6 Tips to Strengthen Your Relationship

Remember when you were building the early stages of your friendship with your partner or spouse? The friendship we have with our partner can keep our love alive, help us heal, reduce the chance for divorce, and ultimately strengthen our bond and connection. Friendship is the best protection against occasional negativity in our relationship. Friendship matters. Imagine how your relationship might change by incorporating one of these 6 tips: Express gratitude. Be explicit. Let your partner … [Read more...]

It’s About More Than Communication

Do you and your spouse have disagreements? Does it feel that your partner just doesn't hear you? Have you ever found yourself escalating a conversation just to get a reaction from your spouse? If you are like most of us, you can answer yes to at least one of these questions. Good communication is a key element of any relationship. Most of the couples who come to see me have improving their communication as one of their goals. I completely agree that we need to work on communication as a … [Read more...]

Should I talk to a therapist about my loved one’s affair or other betrayal?

I have seen it too many times. Wives discover their husband’s sexual misbehaviors and don’t know what to do. Research shows that it is common for wives to have symptoms of trauma after an affair or other betrayal is disclosed. Dr. Jill Manning defines betrayal trauma “as when someone we depend on and are attached to violates our trust in a critical way.” Typical thoughts include: Why would I talk to anyone? It won’t fix my husband. This is my husband’s issue he needs to fix it, I … [Read more...]

Supporting Children When Parents Divorce – Part 1

Divorce impacts children; even adult children of parents who divorce often report struggling with the dissolution of their parents’ marriage. The most vulnerable individuals in family dealing with divorce are the dependent children. When I work with kids whose parents are splitting up, we often start by learning and implementing the “7 C’s,” listed below: I didn’t CAUSE it. I can’t CURE it. I can’t CONTROL it. I can CARE for myself By COMMUNICATING my feelings, Making … [Read more...]

How to Rebuild Trust When You Feel So Broken

  Trust. In any kind of significant relationship, trust is about as fundamental as it gets. In a healthy marriage, trust is essentially necessary to building a strong structure. What do you do when trust is broken and your foundation is shattered? What do you do with the remaining pieces? How do you sort through the shambles? How do you take broken dreams, broken promises, and broken hearts and rebuild? Grieve Your Losses Before you can begin to repair the damage that has been … [Read more...]

Capturing the Positives in Our Relationships

How do we miss 50% of the good that exists in our relationships? University of Oregon researcher, Robert Weiss, noticed a pattern: Couples in ailing relationships tend to give negative interpretations to neutral and even positive events in their relationship. In other words, when we look for the negative, we fail to notice positive gestures 50% of the time. Of course, there will be times when skepticism is legitimate. Perhaps a husband is being selfish. A wife’s behavior might be cold. And … [Read more...]

OCD disturbing images exposed

One of the common symptoms of OCD have unwanted disturbing images. These are so unwanted that even the fact that were experienced causes significant emotional distress. The content of these images does vary greatly from person to person. In these images, the image may come up often and will be disruptive. Despite the images not being welcome, the patient may worry more and more that these images must mean something; perhaps that they are a future eventuality, or a suppressed past. Disturbing … [Read more...]

A Technique to Quickly Calm Anxiety

Have you ever noticed yourself so anxious or worried about something that you "check out" mentally? I've definitely been there--lost in my own thoughts and worries that I become disconnected. I've also felt so anxious that it becomes overwhelming and I don't know what to do with it. Grounding techniques are great tools to help someone quickly decrease anxiety and intense feelings. The techniques are designed to bring the person back to the present and connect with reality. They are often used as … [Read more...]

What am I feeling?!

Emotions can be a tricky thing, one moment you are feeling fine and living care free. Then out of the blue, we are mad, sad, or nervous and it can happen in an instance. Emotions are a universal trait we all have to deal with, the good and the bad. For children it is the worst! Emotions are these foreign things that they can’t put a finger on and sometime we as adult have an unfair expectation when we ask them how they are feeling. They don’t know a lot of the times, and to be fair many adults … [Read more...]

Feeling Understood: The Importance of Validation

    We all want to feel understood and valued. When we sense that others understand our perspective, we feel safer in relationships and more confident in general. Paradoxically, although we inherently crave understanding, we don’t intuitively know how to attain it. Indulge me as a bibliophile for a moment: this universal desire to understand those we love, and to feel understood by them, is a prominent literary theme. All levels of readers relate to this internal drive; we … [Read more...]