Pre-Marital – A program of six sessions focused on relationship assessment and education. Couples finish the program with knowledge of their strengths and work areas.

Marital Enrichment – Focusing on marriage education and acquiring the skills to make marriage more satisfying and more stable.

Couples Therapy – utilizing emotionally-focused approaches, couples therapy works to strengthen the attachment that exists. Therapy attempts to increase each person’s understanding of their partner’s deepest needs as well as deepest fears, and trains the couple to nurture and heal their relationship.

Sexual issues – includes treatment of low sexual desire, sexual performance problems, sexually addictive behaviors, and overcoming painful sexual experiences.

Divorce – when children are involved, it is important that they are supported and protected as much as possible through their parents’ divorce. Treatment focuses on adjustment to divorce for both children and the couple. Successfully creating a parenting plan and processing grief are important aspects of divorce therapy.

Traits of Healthy Families #6-9

Lately I’ve been expanding on Dolores Curran’s book “Traits of a Healthy Family” which identifies 15 traits that healthy families exhibit.  She is quick to point out that no family is perfect or lives out all of these 15 traits.   However, healthy families as a whole will show these qualities.  Last month’s column was guest-written by my daughter and covered the traits of “Valuing table time” and “strong sense of rituals and traditions.”  This edition will examine how and why playfulness, leisure time, balance, and shared responsibility are important in family life. We’ve all heard it said that “The
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Categories: Family, Marriage, Mental Health, Parenting, and Relationships.

Traits of a Healthy Family #3-5

Last month’s column introduced the traits of good communication and valuing family time and conversation.  In this issue, three more of the 15 traits from Dolores Curran’s book, “Traits of a Healthy Family” will be covered.  Traits 3 – 5 have to do with providing every family member with a sense of inclusion and acceptance. Trait three, “affirming and supporting one another”, really starts with the parents.   Happy parents make for happy kids.  Affirming parents have good self-esteem, and work to instill a positive mood in the home.  This positive tone in the home creates a general expectation that
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Categories: Family, Marriage, Mental Health, Parenting, and Relationships.

If He Really Loved Me….

Let’s talk about assumptions and the havoc they can cause in relationships!  An assumption is something that is believed to be true without any proof.  Often, its a guess about what someone else thinks or feels.  It is often the case that by the time a couple is sitting in my office for marriage therapy the assumptions they have about each other have created a great deal of pain and misunderstanding.  It seems to me that many couples (and I could put myself out of business for saying this) could avoid huge fights by just asking some simple questions instead
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Categories: Couples, Dating, and Marriage.

Get a New Strategy

I don’t know about you but summer whizzed by like a bottle rocket for our family, leaving us a little startled by the abrupt beginning to another school year.  The end of summer can catch us a little off guard.  That being the case, its still possible to get a grip and find a successful strategy to stay whole, balanced and healthy as a family.   This takes planning and preparation.  Here’s a few quotes that drive this message home: “By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.” ~ Benjamin Franklin “You hit what you aim at, and if
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Categories: Children, Couples, Family, Marriage, Parenting, School, and Stress.

Marital “Check Engine” Lights

Have you ever waited too long to address the “check engine” light on your car?  Someone told me that he just put a piece of electric tape over his light so he didn’t have to see it.  I’m not sure how that worked out.  There are warning signs we are given in life, and it’s very risky to ignore these warning signs.  When it comes to our marriages, we can definitely ignore the warning signs and we do so out our peril. I’ve listed out here some marital red flags of warning.  Essentially, these are like the “check engine” warning
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Categories: Couples and Marriage.

Tech Free Summer

Imagine that a typical kid from 1975 is suddenly transported through time to the present moment.  He’s walking down a neighborhood street and sees cars going by that look futuristic to him, but otherwise he is reassured that things look pretty much the same.  He keeps walking around neighborhoods and occasionally he’ll see cars drive up to a house and see adults and kids walk quickly inside while looking at some device they hold in their hands.  He thinks this is strange.  This kid starts to wonder if there’s been some government order to stay indoors.  Finally with some relief,
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Categories: Family, Managing Media, Marriage, and Parenting.

Conversation Starters for that Valentine’s Date

Well here it is.  Its that time of year where every couple is expected to go out on a date.  Like it or not, you need to create a situation resembling this: a table for two with candles, maybe some champagne, the ultimate romantic dinner.  Chocolates and certain garments are given as gifts.   It’s the perfect Valentine’s Day dinner date!  While the reader can probably guess what most men are hoping to get from such efforts, can you guess what most women are hoping for?   Is it to be wooed?  For someone to be interested in her?  To be
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Categories: Couples, Dating, Holidays, and Marriage.

Make Your Valentine’s Day a Success Story

It seems a common belief (especially among men) that Valentine’s Day was invented by the greeting card industry to make some profits during a low income time of year.  While the greeting card industry may have seen an opportunity in Valentine’s Day, they certainly didn’t invent the “valentine.”  According to legend, Valentinus (or St. Valentine) was a Roman priest in the third century.  He is said to have performed marriages of Christians and helped Christians in other ways during a period of Christian persecution in the Roman Empire.  Folklore further suggests that he started the “Valentine” tradition by cutting heart
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Categories: Couples, Holidays, Marriage, and Personal Growth.

Marriage & Family Conversation Starters

Finding ways to connect in our marriages and with our children can be challenging. There’s no sense bemoaning the “busy lifestyle” of the modern family: it is what it is.  What we have to do is make the most of every opportunity to maintain and build our relationships.  This takes, time, togetherness, and talking.  The talking part seems to be the hardest.  For instance, how much time do you spend together with your family in the car, but nobody is talking to each other?  Instead, everyone is staring at their phones, talking on their phones, or they have earbuds in
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Categories: Children, Family, and Marriage.

Forgiveness: A Testimonial

Remember the line from the movie “Love Story” that “Love means never having to say you’re sorry?”  What a crock!  John Lennon of the Beatles makes more sense when he explained that “Love means having to say you’re sorry every five minutes.”  Reconciliation and forgiveness are necessary ingredients for any committed couple’s success.  Dr.Terry Hargrave, an internationally recognized expert on forgiveness, says that “Any act of forgiveness should also be accompanied by a change in the victimizer towards trustworthy behavior.”  This means, essentially, that when you have wronged your mate you MUST convey that you are sorry! This is only
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Categories: Faith issues, Family, Marriage, and Personal Growth.