Topic - Couples

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We've gathered Psychotherapy Networkers most popular posts and arranged them here by topic.

What Successful Couples Are Doing Right

The Gottmans on Mastering the Brain’s Seven Pathways to Emotional Connection

John Gottman, Julie Gottman

By John and Julie Gottman - John and Julie Gottman have spent decades developing an evidence base for couples therapy, honing their techniques for stabilizing marriage through research with nearly 3,000 couples. In the following excerpt from their 2018 Networker Symposium keynote address, they explain what research has revealed about the crucial role the brain’s seven different command systems can play in enhancing the quality of couples’ emotional connection.

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Is Porn Incompatible with a Loving Relationship?

Talking Frankly About Secrecy, Shame, and New Levels of Intimacy

Joe Kort

By Joe Kort - Despite the undeniable harm that porn can do, we therapists need to bear in mind a fundamental fact: the overwhelming majority of people exposed to it don't become addicts. To begin to see porn in a more normalizing light, it can be helpful to understand the ways in which porn can be incorporated into a relationship without secretiveness or shame.

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VIDEO: My First Client, My Greatest Teacher

Sue Johnson Shares a Story of Personal and Professional Transformation

Susan Johnson

In the following video from her 2018 Networker Symposium storytelling piece, couples and family therapist Sue Johnson shares a therapeutic moment that stands out from all others, one that left her with a deepened sense of what it means at the core to be a therapist.

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The Five Love Languages

An Interview with Gary Chapman

Ryan Howes

By Ryan Howes - In our romantic fantasies, the path to true love is smooth. But the couples we see in therapy aren’t always so adept. In his book, The Five Love Languages, Gary Chapman writes that people typically tend to express and understand emotional love through one of five “languages”—words of affirmation, quality time, personal gifts, acts of service, or physical touch.

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The Retiring Rebel

Rethinking the Way We Help Clients Face the Midlife Crisis

Tammy Nelson

By Tammy Nelson - Rather than thinking of midlife as an emotional unraveling, I believe it’s more helpful to reframe this stage of life in our early 50s and 60s as “second adolescence,” a time when we’re old enough to appreciate how short life is, but young enough to find new ways to enjoy it.

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Can Open Relationships Work?

How to Know When They're Right (or Not) and How to Set Ground Rules

Rick Miller

By Rick Miller - Even for healthy couples, opening up a relationship in a way that’s not destructive is hard work and requires a great deal of communication around what is and isn’t acceptable. Yet even with these guidelines established, helping couples navigate this territory is a challenge. Here are some best practices.

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Listening to the Body's Story

In Couples Therapy, Sitting With Sensations Can Have a Surprising Effect

Molly Layton

By Molly Layton - Even with two people sitting quietly, an interpersonal space isn't an empty space—it's alive with a peculiar quality. These days, in certain intractable situations, I keep discovering how much getting couples to focus on the immediacy of their bodily sensations can change the entire flow and direction of what takes place in my office.

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Couples Therapy with a Positive Spin

How to Accomplish Something in Every Session

Ellen Wachtel

By Ellen Wachtel - Doing couples therapy isn’t easy. But often there are implicit positives in statements in which the main point is anger, disappointment, and hurt. With practice, therapists can learn to pick up on the strengths that are embedded in painful emotions.

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The Best Way to Support Older Caregivers

...And the One Question You Probably Didn't Think to Ask

Nancy Kriseman

By Nancy Kriseman - The Alzheimer’s Association estimates that 5.2 million Americans affected by dementia are over the age 65, which makes the vast majority members of what’s called the traditionalist generation. Understanding this generation’s entrenched values and how they can affect their coping and your intervention can facilitate better outcomes.

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How To Stop Couples Conflict Before It Even Starts

...And the Five Life Factors That Contribute to Intensifying Anger Arousal

W. Robert Nay

By W. Robert Nay - Therapy often involves entirely too much talking about new skills the client should put into place, but not enough rehearsing. Just as exposure training reduces anxiety to feared situations, having couples rehearse conflict makes them feel less threatened as they learn new ways of responding to old anger triggers.

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