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Which (Not Who!) Comes First?

Sex and Emotional Intimacy It is often said that in heterosexual couples women get turned on by emotional intimacy while men access their emotional intimacy through sex. Of course there are exceptions, but for the most part this generalization holds true in my experience. What is the basis for this? Boys and Girls About 30 […]

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 […]

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 […]

From Self-Doubt to Self-Compassion

I’ve been meaning to link these wonderful talks for some time and have finally gotten around to it. They are both from the superb website Dharmaseed, which offers literally thousands of free recordings of respected Buddhist teachers. These are two of my favorites. The first is by Tara Brach (who is also a psychologist) about […]

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 […]

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 […]

Connection, Shame & Vulnerability

This is a wonderful TED talk by Brene Brown that I think everyone should see (maybe more than once!):

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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