Marriage And Family Counseling Category
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Establishing Healthy LGBT Relationships
There is a stereotype that LGBT persons don't desire long-term, meaningful relationshipsâ€‘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...
According to the research of John Gottman, the biggest reason unsuccessful couples give for breakdown is the gradual growing apart and loosing of a sense of closeness and not feeling loved and appreciated. These research findings really highlight the need for couples to learn the skills of positive interaction so as to maximize chances for a rewarding connection.
Marshal Rosenberg’s “Non-Violent Communication” offers an excellent model for positive rewarding communication. He talks about the need for people to get out of their intellectual analysis and their justifying of positions to really hearing the "need" behind the complaint.
Here the couple therapist helps one side to connect with their need and then works at getting the other side to empathize with that need. Sometimes it can be very hard for one person to empathize because they can only relate to their negative images and not to the humanity of the other.
Psychotherapy and hypnotherapy in San Diego and Encinitas at CentrePoint, Inc. with Wendy Hill, MA, PhD offers the secret to a happy marriage. What is that secret? Very simply, it's knowing and loving yourself. Most of us are unaware of who we are, what we really need and want, and how to get it. We seek happiness in a variety of ways most of which are not going to lead to happiness. We tend to avoid who we really are because to know who we are we have to face the pain of what hurt us in the past. Psychotherapy combined with hypnotherapy with an additional spiritual component can help you come to know who you are, what you want and need, and the ability to express yourself in a loving way. Your mate will automatically respond to your new self confidence. The wonderful thing about this is as you learn to love and respect yourself more, your mate will also do the same if you are connected in your hearts. It's a win-win proposition. Everybody wins. So, consider taking that little first st...
The good news is there is always hope!
Most of us have no trouble accepting that we are not born knowing how to play an instrument such as the piano or violin. We understand that with effort, practice and an understanding teacher we can learn. And yet for some reason we don't apply this same understanding to the art of relationship. Imagine how frustrating it would be to sit down at the piano for the very first time without any instruction or guidance, and expect to play a Chopin Nocturne. We wouldn't be able to read the music much less move our fingers across the keys. And yet in almost every case, couples that come to see me for therapy believe that they should automatically know how to build and sustain healthy, loving relationships. And often they are filled with a deep sense of failure, that there is something wrong with them or their partner because their relationship is not what they think it should or could be. But there is nothing wrong - why should we expect to know how to d...
“Thousands of candles can be lit from a single candle, and the life of the candle will not be shortened. Happiness never decreases by being shared.”
Presumably, Valentine’s Day is a time to honor one’s love for one’s sweetheart through the act of giving. While commercial interests have overtaken the day, it nonetheless offers an opportunity to pause and ask a simple question. No, it’s not “what do I want to give my partner?” It’s “What would my lover appreciate receiving?” Perhaps this is a harder question to answer but it’s worth asking nonetheless.
More often than we’d like to admit, we give that which we wish to receive. And by giving, I don’t mean simply that sexy lingerie or the latest iPad. In addition to material presents, we give through words of caring, a labor of love, sexual abandonment, and affectionate touch, among others. It just so happens that we are most likely to ...
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...
January 7, 2013
I held my two year-old son close. Wrapped up in a furry, orange, wool blanket, he and I looked up into the night sky. I could smell his hair and traces of blueberry juice that persisted on his tiny pink lips. I held him so close that I could hear both of our heartbeats, each in it’s own rhythm...one heart so young and yet to fall from grace, and another, older, that had stumbled and fallen and gotten back up again.
This young little falcon boy followed my hand as I gestured up into the vast sky. He looked skyward, waiting for me to tell him something. Waiting for my Poppa words to help him understand everything above us. I paused. I looked up into the inky blackness, freckled with tiny white points of brilliance. And for a brief moment of paternal indecision, I had nothing to say that would adequately describe what he needed to know about stars, and planets, the sun, black holes, comets, and the speed of light. I almost told him about the Greek constellations. I...
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...
January 29, 2013
In two weeks, on the evening of Monday, February 11th, I will facilitate the first session of “Men in Transition”, a men’s group. We will meet weekly for 8 weeks at the office of Two Rivers Counseling. Four to six men will meet to lay their stories out. The stories will likely be about change and the sometimes painful, sometimes beautiful, paradigmatic shifts that are the bread and butter of life.
This upcoming Men’s group has spun my head around a few times. I began to search my neural pathways and the tenacious, yet fragile tissue of my heart for the beginnings of being a man. It was not an easy search. Honestly, I really didn’t know where to start. In America, in the 1960’s, passing into manhood was vague.
Fully unrecognized by our culture as a definitive event, boys often found their manhood by accidents of their own creation. Loss of virginity, puking up bad beer, getting married, walking through the jungles of southe...
There are no hard rules when it comes to mate attraction. Many people fall in love with partners who are diametrically the opposite of one of their parents. This is often the case in families where a parent was an alcoholic or abusive. These children vow they will never ever want to end up in the kind of family People who grow up in such homes often look for mates who are nondrinkers or who are easing going—mates who are completely opposite of their parents.
However, others choose mates who possess a parent's negative trait like alcoholism or abuse. It seems irrational that an adult would fall in love with a mate who suffers with alcoholism or who is abusive to them, particularly after experiencing the pain of such a relationship in childhood with a parent, yet people do it all the time. The common stereotypic example of such a relationship is the woman who keeps finding herself in relationships with physical abusive men.
In these relationships, the person...
Remember when you first fell in love with your partner? That flood of emotions, the giddiness of just being next to each other? In each other's eyes, you could do no wrong. You enjoy the pure essence of one another, and overlook any flaws or imperfections.
This phenomenon is often called "rose-colored glasses". We marriage counselors call it "positive sentiment override". This term, coined by John Gottman, a leading marriage and relationship researcher, accounts for much of the happiness in a relationship.
When we experience positive sentiment override, we are filled with warm and loving feelings toward are partner. We are thrilled to be with them. We don't take their bad days personally. We don't blame them for our problems. We can laugh away their shortcomings.
Positive sentiment override is the foundation for loving, respectful, happy relationships.
But what happens when "you've lost that lovin' feeling?" Well, it all goes downhill. Or, to use an expression I fell in love with w...
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