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Confessions of a Former People Pleaser

The Radical Act of Rethinking Your Boundaries

Alicia Muñoz

By Alicia Muñoz - I used to view boundaries as a fancy way of dressing up rejection, incompetence, and selfishness. But after a decade of working as a couples counselor, I've learned just how much they create safety in relationships. They’re guardians of our life force, energy incubators, protectors of precious emotional resources, stokers and fuelers of self-respect.

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The Golden Rule of Habit Change

Lessons on Expert Productivity

Ryan Howes

By Ryan Howes - At times, the line between stable and stuck-in-a-rut can become a bit blurry. So we turned to New York Times journalist Charles Duhigg, author of the bestseller The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business to see if he’d share how his findings may help us therapists, both personally and professionally.

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Neutrality Is Sabotaging Couples Therapy

How Taking Sides Gets to the Heart of Conflict

Terry Real

By Terry Real - My own experience as a couples therapist has taught me that we aren't doing clients a favor by soft-pedaling difficult issues. More than adopting any particular methodology of change, we can be far more direct and challenging to clients who come to us than we've previously acknowledged. By and large, people are neither fragile nor stupid. If you show them how they're getting in their own way and what behaving more skillfully looks like, they'll be grateful.

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Helping Couples Cross the Argument Impasse

A Four-Step Process

B. Janet Hibbs

By B. Janet Hibbs - In their first therapy session, Bob tells his wife, Sandy, to stop emailing her former college boyfriend. She refuses, feeling mistrusted and controlled, and their exchange heats up. Many couples like these are at an impasse, caught up in a struggle to prove who's right. Here's how to help them get past these kinds of unwinnable arguments and resolve their differences.

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VIDEO: Building Inner Strength with Brain Science

Cultivating Positivity and Virtue in Yourself and Your Clients

Rick Hanson

Weaving together insights from evolutionary biology, modern neuroscience, positive psychology, and mindfulness practices, neuropsychologist Rick Hanson claims the difficulty at the core of human experience is our perpetual struggle to overcome the negativity bias wired into our brains. Here, he explains how understanding the brain can help therapists and their clients grow inner strengths.

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Young and Restless

A Special Story from Our Family Matters Department

Dick Anderson

By Dick Anderson - When you’re young, a car isn’t just a car—it can be a freedom machine.

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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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Introducing Mindfulness to Clients

Making Exercises a Regular Part of Clients' Lives in and Outside the Therapy Room

Shai Lavie

By Shai Lavie - In essence, the therapeutic task is to model compassion and understanding as we guide clients through their pain-filled internal landscapes. For exploring these wilder shores of the self, we can take no more promising a journey of discovery than in the vessel of our own mindful body awareness.

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The Two Ingredients for Deepening Love

What Buddhism Can Teach Us About Partnership and Its Challenges

Polly Young-Eisendrath

By Polly Young-Eisendrath - In order to succeed at truly loving another, you must be able to check in with yourself and get a sense of how you are seeing, hearing, and feeling, so that you can come to recognize your own subjective picture or image or story of the other person and of your relationship.

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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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