Couples Counseling Articles

Connection

The A.R.E. Trilogy: Accessible. Responsive. Engaged.

Lasting love (attraction, affection, communication, intimacy etc.) isn’t about just one thing. It’s really about three.

Accessibility: Accessibility is simply ‘Are you available?’ Can your partner reach you even when you’re upset or feeling insecure. When you start to spin, can you make sense of your emotions? Can you express yourself and share in ways that don’t blame, accuse or hold your partner responsible for the spin you’re in? When you’re spinning, you’re disconnected from yourself AND your partner.. If the spin stops, you can determine what’s going on inside. You can reconnect and tune in.

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LOVING vs. LONGING

Loving is not the same as longing.

Love is a verb….and an art form.

Like a muscle that must be used or a dance that must be danced, love gets stronger….better with practice.

  • Kindness
  • Vulnerability
  • Patience
  • Humor
  • Generosity
  • Touch
  • Gentleness

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Simple Holiday Love

‘Everything should be made as simple as possible but not simpler’.

Einstein’s quote is a head scratcher until you think of a popular and much loved recipe.

Considering the season, let’s take a look at my favorite, Chocolate Chip Cookies.

Whittle Martha Stewart’s complicated recipe down to a few basic ingredients, and you can make it as simple as possible;

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The Relationship Dance

Sue Johnson, the world’s leading couples therapist and researcher talks about intimate relationship as a ‘dance that shapes and recreates the dancers’.

Relationship is about relating; ‘It’s a dance of synchrony requiring partners to improvise and tune in to each other’.

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For entertainment we watch movies where brilliant actors talk and pick up each other’s flawless cues.

They respond perfectly. Dreamily. Lovingly. That’s why we pay them $20 million a picture, after all.

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Are You There For Me?

Are You There For Me?Like most folks, you probably thought having a safe, secure base and being dependent on another human being should be limited to parents and children.

Growing up, you were probably taught, explicitly or implicitly, that the most desirable option for any self-respecting adult was independence; that needing someone… relying on someone… and needing reassurance was a sure sign of weakness.

Fortunately, there’s a new paradigm emerging and the science is clear.

  • Effective dependence is optimal and loneliness is a greater risk to your health than smoking.
  • Having a close, loving relationship and a partner who provides a safe-haven and secure base – especially in difficult times – calms the central nervous system and soothes the brain.
  • Emotional closeness enables you to do more, be more; live more fully and take more risks.

It turns out, effective, healthy and mutual dependence is an extraordinary advantage in life.

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We Would Love To Have Your Feedback

flowersA friend popped by my office recently to say hello and drop off a bouquet of flowers – for no particular reason! She stayed only a minute reminding me that every act and every word hold the seed of possibility to change a person’s whole life – for better or worse.

The way we cultivate our relationships determines the life we get to live. Relationships give us direct and immediate feedback of who we are and how we show up in the world. Connection is the key for a great outcome.

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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 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 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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