Highlights from Couples Conference 2022

Highlights from Couples Conference 2022

In spite of the challenges of putting on another covid era conference, we had a stellar faculty of 10 discussing a wide variety of dynamic topics. Speakers covered everything from anxiety to sexuality – with gender, race and power also in the mix! Participants were mostly online, with just a small group of about 30 […]

Treating Highly Emotional Couples, Part 2


In a recent post, I explored the challenges of working with couples who are so reactive to one another that every session rapidly descends into rage, blame, or tears. It can be hard to come back from this level of emotional chaos, especially when loud voices or aggressive behaviors shake your own sense of balance […]

How to Get the Most From Your Couples Therapy

Couples are often uncertain what to expect from the process of couples therapy. They are not sure of what to expect of the therapist or even if the therapist has any expectations of them. I have found most couples approach therapy with the notion that each person will describe their distress and somehow the therapist […]

5 Strategies for Treating Highly Volatile Couples

All couples engage in some conflict when they’re in therapy. But some can’t seem to manage themselves for even a few minutes without exploding into rage, resentment, blame – or dissolving in tears.  If you’re treating a volatile couple whose repetitive, heated responses to your questions are leading nowhere, let’s talk about how you can […]

What Can Couples Therapists Learn from a Martial Arts Master?

The Japanese sensei who developed Aikido described it as the art of tapping the energies found in any life situation as a means of finding innovative solutions. When I came across a YouTube video of Aikido master Richard Moon, I felt captivated by the smooth, almost effortless movements he used to redirect an opponent without […]

Tough Couple Challenge #2: Sparking the Desire for Change

Here you are, preparing to meet with a couple who came to you seeking wisdom and guidance that will lead them to a closer, more supportive relationship.  Like other unhappy couples you’ve seen, this couple has implored you to show them the way. But as you begin defining the issues that are keeping them apart, […]

Tough Couple Challenge #1: Do You Take On Too Much Responsibility?

A few weeks ago, my husband and Couples Institute co-founder Dr. Peter Pearson and I were talking with fellow therapists about a pattern we’ve all fallen into at one time or another. We’re working with two partners who seem hopelessly stalled. One or both have such deep defenses that we feel ourselves walking in circles, […]

Helping Fighting Couples

Video: Helping couples see the best in each other It’s like watching a storm roll in. One moment, everything seems fine. Then the couple you’re working with hits a stressful point. Tensions rise. Voices, too. Or maybe a hostile silence falls over the room. Whatever the pattern, the result is the same. As the conversation […]

Holding Developmental Tension

Leading the way when couples are lost in their own issues How often do you encounter couples who are so deeply entangled with each other that they can’t tell where one ends and the other begins? It’s a familiar struggle. They may come into your office bickering about what seem like petty conflicts, yet without […]