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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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The Case for Porn

Can Pornography Actually Help our Relationships?

Ian Kerner • 2/5/2016 • 2 Comments

Porn is polarizing. Porn is confusing. Porn can be alarming. For therapists, porn can push us out of our comfort zone and trigger negative countertransference. One thing is for sure: porn is everywhere, and it’s here to stay. So what do therapists have to say about it?

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The Chemistry Behind Couples Therapy

Pat Love Explains the Science of Effective Sex Therapy

Pat Love • 12/30/2014 • No Comments

Our culture speaks of "falling" in love. Other societies have compared infatuation to divine revelation, and to psychosis. We often say, in jest, that this experience of hurricane-force passion is "like a drug." But that oft-quipped analogy may turn out to be no joke. Some scientists now believe that the frenzied euphoria of romantic love may well be a bona fide, altered state of consciousness, primarily brought on by the action of phenylethylamine (PEA), a naturally occurring, amphetamine-like neurotransmitter. And if our desire problems are at least partly innate, then maybe we don't need to feel quite so ashamed and despairing about the muddle we're in.

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Helping Couples in Therapy Understand Desire

What Is This Thing Called Love?

Pat Love • 10/14/2014 • 2 Comments

The provocative core of new research is this: each of us approaches our erotic encounters already primed by a premixed neurochemical and hormonal "cocktail" that influences both the strength and staying power of sexual passion. Having delved into this new biological evidence and observed its impact in my own couples therapy practice, I’m convinced that as long as our clients remain unaware of these bodily processes, they’re at high risk for making disastrous decisions about their intimate commitments.

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