A Kiss to Build a Dream On

  I remember early in in my career I was able to attend a conference where world-renowned researcher John Gottman was the keynote speaker. There were many wonderful things that he shared that day, but one stood out to me as most interesting. Maybe it was because it was so simple. Maybe it was because he made it sound so critical. Maybe it was because it moved so much deeper than any romantic gesture. Maybe it was because it was the first time I thought of a kiss as more than a … [Read more...]

Helpful Principles to Follow When Talking to Your Children About Drugs, Sex and Alcohol

Examine your own attitudes and beliefs. When it comes to talking to children about difficult subjects like sex, drugs, and alcohol, the first thing you need to do is examine your own beliefs and attitudes. Remain calm when these topics come up with your children. Encourage other parents to talk to their children about these topics. Talk to your children about what you expect of them with sex drugs and alcohol even if it is different from your own past behavior. Relax. The more … [Read more...]

How Successful Are You at Succeeding With Your New Year’s Resolutions?

I won’t bother quoting you the statistics, but my best educated guess is most of our new beginning goals are now tucked away in a notebook or digital notepad. My question is, how much do these goals still matter to you? Do still want to live healthier and be happier? If so, don’t give up after a slow or faulty start! Too often we succumb to the fallacy of thinking in terms of all-or-nothing. The antidote is flexibility with self and breaking goals down into smaller, more workable pieces. If … [Read more...]

Is There Something that Life Expects of You?

"I'm just not getting anything out of life." "I don't know how to keep going." "I don't understand why I have to go through this struggle." Do these statements sound familiar? I think most of us have said something along those lines before. It's common to get discouraged when we are feeling overwhelmed with life and it's challenges. Would you like to know how to get through life's challenges a little easier? Instead of asking what you can get out of life, may I suggest you ask yourself this … [Read more...]

Are You Suffering from Chronic Stress?  

At times we all have experienced a sensation of things getting out of control and this can cause you to be “stressed out," but not all stress is bad, in fact is a common thing. However, continuing (ongoing) stress can lead to many different health and emotional problems. In a consultation with my primary doctor, as I was explaining my stress symptoms, he educated me about the importance of preventing and managing chronic stress. By doing that you can lower your risk for serious conditions like … [Read more...]

How did you fall in love?

One of the concepts I discuss with those receiving couples counseling is falling in love. I frequently ask them to tell me why they fell for the other when they first got together. They report on things such as: Kindness Sense of humor Connection they felt Physical attraction Enjoyment of time together Similar interests How they compliment each other Feeling important' Similar goals in life Etc. I then ask them to share with me the types of things they did to … [Read more...]

The Family that PLAYS Together, STAYS Together

Tonight, as I laughed with my two oldest children while playing a friendly game of “Monopoly Deal”, I could feel all the tension, frustration, and stress from the chaotic evening melt away. I smiled at my son and commented on how good it felt to play a game together. He smiled back and agreed. We spent the next 30 minutes engaged in PLAY, and it was so good for us. What many of us don’t know is that PLAY has an extremely vital and important effect on our mental health and well-being. In fact, … [Read more...]

Resentment: A Relationship Allergen

I want you to imagine a man who is allergic to roses. He loves roses. He makes sure he has fresh roses everywhere; in the car, in the office, in the kitchen, in the bathroom, in the bedroom. Every time you see him you see the effects of the allergic reaction in his itchy, red, swollen, watery eyes. You hear the misery in his congestion, and constant sneezing. Seeing this misery you ask “Why don’t you get rid of all of the roses? Can’t you see that they are making you miserable?” He replies … [Read more...]

Boost Your “Love Hormone,” Increase Intimacy

As Sandra discussed in a recent blog post, many couples over time begin to feel disconnected and distant emotionally and physically. The cool thing is that Nature has a way of boosting that feeling of connection through a hormone produced in our bodies called oxytocin. One of the ways this hormone is released is when people connect through loving touch. The release of oxytocin in the body has many benefits, including: stress relief, increased empathy and emotional bonding, increases trust, … [Read more...]

Learning to Like Yourself

Remember the character Eeyore on Winnie the Pooh? As kids we may have watched that somber donkey with some amusement, but as adults we can go back and listen to his gloomy utterances and feel sorry for the miserable world he created for himself in. Not only did this tail pinned mammal have a bleak outlook on life in general, but a not so optimistic perception of himself as well. How often do we feel like Eeyore? Maybe we are not consistently melancholy, but perhaps many of us struggle being … [Read more...]