3 Ways Caring Relationships Can Help a Trauma Survivor

By | Coping, Counseling, Healing, Love, Mind/Body Health, Relationships, Toxic Relationships | One Comment

Newborns and young babies depend on their caretakers to regulate their emotions until their brain is sufficiently developed to be able to regulate more on their own.  When a person goes through a trauma, there is cortisol shooting through the person’s system and is it difficult to regulate feelings and like the newborn can benefit greatly from supportive caring interpersonal relationships.  One of the most accepted and researched psychological theories is attachment theory which basically states that the primary motivation…

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Toxic Relationship: Couple Quarreling

Verbal Abuse Can Be Subtle and Traumatic

By | Coping, Counseling, Dysfunctional Family, Healing, Relationships, Toxic Relationships | 8 Comments

This article will be written as if the males are the abusers and the females are the victims, which is true according to research the majority of the time.  However, if you are a male that is the victim or a female who is the perpetrator, please just swap the pronouns in your head. It is easy to understand that sexual and physical abuse can be traumatic.   It is also easy to understand that severe verbal abuse (i.e.-yelling, name calling)…

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How Childhood Trauma Can Ruin Your Current Relationship and How to Heal So It Doesn’t

By | Coping, Healing, Long Hot Marriage, Love, Love advice, Marriage Advice, Relationships, Toxic Relationships | 3 Comments

As a therapist, I deal with couples that are having challenges in their relationship.  As a professor at the USC School of Social Work, I teach graduate students the relationship between early developmental childhood trauma and the emotional, behavioral and cognitive symptoms that clients present when they come see the student interns for therapy.  One of the things I teach my students is that the brain develops in the first few years of life to adapt to the family who…

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Trauma Bonding: Why People Repeat being Abuse Victims

By | Coping, Counseling, Relationships, Toxic Relationships | No Comments

Attachment to others has been shown to be the basic human motivation.  When people are victimized at a young age, their brains actually adapt to their environment and they learn that the way to attach is to be a victim.  This is not just a psychological phenomenon; it is also a neurobiological phenomenon.  People who have abuse histories may not even feel a desire to be attached to someone who is kind, genuine and safe.  That is not the way…

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Ashley Madison and Your Marriage

By | Communication, Infidelity, Marital Advice, Marital Problems, Marriage, Marriage Advice, Marriage Problems, Relationships, Sex, Toxic Relationships | No Comments

“Life is short. Have an affair.” This is the motto of the Ashley Madison site; a site where married partners can supposedly meet other married people discreetly and have an affair.   Of course, as we have learned in the news, due to hacking as well as pure technology, there is less discreteness than some of the consumers of the site have hoped for.  I have had more than one female client of mine in recent weeks let me know…

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Five Rules of Fidelity

By | Communication, Creating More Passion in Marriage, Infidelity, Intimacy, Long Hot Marriage, Love, Love advice, Marital Advice, Marriage, Marriage Advice, Relationships, Sex, Toxic Relationships | No Comments

I talk a lot about how to heal from infidelity and I have helped a lot of couples thrive after this interpersonal crisis.  Having said that, being faithful to your spouse or committed partner has many advantages.  These advantages include  No guilt or anxiety about secrets  It is easier to feel closer to your mate  You can focus on creating a phenomenal intimate life with your partner as you “grow up” together with no exits such as extramarital relationships. So…

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Toxic Relationship: Couple Quarreling

Facebook and Infidelity

By | Communication, Infidelity, Intimacy, Marital Problems, Marriage, Marriage Advice, Marriage Problems, Relationships, Sex, Toxic Relationships | No Comments

I have come across several studies that say about 1 in 5 people flirt using Facebook.  My practice is filled with couples that called me due to infidelity that started with social media.  I love social media myself.  It is good for my business and it is fun for personal reasons.   But it can be dangerous.  It can be dangerous because: It is so easily accessible. There are people from our past that we can easily find since so many…

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Communication in Relationships: Effective and Destructive

By | Communication, Conflict Resolution, Coping, Counseling, Dysfunctional Family, Family Relationships, Healing, Intimacy, Love, Love advice, Marriage, Marriage Advice, Marriage Problems, Parenting, Relationships, Successful Marriages, Toxic Relationships | No Comments

Effective: Clean communication- clean communication is when the only intent of your communication is to reveal something about yourself. Example: I am angry with you for getting defensive rather than listening. Destructive: Unclean communication- unclean communication is when you have other intentions such as punishing the other person defending yourself, getting rid of your own tension or proving you are right. Example: Yelling loudly- your listening skills suck!  (Getting rid of tension) Effective: Being receptive which includes dropping your own…

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Toxic Relationship: Couple Quarreling

“You’re the Worst Communicator Ever”- Confessions of a Marriage Therapist- (Me)

By | Communication, Conflict Resolution, Coping, Counseling, Dysfunctional Family, Family Relationships, Healing, Intimacy, Love, Love advice, Marriage, Marriage Advice, Marriage Problems, Parenting, Relationships, Toxic Relationships | No Comments

I have been to many parties where people would come up to my wife and say- “You must have a perfect marriage- you are married to a marriage therapist.”  And my wife found that comment very funny!  The truth is- yes- I am a marriage therapist, and I am also a human being who grew up in a family where great communication was not modeled.  There were many times I would be helping a couple with communication and suddenly had…

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Communication: Bickering, Yelling, Withdrawing, and Suppressing

By | Communication, Conflict Resolution, Counseling, Family Relationships, Healing, Intimacy, Long Hot Marriage, Love, Love advice, Marital Advice, Marital Problems, Marriage, Marriage Advice, Marriage Problems, Relationships, Successful Marriages, Toxic Relationships, Videos | 2 Comments

Ever have a simple item of discussion turn into a multiple hour fight? What should have been a simple chat, becomes another battle; and by the end of it, you’re no closer together. I see it all the time with the couples I help. It comes down to a few styles of communication that are standing in the way of smooth sailing.  Watch this video to find out what kind of dynamic is going on in your home. And of…

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