Blog Items

Listening versus problem-solving in intimate relationships

Many couples who come to counselling are anxious for strategies and practical solutions to the problems that are causing conflict between them. It's understandable - they simply want things to feel better as soon as possible. In some cases, they want their partner, who they may see as the problem, to be 'fixed'!

Of course, this approach is seldom effective, and oftentimes couples have found this out themselves before seeking professional assistance.

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How can music help my child?

Have you ever felt more relaxed when listening to music? Have you ever listened to music that instantaneously brought up strong feelings or brought you back to a special time from the past? Have you ever felt a sense of inner strength or peace when listening to music? Have you ever sung a lullaby to help comfort a crying baby or sung the alphabet song to a young child who is just learning the alphabet?

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Is social media hurting your relationships?

Picture this - you're out for lunch together, you and your loved one, on a date. But every time you begin to talk, his phone rings, or yours does. You both feel it's important to at least check who is calling. It may be work, or a friend in need. By the time lunch is over, you've both spent more time responding to others than to each other.

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Are the kids alright? Coping with parental conflict

Often when couples are grappling with ongoing problems that don't seem easy to resolve, arguments can get going at home, and it's hard to avoid these happening out of earshot of the children. Even when we think they're unaware or unaffected, it can be a shock to discover that they have witnessed our angry outbursts, and may start to either act out or become depressed/anxious in response.

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Sex in long-term relationships: the news is good!!!

Love & Lust

Who says marriage is where desire goes to die? We can't quite bring ourselves to believe that passion can thrive on modern love—because our sexual imagination is stuck in the past.

This article was written by Virginia Rutter Ph.D, and was first published at Psychology Today on July 01, 2014.


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"Growing each other up" - relationship conflict as an opportunity for personal development

Conflict in relationships is never easy. Many of us would like to have a relationship free of conflict, at least most of the time.

However, conflict is not only impossible to avoid, but can be healthy in a relationship. Done skillfully and with awareness of what buttons are being pushed for yourself and your partner, conflict can take couples into new territory that promotes personal growth as well as enhancing intimacy together.

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When setting boundaries may be the most caring thing to do for you and your partner

One of the most painful things to witness - as a counsellor working with distressed couples - is where one person, having tried every way they can to let their partner know that their needs are not being met, becomes stuck in communicating this in an angry and critical way. Their partner then defends themselves against this perceived attack, and the distressed person is then left feeling even more desparate and unheard, and that their needs are not important to their loved one.

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Grieving in intimate relationships

Grief is an inevitable part of living - it's pretty much impossible to avoid losing someone close to us at some point.

Some forms of grieving are less obvious, and we may not even realized we are experiencing an emotional response to a loss.

Examples of this might be:-

One partner has had a serious illness

You have a child with a disability

A partner may have responded to stressful life events in a way that might feel like they are no longer the person we first fell in love with, s/he has changed in subtle and/or profound ways.

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How do we sustain sexual desire in our long-term relationship?

In long-term relationships, we often expect our beloved to be both best friend and erotic partner. But as Esther Perel argues, good and committed sex draws on two conflicting needs: our need for security and our need for surprise. So how do you sustain desire? With wit and eloquence, Perel lets us in on the mystery of erotic intelligence.

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When the 'trivial things' really aren't trivial - housework and other catastrophes

The following article is reprinted from Verily magazine, author Zach Brittle.


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