values

How to Help Couples Work Towards Positive Dreams Through Visualization

Today we are discussing setting larger goals; what is commonly known as having a vision, and working towards them with visualization. Vision setting is the focus of today's blog post. It is an enormous help in couples therapy to take the focus off daily struggles and put relationship efforts into a larger context. The reality is that most couples spend more time discussing what movie they want to see, or what room is a mess than they do discussing any big dreams they have. Bringing the larger dreams into better focus helps give partners a crucial incentive to do some of the hard work in front of them. What is a vision?… Read more...

5 Ways Your Wedding Vows Will Save Your Marriage

Did you think your wedding vows were just a check off the list for your wedding day preparations? Here's how they could save your marriage. 1. Wedding vows are an antidote to your worst self. You’re mean, picky, and you hide the truth.  All of us have done this as some point. And most of us are secretly ashamed of our worst selves. But there’s no way to act perfectly all the time. Why? Because Mother Nature gave our brain two different systems: The limbic system, aka the ‘lizard' brain, and the prefrontal cortex, aka the ‘visionary' brain. And every single day, you're in a constant struggle between the two.… Read more...

Couples As a Team: Questions to Discuss with Your Partner

Build your foundation today so you can thrive tomorrow. These questions pull for your values, interests, challenges and perhaps priorities… all things to explore with each other as you contemplate working as a team. Discuss these questions when you are relaxed and have ample time, perhaps over a nice dinner. 1.   What gives me energy in life? (People, places, things, activities) 2.   What sucks energy out of me? (People, places, things, activities) 3.   What do I want to be really good at? 4.   What would I attempt if I knew positively I would not fail? 5.   Ask your partner, “What can I do to bring out the best in you?” 6.   … Read more...

A Successful Marriage is a Series of Unnatural Acts

I recently completed my 64th weekend workshop for couples. Once again I was impressed by a group of intrepid couples who were willing to leave their emotional comfort zone to create a more successful marriage for themselves. One of the exercises of the workshop is brainstorming a list of effective communication behaviors and attitudes. Then I ask the group how many saw their families exercise these behaviors 50% or more of the time when things got tense. I never have had more than 15% of the couples raise their hands. What this means is that under stress, effective communication is statistically exceptional.… Read more...

Challenging Couples, Challenging Therapists

  For this month's newsletter, I thought I'd do something different, and share highlights from a few of the sessions of a recent couples' conference in Los Angeles. Each year The Couples Institute co-sponsors a couples' conference with the Milton Erickson Foundation. This meeting is designed to bring together specialists who focus on different aspects of couples therapy. Since I presented several sessions myself, I was unable to attend all of the other sessions, so I'm giving you just a few sprinklings from a very rich program. One of our new presenters was Esther Perel, a therapist from New York.… Read more...
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