General

3 Creative Activities for Couples to Cultivate Your Intimacy

All relationships require regular tending. They require effort, attention and time -- like anything worthwhile. One of the best ways to tend to your relationship is to focus on your intimacy.

Intimacy isn’t just about sex. It’s about cultivating your intellectual, emotional, and spiritual connection.

Specifically, intellectual intimacy is sharing thoughts or interests that each partner finds stimulating, said Lanie Smith, MPS, ATR, an Arizona-based art therapist who believes in the value of creativity and communication in helping couples play, heal, and grow together.
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Anger

How to Let Go of Anger After Divorce

You know that feeling -- the one where your heartbeat quickens and your head starts to pound. Your throat starts to close and it takes all the strength you have to keep from screaming at something that your ex said or did.

Anger. Being ticked off. Feeling rage.

While anger is a natural emotion, learning how to manage it as you navigate divorce is crucial to moving on and taking your life back. Although it takes time, the following advice will get you started on the road to recovery.
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Family

Marriage Meetings: Not for Everyone?

“I’ve been married 38 years. Are you saying my husband and I need to hold a formal meeting when we’re doing fine?” a radio talk show host challenged me.

Up until this point her tone had been contentious while I focused on practicing active listening (1) and on staying composed. I couldn’t blame her for being contentious. Her job is to inform and entertain listeners. Who doesn’t enjoy hearing a little skirmish now and then along with some good sound bites?

“Are you saying there’s no room for growth in your relationship?” I asked, in a puzzled tone.
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Children and Teens

Your Children Keep You Sane

We’ve all heard the old saying “My kids make me crazy.” But isn’t it also true that kids keep us mentally sound?

I’ve been a parent for 12 years, and this is the most important thing I’ve learned: A parent simply can’t shut down, lose it, and ignore her kids. She must hold it together for them.

It was a cold day last January when Kathy, my neighbor, and her daughter were moving out of their house. Kathy had asked her friends to help her because she couldn't afford the cost of a moving company. So I arrived at 8:00 A.M. to load boxes onto a rented truck.
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Family

7 Questions and Answers that Reveal the Truth about Your Marriage


Do you know your marriage as well as you think?

I’m a relationship coach and normally when people learn what I do, it sparks many conversations and even more questions. A lot of the time I sense they want to know what category their own marriage falls into.

They want reassurance that all is well on the home front or that what is going on for them currently is a normal part of married life.

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Books

3 Strategies for Supporting a Loved One with Depression

Your loved one has depression. Maybe they’re isolating themselves. Maybe their energy and mood have taken a nosedive. Maybe they’re irritable and angry. Maybe they aren’t enjoying much, if anything, anymore. Maybe they’re having a hard time concentrating or remembering things. Maybe they’ve mentioned feeling hopeless or worthless. Maybe they make negative comments about themselves. All. The. Time. Maybe they wear a happy face, but you know they’re struggling.

And, understandably, it’s really hard to watch. Because all you want to do is fix their pain. To make it go away. To make it all better.
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Aging

Psychology Around the Net: October 1, 2016


Ah, October, my absolute favorite month. How I've missed thee.

This year, I get to start off my favorite month at a wedding later today, watching two sweet friends marry and begin their lives together.

Speaking of marriage, let's take a look at some of this week's latest in mental health topics such as surviving a marriage with a special needs child as well as how the "selfie culture" is affecting young women's mental health, today's most common personality type, how your body reacts to food when you're stressed, and more.

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Family

Are You Turning Towards Your Partner?

Well known couples therapists and founders of the Gottman Method for couples therapy, John and Julie Gottman have a wealth of knowledge when it comes to what keeps couples together in a healthy relationship and what can break a relationship apart. In what they coined The Sound Relationship House, the foundation and inside of a healthy relationship rest on things like trust and commitment, fondness and admiration, turning towards and a positive perspective of your partner, as well as a healthy conflict style, and shared meaning.

Today I am focusing on the idea of turning towards instead of turning away from your partner. In Gottman’s research (in which he interviewed newlyweds and again after 6 years) he noticed one thing that stood out was that those who were still married after 6 year were turning towards one another 86% of the time, and those that divorced had turned towards only 33% of the time. What I gather from this piece of evidence is that the idea of turning towards instead of turning away plays a huge role on the health of your relationship and overall success of it.
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Addiction

How Pornography Can Hurt Your Sex Life

Viewership of internet pornography has exploded in the last decade, and debates about it can get pretty touchy. When sex addiction therapists talk about porns proliferation, we often get attacked for supposedly pathologizing normal sexual behavior, or for excusing “bad” behavior.

The reality is, whether it is labeled sex addiction or something else, porn use can get out of control to the point of causing serious problems. It can be the sexual version of a gateway drug, pulling people into compulsive cyber-sex use. People lose jobs and families. It can take over someone to the extent that he or she no longer ventures past it, is no longer able to have sex with another, whether online or in person.
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Family

There’s No Such Thing as a Simple Question

You would think that a simple question would be met with a simple answer. On occasion, that is true. But often, a simple question stirs up a barrage of emotional baggage. Here are two examples:

He says: Do you know where the flashlight is?
She says: You never put anything away and then you expect me to find it. How am I supposed to know?

She says: It’s raining; will you drive carefully?
He says: Get off my back! I’m not an idiot!

Communication is not what you say; it’s what the other person hears you say. And when you have a history with that person, a simple question can conjure up a frenzy of emotions.
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General

Recovering from Your Affair

If you are the one who cheated, you are probably dealing with emotions of guilt and shame. Perhaps you are even angry with yourself or your spouse. You may also be experiencing grief from the loss of your affair partner or fear of losing your spouse. Dealing with all of these emotions is essential for putting the pieces of your life back together and for your affair recovery. Attending therapy with a Marriage and Family Therapist with vast experience in affair recovery can be indispensable in the recovery process.
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