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Searching for Connection

Love and connection seem complicated and mysterious.Peaceful Happy Couple

With it, humans thrive. Without it – not so much.

Relationship distress is a little known and unacknowledged public health issue in the United States. As a culture, we don’t think of depression, anxiety and other health issues that way.

The good news is – relationship disconnect or insecure attachment – is rapidly becoming THE issue of the 21st century.

While a definitive answer to connection eludes us, last week, after years of research and collaboration, a groundbreaking study was released. It showed, for the first time, how the brain sees and responds to threat.

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How Masterful Couples Use Time

When you think about the relationship you truly desire, you might think…We don’t have time for that.

I read a blog recently that reminded me of the way I think about time. Then, as I listened to clients, I realized the issue is too important to keep to myself. I was going to have to write about it.

Here are just a few of the things we all say and do around time:

The kids take up all our time.
Who has the time?
Maybe we’ll do it next time.
Time passed us by.
We run out of time.
We don’t take the time.
Relationships take too much time.
We race against time.
We borrow time,
save time
use time,
spend time
and
waste time.

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3 Tips To Help You Avoid Painful Communication Mistakes

Making just a few small shifts in your communication patterns can be very powerful in connecting with others. Great communication skills help you:

  • avoid conflict.
  • get what you want.
  • improve relationships.
  • make it easier for people to hear you and understand you.Communication

Verbal and non-verbal communication allows humans to relate in ways that deepen relationships and create connection. The better you communicate the more profound and fulfilling your relationships become.

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The #1 Tool You Need to Fix Your Relationship

Humans are generally happiest when their intimate#1 Tool You Need to Fix Your Relationship relationships go well and they’re distressed when they don’t.

It’s not unusual to get anxious or depressed enough to seek help.

Back in the day, old-school thinking propelled individuals into counseling for three basic reasons…

1) We wanted someone (other than family) to understand our situation and tell us what to do.

2) We wanted to clear our head and get our act together BEFORE getting into another relationship.

3) We sent our partner to therapy so they could get their act together!

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Are You Feeling Stuck? Start a Movement

Humans have the capacity to see the world through a whimsical lens or a weighty one. As a result, feelings usually ebb and flow. But sometimes… I can get stuck – I mean really, really stuck.Get Unstuck

It’s a universal human experience and happens to everyone.

Stuck-ness creeps in without warning and… when it does…. it reigns supreme and colors everything.

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The Cost of Facing Truth

Distressed couples rarely seek out truths that disturb the status quo of their relationship. Blaming is so much easier. Blaming sooths us and lets us off the hook.

“It’s not me. It’s you.” accusing-pointing

On some level it works.

Couples maintaining the status quo of distress get caught in a two-step dance…. and they’re skillful at it.

Usually, one person pushes and prods for closeness. The other withdraws… certain that more engagement will generate more distress…This creates distance… and other person pushes and prods for closeness again.

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How To Create a Relationship Everyone Will Envy!

Human beings want to be valued and admired but creating a relationshipCouples in conversation with other people in mind is a bad idea.

If you want your relationship to make others green with envy…

Rule #1:  Don’t do it!  

Building a relationship intended to

•    satisfy someone else,
•    ‘show’ someone,
•    out-do someone or
•    impress someone

ensures distress and unhappiness.

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Are You Practicing Radical Self-Care?

Last week I met up with a friend and mentioned I was having a ‘Barbara Anne Day’. She was confused so I explained:

Barbara Anne is my full name — AND — I set aside one Saturday a month for a Barbara Anne Day. That’s when I turn my kindness floodlight inward, slow way down and practice 24 hours of Radical Self-Care.

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Are You and Your Partner Connected?

One Little Answer to Four Simple Questions Determines A Healthy Relationship

Couples Connections and RelationshipsIn the fall of 1993, I was making a career transition from university fund-raiser to Marriage and Family Therapist when I saw my first client in a Los Angeles clinic. She was a beautiful, young, soft-spoken woman in despair over her relationship. While we sat together she explained how much she and her husband loved each other but for some reason, things were not going well. For nearly an hour, she shared her confusion and the drama of their life and then … I never saw her again. Ever. Today I think of her as an angel who inspired me to focus on working with couples.

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