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The Gottmans' Call to Make Couples Therapy More Effective

A New Wave of Systems Theory and Therapy Now Includes Scientific Inquiry

John Gottman, Julie Gottman • 9/18/2017 • No Comments

By John and Julie Gottman - A second revolution is quietly taking shape—a new wave of systems theory and therapy—that marries the wisdom of clinical intuition with the rigors of scientific inquiry. With more precision and accuracy, we can now begin to answer two key questions about relationships: what causes trouble between people and what helps them not merely survive together, but actually rekindle love and delight?

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Creating Relationships That Heal

Susan Johnson Explains What Causes Most Couples Conflict

Susan Johnson • 8/10/2017 • 1 Comment

By Susan Johnson - After all these years of working with couples, I now understand that the heart of the matter rarely concerns the content of a couple's arguments, but almost always concerns the strength and responsiveness of the attachment relationship they have. And the bottom-line test of that relationship is in the answer to a fundamental question each is asking the other: Are you really there for me?

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Helping Couples Process the Trauma of Sickness

How Illness Can Leave Marriage on the Rocks

Jeri Hepworth • 8/3/2017 • 2 Comments

By Jeri Hepworth - As human beings vulnerable to a wide variety of infirmities, we need to know at the deepest level that our partners will stick around even when our bodies betray us. And yet, even though we generally agree that abandoning an ailing partner is unacceptable, we don't really appreciate how high a toll a serious medical problem can take on a relationship.

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Working with Cross-Cultural Couples

...And Why It's Not Necessarily Wrong to Take Sides

Kirsten Lind Seal • 5/29/2017 • No Comments

By Kirsten Lind Seal - Given how likely it is that as a therapist you’ll have cross-cultural couples come to you for support with their relationship, it’s important to know how best to help them navigate not only the usual communication and intimacy issues, but also the unique challenges that many cross-cultural couples face that aren’t always addressed in therapy.

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Helping Struggling Couples Find Their Sexual Style

A Guide to the Four Types: Traditional, Soulmate, Emotionally Expressive, Complementary

Barry McCarthy • 5/9/2017 • No Comments

By Barry McCarthy - What is a sexual style? It has to do with recognizing how different elements of a couple's sexual experience form a pattern—their way of initiating sex, how they pleasure each other and engage in erotic scenarios, the role of intercourse in their lovemaking, the afterplay scenarios they prefer, and the meaning sex has for them and its place in their relationship. In my clinical work, the vast majority of couples tend to fall within one of four styles.

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From the Mind's Story to the Body's

Learning to Sit with Physical Sensations Brought on by Conflict

Molly Layton • 5/2/2017 • 1 Comment

By Molly Layton - Even with two people sitting quietly, an interpersonal space isn't an empty space—it's alive with a peculiar quality. These days, in certain intractable situations, I keep discovering how much getting couples to focus on the immediacy of their bodily sensations can change the entire flow and direction of what takes place in my office.

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What Makes Couples Therapy Techniques Stick?

Three Ways to Replicate Progress Outside the Consulting Room

Carolyn Daitch • 4/18/2017 • No Comments

By Carolyn Daitch - We not only have to teach our clients how to interrupt old coping mechanisms, generated by fear and anger, but also how to integrate new coping skills permanently into their response repertoire. Successfully combating and overriding firmly ingrained behaviors in this manner requires practice, and it's our job as therapists to help clients learn how and when to practice these skills, and then make sure they go home and do it.

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What Talking About Fantasy Can Do for Couples Therapy

...And Four Questions to Get the Conversation Started

Tammy Nelson • 3/27/2017 • 1 Comment

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.

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VIDEO: Julie Gottman on Making Couples' Life Dreams Come True

The Importance of Creating "Shared Meaning"

Julie Gottman • 3/22/2017 • No Comments

According to renowned couples therapist Julie Gottman, one of the main predictors of a romantic relationship's success or failure is how well partners can dialogue about their differences. In the following clip from her 2015 Networker Symposium keynote, Gottman explains what a healthy dialogue looks like, and how it fosters "shared meaning."

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The Gay Man in the Straight Marriage

Exploring the Uncharted Territory of a "Mixed-Orientation Marriage"

Jeff Levy • 2/24/2017 • 1 Comment

By Jeff Levy - Gay men married to women frequently describe their experiences in therapy as confusing and polarizing, facing a strong bias toward full disclosure and divorce. My work with gay and bisexual men over the past 10 years has taught me to see psychotherapy as a place to hold dynamic tensions without easy, premature resolutions.

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