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VIDEO: Stephen Porges on the Building Blocks of Healthy Relationships

What Co-Regulation Actually Looks Like

Stephen Porges • 7/18/2018 • 8 Comments

In developing the Polyvagal Theory, psychophysiologist Stephen Porges transformed the way therapists understand the underlying mechanisms of traumatic response and how safety, caring, and trustworthiness are conveyed unconsciously in our body language, voice tonality, facial expression, and eye contact. In this video clip, he explains what healthy co-regulation looks like in the body.

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VIDEO: How to Talk to Your Kids About Love

...And The 60-Second "Truth Bomb" Exercise to Get You Started

Alexandra Solomon • 7/11/2018 • No Comments

When it comes to talking about love and relationships with young adult children, too many parents are silent. But research shows that the vast majority of young adults want to hear guidance and wisdom from parents and older role models. In the following interview, couples therapist and author Alexandra Solomon shares a few ways to get started.

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What is Love?

It Exists in the Most Ordinary Places. Here's How to Find It

Barbara Fredrickson • 6/17/2018 • 4 Comments

By Barbara Fredrickson - At work, you and your teammates celebrate a shared triumph with hugs and high fives. On your morning jog, you smile and nod to greet fellow runners and silently wish them a good day. After a trip that’s kept you apart for too many days, you share a long embrace with a family member. Can these everyday moments be called love? What exactly is love?

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When Siblings Become Caregivers

Three Ways to Defuse Confrontation

Barry Jacobs • 5/31/2018 • 1 Comment

By Barry Jacobs - Nothing reveals the fault lines in sibling relationships like the seismic shift caused by an aging parent's sudden decline. Brothers and sisters can quickly become locked in conflict about what's best for Mom and Dad. Here's how to help them forget their old rivalries and cooperate with one another.

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The Five Love Languages

An Interview with Gary Chapman

Ryan Howes • 5/22/2018 • No Comments

By Ryan Howes - In our romantic fantasies, the path to true love is smooth. But the couples we see in therapy aren’t always so adept. In his book, The Five Love Languages, Gary Chapman writes that people typically tend to express and understand emotional love through one of five “languages”—words of affirmation, quality time, personal gifts, acts of service, or physical touch.

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Loving Wholeheartedly

Fraught Parent-Child Relationships Can be an Opportunity for Personal Growth

Leonard Felder • 5/8/2018 • No Comments

By Leonard Felder - Every now and then, we're lucky enough to meet someone who feels driven to let go of old emotional baggage and find the kind of freedom that comes with being able to love wholeheartedly, without inner reservation. When that person is a client, they're a great lesson to us in our own lives.

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Reframing the "Burden" of Caretaking

Why Accepting Help is Empowering for Those Receiving and Giving

Barry Jacobs • 5/3/2018 • No Comments

By Barry Jacobs - For those who've spent their lifetimes taking pride in giving generously to others, suddenly being on the receiving end of care because of illness or age-related infirmity can be tormenting. For many, rejecting help is regarded as a measure of one's courage and determination in battling family crises brought on by old age or disease. Here are some ways of overcoming this common tendency to refuse help.

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Confessions of a Former People Pleaser

The Radical Act of Rethinking Your Boundaries

Alicia Muñoz • 4/19/2018 • 2 Comments

By Alicia Muñoz - I used to view boundaries as a fancy way of dressing up rejection, incompetence, and selfishness. But after a decade of working as a couples counselor, I've learned just how much they create safety in relationships. They’re guardians of our life force, energy incubators, protectors of precious emotional resources, stokers and fuelers of self-respect.

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Kinship Without Connection

A Special Feature from Our Family Matters Department

Mark Matousek • 4/13/2018 • No Comments

By Mark Matousek - One ordinary day last year, an email appeared from someone I didn’t know, a Jim who lived in Phoenix. It explained that his mother had found a book of mine online, realized I was looking for her ex-husband, and passed the book along to her son. Jim had read the book, done the math, and deduced that we had the same missing father. We agreed to meet three weeks later.

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Can Open Relationships Work?

How to Know When They're Right (or Not) and How to Set Ground Rules

Rick Miller • 4/12/2018 • No Comments

By Rick Miller - Even for healthy couples, opening up a relationship in a way that’s not destructive is hard work and requires a great deal of communication around what is and isn’t acceptable. Yet even with these guidelines established, helping couples navigate this territory is a challenge. Here are some best practices.

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