relationship, Couples Therapy, Life Coach, marriage counseling, Relation Therapy, Relationship Therapy

Is your relationship feeling flat and unexciting? You must deal with resentments!

Most couples have resentments that they are not even aware of which destroy the intimacy in their  relationship.

In working with couples for 22 years in Los Angeles, I find that they become deadened to each other and the relationship over the years if they don’t put some effort into learning new skills.

Many couples come to me for marriage counseling wanting to put some passion and energy back into the relationship. They often say somethng like, “we have become like roommates, or ships passing in the night”.

This flatness in the relationship does not have to happen if the couple is willing to learn some new communication skills.

So what do couples need to learn to reignite the intimacy?


They need to learn how to give their partner attention, acknowledgement and affirmation. These are the things that couples often stop doing after they have been together for a while.

A new level of intimacy


I find that to get a couple back to a deeper level of connection I have to establish a strong base of support where each person agrees to be open to their own feelings and to those of their partner.  This leads the way to expressing vulnerability.  This takes some preparation but when a person can express vulnerability and have that accepted and acknowledged by the partner a new level of intimacy is introduced into the relationship.

Love Rewires,Life Coach Los Angeles, norman, Therapist Los Angeles

How Love Rewires The Brain

This article shows how love and novelty rewire the brain. To keep a relationship exciting, you must inject novelty. This novelty triggers the hormone dopamine which is the pleasure hormone. This article below shows how to do this.

How Love Rewires the Brain
(and Other Romantic Secrets of Brain Chemistry)

Norman Doidge, MD, PhD

There are several neurotransmitters that seem to be involved in novelty. Dopamine is often spoken of and aspects of norepinephrine are involved in novelty, too.

But basically, what happens in life is that if you keep doing the same thing of any kind, your dopamine chemistry is not being triggered.

Sometimes, when you hear people complaining about monogamy as being boring, it’s not that their mate is boring, it’s just that there’s a certain amount of routine involved in monogamous relationships or long-term, steady relationships.

It’s good to know about that and learn how to manipulate your dopamine to some degree. You should pay some attention to the fact that if you want to maintain a long-term relationship, you’re going to have to do certain things to inject some novelty into it.

People – and I am not inventing this – who are very good at love know how to do this. Part of the reason you might want to go on vacation is to be with your beloved in a totally new situation – a new place where you’re both doing a lot of learning. It’s turning on that dopamine chemistry that’s allowing you to discover new things in the beloved. Probably that is what a new suit and a new dress is about, too.

So, again, this is just part of knowing about the “Users’ Guide to the Brain” – just knowing about the art of life and that your brain evolved to learn.

It is not just for learning – it is for self-regulation, too. The brain has to be learning to feel fit. So you always have to be learning new things, and even within the context of a relationship, I think you have to be learning together to keep that relationship feeling really vital.

Putting Ideas into ActionJoan Borysenko, PhD
Bill O’Hanlon, MS, LMFT

Bill O’Hanlon: One of the challenges with long-term relationships is that they do get into ruts – and they say the difference between a rut and the grave is just the dimensions. Some relationships can get so boring that people want to leave or have an affair…just to get that dopamine hit again.I think Dr. Doidge is talking about the dark and light side of plasticity. The good news is that you don’t have to work on your relationship every day like you do when it’s new. It’s like driving to work every day – you don’t really have to think about it. That’s the good news about brain plasticity; you get really efficient at doing the day-to-day things you need to do.But we know relationships can be a challenge, so anything you can do to change it up is a good idea.There are two ways you can do this. One is to change the usual problems that you have. I remember years ago in a relationship of mine, my partner always complained that she felt responsible for doing everything about the house – noticing the repairs and doing them, calling the plumber, and calling the dentist for the kids… I was okay with that because, “I just don’t attend to that stuff.”But one day I thought to myself, “I’m so tired of hearing that complaint. I’m going to go around the house and list everything I can see. I’m really going to pay attention – because I usually don’t notice these things – and I’m going to get about five things done.” I’ll tell you, we didn’t have that argument for a year after that because I’d blown my stereotype!

So, here’s the question: What does your partner usually complain about that bothers him/her about what you do again and again? This is just one way of changing up the relationship.

There are three ways, or areas, which you can change. Change the viewing (and that, I think, connects to mindfulness). If you notice something new about your partner, it increases the satisfaction – your satisfaction and your partner’s satisfaction. “Wow, I never noticed that your hair goes like this…”

Change how you’re used to seeing someone. “That’s a different blouse you’re wearing today.” Or, “That’s interesting.” Or, “You got up at a different time.” Just view any change that they have made – really notice it rather than thinking, “Oh, that’s my partner, I know what they do, I know how they are.”

It’s all about changing the viewing, changing the doing, and changing the context. Dr. Doidge talks about going on vacation – but there are many ways of changing the context. You could rearrange the furniture in your house and that might change your interactions because you’ve been used to sitting in certain places – now, all of a sudden, this changes things.

Small changes just increase the interest and make a difference in the relationship so you don’t fall into those ruts.

Joan Borysenko: Dr. Doidge makes such an interesting point here about the need to continue to trigger high levels of dopamine because that gives us pleasure, keeps the relationship alive.

I’ll give you a personal example: I am not a cowboy boot kind of girl, but my husband loves cowboy boots and country dancing. So now, I have three pairs of cowboy boots. I know how to do the two-step and we go out from time to time for country dancing. That means I have an interest in something he has, but it’s still a novel thing we do together.

The question I would ask, first of all, is this: What are your partner’s hobbies? Is there something that, if you just give yourself over to it and try, that you could love and join him/her in doing?

The second suggestion would be this: Is there a hobby that, in fact, the two of you can take up together? That can add a tremendous amount of novelty and excitement to life. Also, it just takes you outside the bounds of your normal context.

Depression,Empty Nest

5 Action Steps to get you out of Empty Nest Depression fast.

1) Acknowledge your feelings of loss and allow yourself to feel upset.

2) Start making a list of all the things you have wanted to do in your life that you haven’t yet gotten to. Pick one of these to start this week.

3) Seek out friends who have been through this or can understand how you feel and talk with them about your feelings.

4) Keep a journal or spend 5 minutes meditating outside every morning. Remember the amount of time meditating is not important. It is the regularity and commitment that count so commit to 5 minutes when you first wake up. You’ll be surprised how much this will raise your spirits.

5) Seek professional help if you are feeling overwhelmed.

relationship, Couples Therapy, Life Coach, marriage counseling, Relation Therapy, Relationship Therapy

Remove Relationship Fears with EFT to attract the Relationship you deserve.

Remove Relationship Fears to Attract the Relationship You Deserve


Relationship Problems Answers

 When to LeaveRelationships  After a breakup or a divorce we feel more vulnerable in attracting a person with whom to have a relationship.  I work with many women who feel that they are somehow flawed when a relationship ends. These feelings often keeps these women from trying to meet people or cause them to fail when they do. EFT  stands for Emotional Freedom Techniques and it is a wonderful energy therapy that is simple and easy to learn. Its purpose is to move fear and other negative emotions through and out of the body.

In EFT we tell the body what feelings we want to reduce by acknowledging them and then deleting them. This is similar to the way we highlight and delete text on a computer. We acknowledge our feelings by using this formula, ” even though I have this (fear, sadness..etc.) I deeply and completely love and accept myself.” This sentence is repeated three times as we tap our hand on the Karate Chop point.

 Step 1: Karate Chop Point and “Even Though” Statements


The Karate Chop point is below the little finger  and it is along the side of the hand. Once you have found the Karate Chop point, start tapping at this point and repeat after me:

  • Even though I often feel unworthy of having a loving intimate relationship, I want to completely accept myself anyway.
  • Even though I feel unlovable, I completely accept myself now.
  • Even though, I don’t feel like anyone would stay with me if they really knew me, I want to deeply and completely accept myself now.

Step 2: Tapping Around the points on The Face to Reduce Negative Emotion and relationship fears

This step requires us to acknowledge negative feelings, thus as we tap we are must highlight these negative emotions.

  • Now tapping on the inside corner of the eyebrow “EB” and repeat after me:  I don’t deserve to have someone I would want to be with.
  •  Next find the outside corner of the eye “CE” and repeat after me: “A great person wouldn’t want me.”
  •  Next find the area under the eye “UE” and repeat after me: ” I am only attractive to loosers.”
  • Next find the area under the nose “UN” and repeat after me:  “I’m afraid if I meet someone good they will find out that I’m flawed.
  •  Finally, find the collar bone “CB” and repeat after me : It’s pointless to even try because all the good ones are already taken anyway.”

Step 3: Acknowledgement of Positive Thoughts and Feelings

By now we have already acknowledge out negative feelings. Now we want to reduce and replace those thoughts with positive ones.

  • Start by finding the top of your head, “TH.” Ones you find it, repeat after me: What if a good person was able to really love me after all?
  • Under the arm “UA”  (Take a moment to inhale deeply here):  What if someone desirable was able to love me?
  •   Next find the eyebrow, “EB” then repeat after me:  what if that could really happen once or twice or even three times? (Keep tapping ) Is it possible?
  • What if they could like me with all my faults and negative traits? 
  • What if they actually liked my negative traits? What if I actually enjoyed the things about them that they didn’t like ? 
  • What if they found my negative traits delightful? 
  • What if they accepted all my shortcomings and I accepted theirs as well.What if they wanted me even thought I have all these challenges?
  •  What if they were accepting of their own problems and mine as well? 
  • What if I could see beyond their frailties and challenges and they could see beyond mine as well? 
  • What if I could accept their challenges and quirks and could see their spiritual being?
  • What if I could love their soul and we could just simply love each other in pure acceptance? 
  • Isn’t that what we all want anyway?

If you do this tapping sequence every day at least once you will change the beliefs that you have about yourself thus enabling you to  have the relationship you deserve and desire.

Moms,stepchildren, reduce conflicts

Reduce conflict between step moms and their step children…the most important thing to do.

Moms and stepchildren


Since more than half of marriages are now ending in divorce, we have many blended families or step families today. The problem is that families don’t blend all that well.  Children and teens have loyalties to the birth mother and often yearn to have their birth parents back together.

What comes out of this unsettling time when families are breaking up and getting” reconstructed” is that the children will “test” to see how far they can influence the family to get their way.  This is understandable because they are really searching for stability, even though they don’t consciously realize it. The stability and predictability of what the rules are has been taken away from them.  They need strong and enforced limits to feel safe again….that’s right…limits that are consistently enforced actually make everyone feel safe.

The cornerstone of a family is structure.


If you have a solid structure the family will work because each person knows what is expected of them and the consequences of “breaking the rules”.  In order to find out if there really are consequences for breaking the rules the child will test the limits.

The most common way of testing in a blended family is to try to turn one “parent ” against the other.  An example that I see working with blended families it where the daughter in a new blended family will try to turn the new woman ,a prospective stepmom ,against the father by telling her things about the father…. things like ” he won’t ever marry you” and things that will make the new woman  feel insecure about the relationship.

This is called “triangling” in family therapy speak, where one person talks about another family member when they’re not present and tries to turn one against the other.  So you may wonder, Why is this so damaging?

The answer is that by doing this the executive branch of the family ,( the father and stepmom or new woman) is being weakened by allowing a child to be pulled up into that position.  Structural family therapy is built on the fact that the structure of a family , like a house, needs to have separate levels.  The parents belong in the executive level  at the top and the children belong below that level in the child level.  Like a house, when you build a strong foundation, you will have a good house.  The parental dyad being united in the executive position ensures this structure which makes everyone in the family feel safe because there is a position for the parents and for the children.

Even though we all test limits to see if they are real, we really yearn for them because they make up feel safe and show us where our position is so that we can win in the family.  The best way to stop this attempt at “triangling” by a child is to have a hard and fast rule that says ” We don’ t talk abut the other person when they are not present.  Just having the rule is not enough, it MUST be consistently followed.  This will eliminate many of the conflicts in a blended family.

EMDR, EFT

EMDR Can Change Your Life and End Limiting Beliefs

EMDR allows you to let go of those negative beliefs and negative feelings.  

EMDR was originally developed in the 80’s and used extensively with PTSD(Post Traumatic Stress Disorder). There are many studies showing its effectiveness with PTSD and because of its usefulness in processing fearful events it is now used to remove fears that cause people to hold limiting beliefs that keep them from having a fulfilled life.

When a scary or traumatic event occurs, it gets stuck in the nervous system with the initial impression, sounds, thoughts and feelings. This information can become twisted and can very much impact our feelings about these events.

The eye movement motion opens up the nervous system allowing the brain to re-integrate positive information. The process includes reprocessing of negative, distorted, self-thoughts associated with the trauma allowing positive beliefs about the self to emerge.

The repetitious eye movements stimulates visual nerve clusters to loosen distressing thoughts, which are frozen and stored in memory, and processes them to resolution. Providing side-to-side, bi-lateral stimulation to a person while discussing traumatic events or feelings of any kind in a specific therapeutic fashion.

EMDR works wonders in allowing a person to release the  fear and other painful feelings.

Insight does not equal change.  Whats leads to change, is removing the “fear response” from your body , that has kept you living in the past.

When feeling threatened, we react with the fight or flight or freeze response and our instincts take over. In this contemporary era, it is often very difficult to fight or flight a traumatic situation (i.e. such as leave an abusive marriage due to finances or children).

The immobility response or “freezing response” allows us to stay in a toxic situation enduring the tension and pain waiting for the right moment to get rid of the distress. Often, the freezing response becomes a permanent part of your personality and the original trauma never heals.

How EMDR Works.


EMDR is an 8 phase process.  After an assessment is made and the client’s resources are strengthened then the desensitization can start.

There are two key ingredients of eye movement desensitization and reprocessing treatment. The first is called “bilateral stimulation” (EMDR) which simply means a back and forth stimulation which engages the left and right cerebral hemispheres. What this does is to cause the level of intensity of the feeling you are working with to come down from a 10  to a 0 or 1  ( on a scale of 1-10).

The other ingredient is the focusing back on the event after the feeling has gone down to a 0 intensity and this is when the person sees that he has a completely different belief about himself  and the world.

After desensitizing and reprocessing the negative pattern EMDR helps to strengthen the new desired belief or feeling.  Then it is used to reinforce new learnings that are now needed.

 

Relationship Success

For Relationship Success, Escape the Anguish of Wanting Emotional Acknowledgement that Never Comes

Release the Phantasy if You Expect to Ever Enjoy the Real Thing


I use the word “phantasy” with clients, to describe their made-up vision of what life would’ve been like if only… Their vision of that alternative reality isn’t simply a fiction or daydream. It’s a vivid and compelling image resonating deep within.

Secrets to Having a Successful Relationship

A person’s phantasy represents such a tangible desire, that nothing else satisfies their craving for precisely that. What they received instead pales by comparison. They’re often left in a never-satisfied state of longing for acknowledgement. In many cases it’s carried since early childhood – well into adulthood.

Quit Setting Yourself up for Disappointment


All of us feel a need to be loved in a way that feels “just right.” And what that means is totally unique for everyone. Moving beyond the insatiable hunger for affirmation from particular people permits focusing on more positive and realistic goals.

Improve your Self-Esteem


The need is indeed real. But it is not realistic. The harder we try to pull the desired response from another person, the more they resist. This sets us up for a continuous cycle of failure – which replays itself in a hundred little ways. The original problem grows despite our determined efforts to solve it.

A future article will be, “The Apparent Problem Isn’t the Problem.” Every “problem” results from our previous efforts to resolve it.
An Insight that Unblocked the Impasse

Keys to a Good Relationship


My client, Linda, has spent her 34 years trying to get her mother to recognize her value. When her mother bitterly criticizes her (as she’s always done), Linda goes the spectrum, from pleading with her to see her value, to scolding her mother for being mean and critical. However, none brings the response she wants.

I told her about another client, (Kathy) who also struggled to get her mother’s approval. Kathy received a letter saying she’d passed the Psychology Licensing Exam. Kathy called her mother in the heat of her excitement. The response she got was devoid of interest, or the desired validation.

“Oh, that’s nice. I knew you would. I’m on the other line; I’ll call you back.” Her mother never called back, and didn’t mention her accomplishment when they next spoke.

As Linda listened, she said, “That’s good that her mother said, ‘I knew you would.'”

I demonstrated the mother’s flat tone.

Linda responded, “I see what you mean. We need to be acknowledged exactly how we want it. Even though this was good, (more than I’d get from my mom) it still didn’t provide what she wanted. What did Kathy want to hear?”

“That’s a good question. I asked her just that. Kathy told me, ‘I wanted to hear, I’m so proud of you, Kathy. You’re so smart, and you’ve worked so hard. You completely deserve this.'”

Linda’s face registered a deep understanding, “Wow, that’s so powerful!”

During her next session, Linda brought up the story again. “Even though Kathy’s mother wasn’t hateful, like mine, Kathy still needed to hear something specific from her mother. This keeps her continuously yearning, like me.”

Linda learned from Kathy’s story. Her comments revealed a shift in perception, which will change her behavior, little by little. She’s moving from her phantasy, toward more attainable goals that serve her better.

Developing Habits for Relationship Success


The work is to focus on your own authentic goals for YOURSELF. If the goals you set for yourself are in line with your core values, you’ll get motivation and inspiration from within. That feels completely awesome.
Hitting Your Emotional Bulls Eye Follows Changing Your Expectations

My definition Emotional Maturity – Releasing that phantasy… that we’ll be loved exactly the way we want (need) to be loved.” An appropriate desire – yes. A realistic one – no. But relief is possible, even if people you’ve relied on to provide it don’t change at all.

Trying to get people to correspond to our phantasy expectations seldom brings the desired results. Once you stop expecting a particular response, people actually want to do it. It’s paradoxical. In fact, they’re responding (albeit unconsciously) to a new dynamic that you brought into the relationship. The needy striving is absent.

Acknowledge Your Worth


To the extent we’ve sacrificed our self-satisfaction to other people’s approval, we each need to develop within ourselves the parental approval we want so badly. That’s another reward from releasing the phantasy.

Since lack of acknowledgement is a familiar type of frustration, future articles will show how to reclaim your power and self-respect. For example, Kathy’s treatment by her husband is similar to her mother’s. (Not a coincidence.) Understanding this relationship with her mother in a new way reveals the dynamics that caused her to select him as a husband.

Releasing a phantasy changes yourself – along with the situations you feared would never change. That’s a tangible shift of perspective that changes your future possibilities.

Learn More: Turn to therapy and break free from impossible relationships with EFT

 

borderline personality, borderline personality disorder, relationship, personality disorder, emotional abuse

Emma Roberts Arrested for Domestic Dispute BPD and relationships

“Niece of Julia Roberts and budding actress Emma Roberts is on her way to fame. She’s set to appear in the new movie “Meet the Millers” alongside Jennifer Anniston this month and stars in the popular television series “American Horror Story”.

But even though 22-year-old Emma’s career is successful, her personal life may not be so wonderful.

On July 7th, Roberts was arrested in a Montreal hotel after police responded to calls about a domestic dispute between her and her boyfriend, actor Evan Peters. Peters was bloody and Roberts was reportedly arrested on the spot.

Often, people understand domestic violence as a male physically attacking or harassing a female, but domestic violence can be between any two people and is often traumatic and difficult to walk away from.

Roberts may even be suffering from Borderline Personality Disorder, where she can be sweet and head-over-heels for Peters one day, and violent the next. (See my post on BPD here)

Roberts and Peters need to work through their issues without violence to reach a healthy mental state. If you have had an experience with domestic violence, or you’re in a relationship with someone who seems to have BPD, there is help.

Get the help you need. Talk to a trusted loved one or friend, read about BPD and/or domestic violence, and break free. You can even call me for a free consultation.

Hopefully, Roberts and her boyfriend will seek help to establish a more healthy relationship.

 

AVOIDING CONFLICT,abusive relationships, anger, couples communication, couples counseling, Life Coach Los Angeles, Therapist Los Angeles, troubled relationships

To Cure Anger in your Relationship, Stop Avoiding Conflict!

Avoiding Conflict is the Biggest Cause of Rage and Anger in a Relationship.


As strange as this may sound,I have found working with my clients for the last 25 years that the number one cause of anger in a relationship is…. AVOIDING CONFLICT.

This is so paradoxical because men and women in a relationship often tell me that they are not wanting to “make waves” so they don’t address really important issues with their partner. From working with hundreds of couples in therapy and couples coaching for the past 25 years I can guarantee you that “not making waves” will cause the largest explosion because the more you ingore something the larger it looms, insisting to be noticed and dealt with.

Avoiding Sexual Conflict is a Big Mistake in a Relationship, causing anger to develop.

Sex is an important source of conflict among couples because one person often feels slighted in getting his/her needs to be honored met. A good relationship thrives because each person is devoted to meeting the needs of their partner. This is a win/win because it enhances intimacy and trust.

The biggest problem couples have: Not Sincerely Listening to your partner’s sexual needs.>

Anger is often the result of not getting your needs acknowledged and met.

Here is the biggest problem that I see couples who are trying to bond and create a lasting relationship have: not listening to what their partner’s sexual needs. Often times couples will ask about their partner’s needs but then wont’ follow through to see that they are met. This can be devastating and cause anger, bringing a lot of couples into therapy.

You have to do more than ask; you have to follow up with your partner and see if they got what they wanted and if not you have to refine the process , always moving in the direction of what your partner wants. If you don’t know how to meet those needs , don’t worry because you can seek and get effective help for this with a therapist or relationship coach who specializes in these issues with couples.

Sex is a communication between two people which can bring them incredibly closer and more intimate in their relationship or can alienate them from each other if it is not handled with open communication and follow through. Since sex is so charged with vulnerable feelings it must be discussed in a way that both people feel heard and valued in what they need from their partner.

Sex talk, more than any other part of sex is the key to intimacy. After the talking however, the most important thing is that each person’s needs and desires are not only heard and acknowledged but followed up with ongoing action.

In therapy and couples coaching I train couples to have constructive sex talk so that their intimacy and trust in each other can deepen and then how to follow through in meeting those needs.

psych k, life coach , life coach LA, Pysch, cross talk

PSYCH-K therapy is a powerful way to change limiting beliefs.

PSYCH-K


PSYCH-K therapy

PSYCH-K is re emerging as a popular way to change beliefs in the subconscious mind. It was developed over 20 years ago by Rob Williams a psychologist, who wanted to get better results for his patients. Bruce Lipton author of the groundbreaking book “The Biology of Beliefnot only endorses PSYCH-K but uses it his own method of creating changes in his life.

PSYCH-K combines Psychology with Kinesiology in a process that changes beliefs in the subconscious mind. It incorporates elements from NLP and Kinesiology,or muscle testing  to communicate with the subconscious mind. Since the subconscious mind controls our behavior, PSYCH-K therapy is a very efficient way to change unwanted behavior, habits, and self esteem.