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.

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.

Don’t Give Up!

When life has dealt you an unexpectedly bad hand, its natural to have the quitting impulse.  The quitting impulse, when followed through with, is too often a miscarriage of destiny and God’s plans for your life.  This can range from quitting a game before it ends, ending a marriage prematurely, to suicide.    Don’t give up and quit before expending every resource and every option to succeed, to finish well. The Quitter By: Robert Service When you’re lost in the Wild, and you’re scared as a child, And Death looks you bang in the eye, And you’re sore as a boil,
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Categories: Family, Marriage, Mental Health, and Personal Growth.

Blending Families #2

I recently worked with a couple that is a good example of the challenges faced in blended families.  This couple, married about 2 years now, each brought two children into the marriage.  His two children (ages 8 and 10) were only there every other weekend and one evening during the week.  Her children of about the same age were always with them as their father was “out of the picture.”  The wife in this marriage accuses her husband of lacking commitment to her and her kids, explaining that every time his children were there “he virtually ignores me and my
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Categories: Children, Divorce, Family, Marriage, Parenting, and Transitions / Change.

Blending Families #1

A reader has asked me to write an article about “blending families.”  In all the years that I’ve written this column I was surprised that I haven’t covered this topic before.  This is an important topic, because currently the U.S. Census indicates that approximately one third of children today are living in blended families. Studies of family structures children in the U.S. are currently living in suggests that a little less than half of all children are growing up in nuclear families.  About 30% of children are living in blended families, and that leaves about 20% of children living in
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Categories: Children, Divorce, Family, Marriage, Parenting, and Transitions / Change.

What if we treated our family this way?

Last time we stayed at Fairfield Inn my wife remarked about the card on our pillow “wouldn’t this be great we treated each other like this?”  The card had a promise on it.  It read “We promise to always… make you feel welcome give you a room that’s clean, fresh, and reflects the highest quality standards respond promptly to any need you might have give you the service that will make you want to return” YES!  It would be great if we could do this for each other in our families.  In our neighborhoods.
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Categories: Faith issues, Family, Marriage, and Mental Health.

Fooling Around on Facebook

A man in his 40s, married almost 20 years, reports the following scenario:  “I wasn’t looking for this.  She just asked me to be a friend on Facebook.  I haven’t talked to her since high school.  She looked great.  Pretty soon we start texting each other and then I talk to her on my way home from work.  I thought I could keep this thing contained.  My wife saw all the texts from an unknown number on the cell phone bill and she hacked into my Facebook account and found all the personal messages.  I can’t believe she did that! 
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Categories: Managing Media and Marriage.

The Structured Separation Agreement

Occasionally in my practice there is a couple I am working with that are “stuck” and if they continue to stay together they will definitely hurt their chances of perpetual marital bliss. Yet, divorce is not something I encourage though for some it becomes a decision they must make.  Sometimes it is helpful for the couple to agree to “trial separation.”  In this post you will learn a way to go about a structured or trial separation.    Definition: Terminating cohabitation with a moratorium on the final decision to reunite or divorce – basically a postponement of that decision for
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Categories: Divorce, Family, Marriage, and Transitions / Change.

Questions for Couples to Ponder

William Glasser is the author of “Choice Theory” and developer of Reality Therapy. In his work with couples, Dr. Glasser starts out with these six important questions: 1. Are you here because you really want help? Or are you here because you have already made up your mind to divorce but want to be able to say you tried to get help? 2. Very briefly, what do you believe is wrong with the marriage? 3. Whose behavior can you control? 4. Tell me one good thing about the marriage as it exists right now. 5. Think of and then tell
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Categories: Marriage.