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Getting Real in Couples Therapy

Ignoring the Destructive Patterns in Front of Us Does Our Clients a Disservice

Terry Real • 6 Comments

By Terry Real - It's disrespectful to clients not to let them in on the truth about what we witness regularly in our offices as they play out their relationships in front of us: the ways they deal with their partners are often self-centered, unfeeling, and counterproductive. I believe that in order to teach our clients how to be authentic and connected, we must be real with them ourselves.

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So Your Client Is Having an Affair...

Should You Be a Secret-Keeper or is Honesty the Best Policy?

Michele Scheinkman • 5 Comments

By Michele Scheinkman - Underlying the perceived magnitude of an affair is an idealized view of marriage as the "shelter" in our lives, with a primary function of providing emotional security and attunement. I've found it perplexing that, although we live in an ostensibly liberal and sexually permissive society, therapists typically have one-track minds regarding how to approach infidelity.

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The Two Essential Ingredients for a Happy, Long-Lasting Relationship

John Gottman's Latest Research from the "Love Lab"

John Gottman • No Comments

By John Gottman - What the latest research from my lab is telling us is that trust and commitment are both the key ingredients for being in love with your partner for a lifetime, and for having your marriage be a safe haven. These are the ingredients for not just loving your partner, but being in love with your partner.

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January Quandary: Should I Keep One Partner’s Secret in Couples Therapy?

Five Clinicians Give Their Take

Chris Lyford • 3 Comments

By Chris Lyford - Mark and his wife, Nicole, have been in couples therapy for almost six months. But Mark recently requested an individual session, where he revealed he recently shared a kiss with an old girlfriend and has plans to rekindle their friendship. He's asked his therapist to keep the whole thing a secret. Here's how five clinicians say they'd tackle the situation.

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VIDEO: The 3 Keys to Helping Clients Navigate Sexual Problems

You Don't Need to Be an Expert to Help Clients Get "Dumb and Happy"

Lauren Dockett • No Comments

Sex and relationship therapist Stephen Snyder talks with Psychotherapy Networker's Lauren Dockett about three simple things to do when you find yourself becoming a client's "accidental sex therapist."

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Putting an End to the Blame Game

A Tool for Helping Partners See Both Sides

Alicia Muñoz • No Comments

By Alicia Muñoz - Giving up being right doesn’t mean you give up your convictions. It means honoring a multiplicity of viewpoints. Rumi says, “Somewhere beyond right and wrong, there is a garden. I will meet you there.” For couples, this garden is their relationship.

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Is Porn a Threat to Public Health?

Here Are the Questions You Need to Ask Clients Using Porn

Wendy Maltz • 4 Comments

By Wendy Maltz - The explosion in porn use has happened so fast that many therapists have been caught unprepared. And despite the increase in the number of people suffering from serious consequences of habitual porn use, few therapists feel comfortable and confident addressing porn-related concerns.

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The Resurgence of Patriarchy

Why We Need to Leave Neutrality Behind

Terry Real • 6 Comments

By Terry Real - Factions of men and women these days are feeling a powerful pull toward many of the notions of traditional masculinity. What we’re witnessing is a reassertion of its most difficult and harmful traits. And yet we psychotherapists, as a field, have remained largely silent about this resurgence. Is neutrality in these times really in our clients’ best interests?

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The Core of Couples Therapy

Susan Johnson Explains the Root of Most Couples Conflict

Susan Johnson • 1 Comment

By Susan Johnson - In couples therapy, 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. 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 People Pleasers Set Boundaries

…And What to Do When It Backfires

Alicia Muñoz • No Comments

Alicia Muñoz - Boundaries bind. They limit, stop, and inhibit. But they also free people up to be themselves. In couples where one partner is a people-pleaser, things can get even more complicated.

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