Do I have your attention now?! The quest to get people to do what you want brings many people into therapy, whether you want the partner, child, friend, client, or parents to stop smoking, be nice, have sex more often, have sex less often, eat more vegetables and fruit, exercise, do homework, respect you, clean the bathroom, or pay … [Read more...]
Play by the (Relationship) Rules!
Do you have relationship rules for your partner? When one half of a couple makes rules for the couple, look out! Parents make rules for children, so the person who’s making the rules has cast him or herself as the parent and the partner as the child. Why would either partner find this satisfying? Rules equal safety The partner in the … [Read more...]
Dependency and Blame
Dependency and blame: Who wants what from whom? What happens if they don’t get it? Why now? These are the three questions that writer David Mamet says each scene in a play or film should answer. They’re questions I find myself asking in treating couples, as well. This post will deal with the first question. Why does someone want … [Read more...]
The Zany Henricksons of “Big Love”
Spoiler alert: If you haven’t watched the series finale of HBO’s “Big Love” yet, stop reading here! We come not to bury Bill Henrickson, but to praise him, or at least the wonderful HBO series, “Big Love,” in which he was the protagonist. I got HBO when my patients were asking what I thought of Dr. Melfi from “The Sopranos” and … [Read more...]
Finding a Therapist Online
When choosing a restaurant for a special occasion, I go online. I check the menu and prices on the restaurant website; browse the Menupages reviews to learn about the dining experience of other customers; and look up any New York Magazine or New York Times reviews. Finding a therapist online is somewhat different. If you’re looking for a … [Read more...]
Quick Question! Is Love a Noun or a Verb?
A few years ago there was a recurring TV spot aimed at getting kids to be more active, with the tagline: “Verb: It’s what you do!” Many people I see in individual and couples treatment look at love as a noun. It’s something someone gives you—and usually the person isn’t giving you enough! But this post isn’t about grammar, … [Read more...]
A friend sent me a link to an interesting article by Tara Parker-Pope in the New York Times in response to my previous relationship post, “Is This the Right Person for Me?”. It discusses the premise that couples who have exposed each other to new experiences, thereby growing in ways that they would not have on their own, feel … [Read more...]
Is This the Right Person for Me? Wrong Question!
“Is this the right person for me?” How many times have you heard your friends ask this question when they’re dating someone? Or maybe you’ve asked it yourself. The answer is….(insert drumroll here): It’s the wrong question! The right question is “Am I the right person in this—or any—relationship?” Turn that magnifying … [Read more...]