According to Dr. John Gottman, couples wait an average of six years before they make the decision to seek out couples therapy. That’s six long years of beating your heads against the wall hoping for a different outcome. That’s also more than enough time to have cultivated some ineffective and even downright unhelpful communication habits.
This past Wednesday our country shared in collective shock and sadness following the events that occurred in the US Capitol. Never before as a country have we had to experience so many losses and mind-bending concepts about who we are as Americans. How do we explain these types of events to our kids when we don’t really understand them ourselves?
I had the privilege of speaking with Kelsey Christensen of Fox 5 News about how to best help our children understand why this happened and what it means to them. One of the take-aways from our chat was how important it is that we not minimize our children’s fears and that we give them the space to talk about their fears as often as they need to.
We should normalize for them that these big feelings are real and that it is important for them to talk to their parents to help them better understand what they are experiencing. This means that parents need to be willing to have these conversations even though they may not know what to do or say. The important thing is that parents should be a safe space for their children and let them know they will never judge them for having their feelings – even if their children’s thoughts and feelings differ from their own.
This has been a crazy year for everyone, and navigating life and the holidays is a bit more challenging. People are looking for ways to enjoy the holidays this year given our limited physical connection with friends and family.
I had the privilege of sharing my thoughts for enjoying the holidays with Cheryl Nelson and Danielle Alvari on a recent episode of Main Street Living. You can watch the clip here.
It’s ok to feel your feelings, but you should also look for the silver lining in your current circumstances. Things won’t always be this way.
Here are some of my tips for staying connected during what could otherwise be an isolating holiday season…
Successful couples practices require leaders who are dedicated, driven, and confident! That’s what Confident Couples Therapist is all about. My friend and colleague Nancy Ryan and I developed Confident Couples Therapist to help clinicians on their journey to developing a thriving couples practice. We help them navigate the guesswork and trial and error and avoid needless frustration.
We were recently invited to speak with Gordon Brewer on his podcast, The Practice of Therapy. In this podcast we discussed some tips for developing successful couples practices. The need for confident couples therapists has been on the rise in recent months, which makes this topic so timely. During these uncertain times, couples are specifically seeking therapists specializing in couples therapy.
Every therapist has their own personality and style. However, the tips we discussed in this podcast can be helpful to every couples therapist.
Unfortunately, infidelity is a problem for both in-town and out-of-town partners. However, the idea of “out of site out of mind” is often a reality for many long-distance relationships. One of the main the reasons is that maintaining a connected far-away relationship is difficult at best even for the most loyal partners.
The reason most of us get into a relationship is so that we can have a person by our side who is there both emotionally and physically to weather the storms of life with. The temptation to physically connect with another person who can give you a hug when you have a bad day, put their arm around you and snuggle on the couch, and have sex with you has a strong influence on why infidelity occurs.
Even couples who have strong friendship and communication skills are vulnerable to having a really bad day and find themselves needing support that is in person. The opportunity for a physically present potential partner to come along and fill up the void created by long-distance love is real.
My friend and colleague Nancy Ryan and I were recently featured on a podcast with Alison Pidgeon from Practice of the Practice to promote our new joint venture, Confident Couples Therapist.
The theme of this podcast was our purpose at Confident Couples Therapist, which is to help clinicians become better couples therapists and build cash practices confidently. Ultimately, therapists who are knowledgeable, prepared, and CONFIDENT will better serve the needs of their clients and provide the quality care they desire. In turn, this will result in a clientele that will return, as well as refer their friends and colleagues to that practice.
In this podcast Nancy and I discuss the benefits of having a cash-pay practice, both for the clients and for the practice, as well as provide some useful marketing tips and ideas for setting up office space and hiring quality clinicians.
Some of our tips include creating a safe an comfortable space for clients, paying attention to details (furniture, wall colors, background music, etc.), and providing a relaxed, warm, welcoming, and friendly environment.
You can listen to the entire podcast here.
Who doesn’t love to cuddle?
If you are one of the people lucky enough to have someone to cuddle right now, you know how meaningful it can be to experience comfort through human touch. Elizabeth Kirkhorn interviewed me recently for an article in O.school in which we discussed the benefits of cuddling, as well as different cuddling positions.
Specifically, the article discussed six different cuddling positions, what they are, and what they mean.
For example, most of us have heard of “spooning”. But have you heard about “being small”, “the stronghold”, or “the honeymoon hug”? Did you know that each cuddle position means something different? Did you know that although cuddling is intimate, your preferred position in the cuddle says something about your needs or preferences in the relationship?
People in essential services have continued working throughout the quarantine, and those who have had the option to work from home have been able to remain on the job as well. Many others have only recently begun returning to work.
Every day we hear reports about new cases of Covid-19, increased rates of positive tests, and speculation about another shut-down. For those venturing out into the world and workplace, they are increasing their exposure to other people and the risk of being infected themselves.
Concerns about exposure is leading many to quarantine themselves from their partners and/or families in order to protect them. As an example, I have a relative who routinely flies for work, stays in hotels, and eats take-out (when sit-down dining is not available). When he returns home, he quarantines himself from his wife for two weeks to ensure he does not have any symptoms.
Quarantining yourself this way may be prudent and responsible, but it can also cause anxiety, stress, and feelings of disconnection from your partner.
Here are some ideas to help you stay connected and reduce anxiety and stress during your time of quarantine:
Clients sometimes seek out marriage counseling because one or both partners feel unappreciated, ignored, or disconnected. Sometimes they can feel lonely even when their partner is in the same room. Often these emotions can signal when emotional neglect is happening in a relationship.
Sometimes the emotional disconnection in a relationship can get to the point where one partner speaks to and thinks about their partner with contempt. Contempt may not be as obvious as you think, it can take the form of small continuous digs and comments made about a partner’s intelligence or value, an inability to ever catch the partner doing something right, or comments to those outside of the relationship where a partner is demeaned or whose value is minimized.
I’m privileged to be selected as a guest speaker at this year’s Therapy Reimagined Modern Therapist Conference!
Special thanks to Curt Widhalm and Katie Vernoy of Therapy Reimagined for always making this such a great event and for inviting me to participate.
This is the 3rd annual Modern Therapist Conference. I have attended both of the prior conferences and found them to be so informative, engaging, and inspirational. In addition to top-notch keynote speakers, the conference has several break-out sessions, panels, and opportunities for continuing education. The conference also provides a great opportunity to network, make new friends in the therapy world, and learn new ways to think about the issues we face in today’s ever-changing world! To be selected as a guest speaker is an honor, and I’m excited to be a part of it.