Noe Valley Couples Therapist - Counselor

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Communication

Creativity and Freedom From Choice (Video)

Here’s an interesting pairing of TED talks (if I do say so!). First, finding inspiration in limitation, and then what seems like the opposite: the overwhelm of choice in modern society. However, they come together in an interesting way when you think about their applicability to relationships. Imagine partners–instead of comparing their partners and relationships […]

What makes people feel close?

 I love it when my clients ask a great question. In years of doing couples work nobody has asked me that directly…until a few weeks ago. Of course there have been variations like “How can we feel closer?,” or the sad antithesis: “How did things get so bad?,” or the common: “Why do we just […]

Right & Wrong Cont’d: Apologies and Emergencies

I wrote previously about how right/wrong thinking can be problematic in relationships.  I’d like to expand that today in two common (and usually quite different!) areas: apologies and emergencies. When Apologies Are Hard Often in my sessions with couples there will come a point where an apology is needed.  Sometimes one partner will ask for […]

Holiday Stress: Recalculating

A nicely written little piece with an interesting idea for maintaining perspective at times of conflict: Recalculating.  Ms. Heffernan makes some intriguing points, including that technology can amplify our humanness as well as become a “triangulated third” in a couples dispute.  However, the part that really struck home for me was the idea of seeing […]

What’s Wrong With Right or Wrong

The Ambiguity of Language Partly because people who get more caught up in right and wrong tend to be engineers, accountants, lawyers, and others whose work is fairly “rule governed,” in this article I’m going to lean towards the technical side for some of my analogies and comparisons. Language is often more imprecise than we […]

What They Really Mean Is…

Transmission – Reception In my previous blog article I talked about some of the “packaging” that can interfere with delivery of a message.  So it is helpful to know how to deliver a message, but it is also important to know how to receive one of those troublesome packages in the event that your partner […]

Getting Your Message Across

The Problem One of the biggest problems in couples communication is separating tone, attitude, provocation, and other aspects of the way a message is delivered from the intention of the message itself. When we are frustrated, disappointed, hurt, or otherwise in emotional pain those feelings color both the words that we use and especially the […]

Dan Siegel on How to Help Integrate Your Kids’ Brains

…And connect with them at the same time! Dan Siegel is a researcher at UCLA who has done lots of great work integrating neuroscience with attachment and mindfulness.  He’s also a great speaker if you ever get to see him.  This is a nice little snippet about how to “remember” events with your kids that […]

Does Couples Therapy Work? (And another great Brene video)

“Does Couples Therapy Work” was the (online) title of a provocative article in last week’s Sunday New York Times.  Below is my response, which I sent in as a letter to the editor. Does weather forecasting work?  Does orthopedics work?  You get the idea. Individuals are complicated and  when two people become a couple, the […]

Seven Good Reasons to Blame Your Partner (and Why None of Them Are Good Enough)

Reason #7 – It’s Easy! It’s always easier to see what someone else is doing wrong than what you are doing wrong. At one level this is a simple as that it’s easier to see the food stuck in your partner’s teeth than your own. To see your own you would first need to locate […]

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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