Rethinking the Way We Help Clients Face the Midlife Crisis
By Tammy Nelson - Rather than thinking of midlife as an emotional unraveling, I believe it’s more helpful to reframe this stage of life in our early 50s and 60s as “second adolescence,” a time when we’re old enough to appreciate how short life is, but young enough to find new ways to enjoy it.
...And Four Questions to Get the Conversation Started
By Tammy Nelson - Sexual boredom often results from the assumption by each partner that there's no longer anything new to discover about the other, or about their sex life together. I've found that a therapist can alleviate such sexual ennui by helping each partner reveal previously undisclosed erotic fantasies. This apparently simple step can lead to new ways of seeing and experiencing the partner and the self.
What the Many Forms of Cheating Have in Common
Of course, sexual affairs are red flags for infidelity, but the common element that makes any outside relationship an infidelity is the presence of secrecy and dishonesty. In the following video clip, sex therapist Tammy Nelson explains how to spot it.
Examining the Female Affair as a Search for Self
By Tammy Nelson - In my view, far from being evidence of pathology or marital bankruptcy, a woman’s affair can be a way of expressing a desire for an entirely different self, either separate from the marriage altogether or still in it. Sometimes, understanding an affair as an unconscious bid for self-empowerment, relief from bad sex, or a response to a lack of choices or personal freedom is an important first step toward a fuller, more mature selfhood.
Tammy Nelson's Three-Step Process for Recovering from Infidelity
Even though our ideas about sex and sexuality have greatly advanced over the last half-century, our culture still holds a double standard about infidelity: we still tend to pathologize women or shame them for having affairs. In my view, far from being evidence of pathology or marital bankruptcy, a woman’s affair can be a way of expressing a desire for an entirely different self, either separate from the marriage altogether or still in it. By understanding this, therapists have an opportunity to help troubled couples create a new relationship with better communication, fuller intimacy, and realistic hope for a better future together.
Helping Couples Let Go with Dignity
In today’s changing world, therapists need a new road map for helping couples end unions with their dignity intact, their sanity whole, and in a greater spirit of cooperation and good will.
Tammy Nelson on the Mechanics of the Intentional Divorce
At one time in my career, I’d have considered divorce as an outcome of therapy to be a failure—by the couple and by me. But over the years, I’ve learned to think of it as another opportunity to help. I’ve learned that I can help couples end their union in as thoughtful and pragmatic a way as possible. In other words, both partners can come through the experience with their dignity intact, their sanity whole, and in a greater spirit of cooperation and goodwill—attributes they’ll need as they continue to share responsibilities for their investments, their interests and their children.