How to Change Your Perspective

How to Change Your Perspective

A world with -4.50 vision (or worse) is awfully frightening, and requires a heightened sense of hypervigilance to get through. We can help correct your sight and perspective, so that you can see your partner (and yourself) through 20/20 vision and have the best relationship possible.

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When Humor Doesn't Work

When Humor Doesn't Work

Humor doesn't work in relationships when it is critical or blaming, when it avoids important conversations, attacks other people, is inappropriately timed, and when it is self-effacing. Read more about how these styles of humor hurt your relationship.

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Dating

Dating

In our first 2017 episode of the podcast Under the Covers, Stephanie Wallace and I talk about dating. We define dating as the period of time between searching for a new partner and defining the relationship either as exclusive or as part of an open relationship. Stephanie and I provide a bunch of dating gems for people looking to explore dating, including the following:

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Choosing a Couples Therapist

Choosing a Couples Therapist

There are many therapists who claim to do relational counseling, so how do you know who to rely on to fight for your relationship?

If you're looking for marriage counseling or couples therapy, please ask about the credentials of your therapist. Our couples therapists have years of training in couples therapy. Most of us are licensed specifically to practice marriage and family therapy (LMFT), and our license requires us to have much more than the minimum requirements that I suggest in the blog post, which means that we have a significant understanding of how relationship dynamics operate and how to help you create positive, long-lasting new interactions.

We hope that our quality of services and our combined experience and knowledge about relationships will diminish any hesitations about the price of couples therapy, particularly once you begin to notice changes in the quality of communication between you and your partner.

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LGBTQ Families and Holidays

LGBTQ Families and Holidays

Same-sex couples often experience a uniquely complicated process with their families of origin. This begins with coming out and identifying as an LGBTQ person, and we recognize that many people will be spending their first holidays with their families either as an LGBTQ-identified person or in a new LGBTQ relationship. This article provides some tips for coming out to your family of origin.

Once family members begin to identify and work through their emotional experience, it generally becomes easier to figure out how to do the relationship moving forward, which may include the establishment of clear boundaries, particularly if parents are stuck in anger and criticism. Establishing boundaries with families can be challenging for long-term same-sex relationships as well. We provide tips for same-sex couples in which there's a continual need for establishing boundaries with families of origin.

 

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Regarding Sex Addiction

Regarding Sex Addiction

South Shore Family and South Shore Sexual Health join with the American Association of Sexuality Educators, Counselors, and Therapists in standing against language of sex addiction to describe the sexual behaviors and desires of people with high levels of sexual excitement and low levels of sexual inhibition. Problems may arise in relationships between people with differing levels of excitement and inhibition, but these are relational dynamics that can be discussed through couples and sex therapy.

We will talk about sexual urges, thoughts, and behaviors as natural sexual processes, as ways of exploring who you are and how you can grow both individually and relationally. We will continue to discuss sexuality from a pleasure-centric model, where sex is a way of celebrating the positive sensations and physiological processes of our bodies. And we will continue to explore sexuality in individual and couples contexts, where sex is representative of a decision making process by which you combine intimacy, growth, and pleasure.

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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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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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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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The Sexual Double Standard

The Sexual Double Standard

The sexual double standard affects the way that young men and women talk about sexuality.

Women are far more likely to be on the receiving end of embarrassment and shame than men. After all, men gain social status for their sexual exploits. Women are more likely to be emblazoned with a capital A (or, in 2016, a capital S, for slut) for theirs.

The sexual double standard follows women and men into long-term committed relationships. Learn more about how, and how we can break the power of these social messages around sexuality:

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