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Category Archive for: ‘Premarital Counseling’

Learn to Self-Soothe in the Face of Conflict

This entry is part 4 of 4 in the series Strategies for Enhancing Your Relationship

We blame our partners when we feel discomfort, and this tends to create distance within an emotionally committed relationship. The distance, then, creates a feeling of further discomfort. The clue to dealing with this dilemma is to learn how to soothe your own emotional pain. This can open the way to more passion and closeness in your relationship. Schnarch offers …

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Being Yourself in a Relationship

This entry is part 3 of 4 in the series Strategies for Enhancing Your Relationship

David Schnarch, Ph.D., the author of Passionate Marriage, suggests that in order to grow within an emotionally committed relationship, we must experience the process of “differentiation.” This means holding onto yourself within a relationship, staying true to what you want out of life while sharing your life with a partner. Differentiation allows us to break free from the negative processes …

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Give Your Relationship Time To Mature

This entry is part 2 of 4 in the series Strategies for Enhancing Your Relationship

Relationships mature over time. The initial attraction may be physical, and this may carry the relationship for some time to the point of making an emotional commitment. Then the excitement and promise of sharing our life with another person can lead to a stage of heightened expectations where we ignore or minimize the discomfort that we may feel from time …

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Enhancing Your Relationship

This entry is part 1 of 4 in the series Strategies for Enhancing Your Relationship

“To become acquainted with oneself is a terrible shock.”– Carl Jung Emotionally committed relationships bring excitement and passion into our lives, especially when they are new.  Over time, however, we come across roadblocks based in personal issues that can distance us from our partners.   When we first enter into a committed relationship, we may think that we have found the …

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Skills for Creating a Healthy Relationship

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

Couples Therapy, Marriage Counseling, Relational Therapy John Gottman, in his book “Why Marriages Succeed or Fail”, points out four strategies for improving relationships. Most of us are not especially adept at these skills, especially when we enter into a significant life relationship, but learning them gives us a good chance to increase the success of both our relationship and our total …

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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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