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Tips for Clinicians, Family Members, and Friends

When couples are dissatisfied in their relationship, couple therapy, in which both members of the couple participate in the treatment, has become one of the most widely practiced interventions. The effectiveness of couple therapy in improving couple relationships has been demonstrated by several studies.

Sleepless Nights = Worse Fights

We know that hunger can leave us susceptible to poorly-handled arguments with a partner (see Nibble, Then Quibble).1 So, too, can insufficient sleep.

Focusing directly on the concerns that families, couples and individuals bring to therapy, Integrative Systemic Therapy (IST) values client participation in planning therapy and seeking solutions to their concerns. Although focusing initially on straight forward, direct changes in interaction, thinking and feeling, IST also provides tools to systematicall

Who hasn't at times hated a loved one?

It happens in every intimate relationship, a moment when frustration or upset or disdain grows so large that the thought crosses the mind: I hate him / I hate her. Love and hate — they aren't opposites, and it's not a zero sum game where the more of one means the less of the other. Both feelings can stir, as they inevitably do.

Spanking Revisited

Researchers at the University of Texas and the University of Michigan reviewed fifty years of studies representing the findings across more than 160,000 children. What they found was that the more children are spanked, the more likely they are to show aggressive and anti-social behavior and to manifest mental health and cognitive difficulties.

90% of being a couple is just shouting "what?" from other rooms.

If you found that line even a little bit funny, here's what happened to your brain: an electrical wave traveled out through your cerebral cortex and your body experienced surprise, delight, perhaps an audible chuckle.

During (and after) moments of conflict, we tend to create, for ourselves and others, linear stories that focus on cause and effect, good and bad, winner and loser. "You showed up late for our dinner reservation and ruined my evening." It's a simplistic approach, black and white in its thinking.

“I’m sorry” doesn’t always end couple conflict in a satisfying way. Often something more is needed, an expression in words or actions that speaks to and “corrects” the underlying experience of one or both partners.

“My friend Caroline is driving me crazy,” your partner reports, exasperated. “She keeps pushing me to go shopping again, but I don’t have her endless energy for that.” Quickly, you’re poised to suggest a way she can beg off on her friend’s invitation.

Boomerang Effect

Whether parents are living together or not, in a two-parent family it’s likely that one (or both) has spoken critically of the other — in the presence of the children. You can be so stubborn! a frustrated mother says to father as the children sit nearby. You don’t listen when I talk to you, father blurts into the cellphone while the kids