How Shifting from “No…” to “Oh?” Can Help Understand Your Partner’s Perspective

Responding effectively to your partner The initial goal of communication in any relationship is to develop understanding. Sometimes our sense of righteousness or desire for accuracy gets in the way of developing understanding. Two people will see things differently and often both perspectives are valid ones. Before successful resolutions can be identified, there needs to […]

5 Strategies to Improve Your Relationship and Avoid Separation

Strong marriage

As a couples therapist, I have repeatedly seen the impact that separation or divorce can have on couples and families. This article focuses on 5 perspectives and strategies that can help improve your relationship and avoid separation. As a precursor to this article, I invite you to first read a blog I wrote and is […]

5 Mistakes Couples Make that Lead to Separation or Divorce

How to avoid separation or divorce

Falling in love can be easy. The sudden flush of excitement. Frequent smiles and laughs. Joyfully envisioning the future together. On the other hand, figuring out how to stay close, navigate conflict, and maintain effective communication despite personality differences, fluctuating emotions, and the inevitable hurts and misunderstandings that occur in relationships can be much more […]

How Does Anxiety Relate to Depression?

Anxiety relate to depression

As a therapist writing this blog, I should explain my view that anxiety is at the root of many mental health concerns, not just those classified as anxiety or anxiety-related disorders. While some professionals may disagree on a semantic level, the underlying role of anxiety across psychological issues is clear to me. Despite the connection […]

5 Tips to Manage Anxiety and Live More Fully

Tips to manage anxiety

Why learn to manage anxiety? Most people have experienced anxiety to some degree, so I bet you have too. Perhaps you’ve experienced heart palpitations as you were preparing to give a presentation or speech. Perhaps you’ve felt that pit in your stomach as you began to think of possible reasons you can’t get in touch […]

Tips to Build a Healthy Relationship

Healthy relationship

Why build a healthy relationship? Relationships can be challenging. Relationships can also add to our quality of life and mental health. When we work to make a relationship healthy, we increase the chances that our relationships will add to, not take away from, our life enjoyment and fulfillment. So, how can relationships work for us […]

My Wife and My Girlfriend Are the Same Person: Nurturing Numerous Partnerships in Your Relationship

Partnerships For marriages or other long-term romantic relationships to thrive, it is important to understand the concept that there are numerous partnerships within the relationship. Even if you don’t use the term “partner” in reference to your long-term romantic relationship, successful relationships require navigating several different partnerships simultaneously. From the perspective of a couples therapist, […]

3 Listening Strategies You’ll Learn in Therapy: Part 3 of 4 – Be Curious

Dr. Mike's approach to therapy

Skill #2 – Be Curious: Think of this skill as an effort to literally shift your perspective by asking questions so that you can see the issue from the same perspective as the other person to better understand where they are coming from. Consider these screenshots: If you have the view (i.e., perspective) shown in […]

3 Listening Strategies You’ll Learn in Therapy: Part 4 of 4 – Validate

Validate

Skill #3 – Validate Think of the skill of validation as communicating to the other person that you can imagine how their feelings could result from the situation or that you understand how they are seeing things. Your attempt to validate them can help them feel heard and understood.  Validation is often one of the […]

How Do I Find the Right Therapist for Me?

Finding the right therapist

Finding the right therapist How do you find the right therapist for you? While there are general things for anyone to consider when finding the right therapist, such as location, cost, and whether the clinician is licensed or not, there are several factors to consider that might be specific to you. Whether you are searching […]

Learning to “Control” Emotions

How to control emotions

Humans…we’re complex, confusing, and interesting creatures. And one of the most fascinating aspects of the human experience, in my opinion, is emotion. Whether you like having emotions or not is irrelevant. Emotions are a part of being human, and rather than trying to “control” or avoid our emotions, the key is to learn how to […]

5 Ways to Create Closeness in Your Relationship

The benefits of healthy relationships are numerous and well documented. Research has suggested that healthy close relationships act as a buffer to stress, are associated with a longer life, help improve immunity, and can even lower blood pressure. Of course, a keyword here is healthy. People who are in unhealthy, distant, or contentious relationships might […]