Topic - Couples

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

How to Overcome Your Fear of Couples Therapy

What's at Stake When We Only Treat One Partner

Ellyn Bader and Peter Pearson

By Ellyn Bader and Peter Pearson - Many clients avoid couples therapy, and many clinicians themselves prefer not getting involved in it. Sometimes clients fear the unpleasant things their partners might say about them. And for us, a one-on-one relationship can be pretty rewarding. Being an effective couples therapist requires us to develop skills we may not come by naturally. Here's how to do it.

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Men in Couples Therapy Don't Want Your Validation

Helping Men Commit to Change Means Tapping into a Biological Imperative

Steven Stosny

By Steven Stosny -  For men to engage in the hard work of change, the rewards have to be automatic and visceral, independent of the artificial environment of the therapist's office and vague therapeutic concepts. If you listen long enough to men talking about what it means to love, you'll notice that loving is inextricably linked, for many men, to some form of protection. If men can't feel successful at protecting, they can't fully love.

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Can Open Relationships Ever Work—and When Should Therapists Support Them?

Helping Your Clients Create a Relationship "Contract"

Rick Miller

By Rick Miller - Partners who are basically healthy as individuals and stable as a couple may benefit from an open relationship. Even in our highly sexualized society, alternative arrangements such as open relationships may seem alien and intimidating to many people, but as therapists, our challenge is to be less prudish and frightened by potentially negative outcomes.

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How to Help Couples Move Past an Extramarital Affair

The Importance of Finding Meaning, Recommitting, and Achieving Sexual Recovery

Barry McCarthy

By Barry McCarthy - Recovery from an extramarital affair asks a lot of partners. They must not only process painful feelings, repair the rupture of trust, and share their deepest vulnerabilities, but also take steps to build a new, resilient bond, both emotionally and sexually. Allocating the right amount of time to deal with the affair and determining when partners are ready to focus on the present and future marital bond is a struggle for both clinicians and couples.

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The Uninvited Guest

A Master Clinician Shares Her Most Memorable Therapeutic Moment

Hedy Schleifer

By Hedy Schleifer - Many people wonder how therapists manage to do the work they do. Of the thousands of meaningful sessions that take place in a therapist’s office, certain ones stand out. In the following storytelling piece, couples therapist Hedy Schleifer shares a memorable moment from her own work.

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VIDEO: Making the Case for the Emotional Man

Pat Love Explains Why We Need to Rethink the "Empathy Gap"

Pat Love

Have you ever wondered if some men in your practice are simply unable to listen, connect, and empathize with their partners? According to Pat Love, it’s more likely that our definition of empathy is just too narrow.

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VIDEO: When One Partner Wants Out

Discernment Counseling for the Mixed-Agenda Couple

Bill Doherty

In at least 30 percent of couples who come to therapy, partners enter the consulting room with different agendas---one wants a divorce, the other wants to save the marriage. Bill Doherty, cofounder of The Doherty Relationship Institute and director of the Minnesota Couples on the Brink Project, says the stakes are high in this scenario and traditional approaches fall short with these mixed-agenda couples.

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Creating Therapeutic Changes That Last

Why Changing Clients' Habits is Key to Making Therapy Stick

Steven Stosny

By Steven Stosny - With the exception of saints and literary characters, enduring change rarely happens as the result of being knocked off our feet by a spiritual or psychological whack upside the head. Perdurable change is gradual and mundane. It occurs by extending, supplementing, and altering the habits that shape perspectives and drive behavior. First comes the hard work; then comes the epiphany.

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A Therapist Struggles with the Clinical Choices He's Made

Reflections on a Marriage Therapy with a Transitioning Spouse

David Treadway

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.

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VIDEO: Susan Johnson on Attachment Issues in the Bedroom

How to Help Couples Have "Hold Me Tight" Conversations

Susan Johnson

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.

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