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Here we post articles and practical exercises for couples who wish to improve their marriage or relationship. Look through the title and beginnings of articles below, and click any title to read them. It’s good to know you’re not alone.
Many couples complain about having problems communicating or having lost intimacy over time. Top Three is a communication exercise for couples to learn how to communicate about their experiences and learn about their partner. Top Three is an awareness and mindfulness exercise for self to increase presence. The goal of Top Three is to be more aware of experience as it is happening and be able to communicate about that to your partner. These are the rules (adapt to your style as you want): Use something to record – for example - small pad that fits in [...]
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The other day my husband, Dan had a reaction about me, which he chose to share. He said something along the lines of, “you know, you are really a good balance between being creative and detail-oriented.” I liked what I heard. “Oh? Tell me more”, I said. He went on to elaborate, and I ended up learning more not only about myself in that conversation, but about him as well—how he perceives me, types of behaviors he appreciates, etc. It was a rich and interesting conversation. Afterwards, I got to thinking… It’s so easy to say “tell me [...]
"People don't change."Do you think that statement is true?In my 15 years of working with couples, I have seen many people change.In fact, I think that's what good relationships are all about...we pull on each other to change... to grow. This growth is what keeps juice and vitality in relationships over time. A relationship void of growth is a relationship that is boring and can feel stagnant.Not always but often, when your partner is asking for a change from you, it is a change that will require growth of you (that's a good thing!)I was working with a couple recently:Partner [...]
When “Right" is WRONG... Does this sound familiar? You approach your partner to tell them about something that upsets you. You start talking, but then of all the sudden your partner jumps in... "Wait, that isn’t right! That isn’t how it happened!" Or "No you’re remembering wrong!" Then before you know it, you’re going around and round about the details and time line. Once the conversation devolves, the whole issue you started with gets lost; the vulnerability you were hoping to share gets destroyed by "right". When couples find themselves in this negative communication cycle, the conversation often [...]
Couples are often uncertain what to expect from the process of couples therapy. They are not sure of what to expect of the therapist or even if the therapist has any expectations of them. I have found most couples approach therapy with the notion that each person will describe their distress and somehow the therapist will assist them to create a happier, more functional, relationship. They expect to learn some new or better skills. However, most people hope their partner will do most of the learning in problem areas. After 30 years of clinical experience and specializing in working [...]
In my practice, I hear many couples say, " I just want my partner to understand me. Who wouldn't want that? You tell your partner things, they truly get what you say and you feel understood. And vice versa: your partner shares their deepest feelings and thoughts with you, you receive what they say, and everyone in the end feels understood – and loved. It doesn't always work that way though, does it? In my practice I’ve noticed many reasons why couples don't feel they have the understanding relationship that they desire. Or, why they don't feel as understood as [...]