We've gathered Psychotherapy Networkers most popular posts and arranged them here by topic.
Reflections on a Marriage Therapy with a Transitioning Spouse
By David Treadway - Sometimes I’ve been instrumental in helping couples stay married when perhaps they’d have been happier if they’d gotten divorced. Other times, it’s been the reverse. Obviously, we all know that’s it not our job to tell our clients what’s right for them: rather, we need to create the right conditions for them to discover the answers for themselves. Frequently, however, our own reactivity shapes the messages we send and how profoundly we can influence---in unconscious and unpredictable ways---the unfolding of some couples’ lives. I feel that way about my work with Glen and Julie over a 14-year span.
How to Help Couples Have "Hold Me Tight" Conversations
Susan Johnson, couples therapist and author of Love Sense: The Revolutionary New Science of Romantic Relationships
, will be a keynote speaker at this year's Networker Symposium
. Here, she talks about how creating emotionally valuable experiences in therapy helps keep struggling couples engaged and better able to see their partner's point of view, and communicate better outside of therapy and in the bedroom.
Can Pornography Actually Help our Relationships?
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?
Tammy Nelson's Three-Step Process for Recovering from Infidelity
Even though our ideas about sex and sexuality have greatly advanced over the last half-century, our culture still holds a double standard about infidelity: we still tend to pathologize women or shame them for having affairs. In my view, far from being evidence of pathology or marital bankruptcy, a woman’s affair can be a way of expressing a desire for an entirely different self, either separate from the marriage altogether or still in it. By understanding this, therapists have an opportunity to help troubled couples create a new relationship with better communication, fuller intimacy, and realistic hope for a better future together.
Overall, putting together the new video course and the magazine issue was an oddly touching experience, because I felt that there was a deep sense of camaraderie, common discovery, and shared vulnerability. I had the sense that whether we felt uncomfortable, exhilarated, or just fascinated by what is, after all, an endlessly fascinating topic, we were all in this project together. And by “this project,” I mean not just our exploration of sex, but the whole human project.
John and Julie Gottman and the 'Four Horsemen' of the Relationship Apocalypse
The couples we see are often in terrible distress. Don’t they deserve the best we can give them? Couples therapy, like any form of psychotherapy, is an art form at its best. But underlying the art, we need methods built on the truth of what couples need to succeed, rather than those based in myths patched together out of stereotypes. So we come to our first principle for doing effective couples therapy: use research-based methods to treat couples. Science is the avenue that can best lead us toward truth. After studying more than 3,000 couples and participating in studies of 3,500 more, here's a summary of everything our couples have taught us.
How Oxytocin Stimulates Trust and Connection, and Helps Relationships Heal
When clients are emotionally worked up, caught in fight-flight-freeze mode, all their hard-earned skills in empathic listening and responsible (and responsive) speaking go out the window. Nothing therapeutic is going to happen until they feel calm enough and safe enough to reengage with each other. But by teaching behavior that helps clients' brains release oxytocin, a naturally occurring hormone which stimulates feelings of bonding and trust, and reduces fear and anxiety, we can create potent catalysts of psycho-physiological change.
Michael Ventura on Sexuality and Romance as a Personal Journey into the Self
Today, sexuality still seems to be a territory as private and filled with fear as ever it was. We haven't advanced far in our ability to talk of our own sexuality one with another. Part of what makes sexuality scary is that it's a realm all its own: one in which the rational and the measured are overwhelmed and subsumed. It's where we meet ourselves most directly, without filters, without verbiage, and, if we go far enough, without fixed roles. It's where we meet ourselves with and through the Other, a partner as fluid we are.
Wendy Maltz on the Need to Address Porn Addiction as a Public Health Threat
Nearly 40 million Americans visit Internet porn sites at least once a month. Not surprisingly, concerns about the effect of porn on individuals and relationships are also on the rise. Changes in how people access and use pornography have taken the therapeutic community by surprise. Many therapists don't yet comprehend the extent of the problems porn can cause, or how deeply its use can harm individuals and their intimate partners. What's more, pornography is quickly moving from an individual and couples' problem to a public health problem, capable of deeply harming the emotional, sexual, and relationship well-being of millions of men, women, and children.
When is Enough Enough?
We spend countless hours focused on how best to keep couples together, but rarely pay much attention to how to best help them split up. And we spend even less time examining how our own emotional reactions can influence their decision about whether to divorce.
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