What is yelling? When a partner denies that they yell, I wonder if they know what they sound like. I think there are two distinct types of yelling. The first, is the basic and popular raised voice yelling. It often starts at our toes and rolls up our core until it comes out of our mouths as a strong bellowing exhortation of increased volume, often accompanied by words that would offend us if they were spoken to us. The other type of yelling is more complex. It is tight and constricted. It starts in our throat. It is not loud and bellowing. The volume is not out of range. However, it is the tone – sharp, clipped, judgmental, and cuts like a knife. It feels like yelling to the recipient.
I always say “Come to couples’ therapy when there is something to work on. It is an easier road than when you wait until you are injured and broken and looking for salvation and healing.” One of the gratifying aspects of being a couples and sex therapist is when a couple decides to come see me when they are building their future rather than when they come to me in distress. Premarital therapy is one of those opportunities where both partners are looking to learn more, grow together and find some open curiosity. However, this can also be a time of great stress and challenging relationships.
Jill and Don wanted to explore alternative dispute divorce options as they believed that their 7- year marriage was irretrievably broken. Arriving at this painful decision was all the more poignant for this young couple since they had a one-year old son.
There has been a common theme going in much of the work I have been doing with couples of late. I am hearing folks coming in talking about how their partner responds to them in a way that makes them feel emotionally assaulted. Often, these couples are well intentioned, loving, and looking for connection but for some reason they are having arguments that do not make sense.
We work hard to get the job. We interview as best we can. We get the job. But, how often do we really get a good job description. I am talking about the job of partner, spouse, boyfriend, girlfriend, significant other, husband, wife. More people sit in my office and say things like "S/he is just never happy...no matter what I do!" or "S/he keeps pushing me away and I don't know why!"
We are all leaders – in our own way. Whether we are at work, with our friends or family or in a social organization, we are all leaders. We may not be the stand in the front of the room and yell a rallying cry kind of leader, but we all influence others and leave an impact on those around us. What kind of leader are you?
Many times in therapy we explore our relationship with our parents and how it affects us. Let's face it, since parents are our role model and the people we learn to find security from, it is always intuitive to explore the relational dynamics between us and them. Not very often we talk about our siblings. There isn't even a Sibling Day! Also, doctoral researchers have found many correlations between birth order and personality traits. And if you look into this matter, you might find yourself checking those boxes.
I have had patient after patient come into my office talking about what a harsh and relentless winter this has been. I can’t agree more! It is always interesting to see how people talk about the weather. There are two classic perspectives that get presented: How cold it is on the thermometer and how much energy is being used by the thermostat. What an interesting way to understand ourselves as well!
You can’t dig your way out of a hole. Think about it. You are in a hole and you keep digging. What happens? Eventually, the hole gets so deep that you can’t throw the dirt out of the hole anymore and it just keeps falling back down around you. If you start to dig sideways, the integrity of the walls weakens and risks falling in around you. What should you do?
Have you ever been in a relationship (whether romantic or platonic) and felt frustration about how things were going -- wishing the other person would behave differently? You have tried being nice, coaching them to change (whether they knew it or not) and spent hours considering how impossible it is that someone couldn’t notice how inappropriate and unsatisfying their behavior is? We have all experienced it. Sometimes we can just let it go and sometimes it gets so bad we find ourselves in a divorce, looking for a new job or estranged from a friend or loved one.
Bringing a new baby into the family is an exciting time. We celebrate the newness of life and have hope for the future. People are curious about the delivery and the birth story. Parents are excited and siblings are cautious (at best).
Trying to have a baby through third party reproduction is a challenging and emotional process. What makes it even more complicated is that you have to learn a whole new language before you can really make sense of the journey you are about to undertake. Whether you are going through assisted reproduction to create a baby yourselves or need the assistance of others to grow your family, you will need to have some basic knowledge.
Do you remember being a child and jumping into the deep end of the pool for the first time? You were probably not sure what would happen, whether you would sink or swim. Could you be brave enough to take the leap, even though you weren’t sure it was the right thing for you to do? For many, first jumps are to be celebrated…a perfect cannonball, a quick resurface and a dog paddle to the edge to try it again. However, there are those that jump in and sink a little too low, take in water, feel pressure and the fear of not being able to breathe. The latter is what it feels like when you are in a life situation where you are confused, feel internally trapped and needing escape.
If you are a gay man, woman or couple who is considering adding children to your life, this is an exciting time! There are more and more examples of gay men and women who are becoming parents through methods other than through previous heterosexual relationships. How to achieve this dream, can be overwhelming without a lot of information and forethought.