Understanding When a Partner Withdraws Through Therapy

The five most common reasons why a partner withdraws.

Telehealth therapy understanding why a partner withdraws

Intimate partners create internal maps of how their partners think and feel about themselves and the relationship. They can pretty accurately predict what thoughts and behaviors they can expect in most situations from that knowledge and understanding.

But sometimes, those comfortable and secure expectations slowly or suddenly go awry. A partner’s predictive behavioral patterns shift without warning or explanation, leaving the other partner confused and unsettled. A withdrawing partner often becomes even more inaccessible when pressed for reasons or attempts to understand.

Rarely have I been called by those partners. It is much more likely that the newly-exiled partners are worried that something is wrong and need help to understand and what they can do.

Continue reading at Psychology Today.

Conflict Resolution in Neurodiverse Relationships Using The Gottman Method

Two Different Brains in LoveNeurodiverse conflict resolution using The Gottman Method

Neurodiverse romantic relationships include at least one or more neurodivergent partners. Neurodiversity refers to the variation in neurological differences that occur naturally in all humans, with 15-20% of people falling in the category of neurodivergent.

The term neurodivergence is most commonly used with Autism and ADHD, but it also applies to people with Dyslexia, Sensory Processing Difficulties, Dyspraxia, Dyscalculia, Synesthesia, OCD, and other common brain variations.

MOST COMMON SOURCES OF CONFLICT IN NEURODIVERSE RELATIONSHIPS 

The biggest conflicts in neurodiverse relationships boil down to the difficulty individuals have in understanding the differences in how each partner processes information.

Continue reading at The Gottman Institute.

5 Secrets to Being Happier Without Relying on Your Partner

Using these easy, science-backed tweaks can make a big difference in your life.

Tips on creating a happy relationship without involving your partner. Oregon therapy telehealth.Every relationship has its ups and downs. In fact, life has its ups and downs.

That’s totally normal—we wouldn’t be human if we did not have these mood swings.

At times, you don’t even know why you feel down but you find yourself dreading getting up in the morning and are having trouble getting through the day. In any case, a little mood booster would be a good thing.

But you may not want to involve your partner because they’ve got enough on their plate or because you don’t want to impose on them. Or you may find that your partner is just not up for working on your relationship right now.

So, what can you do to be happier in your relationship?

Here are some suggestions to help you find more happiness in your relationship and everyday life without involving your partner:

Continue reading at Psychology Today.

How to Add Passion to Your Relationship

Does personal growth help or hinder passion in relationships?

Sharing passions to bolster relationship tips from online lgbt counseling Oregon.Passion refers to intense feelings of longing for a partner, whether emotionally or sexually. In North America, at least, people who have more passion in their relationships tend to be happier.

But while passion is often high at the beginning of relationships, it tends to decline over time. Luckily, there are things couples can do to combat passion decay.

One way to increase passion in a relationship is by engaging in exciting activities with a partner (e.g., going on a trip together, taking a cooking course, hiking). These exciting, shared activities are associated with increased relationship well-being, sexual desire, and passion.

Continue reading at Psychology Today.

3 Ways to Invest in Your Relationship

Make deposits into the wealth of your relationship and see dividends in love.

gottman method couples therapyOf all your relationships, the one you have with your romantic partner likely requires more work. To stay happily together long term, you need to put effort into things like attunement and managing conflict—and that’s in addition to handling outside stressors like work and finances as a team. With so much going in the world, it’s easy to let your relationship fall through the cracks and just assume that everything is okay.

If you want your partnership to thrive this year, you both need to be intentional about investing in it. Like a bank account, you need to actively and consistently make deposits to help your relational wealth grow. It won’t happen on its own.

Here are a few ways to invest in your relationship and get intentional about your happily ever after.

GO TO COUPLES COUNSELING
Therapy isn’t just for people in crisis. Preventative care can go a long way in addressing smaller needs and overcoming everyday obstacles. For example, a counselor can help you manage stress, reignite the spark in your bedroom, or raise children going through difficult stages. Also, a counselor can assess your relationship for areas that may seem insignificant now but could become major issues later on. You can head off conflict before it happens with preemptive inventions learned in the therapy room. Find a couples therapist trained in the Gottman Method or scroll through Psychology Today. You both can see pictures, read profiles, and see if they’re a good fit. Also, you can connect with a therapist about their in-person or telehealth options, rates, and whether or not they take insurance (knowing how to financially budget for routine therapy will help you stick with it longer). With professional help, you can turn any weak spots in your partnership into your strengths as a couple.

Continue reading at The Gottman Institute.

How to Build Gottman Method Love Maps

What does it look like to stay curious about your partner?

Gottman method couples therapyIt’s time to dispel some myths. Relationships don’t always fall apart because of personality differences. Conversely, don’t believe that having similar hobbies is enough to keep you together. There are a lot of pop psychology, quick-fix methods out there. Thankfully, research from Dr. John Gottman gives insight into what really strengthens a relationship. Here at The Gottman Institute, we take it one step further by providing you with the skills and tools that are backed by science.

LOVE MAP BUILDING
This is the first level of the Sound Relationship House theory that details how solid relationships function. Essentially, Love Maps are how couples can stay curious about one another. Lovers in healthy relationships ask each other questions to explore each other’s inner world. As you both ask questions and take notice of the little things (e.g., how they like their coffee or how they relax), you start to build a mental map of who your partner is—their likes and dislikes, hurts and hopes, and everything that makes them who they are.

Continue reading at The Gottman Institute.

Couples Therapy Tips During The Pandemic

5 Ways to Keep the Heart Fires Burning

Therapy tips for couples during COVID-19 pandemic.

There are many ways to show the one you love just how much you care. These actions can make the difference between a mutually supportive and emotionally engaging relationship and a relationship that’s languishing. The more energy you put into loving, the more love you will get in return. It’s that simple. Here are five ways to keep the heart fires burning.

1. Figure Out the New Normal Together

Right now, almost everything feels new and different. Even doing things again that we haven’t experienced in almost two years feels oddly unfamiliar. Experiencing this together bonds you. It is also well-documented that couples who do new things together build more of the “cuddle hormone” oxytocin. This will help you navigate unfamiliar terrain better and make you a closer couple.

Continue reading at Psychology Today.

Couples therapy appointments are available online for Oregon residents with Telehealth.

Gottman Institute Proactive Self-Care for Couples

When Is It A Good Time To Seek Couples Therapy?

Suggestions for couples using the gottman method therapy.

Prospective clients, as well as friends and family, often ask me if a little rough patch in their relationship requires professional help or if they can and should work out their problems on their own.

I usually ask them this: Do you ignore small fires in your home and only call 911 when your house is about to burn to the ground?

Just as we are quick to call the fire department, we should call for help early, rather than let hotspots get out of control.

We should also take a step further. Like how we teach our family fire safety, we must proactively protect our relationship by learning crucial relational skills and improving our emotional intelligence.

While my response may seem self-serving, since I am a couples counselor, trust me when I tell you it’s not.

Continue Reading at the Gottman Institute.

If you are having a little rough patch and are looking for help, contact me to learn more about the Gottman Method.

New LGBT Research Explores Gender Expression & PDA-related Vigilance

Does Having a Feminine LGBT Partner Change PDA Experiences?

LGBT couples therapy for Florida residents.

When you reach for your partner’s hand in public, what is the first thing that crosses your mind, if anything? While for many couples, public displays of affection (PDAs) are so innocuous that they may feel more instinctual than deliberate, such experiences can be more complex for individuals in same-sex relationships.

Indeed, same-sex PDAs can have serious consequences, ranging from discrimination to violence. Such was the case in the story of Melania Geymonat and Christine (Chris) Hannigan who were attacked on a London city bus in 2019 by a group of teenage boys. Melania and Chris were returning home after a date and had been casually affectionate with each other while riding the bus when the teenagers began making crude hand gestures representing sexual acts and asking the women to “kiss for them.” The interaction culminated in the women being physically assaulted and robbed.

Continue reading at Psychology Today.

Offering online LGBT couples therapy for residents of Oregon, Washington and Florida.

After the Argument: How to Begin Again with Gottman Couples Therapy

Gottman Couples Therapy Tools for Making Up Instead of Breaking Up

The Gottman Therapy Method for couples.

“Okay, but what happens after the fight?” I ask.

The various couples on my screen shift uncomfortably and exchange guilty looks. Nobody answers. You’d think I’m a principal asking a classroom of third graders who let the class hamster out of the cage and fed it my lunch? Today’s topic, making up instead of breaking up, is part of several classes on communication and fighting fair. Over the last several weeks the couples in my online program have learned how to understand each others’ perspective, identify destructive arguing styles (including the Four Horsemen) and apply the antidotes, use a detailed time-out, process the underlying causes of their disagreements, use a mindful apology, and go through a deep forgiveness ritual. But now we’ve hit a big snag. After the fight, after the processing, after the forgiveness…these folks don’t know how to begin again.

Look, we all know we are going to disagree. Whether it’s a gentle argument over a parking space on your second date or a flooded, twelve-round verbal boxing match that leaves you emotionally reeling, fights happen.

Continue reading at The Gottman Institute.

Contact me to learn how The Gottman Method can help with your couples therapy.