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Monthly Archive for: ‘March, 2014’

Making Positive Relationship Changes

This entry is part 9 of 9 in the series Staying Together - How to Build a healthy Relationship

There is still hope for couples who find themselves in destructive patterns, but they must learn new skills. Consulting with a trained therapist is generally the most effective way to do this, and I can help. One skill to learn is how to avoid flooding, which is a feeling of being overwhelmed by your partner’s negativity and your own reactions. …

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Phases of the Negative Cascade – Stonewalling

This entry is part 7 of 9 in the series Staying Together - How to Build a healthy Relationship

In the final phase of the negative cascade the couple finally breaks off normal contact. Gottman found that 85 percent of stonewallers are men. This phase characterizes a stage in the damaged relationship where one of the partners decides that no communication is better than the destructive feelings and words that have prevailed prior to this point. Withdrawing from interaction …

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Phases of the Negative Cascade – Defensiveness

This entry is part 6 of 9 in the series Staying Together - How to Build a healthy Relationship

Defensiveness is an attempt to protect oneself and to guard against further attacks. When a person is bombarded with criticism and indications of contempt, it is natural to feel like a victim – and victims go into a defensive posture (“I haven’t done anything wrong, so stop picking on me”). The victim feels justified in doing this. However, what is …

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Phases of the Negative Cascade – Contempt

This entry is part 5 of 9 in the series Staying Together - How to Build a healthy Relationship

If the criticisms within a relationship are not addressed, the interaction between the two partners may lead to contempt. This stage of the negative cascade is seen when there is an attempt to insult your partner, as in, “You’re just a pig around the house and I don’t know how I could ever have loved you.” Contemptuous remarks go right …

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Phases of the Negative Cascade – Criticism

This entry is part 4 of 9 in the series Staying Together - How to Build a healthy Relationship

Criticism involves attacking your partner’s personality or character, not just his or her behavior. There is usually an element of blame in the attack. Criticizing your partner leads to defensiveness and may encourage your partner to withdraw from you – after all, if your partner feels blamed because of a personality flaw, it would be difficult thing to repair. A …

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Negative Relationship Behaviors – The Negative Cascade

This entry is part 3 of 9 in the series Staying Together - How to Build a healthy Relationship

A relationship in trouble is one that falls into a negative cascade. One negative reaction leads to the next until there is a seemingly insurmountable wall between the two partners. Relationships that enter this destructive phase need attention and can benefit from the trustworthy, confidential intervention of a professional therapist. Sometimes the two partners fail to notice when they have …

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Positive Interactions in Relationships

This entry is part 2 of 9 in the series Staying Together - How to Build a healthy Relationship

What are positive interactions? They are found in – Showing interest in what your partner is saying, – Expressing affection to your partner both verbally (“I love you”) and nonverbally (holding hands, doing kind little things), – Showing you care – perhaps by making a phone call during the day or bringing home flowers, – Showing appreciation by remembering the …

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