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Why We Shouldn't Be Neutral about Divorce

Divorced Couples Are Saying Something Important about Regret

William Doherty

By William Doherty - When I began my therapy practice, I was strictly neutral about divorce. It was the clients’ decision, not mine. But eventually, I was propelled out of my denial about the seriousness of divorce. We have a hundred ways to ask “What would be right for you?” and hardly any to ask “What would be right for others in your life?”

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The Courage to Let Go

A Special Story from Our Family Matters Department

Elizabeth Young

By Elizabeth Young - A whirlwind romance turns into a troubled relationship.

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How to Foster a "Good Divorce"

Eight Ways to Helps Kids and Parents Reorganize Amidst Pain and Chaos

Maria Isaacs

By Maria Isaacs - The fundamental goal of a good divorce is simple yet challenging: children must experience their parents as a working partnership that reliably nurtures and protects them, regardless of how estranged the parents may be from each other. Here are eight ways to help this process along.

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Esther Perel’s Growing Cultural Presence

Expanding the Conversation on Couplehood

Lauren Dockett, Rich Simon

By Lauren Dockett and Rich Simon - By questioning some of the fundamental premises of traditional marriage, couples therapist Esther Perel has become, at least for the moment, psychotherapy’s public face and most quotable voice. But what is she saying that’s so intriguing and makes her stand out from all the other relationship experts our field produces?

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An Awareness of the Soul

What Does It Mean to Really Get in Touch with Yourself?

Michael Ventura

By Michael Ventura - When I was 5 years old, I experienced something that made me feel viscerally, mentally, emotionally, and inescapably connected to everything and everyone around me, while feeling what I can only describe as a sense of privacy so deep and unassailable that "loneliness" doesn't begin to describe it. Thirty-five years later, I felt it again.

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The Therapist Who Saved Me

Learning to Explore the Stories I Never Told Anyone

Stephen Lyons

By Stephen Lyons - I spent my first weeks in therapy recounting my recently-ended marriage: the spreading contagion of lies, fights, and broken promises. I'd never told these stories to anyone, ever. Each scene seemed a searing indictment of my abilities as a husband and father. But Sara simply listened, asked questions I'd never asked myself. Her role as a protective friend startled me into action.

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Is It Possible to Divorce Well?

Three Buddhist Practices for Helping Partners Split Amicably

Ashley Davis Prend

By Ashley Davis Prend - I've drawn three simple, uncomplicated steps from Buddhist philosophy to help hostile spouses cultivate a spirit of nonviolence, generosity, and compassion toward their ex-partners. Counterintuitive as it seems, practicing these steps can help people find the kind of inner wisdom and peace that acts as an antidote to their self-destructive and aggressive impulses.

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Why Therapists Should Give Clients' Marriage a Second Chance

William Doherty on the Merits of Discernment Counseling

William Doherty

This wish for a permanent mate isn’t surprising, given the perennial human longing to know that someone is there for us as we age, whatever happens---and that means there are no quick, guilt-free exits. Life is complicated, and divorce is sometimes necessary, but why not, in the words of poet Dylan Thomas, “rage, rage against the dying of the light,” instead of simply moving on because the current marital house would take too much work to restore and the one down the street looks better?

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Does Self-Disclosure in Therapy Hurt or Heal?

Finding a Balance in Sharing Personal Information with Clients

Janine Roberts

Despite our best intentions, self-disclosure can backfire. So why are we drawn to it so strongly as a therapeutic tool? Hundreds of therapists in workshops I've led around the world have said they share personal information to strengthen the therapeutic alliance, demystify therapy, and reduce the power differential between themselves and their clients. In the discussion about self-disclosure, we need to move beyond an either/or frame, as in "yes, do it," or "no, keep tight boundaries."

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A Couples Therapy for the Modern Relationship

Esther Perel on Relationship Dynamics in the Age of Consumer Marriage

Ryan Howes

When it comes to couples, we still hold onto the romantic ideal of finding that one soulmate who’ll fulfill all our needs for companionship, emotional intimacy, and erotic adventure in a single relationship. In our interview with Esther Perel, she shares her thoughts about how broader social context shapes expectations of marriage in crucial ways that are often ignored by many models of couples therapy.

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