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Mastering the Tango of Love

Sue Johnson on Discovering Hidden Moments of Connection

Susan Johnson • 7/19/2018 • No Comments

By Sue Johnson - If you’re going to help a couple get closer and learn to really dance together, whether in bed or anywhere else, the key is helping partners experience bonding moments that open them to becoming emotionally accessible to each other. If you can do that, their bodies will follow, and sex will almost always improve.

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Rethinking the Female Affair

When It Comes to Treating Women Who Cheat, Too Many Therapists Are Making This Mistake

Tammy Nelson • 6/29/2018 • 2 Comments

By Tammy Nelson - 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. 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.

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What Successful Couples Are Doing Right

The Gottmans on Mastering the Brain’s Seven Pathways to Emotional Connection

John Gottman, Julie Gottman • 6/20/2018 • No Comments

By John and Julie Gottman - John and Julie Gottman have spent decades developing an evidence base for couples therapy, honing their techniques for stabilizing marriage through research with nearly 3,000 couples. In the following excerpt from their 2018 Networker Symposium keynote address, they explain what research has revealed about the crucial role the brain’s seven different command systems can play in enhancing the quality of couples’ emotional connection.

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Selling Clients on Consent

...And Creating a Space for Men in the Age of #MeToo

Lauren Dockett • 5/28/2018 • No Comments

By Lauren Dockett - Privately shaken and sometimes concerned about their own complicity, many men are now worried about how the #MeToo movement will deepen the gulf of understanding between them and the women in their lives. But much of the secrecy and shame around sex for men and women could be mitigated by embracing a practice of consent.

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The Five Love Languages

An Interview with Gary Chapman

Ryan Howes • 5/22/2018 • No Comments

By Ryan Howes - In our romantic fantasies, the path to true love is smooth. But the couples we see in therapy aren’t always so adept. In his book, The Five Love Languages, Gary Chapman writes that people typically tend to express and understand emotional love through one of five “languages”—words of affirmation, quality time, personal gifts, acts of service, or physical touch.

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The Retiring Rebel

Rethinking the Way We Help Clients Face the Midlife Crisis

Tammy Nelson • 4/20/2018 • No Comments

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.

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Listening to the Body's Story

In Couples Therapy, Sitting With Sensations Can Have a Surprising Effect

Molly Layton • 3/8/2018 • 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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Couples Therapy with a Positive Spin

How to Accomplish Something in Every Session

Ellen Wachtel • 3/2/2018 • No Comments

By Ellen Wachtel - Doing couples therapy isn’t easy. But often there are implicit positives in statements in which the main point is anger, disappointment, and hurt. With practice, therapists can learn to pick up on the strengths that are embedded in painful emotions.

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How To Stop Couples Conflict Before It Even Starts

...And the Five Life Factors That Contribute to Intensifying Anger Arousal

W. Robert Nay • 2/27/2018 • No Comments

By W. Robert Nay - Therapy often involves entirely too much talking about new skills the client should put into place, but not enough rehearsing. Just as exposure training reduces anxiety to feared situations, having couples rehearse conflict makes them feel less threatened as they learn new ways of responding to old anger triggers.

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Five Ways to Maintain Gains in Couples Therapy

...And the First Question You Need to Ask Relapsing Partners

Jon Carlson • 2/16/2018 • No Comments

By Jon Carlson - Couples therapists need to be aware of the strategies that prevent relapse, so that short-term successes don't become long-term failures, and to address those areas in the initial therapy with the couple. However, if gains are not maintained, here are five areas of treatment you may need to revisit.

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