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 […]

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


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 […]

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 […]