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Erotic Intelligence

Reconciling Sensuality and Domesticity

May/June 2003
Many therapists fail to recognize that sexual desire doesn't always play by the rules of good citizenship. By counseling political correctness in the bedroom, they miss the point of eroticism captured in Bunel's famous pronouncement that "sex without sin is like an egg without salt."
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In the Mood

Desire Seldom Comes to Those Who Wait

May/June 2003
If you've ever thought that a couple's sexual relationship is a barometer of other aspects of their marriage, join the club. And if, because of this belief, your work with distant and warring couples has you shoring up their emotional bond in the hopes that the rest of their marriage—their sex life—will eventually fall into place, you're in good company as well. But there's another, frequently more practical and expedient, way to break through marital gridlock and boost passion.

An Affair to Remember

How Much Knowledge is Too Much Knowledge?

July/August 2003
Q: I'm seeing a couple who's recovering from the husband's affair. While the husband's stopped all contact with the other woman and doesn't want to dwell on the past, the wife insists on knowing the details. How much disclosure is needed for the couple to heal?

Brain to Brain

New Ways to Help Couples Avoid Relapse

September/October 2002
More than just a high-tech explanation for why couples fight, make up, and drift apart,  the new affective neuroscience provides a rough but valuable guide to helping couples protect their relationship for the long haul.

Bad Couples Therapy

Betting Past the Myth of Therapist Neutrality

November/December 2002
A dirty little secret in the therapy field is that couples therapy may be the hardest form of therapy, and most therapists aren't good at it. Of course, this wouldn't be a public health problem if most therapists stayed away from couples work, but they don't. Surveys indicate that about 80 percent of therapists in private practice do couples therapy.

The Untold Story

Carol Gilligan on Recapturing the Lost Voice of Pleasure

November/December 2002
In her new book, The Birth of Pleasure, Carol Gilligan has tried to probe the root of what makes intimate partnership between men and women so difficult. What is there about this book that makes critics both love and hate it?

The Awful Truth

Most Men Are Just Not Raised to be Intimate

November/December 2002
After the publication of my book, I Don't Want to Talk about It, I started getting calls from people around the United States who wanted help. Naming the issue of "covert depression" in men seemed to have struck a chord. Some of the calls were from men, but most were from women who were at the end of their rope, having already dragged their partners to therapy, veterans of at least one, most often several, failed courses of couples work.

The Art of Commitment

Dissolving Power Struggles in Couples Therapy

September/October 2001
In working with approximately 3,000 couples during the past 20 years, we have made several discoveries about commitment that made I profound difference in how we view the whole therapeutic enterprise. Here's what we found.

Judith Wallerstein and the Great Divorce Debate

Are the Unions the Answer to Managed Care?

March/April 2001
Judith Wallerstein, now 78, is the grand dame of divorce researchers; she's been studying the impact of divorce on children for 30 years, since the modern American divorce boom was launched in California in the early 1970s. She's troubled by what she's seen, but she insists the Times headline, which pegged her as a "Resolute Adversary of Divorce," is a serious distortion of her actual views.

Creating the Good Divorce

Tools of the Trade

March/April 2001
The fundamental goal of a good divorce is simple yet challenging: children must experience their parents as a working partnership that reliably nurtures and protects them, regardless of how estranged the parents may be from each other. In this sense, the family as a parenting system continues.
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