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.

Going to the Deep End

The deep end can be scary.  What’s down there?  What if I sink, or get lost?  I’m not talking about water, but emotions and relationships.   Intimate relationships have a deep end, and if one of you is there alone will the other one be able and willing to go out there too?  As a marriage and family therapist, I see a lot of fear of the deep end.  This comes in two forms; a fear of emotional vulnerability, or a belief that it’s just not important or needed (which is most likely just a concealed fear).   Approximately 70%
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Categories: Couples, Marriage, and Personal Growth.

How to Fight with Your Valentine Effectively

Valentines Day is a nice reminder to show your love and affection.  After the chocolates are all gone, though, you still have to work out your problems.  Conflict should not be avoided in love relationships.  In fact, healthy conflict will lead to greater intimacy than a box of chocolates will!   Following certain rules will keep you from engaging in harmful interactions that give conflict a bad name.  Below are some ground rules that I recommend using to keep your conflict in a healthy zone. Think of them as a box of chocolates.  Pick out the ones you would like
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Categories: Couples, Marriage, and Relationships.

What is More Important Than a Red Balloon?

I just watched the movie “Christopher Robin” in which we see Winnie the Pooh and friends rescue an older Christopher Robin from himself.  As a child, Christopher Robin played and spent long hours exploring the Hundred Acre Wood with his stuffed animal friends.  He used his imagination to create stories that most of us heard about as children in the Pooh books by A.A. Milne.   Some wise sayings from Pooh are heard again in the movie.  Specifically, there are a couple of observations Pooh has about doing nothing.  The first is “Doing nothing often leads to the very best
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Categories: Children, Family, Managing Media, Marriage, Parenting, Personal Growth, and Stress.

School:  Ground Rules to Start the Year

Plato is quoted to have said that the beginning is the most important part of the work.  I would add to that idea that making a healthy routines keeps the good work going!  What I am offering the reader in this article are some suggestions for developing a routine, or “ground rules”,  for a successful start to the school year.  These ground rules will keep that success going all year long.   This may seem strange, but none of these rules are about school per se. Instead, these ground rules are for setting up your student for success once they
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Categories: Marriage.

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.