Treatment Strategies for Long-Term Change
I notice that many of my couples clients do well in therapy, only to return with the same or similar problems in a few months. What can I do to make the effects of treatment last?
You Don't Need Both Partners to Do Couples Therapy
Ascribing negative intent to those who prefer to steer clear of therapy is unfair, often incorrect and almost always hurtful to those who wish their partners would share their enthusiasm about the benefits of therapy. They end up blaming their partners even more intensely.
Handling One of Marriage's Most Explosive Crises
Every therapists know that disclosure of an extramarital affair can create an explosive crisis undermining the foundation of trust necessary to sustain a relationship. In the midst of that turbulence, our job is to help couples find a pathway to a new understanding of themselves and their marriage. But how is the therapist to maintain his or her bearings in such stormy cases? I've found a standard protocol, first developed at the Center for Family Learning, extremely helpful in providing a therapeutic structure for couples facing the crisis of infidelity.
For Gays and Lesbians, Splitting Up Can Create a Crisis of Self-Doubt
Having never been married in the eyes of the law, no matter how many decades living as spouses, gay and lesbian partners must invent their own forms of matrimony, and negotiate different kinds of separations than straight couples.
Affairs Are Usually a Collusion of Mutual Deception
A secret affair is almost like an oxymoron, like an unmoving earthquake—no matter how much effort is expended on keeping it hidden, its impact severely shakes, and sometimes devastates, the comfortable certainties of marriage.
The Thrill of Connection Opens Us to the Terror of Loss and Pain
For most married people, the magnetic force that drew them together in the first place has so weakened that marriage has become almost synonymous with sexual ennui. Indeed, the withering away of eroticism in marriage, particularly as spouses age, is apparently so widespread in our society that it's commonly rationalized as normal, if not actually desirable. But whether defined by the sex therapy establishment as "functional" or "dysfunctional," people complaining of a loss of the vital sense of connection they once knew often are deathly afraid of the very intimacy and eroticism they're craving.
Modern Day Myths of Infidelity
What is infidelity? This question of just what is an infidelity, and what isn't, is a surprisingly touchy one, as I discover each time I talk to either professional or nonprofessional audiences. I try to define infidelity, and describe it as best I can, and somebody will invariably come up to me anxiously and sheepishly and tell me about some experience, and ask for reassurance that this act was not an infidelity.
The Affair as Crisis and Opportunity
Back in the 1950s, Debbie Reynolds and Eddie Fisher, Hollywood's perfect young couple, shocked their fan-magazine public by divorcing after Fisher's scandalous affair with Elizabeth Taylor. In those innocent times, lots of people, myself included, took this spectacle very seriously.
Five Classic Patterns of Infidelity
Craig Johnson had only slept with Karen three times before his wife discovered he was having an affair. He doesn't think much about Karen any more, but his wife Ruth will never forget her.
When We Are Two
Marriage is the most dangerous form of love. Count the casualties and you know. It turns many people to stone. We all have seen that. Our society is cracking under the weight of many stone-lives. We all know that. But will we, or will we not, discover all that a man and woman can be? Marriage is not the answer, but it is the most demanding way to live the question.
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