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Pinker, Language, and the Decline of Violence

A nice profile of Steven Pinker in the NYT:  Pinker Profile.  Among other things he discusses language and thought, and his new book on the surprising evolutionary decline of violence in human societies.  For couples (and society) there are a number of valuable messages, including working for peace rather than justice. And a video:

Panacea #1 – Gratitude

If there is such a thing as a psychological panaceas, gratitude is surely one.  Easy to do, takes little time, and has a wide range of benefits for the person who feels/expresses the gratitude as well as those around him or her.  I often prescribe gratitude lists for couples, as well as individuals.  Here’s a […]

Raising Emotionally Intelligent Kids

For several years I have taught classes at a local parent resource center on this important topic. One of my clients just sent me a wonderful blog article that summarizes the crucial points quite concisely: Acknowledge.  For those who want to explore this further (which I highly recommend!), essential reading for parents is How to […]

Adam Phillips on Happiness and Frustration

Adam Phillips is a deep and eloquent thinker. Here’s a fine little piece on the overvaluing of “happiness” relative to (for example) frustration:

The Anatomy of Disconnection (and More on Cycles)

Margarita has posted another article on Psych Central (When Conversations Go Wrong) based on an expansion of the cycles section from my blog entry  Things I’ve Learned.  The new article is an attempt to capture some of the fundamental categories of response that maintain negative cycles, and some ways to exit those cycles. One of […]

What I’ve Learned About Relationships

Margarita Tartakovsky, working on a new article for PsychCentral.com, provided a wonderful prompt that gave me an excuse to condense the essence of my current thinking about couples and relationships. Here it is! 1. Relationships are complicated. Let’s start with one human brain: one of the most complex structures that we know of in the […]

Negativity Bias and Appreciations

Listening to a lecture by Rick Hansen, Ph.D., author of the book “Buddha’s Brain,” reminded me of an important aspect of how couples get stuck in negative cycles. In significant ways our brains are evolutionarily designed to prioritize learning about and responding to threats over rewards. The way Rick expressed it, survival-wise you can go […]

“Little” Irritations

Another nicely put together article on Psych Central: Hints for Resolving Relationship Irritations.

Different Kinds of Couples In Therapy

A Sampling Every couple is unique, and I love working with all kinds of relationships. Obviously the richness and complexity of couples therapy exceeds what can be expressed on a web page. The following vignettes are but a few of the wide variety of situations I see, but they should give you an idea of […]

Communication

Good communication… Perhaps the most common reason that couples give for wanting therapy is “to improve our communication.” Sounds simple enough, right? But it turns out that communication is actually quite complex. As Pete Pearson of the Couple’s Institute in Menlo Park points out, good communication is not only the culmination of a pyramid of […]

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Top 10 psychologists in San Francisco, CA 2015

Congratulations to Robert Solley PhD for winning the 2015 Patients' Choice Awards in San Francisco Psychologist