Dave: I have often noticed that in the weeks following the extended family interview, something happens, something that gives evidence of change. In this clinical illustration the something happens, but it […]
Check out this thought-provoking Op-Ed from today’s New York Times. Novelist Jessica Knoll remarks on the degree to which women are still negatively obsessed with their bodies, and ties some […]
Over the years, I’ve seen many couples whose presenting complaint revolves around sex. Usually it’s because the sex is too infrequent, too lackluster, or at the male parter has some kind of sexual dysfunction. (I’ve only seen one case where the complaint was too much sex!) As usual, unless there’s a biological problem, the sexual relationship is embedded in the larger emotional/psychological dance of the couple. Learning about this dance, and how to do some new steps, can change everything.
Amy: One of the best-kept secrets that even families themselves don’t know, is that kids worry about their parents. And why shouldn’t they? After all, kids depend on the folks for […]
Check out this Opinion piece by David Brooks in today’s New York Times. He critiques the impersonal nature of calling someone out on (anti) social media, where people are often […]
Check out this thoughtful Opinion piece from today’s New York Times. As a fan of the comic/writer Louis C.K., I’ve been rooting for him to use the personal and public […]
Check out this lovely Opinion piece by Cyndi Jones from The New York Times. She reminds us that healing is never just a purely personal matter. It’s about relationship.
Anyone who is married for any length of time knows that the relationship undergoes many transformations in the course of living together. Most of these transformations are unconscious, outside awareness, and often felt as subtle–or not so subtle–tensions between the couple. One of the most profound transformations occurs with the birth of the first child, that magic transition from a two-person to a three-person family. The unconscious contract of the relationship, that subtle “agreement” which binds the couple , undergoes one of the most important stress-tests in the life of the couple. Almost nothing tests the elasticity, the creativity, and the commitment of a couple like the act of becoming parents. Here is a case which shows how painful this test can be.
Comedian/actor Paul Scheer tells the story of how he and his wife, wanting to be “cool parents”, stepped into a bar with their six-week old son. The new parents wanted […]
Dave: I have to take a moment to applaud my good friend and muse, Amy Begel, who has a splendid capacity to wrap complex experiences in words. I am a […]
Parenting advice often describes ways to “manage” a child’s temper tantrums. But temper tantrums, or defiant behavior in kids contain important messages for the parents. Often, without meaning to, kids are responding to underlying tensions in the family. They react in the only way they know how: through their behavior. The message: HELP!
We talk a lot about how couples “create” each other as a result of ongoing, intimate patterns in the course of a relationship.These patterns are mostly unconscious, meaning outside awareness. And it’s interesting how change happens in a marriage. Mostly it’s the result of some indirect shift in the undercurrents of the relationship, either in the course of life, or sometimes with the help of therapy. It can feel mysterious, and hard to grasp. Sometimes, when one person changes, it can make all the difference. Here is such a case:
In this Opinion piece from today’s New York Times, Kim Brooks talks about the new movement in Mom-Shaming. She recounts her own experience of being stalked and recorded for leaving […]
All marriages have divorce built into them. Often, though, we end up re-marrying the same person. This is a powerful–and painful –process necessary for growth, both as a couple and as individuals. In this post, Dave talks about some of the dynamics in marriage that help us understand this universal phase in the life of a couple.
Tensions in marriage are normal, and unavoidable. They’re part of the price of intimacy. Problems only occur when these underlying tensions are ongoing, and not acknowledged. They are semi-buried. Children are geniuses at feeling these latent tensions; they often help magnify what hasn’t been addressed. In fact, in their own way, they may be trying to help.
Therapist Avi Klein wrote about the shame many men feel about their emotions, particularly feelings that expose a sense of vulnerability. We see men like that often in therapy with couples. Here’s a case of how one man allowed himself to be un-masked, and how it transformed the couple’s relationship.