Category Archives: Relationships

The Difference between a Therapist and a Friend

When I started graduate school to become a therapist, I thought that being a therapist would be easy. I figured that helping clients with their problems was no different from talking with friends about their problems and, since I talked to friends all the time, it would be a cinch. Wrong. I quickly learned that…

Fun Relationship Experiment #3: Make a List

It’s hard to maintain perspective on relationships with partners. It’s easy to take partners’ good qualities for granted and to be exasperated over and over again by the qualities we don’t like. This relationship experiment is designed to give you a more complete picture of your partner and your relationship than you are likely to…

Fun Relationship Experiment #2: Lighten Up

For every couple there are topics that are difficult to discuss. Perhaps you have a hard time talking about your finances or the housework or your religious observance or how to interact with your kids. Since there is disagreement and conflict in any significant relationship, it is important to learn how to approach tension-filled topics…

Fun Relationship Experiment #1: The Switcheroo

When you are in a relationship it is easy to get stuck in a pattern of having the same fights about the same issues over and over again. It can be so frustrating when important issues seem to never get resolved. It can also be boring — nothing engages you, there’s no new information, and…

Support For People Who Are Depressed

Everyone (including me) always tells depressed people to “get support.” The reality is that when people are depressed, talking to other people about it is sometimes the last thing they want to do. So when someone says, “Get some support!” the depressed person might be thinking, “Support, right. Like that will help. What I need…

Red Flags In Abusive Relationships

When you are in a relationship with someone you love it can be difficult to figure out whether the conflicts in your relationship are abusive or not. If you notice any of the following “red flags” in your relationship, there is a possibility that your relationship could be controlling or abusive. Extreme jealousy — one…

The Stresses Of Parenting

Parenting is an extremely stressful job. And I think parents are the only ones who fully get that. Parenting is so stressful that it makes sense that you might let your kid run around a restaurant because she’s been running around all day and at least you know she won’t get hurt and maybe you…

What Is Your Communication Style?

I think of good communication as having two qualities: honesty and kindness. If we are able to communicate honestly about our needs while still being kind, we take care of ourselves and build our relationships with others at the same time. Let’s take an everyday* example of communication. Your partner, who hasn’t done much housework…

How To Survive A Family Visit

People say that time travel isn’t possible. But every time we visit our families, it’s like stepping into a time machine. We are whisked back in time to our childhood in the blink of an eye (or, perhaps more aptly, the roll of an eye). All of a sudden, the fact that we have full-time…

Are You A “Difficult” Person?

Have you had trouble in your relationships with friends, partners, co-workers, or family members? Does it seem to you that nobody understands you? Do you find yourself getting angry and aggressive? Do you think everyone else has a problem, not you? Have you tried therapy before but felt like the therapist was an idiot who…