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Category Archive for: ‘Couples Counseling’

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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Staying Together – Commitment & Relationships

This entry is part 1 of 9 in the series Staying Together - How to Build a healthy Relationship

When we make a commitment to our partner, our usual expectation is that our relationship will last for life and that our love will see us through the inevitable hard times. Yet, when reality sinks in, we have to acknowledge that while love is one of the components of a relationship’s longevity, it really takes more to make it through …

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Do You Suffer from Social Anxiety?

This entry is part 2 of 6 in the series Overcoming Social Anxiety

Who are the people most likely to suffer from social anxiety? Parents recognize that some children are easily frightened from birth on and cry a great deal, while others seem more resilient by temperament (they seldom cry, hardly ever get upset, and are less easily frightened). Some children love to explore the world around them. Others are cautious and don’t …

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Working Alone to Improve Your Relationship – Taking a look at yourself

This is the second post in our “Working Alone to Improve Your Relationship” series Working alone on a relationship problem can mean that you have to take a look at your own issues and your contribution to the difficulties with your partner. While this challenge is not always easy, the payoff in terms of your own emotional wellness can be …

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Creating a Sucessful Relationship

This is the first post in our series on “Working Alone to Improve Your Relationship” You Can Create a Successful Relationship – Even If You Must Do It Alone Conflicts can be expected to arise in even the strongest of relationships. Two people who attempt to create a relationship always bring their own issues, backgrounds, expectations, personalities, and inner difficulties …

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Arguing Constructively: Dirty Fighting

marriage counseling: couple arguing

When you use dirty fighting techniques to win an argument, both you and your partner ultimately lose! Communication Patterns You Should Avoid   Escalating Here you quickly move from the main issue of the argument to questioning your partner’s basic personality, and then move on to wondering whether the relationship is even worth it. Timing This involves catching your partner …

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