Why I take sides as a couples’ therapist.

Taking sides in couples’ therapy has historically been seen as a big “no-no”. I’ve learned differently. Siding with nothing ensures no real or lasting change, just a feel-good moment with a very short half-life. A few years ago I met a married heterosexual couple in their 40’s. Upper middle class and with a few minor children in tow, they were both charming and well-liked in their community.  They came in because the husband had told his wife he wouldn’t partake in any more social gatherings with her. She was beside herself because socializing was a big part of their lives. […]

Why communication skills fall short.

“Can you help us”? Her face and her voice came through the screen as rushed. Every word seemed to pour out disorderly, with the urgency of someone to be heard and saved and the anticipation that neither such thing would take place. Her husband of 22 years, sitting by her side, looking to be saved as well, but as I’ve learned later, his interest was in finding someone to save him from having to “deal” with her. As a therapist and in the past 20 years, I’ve been asked that question multiple times. “Can you help us? And if so, […]

4 must-have approaches for heart-to-heart conversations.

Conversations are the most direct, effective and evolved form of communication among humans, yet, just talking to each other is not enough for heart- to heart parleys. Heart- to-heart conversations require skill and when dialogues are laden with what renowned couples’ expert, Dr. Gottman, refers to as the 4 Horsemen of the Apocalypse (Criticism, Contempt, Defensiveness and/or Stonewalling) relationships either don’t survive or if they do, they exist in misery. If you are saying to yourself right now, “…it’s my partner’s fault our conversations either don’t happen or they have bad endings” you may be absolutely right!, hence, to have […]