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Why We Shouldn't Be Neutral about Divorce

Divorced Couples Are Saying Something Important about Regret

William Doherty • 12/29/2017 • 6 Comments

By William Doherty - When I began my therapy practice, I was strictly neutral about divorce. It was the clients’ decision, not mine, and not much different from career choices and deciding whether to stay or leave a job. But eventually, I was propelled out of my denial about the seriousness of divorce. We have a hundred ways to ask “What would be right for you?” and hardly any to ask “What would be right for others in your life?”

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Could You Connect with This Client?

A Guide to Doing Couples Therapy When One Partner Won't Open Up

Kathryn Rheem • 12/26/2017 • 1 Comment

By Kathryn Rheem - Probably no aspect of couples work is more critical, or more difficult, for therapists than engaging a distant, emotionally shutdown partner. Since the feelings being avoided are often regarded as terrifying, humiliating, and deeply threatening, doing this work is a delicate therapeutic balancing act. It requires moving forward with both gentleness and persistence, without being deflected by clients’ profound unwillingness to become engaged.

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How to Foster a "Good Divorce"

Eight Ways to Helps Kids and Parents Reorganize Amidst Pain and Chaos

Maria Isaacs • 12/21/2017 • No Comments

By Maria Isaacs - The fundamental goal of a good divorce is simple yet challenging: children must experience their parents as a working partnership that reliably nurtures and protects them, regardless of how estranged the parents may be from each other. Here are eight ways to help this process along.

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How Commitment Really Works

The Two Most Common Mistakes Struggling Couples Make

Gay Hendricks • 12/19/2017 • 1 Comment

By Gay Hendricks - Therapists who understand and apply two concepts about commitment—that the results you get reveal the actual commitment you've made, and to make a change in a relationship, each participant must take 100 percent responsibility for the current situation—can eliminate a great deal of energy-draining work in the treatment of couples.

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Should You Take Sides in Couples Therapy?

Why Psychotherapy's Views on Male Intimacy Need to Change

Terry Real • 12/1/2017 • No Comments

By Terry Real - The pressure to be hard, logical, independent, and stoic all too often sets men up to be emotionally distant, arrogant, and numb to their own feelings. These aren't pathological aberrations; they're the defining characteristics of manhood in our culture. That's why I break one of marital therapy's cardinal rules. I side with the woman.

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The Liberating Power of Honesty

What People Don't Know Can Hurt Them. What They Don't Reveal Can Hurt Even More

Frank Pittman • 11/23/2017 • No Comments

By Frank Pittman - When we therapists believe a secret's revelations would be dangerous, the client receives a frightening message about him- or herself and about the world. We may accept our patients and make psychodynamic, systemic or sociological excuses for them, while still conveying that their secret is unacceptable. Thus, while explicitly "supporting" them, we implicitly undermine their sense that they are fundamentally decent, acceptable people.

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The Therapeutic Relationship, Revisited

A Man Discovers a Safe Guide, and a Real Person, in His New Therapist

Stephen Lyons • 11/21/2017 • 1 Comment

By Stephen Lyons - My work with Sara began in an uninspiring, windowless, downtown suite that she shared with another therapist. But before long, my therapy hour was the high point of my week. She came to show me that there were places I needed to go—vital, hidden places—that I couldn't get to all by myself. She showed me that she was a trustworthy guide. But after Sara suffered a devastating loss, I saw clearly, all at once, that she didn't simply exist to meet my needs.

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Esther Perel’s Growing Cultural Presence

Expanding the Conversation on Couplehood

Lauren Dockett, Rich Simon • 10/28/2017 • No Comments

By Lauren Dockett and Rich Simon - By questioning some of the fundamental premises of traditional marriage, couples therapist Esther Perel has become, at least for the moment, psychotherapy’s public face and most quotable voice. But what is she saying that’s so intriguing and makes her stand out from all the other relationship experts our field produces?

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The New Anatomy of Emotion

How Brain Science Can Teach Couples Emotional Literacy

Brent Atkinson • 10/5/2017 • 1 Comment

By Brent Atkinson - Even among couples who do make progress in therapy, a disheartening chunk relapse. Why? A lack of emotional literacy. Good clinicians help couples effectively calm their anger and fear circuits as well as stimulate the more vulnerable, connection-generating states. The therapist acts as a kind of neural chiropractor, making regular, finely tuned adjustments to each partner's out-of-sync brain.

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An Awareness of the Soul

What Does It Mean to Really Get in Touch with Yourself?

Michael Ventura • 9/21/2017 • No Comments

By Michael Ventura - When I was 5 years old, I experienced something that made me feel viscerally, mentally, emotionally, and inescapably connected to everything and everyone around me, while feeling what I can only describe as a sense of privacy so deep and unassailable that "loneliness" doesn't begin to describe it. Thirty-five years later, I felt it again.

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