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.

Dealing with an Unwanted Guest During the Holidays

The holiday season is the culmination of the year.  November and December bring times of celebrating with family, friends and the community.  Occasionally, we have to deal with someone that makes the holidays less enjoyable, like Cousin Eddie in “Christmas Vacation.”  This year, we all have an unwanted presence during the holidays.  Its name is COVID-19.  It’s going to make the Thanksgiving-Christmas-New Years trifecta a lot more complicated and less enjoyable to say the least.  For many, it will ruin any chance of a good time.   It’s been a month since my son contracted COVID while at college.  He’s
Read More →

Categories: Marriage.

Tech Tools for Parents

I’ve written quite a bit regarding the hazards and concerns of social media and “screens” in the lives of our children.  The concerns still exist; the addictive nature of social media on the teenage brain, the observed increase in depression and anxiety among individuals who are high users of social media, the addictive nature of gaming, the sexual objectification that is rampant on the internet, the physical health problems associated with too much screen time, and so on.  However, we are not going to forego our phones or our internet.  We have to learn how to manage these tools in
Read More →

Categories: Marriage.

Affair Proofing your Marriage

My articles are usually focused on parenting.  While this one is about marriage, it definitely has an impact on families and children.  Affairs, defined broadly or narrowly, have a detrimental impact on the whole family.  Narrowly defined, an affair is understood as an illicit sexual relationship with someone outside the marriage.  Broadly defined, an affair is an intimate relationship that is emotionally intense and sexually charged.  The intensity and sexualized nature of this relationship is kept hidden from the marriage partner.  Usually, the extra-marital person is someone both spouses know; someone from the workplace, neighborhood, another parent known through the
Read More →

Categories: Marriage.

Helping Your Kids, Helping Yourself Through COVID

As I write this, it has been a month since everything changed.  At least it feels like everything changed due to the COVID-19 shutdown.  I think of that REM song from the 80s “Its the End of the World as We Know it”.  The world, as we know it, has changed significantly.  Every generation has a defining moment and, based on the hope that nothing more cataclysmic than COVID-19 will happen,  this is it.  Everything hasn’t changed, but so much has changed that its overwhelming.  With massive change comes confusion, chaos and anxiety.  And COVID-19 also brings us social isolation,
Read More →

Categories: Marriage.

A Resilient COVID Response

This Coronavirus thing is getting real.  Recently the marquee of First United Methodist Church in Williamstown said “Didn’t think I’d give up this much for lent.”  Isn’t that the truth?  All of us have been affected by the precaution measures in place; from the minor to the very serious. It ranges from “I can’t get my pedicure” to “I don’t have a job anymore.”  Many of us by now have heard that someone we know has the coronavirus, or even died from it.  Through the “stay at home” order in West Virginia, I have been able to continue working from
Read More →

Categories: Marriage.

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%
Read More →

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
Read More →

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
Read More →

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
Read More →

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
Read More →

Categories: Family, Marriage, Mental Health, Parenting, and Relationships.