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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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My Father's Ranch

A Daughter Wrestles with Bittersweet Memories and a New, Looming Threat

Alicia Muñoz

By Alicia Muñoz - Sometimes family legacies can stir up complicated feelings and outright conflict.

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Is Porn a Threat to Public Health?

Here Are the Questions You Need to Ask Clients Using Porn

Wendy Maltz

By Wendy Maltz - The explosion in porn use has happened so fast that many therapists have been caught unprepared. And despite the increase in the number of people suffering from serious consequences of habitual porn use, few therapists feel comfortable and confident addressing porn-related concerns.

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The Courage to Let Go

A Special Story from Our Family Matters Department

Elizabeth Young

By Elizabeth Young - A whirlwind romance turns into a troubled relationship.

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The Therapeutic Relationship, Revisited

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

Stephen Lyons

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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The Therapist Who Saved Me

Learning to Explore the Stories I Never Told Anyone

Stephen Lyons

By Stephen Lyons - I spent my first weeks in therapy recounting my recently-ended marriage: the spreading contagion of lies, fights, and broken promises. I'd never told these stories to anyone, ever. Each scene seemed a searing indictment of my abilities as a husband and father. But Sara simply listened, asked questions I'd never asked myself. Her role as a protective friend startled me into action.

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Coping and Learning After a Client's Suicide

A Therapist Reflects on What He Might Have Done Differently

Frank Pittman

By Frank Pittman - I've been in full-time private practice for almost 30 years. In that time, three patients in my practice killed themselves. Each suicide has left me shell-shocked and questioning my therapeutic attitudes and methods. I did not expect Adam to be one of my casualties.

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Affair Repair

Two Contradictions That Can Help Couples on the Brink Restore Connection

Michele Weiner-Davis

By Michele Weiner-Davis - Couples therapy can be difficult and dicey, especially when there’s an affair in the mix. To keep afloat in the emotional tumult, most therapists cling to certain hard-and-fast rules that form the foundation of their work. One therapist learns some surprising lessons when she reevaluates those tenets.

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Passionate Marriage

Helping Couples Decode the Language of Their Sexuality

David Schnarch

Over the years, I've worked with many couples who complain bitterly that the other kisses or touches, fondles, caresses, strokes the "wrong" way. I used to take these complaints at face value, trying to help the couple solve their problems through various forms of marital bargaining, until I realized that their sexual dissatisfactions didn't stem from ignorance, ineptitude, or a "failure to communicate." Instead of trying to spackle over these normal and typical "dysfunctional" sexual patterns with a heavy coat of how-to lessons, I have learned that it makes much more sense to help the couple analyze their behavior, to look for the meaning of what they were already doing before they focused on changing the mechanics.

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