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Using the important difference between “need” & “want”

In talking with clients, have you ever noticed people describing their partner (or themselves) as “needy” or “demanding”?  They complain about pressure for (or a lack of) affection, sex, attention, talk etc. Yet our culture idealises the notion of needing your partner. “I need you” is generally offered up in a movie or book as the ultimate declaration of love, the …

Did you know that a conference dedicated to Relationship Therapy exists?

  As I journeyed through my career as a psychologist working with relationships I struggled to find ongoing professional development targeted specifically to this client group.   I ventured locally, nationally and even internationally to find conferences, workshops and online training that could enhance my work.  I was hungry to find a community of like minded couple therapists.  I could …

A magic trick you can use at work or at home

At the end of one of his presentations at the Couples Conference in Manhattan Beach, California last month, Pete Pearson literally performed a magic trick turning a business card into a flower. But far more impressive was when he showed us how to use “four little words” to transform almost any hostile statement into something that a partner can engage with …

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Why “I need you” is a deeply unsexy sentiment

There is a common experience all therapists encounter, no matter the sexual orientation or gender of the person or couple:  A person describing their partner (or themselves) as “needy” or demanding.  They complain about pressure for (or a lack of) affection, sex, attention, talk etc. Yet our culture idealises the notion of needing your partner. “I need you” is generally offered up …

Five Things Guaranteed to Fail in Couples Work

1. Talking about content not process How a couple talk to each other and treat each other IS their relationship.  That’s what we need to help them focus on.  Typically couples get into conflict about predictable areas – money, sex, parenting, boundaries, time use (too much time at work or a hobby, not enough time on domestic labour etc).  Also typically, there …