Do I Need Couple’s Therapy?

Regardless of the roots or intensity of your marital issues, couple’s therapy can be beneficial to any relationship. Have you ever felt like there are some areas that need improvement in your marriage,  such as communication, revitalizing your emotional connections with your partner, or maybe renewing your commitment? In my personal experience working with couples, I have observed that in general, they come to therapy when they realize that their relationship is in trouble or it has advanced to … [Read more...]

Friends, Family, Expectations, and Acceptance

One trademark of the holiday season is celebrating with friends, co-workers, and family including in-laws. For many these occasions may be filled with holiday cheer. While for others it may be the part of the season that is dreaded all year. My guess is that for most of us it is a mixture of the two and that, when it comes to interpersonal relationships, a main source of our frustration is unmet expectations. In an ideal world, we imagine our holiday festivities to appear much like Normal … [Read more...]

Believe In Your Marriage

One of the most important keys to overcoming marital problems is to believe in your marriage. Believe that it can be saved. Believe in yourself and your spouse in your abilities to make the personal changes necessary for things to be made right. Certainly there are circumstances where a relationship may not be salvageable. However, those tend to be more the exception than the rule. In any case, without believing that things can improve, they likely won't. The reason? Because your motivation … [Read more...]

Start Small and Build

When we are trying to overcome relationship challenges we can make things worse by trying to fix everything at once. The pattern of the way we relate to others has been established over many years. Many factors such as our upbringing, biology, personal experiences and relationship experiences, just to name a few, have a profound influence on how we relate to others. Improving a relationship takes work. Individually and together we need to engage in the work of trying to change things that are … [Read more...]

“Unplugged Night”

The concept of having an "unplugged night" came while my husband and I were both going to school, working full-time, and balancing the task of beginning our young family. Oftentimes at the end of the day, we would sink into the couch and relax to our favorite show. It was a simple routine that worked for us. One night, we decided that we wanted to do something different. We decided to have an "unplugged night". We agreed to put aside anything that had to be "plugged in". This meant no t.v., … [Read more...]

Using the RAIN Exercise to Calm Your Mind

I remember growing up one of my favorite relaxing sounds was the rain falling on the roof and hitting the windows. I still love that sound. So, when I found this mindfulness exercise, I was immediately curious. Mindfulness is one of my favorite techniques to use in many different situations because it is so effective. Mindfulness is the practice of being mentally present and accepting of emotional, physical and cognitive experiences. It is helpful in treating various things such as anxiety, … [Read more...]

Recapturing the Holiday Magic

Remember what the holidays were like as a kid? If yours were anything like mine, they may have been filled with similarities of the following: the magic and wonder of dressing up, eating sweets, lights that radiated a soft aura type glow, laughter, family, and joy! What happens to the jubilee as the years go by? We can still dress up for All Hallows Eve, be grateful for our turkey, stuffing, and potatoes, and sing about "Joy to the World," yet the magic may fade like a dissipating mist into a … [Read more...]

How to Feel Your Feelings

  It isn't unusual for a person to sit across from me and struggle to answer some variation of the question: "And how did you feel?" In this fast-paced, social media-edited world, many people work very hard to only let people see what they want others to see about their lives. Unfortunately, this can sometimes lead us to try to shut off certain emotions, while highlighting other emotions that are more socially acceptable. The reality is that we all experience a variety of … [Read more...]

The Two Most Important Skills Couples Should Learn

There are two "V" skills that every couple should learn together: How to be vulnerable with each other. How to validate each other. Vulnerable: If there is one person that you should be able to feel vulnerable with, it is your spouse/partner. They re the person who should be your first call when something difficult, horrible, exciting, or boring happens. You should want to share the experience with them. That is why vulnerability is so important. It facilitates sharing in the … [Read more...]

Relationships: Living and Breathing Beings

Much of the rhetoric in our society today focuses on what is best for the individual. Even when talking about a relationship many focus on “What’s in it for me?” When two individuals come together to form a relationship they are creating another entity that needs to be cared for. A healthy relationship has its own needs and takes on its own personality that is separate from the individuals. When couples feed and actively nourish the relationship, it thrives and is strengthened. Just like … [Read more...]