Category Archives: Relationships

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.

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.

4 Gottman Institute Tips to Build Everyday Trust in Relationships

Be a Partner Who is Reliable and Accountable with Gottman Institute Therapy Tips

When you think of trust in relationships, you likely think of rebuilding after an incident where trust was challenged and/or lost. Some common reasons trust becomes an issue in relationships are dishonesty, unreliability, and betrayal.

Let’s focus on building a foundation of trust from the start of the relationship. To prevent the pitfalls of the issues listed above, here are four practical, concrete ways to establish trust and maintain it.

Continue reading at The Gottman Institute.

If you are looking for couples therapy, make an online appointment.

Destigmatizing Premarital Counseling

Online Marriage Counseling Can Get Your Lifetime of Love Off to a Good Start

I remember the buzz of excitement and anticipation leading up to our wedding. Choosing a location. Sampling dishes from a local farm-to-table catering company. Asking our loved ones to play music, sew table runners, and brew cider. We made a pact to focus on our relationship first and to take breaks if wedding planning ever became too stressful. Things were going pretty well, so when my parents proposed the idea of premarital counseling, we felt taken aback, slightly offended, and closed off to the idea.

I imagine we were not the only engaged couple who thought about premarital counseling. For many decades, the dominant narrative in our culture was that premarital counseling was something you needed to do if you wanted to get married in the Catholic Church or if you had obvious relationship issues.

As a bride-to-be and a Marriage and Family Therapist in training, I was aware of these different influences on my opinion and chose to purposefully set them aside. Although we didn’t have serious issues or religious reasons, we decided to give premarital counseling a shot. After all, if I was going to work as a couples therapist and wanted to break down any stigmas around relational health, I better be willing to do some work of my own.

Continue reading at The Gottman Institute.

Contact me for more information on online marriage counseling in Oregon, Washington & Florida residents.

4 Reasons Why Being Silly Is So Good for Couples

New Research on Playfulness Shows How it Can Build a Better Relationship

LGBT couples therapy research on playfulness in relationships.

How much time do you and your partner actually spend doing things just for fun? Although your pandemic and post-pandemic life can seem to squeeze the levity out of your relationship, do you still find ways to share moments of laughter? Can you even remember the last occasion when you forgot about your daily stress and goofed off with your partner? How about a recent time when you were just plain silly for no other reason than to bring some lightheartedness back into your relationship?

The quality of playfulness is one that is relatively understudied in psychology as an attribute of adult personality or relationships. Yet, the well-known psychologist Erik Erikson gave initiative, or the ability to engage in imaginative play, a central place in his lifespan model of personality. Emerging in the preschool years, initiative allows the child to explore new activities just for fun. As the individual develops, imagination retains its role in personality, theoretically allowing adults to take a creative approach to life.

Continue reading at Psychology Today.

For more information on how I can help you with LGBT couples therapy, contact me today.

Setting a Daily Gottman Method Love Aspiration

Couples Love Aspirations Using the Gottman Method

Gottman Therapy love aspirations for couples.

I’d say the road to relationship misery is paved with good intentions, too. Tell me if this sounds familiar. You intend to be more romantic, caring, sexy, or fun—you really do!—but then you forget. Why? Is it because you are a thoughtless oaf with the romantic aptitude of a sponge? Is it because you care about your work more than your mate? Is it because you are just too darn tired? No. It’s because you are a human with truly good intentions, but intentions are never enough.

You may ask, “Okay Cheryl, how can I make my partner feel more important and loved?” By making an effort to DO something that makes them feel special each and every day. If you are like me, you need some help turning what you think you should do or would like to do for your partner into relationship results. And I have the perfect tool for you: set daily love aspirations.

Continue reading at The Gottman Institute.

Contact me for more information on how the Gottman method can help with your couples therapy.

Relationship Tips Using the Gottman Couples Therapy Method

4 Tips You Need to Know in Your First Year of a Relationship

Gottman method couples therapy tips.

This June 2021, my partner and I celebrate our 16th anniversary together.

That’s no small feat today. The even wilder part about our relationship is that we met on social media. We didn’t meet on Tinder. There was no “swiping right” in 2005. We didn’t meet on Facebook or even MySpace.

I met my partner when internet dating was brand new. We met on a site called “Friendster.” It was one of the first social media sites with profiles and photos, but not much else.

Here’s how it happened for me. A guy named Alapaki messaged me. He had gorgeous photos and a cool job (as a symphony percussionist). I was a music major in undergrad, so we had that in common.

I took a chance and here we are, still together, 16 years later. We’ve really learned a thing or two about relationships—mainly what it takes to make it past the tumultuous first year.

Here I’m sharing four tips we had to learn (the hard way) in the first year of our relationship so that you might not have to.

Continue reading at The Gottman Institute.

If you are looking for someone to help you through your relationship, contact me to schedule a telehealth appointment.