. She said that she felt the same way but would only change one small thing: she wished that she was "independently wealthy!" I laughed and said "oh, just that one small thing?" That's like me wishing I was 6'4", blond haired and blue eyed! " (BTW I am 5'4" salt and pepper haired and brown eyed). After we both finished laughing I told her that if she was my client, I would steer her away from wishing for money. I told her it is better to wish for those things that money might bring like comfort, ease, joy, or a specific item like a car, than it is to wish for just money. I think it sunk in but if not, maybe her butler would be willing to listen!!
Read the Following Dialogue:
She held up the bank statement as her husband walked through the door, "Did you know the check we deposited from X bounced?" She's clutching onto the notice from the bank and held it up as if she were presenting evidence.
Getting angry, "well, what are you going to do?" She paused and let the silence speak for the lack of ideas he had and then went on, "What are we going to do? The mortgage is due." She slams the paper down.
The three year old runs to Daddy. Daddy tries, through clenched teeth, to smile and welcome Brandon, "That's my boy."
"This is not working," she continues.
"I spoke with him today. He said we could redeposit the check. I've got two sales calls tonight."
"Oh great, you are not going to be home. When do I get a break!" And she stomps out of the room.
Some version of this conversation happens between men and women thousands of times throughout the world ... I ...
Ahh, to be in love: Is it not the grandest thing? We look at one another and know what the other is thinking and why. There is no question as to what to do because we both do it at the same time. It is a wonderful state of mind.
Lo, it ends. And when it does it is like a ragged saw on a fine piece of silk. It rankles the mind and jars the senses. I’m not sure of the origin of the phrase, “the bubble burst,” but I have a feeling this is it.
And it hurts. Why?
One cause of this experience that I’ve come across is that it digs deep into our sense of abandonment. Whatever remnants of abandonment we still have, like so much abandoned fabric in our mind, is assembled in an instant. When the other does not recognize our thoughts or feelings like we expected them to, we feel abandoned, like a little puppy whose mother is gone and we’re left alone in padded box with the tick tock of the clock to simulate her heart. What must we have felt the first time our mom d...
How will Marriage Counseling help you?
It is common for couples even in strong relationships and marriages to have difficulty at times. This is because we each bring our communication and coping skill sets into our relationships, and at some point in the relationship those skills might be clashing or might not be developed enough to handle stressors that the relationship encounters. If the couple can’t move past these glitches on their own, couples counseling can be very effective at helping them learn new skills and new ways of relating. Interestingly, our best research indicates that even the healthiest couples disagree up to 70% of the time on crucial issues, so the good news is that we don’t have to aim for convincing our partners to see things our way to achieve happiness in relationships. Couples counseling helps you to learn which of your current skill sets are working for you in the relationship, and what skills need to be developed. Having a neutral and objective ...
Therapists (including myself) talk enough about communication that you'd think we were born incapable of expressing ourselves. Actually, most of us can express ourselves pretty well. But do we do it effectively enough? When there is an argument, it's the rare member of the couple who does not know the other is mad or upset. But does their partner know why, really?
The main problem in couples communication comes, remarkably enough, from the almost universal assumption that our partner knows what we are thinking and feeling, without our having to explicitly express it.
The point of communication as an issue in couples therapy is to establish a new, different mode of communication that becomes only one of a number of ways of relating and expressing oneself. An argument may be the only way to let feelings out... initially. What makes communication-savvy partners more effective in their relationship is their ability to communicate after the argument phase is over... their feelings of vuln...
As cliche as it is, relationships take work. We all dream of falling in love and living happily ever after, but the complications of life get in the way of that relationship happiness. Research conducted using the Gottman Method suggests that 69 percent of relationship problems are considered "perpetual problems." These will not go away with magical thinking or by ignoring them and hoping they will self-correct. Recognizing them is one of the first steps in working them through as a couple and as individuals.
Problems are part of any relationship. No one can be an exact fit for anyone else and as we enter into relationships we do so as individuals with hopes, goals and dreams. Perpetual problems are relationship problems that feature continuing disagreement within the two people in the relationship. These issues do not get solved, rather, they get managed to bring harmony into the conflict.
Quite often couples believe they've resolved a conflict,, only to have it ...
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