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Words That Haunt

Helping Couples Work Through Old Character Attacks

Ellen Wachtel

By Ellen Wachtel - I used to believe that if a couple was getting along and behaving in a loving way to one another, hurtful and even cruel words would naturally fade into the background. But I’ve frequently seen couples in which hurt spouses may forgive their partner for the harsh words spoken in anger, but nonetheless remain haunted by some biting comment that continues to sting long after the argument is over.

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VIDEO: Breaking Rigid Thinking Around Intimacy

A Three-Part Solution for Couples Therapy

Suzanne Iasenza

Sex therapist Suzanne Iasenza talks about a three-part process that helps couples free themselves from the rigid narratives about sex that keep them from exploring what really brings them pleasure.

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VIDEO: Esther Perel on the New Rules of Love and Commitment

How Boomers Shaped Millennial Romance

Esther Perel

Couples therapist Esther Perel has been recognized as one of the world’s most original and insightful thinkers about couples, sexuality, and the peculiar paradoxes besetting modern marriage in the Western world. In this clip from her Networker Symposium keynote, she talks about the complicated and contradictory needs that are shaping Millennial marriage and commitment today.

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What Successful Couples Are Doing Right

The Gottmans on Mastering the Brain’s Seven Pathways to Emotional Connection

John Gottman, Julie Gottman

By John and Julie Gottman - John and Julie Gottman have spent decades developing an evidence base for couples therapy, honing their techniques for stabilizing marriage through research with nearly 3,000 couples. In the following excerpt from their 2018 Networker Symposium keynote address, they explain what research has revealed about the crucial role the brain’s seven different command systems can play in enhancing the quality of couples’ emotional connection.

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Five Ways to Maintain Gains in Couples Therapy

...And the First Question You Need to Ask Relapsing Partners

Jon Carlson

By Jon Carlson - Couples therapists need to be aware of the strategies that prevent relapse, so that short-term successes don't become long-term failures, and to address those areas in the initial therapy with the couple. However, if gains are not maintained, here are five areas of treatment you may need to revisit.

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Is Consensual Nonmonogamy Right for Your Clients?

...And Why Nonmonogamous Couples Tend to Avoid Couples Therapists Like the Plague

Margaret Nichols

By Margaret Nichols - In past decades, the only alternatives to involuntary celibacy in a relationship were affairs or divorce. But increasingly, people, including therapists, are recognizing there’s another option: consensual nonmonogamy. The idea isn’t new, but nonmonogamy is threatening to a lot of therapists for the same reason it’s threatening to most people: we instinctively want to believe that these unconventional relationships are flawed.

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What Attunement Really Looks Like

Step One: Confronting Your Own Limitations

Molly Layton

By Molly Layton - The longer I practice, the more I'm struck with the importance of tolerant, hovering attentiveness that looks, Janus-faced, both outwardly at the client and inwardly toward the therapist's own processes.

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How Commitment Really Works

The Two Most Common Mistakes Struggling Couples Make

Gay Hendricks

By Gay Hendricks - Therapists who understand and apply two concepts about commitment—that the results you get reveal the actual commitment you've made, and to make a change in a relationship, each participant must take 100 percent responsibility for the current situation—can eliminate a great deal of energy-draining work in the treatment of couples.

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Using Science to Determine Why Relationships Succeed or Fail

John and Julie Gottman and the 'Four Horsemen' of the Relationship Apocalypse

John Gottman and Julie Schwartz Gottman

The couples we see are often in terrible distress. Don’t they deserve the best we can give them? Couples therapy, like any form of psychotherapy, is an art form at its best. But underlying the art, we need methods built on the truth of what couples need to succeed, rather than those based in myths patched together out of stereotypes. So we come to our first principle for doing effective couples therapy: use research-based methods to treat couples. Science is the avenue that can best lead us toward truth. After studying more than 3,000 couples and participating in studies of 3,500 more, here's a summary of everything our couples have taught us.

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From Research to Practice: Scoreboard for Couples Therapies

Which are the Winners in the Latest Research?

Jay Lebow

Couples therapy is on a roll. Whereas a mere 20 years ago, surveys showed that consumers didn't think much of it, today it's become increasingly accepted by the general public. Yet the research about couples therapy, as well as research about couples themselves--why some marriages succeed and others don't--hasn't kept pace with the growth of couples therapy.

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