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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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When Three Threatens Two

Must Parenthood Bring Down the Curtain on Romance?

Esther Perel

By Esther Perel - Sex makes babies. So it is ironic that the child, the embodiment of the couple's love, so often threatens the very romance that brought that child into being. But the brave and determined couple who maintains an erotic connection is, above all, the couple who values it. They know that it's not children who extinguish the flame of desire: it's adults who fail to keep the spark alive.

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VIDEO: What Therapists Need to Know About Working with LGBTQ+ Clients

How We Think About Gender and Sexuality is Changing at "Warp Speed"

Margaret Nichols

Today’s LGBTQ+ community has exploded in size, and therapists working in progressive, urban communities will likely see clients whose approach to sex, gender, and relationships diverges from the mainstream. In this short video clip, sex therapist and author Margie Nichols explains what this means for your work.

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Psychotherapy and Mindfulness: a Good Marriage?

Is Our Goal Spiritual Growth or Symptom Reduction?

Ronald Siegel

By Ronald Siegel - As mindfulness practices work their way into the psychotherapeutic mainstream, we’re starting to ask more clinically sophisticated questions: Who needs what practice when? What about the downsides of some mindfulness interventions?

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Getting Real in Couples Therapy

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

Terry Real

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

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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Returning to Connection

A Couple on Brink of Divorce Finally Learns to Show Vulnerability

Silvina Irwin

By Silvina Irwin - It’s my first session with Jeff and Miranda. “Honestly, I don’t know why I’m here,” Miranda spits out. “He's cheated on me since we started dating 25 years ago." Can I avoid doing further damage to their precarious relationship? Do I tell Miranda to run for the hills? What if Miranda takes a leap of faith and decides to trust Jeff once more—and he betrays her yet again?

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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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