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VIDEO: Esther Perel on Speaking About Sex

Getting Comfortable in Couples Therapy

Esther Perel

Many traditional approaches to couples therapy are built on the assumption that if you help a couple clear up the emotional issues in their relationship, sex will automatically get better. . . . But it doesn’t seem to work that way.

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The Gay Man in the Straight Marriage

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

Jeff Levy

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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So Your Client Is Having an Affair...

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

Michele Scheinkman

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

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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Sue Johnson on Restoring Connection to Partnership

The Strength of a Relationship Depends on How Partners Respond to This One Question

Susan Johnson

By Susan Johnson - Marriages are primarily about the emotional responsiveness that we call love; about fundamental human attachment. The empirically supported model of therapy I've developed allows us to understand what happens at key moments of change and make these moments happen. This means that we can not only heal relationships: we can create relationships that heal.

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

Five Clinicians Give Their Take

Chris Lyford

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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Esther Perel's Secret to Weathering an Affair

Two Ways Couples Who Bounced Back Made It Happen

Esther Perel

By Esther Perel - For several years, I've been contacting couples I've treated to find out more about the long-term impact of the infidelity that brought them to therapy. What were the useful shock absorbers that sustained the couple? Did they think that therapy had helped? I identified three basic patterns in the way couples reorganize themselves after an infidelity.

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The Retiring Rebel

Rethinking the Way We Help Clients Face the Midlife Crisis

Tammy Nelson

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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Couples Therapy with a Positive Spin

How to Accomplish Something in Every Session

Ellen Wachtel

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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Restoring Intimacy the Natural Way

How to "Build a Bridge" to Sexual Desire

Barry McCarthy

By Barry McCarthy - Contrary to media myths, movies, and male braggadocio, sex is seldom 100 percent successful, especially as men age. By a certain age, men need to learn what most women already know: good, satisfying, pleasurable sex, particularly in midlife and beyond, is more a matter of intimate teamwork than of physical hydraulics.

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