Chivalry and Relationships

Chivalry and Relationships

The chivalry narrative, a narrative where men protect and take care of women, creates double binds for both genders. It tells women that they have positive qualities that are worth protecting, but the ensuing protection communicates that they are weak and incompetent. It discourages men from expressing needs, wants, and desires while expecting them to be able to concretely express what we want and expect in the bedroom.

This article provides tips for couples seeking to attain more equal relationships by moving away from gendered expectations.

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Families and Holidays

Families and Holidays

A couple relationship can be a venue for setting a boundary with your family of origin. In Episode 8 of Under the Covers, Stephanie Wallace and Jeremiah Gibson provide some tips for people seeking to celebrate the holidays with families while maintaining their adultness. They also talk about ways to establish new rituals for each stage of your relationship, rituals that may or may not involve other family members.

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Military Relationships

Military Relationships

The emotional and psychological challenges that our military members face during and after deployment play significant impacts on their relationships. In Episode 7 of Under the Covers, Jeremiah Gibson and Stephanie Wallace discuss how military couples can improve their relationship during deployment, while a military member reintegrates following deployment, and if PTSD affects one or both partners.

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Now on iTunes...

Now on iTunes...

Check out Under the Covers on iTunes! We've recently released two new episodes--one on substance use and couple relationships, and one on the experiences of military couples. You can also find us on Stitcher.

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Therapy for Small (and Large) Business

Therapy for Small (and Large) Business

Siblings and families who own small businesses often seek the help of Family Therapists. Frequently, a family business becomes conflicted and dysfunctional. This may be front page news. More often, such business arrangements can cause emotional, economic, and psychological distress. Divorce, family disruption, and bankruptcy are not uncommon. The systems approach of family therapy is uniquely designed to resolve such difficulties before crisis leads to disaster. We have been working with families who own businesses for more than 15 years.

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Under the Covers Episode 5: Perspective

Under the Covers Episode 5: Perspective

We watch couples and families experience the latter scenario, where each participant has a different perspective of what happened. In couples therapy, for instance, we hear Partner A's, perspective and Partner B's perspective. We are not interested in finding out which one is right or accurate, but we're paying attention to how the sharing of these two perspectives unfolds.

In conversations, there's seldom a right and wrong. Just different. In Episode 5 of the podcast Under the Covers: The Music of Relationships, Stephanie and Jeremiah discuss how accepting differing values, can ease some of the anxieties around differing perspectives.

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Under the Covers Episode 4

Under the Covers Episode 4

Our couples therapists will ask early about how these patterns exist in the most intimate of contexts: sexuality. In Episode 4 of Under the Covers, Stephanie and Jeremiah talk about the messages (the "Shoulds") that we learn about sexuality. They then provide some healthy "shoulds"--expectations that could lead to a more fulfilling sexual experience.

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Supervision

Supervision

South Shore Family Health Collaborative has three therapists who supervise other clinicians, both licensed therapists and unlicensed clinicians that work at community health agencies. For more information, check out our blog post:

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Under the Covers Episode 3

Under the Covers Episode 3

In Episode 3 of Under the Covers, Stephanie and Jeremiah break down this dance between pursuing and distancing. They discuss the strong emotional needs that may keep partners in the pursue-distance dance, and explore ways of effectively creating new dance steps.

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Anxiety: The Unwanted Relational Offspring

Anxiety: The Unwanted Relational Offspring

Anxiety often shows up in the context of our relational life.  Trying to understand yourself and your partner is an ongoing task and the stakes are high because the outcome is important to you. Meaningful connection is not possible without vulnerability.  Anxiety, however, is optional.  And even if anxiety arrives, how long it stays is up to you.

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Loneliness, the Elderly, and Couples Therapy

Loneliness, the Elderly, and Couples Therapy

Healthy intimate relationships are often antidotes to feelings of loneliness for elderly folks.

Couples therapy could be a safe place to learn about and connect with your partner's vulnerabilities of loss and loneliness. Couples therapy could also help you improve your sexual relationship, and sense of connectedness. Our partner's acceptance and celebration of our bodies, particularly if they are affected by disability, often parallels an acceptance and sharing of our emotional worlds.

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Under the Covers Episode 2

Under the Covers Episode 2

In episode 2 of Under the Covers, Stephanie and Jeremiah discuss the anatomy of an argument and the relationship between criticism and defensiveness.

The goal of our work is not to help you stop arguing altogether, as it's imperative that your relationship has room to celebrate the differences between you and your partner, but rather to find healthy ways to end arguments that also support the relationship. Stephanie and Jeremiah share several tips for helping create these effective endings.

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Introducing: Under the Covers

Introducing: Under the Covers

We are excited to announce the launch of our new podcast, Under the Covers: The Music of Relationships, hosted by Jeremiah Gibson and Stephanie Wallace.

Under the Covers combines two of our favorite interests: relationships and music. Each Under the Covers episode will address a particular question about relationships, dating, and sexuality. Stephanie and I are planning on recording two or three episodes per month, and will keep you up-to-date on new episodes through our blog and Facebook page.

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A Single Session of Therapy

A Single Session of Therapy

A single session of therapy can introduce and describe themes and processes that have been undermining the happiness of a couple or family. It can also be helpful to mute a crisis, or normalize a painful situation, or avert making an unproductive or destructive relational decision.

A single session is also effective with a large extended family group struggling with the aging process of a beloved parent, or a sudden death that has thrown a family into disarray:

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Confidants for Relationships

Confidants for Relationships

Playing the role of confidant for the relationship of your friend (or worse, a family member) can leave you in a really uncomfortable situation. For one thing, you often only get one side of the story, and in a worst case scenario, you feel compelled to support your friend and break a potential friendship with his/her partner. And for another thing, what an enormous sense of responsibility to talk with someone about their relationships!

Feel free to send your friends our way. Our couples therapists are trained and licensed to help couples work through a diversity of issues

 

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Movie Review: The Danish Girl

Movie Review: The Danish Girl

Talking about the transgender community is a very different conversation once this film is seen, and talking about it with a community of strangers is even more politically powerful.

From my seat, I observed the emotional reaction of the men around me. I do not think that the men in this diverse multicultural audience were anticipating, while waiting in line on a Sunday morning, what they would be experiencing a few hours later.

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Movie Review: The Sessions

Movie Review: The Sessions

Once the film The Sessions engages a larger audience, the dialogue around sexuality, and sexuality and disability, is likely to shift. And the profession of sex therapist will become more a part of the dominant cultural narrative. It was surrogacy that destroyed Masters and Johnson, and it is now a film about surrogacy that may allow sexual science to enter the public frame as a widely accepted discipline.

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The Medical Model

The Medical Model

Entitlement is a very subtle thing if not noticed or challenged in everyday situations. It also relates, I think, to systems problems in the medical and mental health model.

Problems of mental health and medical health will get better in the United States only when we as citizens wrest control of a medical model from a system dominated by the economic concerns of a pharmaceutical and health insurance system whose first concern is the profit of themselves and their shareholders.

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Being Male

Being Male

We need to redefine what masculinity means. The traditional views on masculinity no longer works for a lot of men (specifically young men). 

More importantly, we need to have more conversations that define masculinity as a plethora of options: stoic and vulnerable, dominant and submissive, confrontational and peaceful. All of these characteristics are important parts of the male experience.

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Secrets and Sexual Abuse

Secrets and Sexual Abuse

The situation with the Catholic Church reminds us of the damaging ways that systems (macro, such as religious institutions, or micro, such as families) prevent survivors from seeking healing when they choose to protect perpetrators (and the system itself) from embarrassment, salvage the status quo by keeping secrets, and create fear through threats of retribution for breaking said secrets.

Victims of childhood (or any other kind of) sexual abuse can only begin to heal when their story is acknowledged, when they no longer feel burdened by carrying the secret.

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