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Infidelity

Marriage is the only war where you sleep with the enemy. Gary Busey What Do We Know About Infidelity? Some stats on infidelity: In the clinical population, 25-30% of couples come to therapy in the aftermath of an affair, and an additional 30% report during therapy that there has been an affair, so roughly 1 in 2 couples in your office will have had experiences with affairs… although (consistent with Gottman’s report) loss of intimacy was the larger reported problem for most couples,... more

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The History of Marital Therapy

from The history of couple therapy: A millennial review. Family Process, 41, 199-260. (2002). Gurman and Fraenkel point out that relational therapy (formerly marital or couples therapy) has been largely neglected as its own specialty, even though family therapists do almost twice as much work with couples as work with multigenerational families. Sometimes it is traditional therapy just focused on the adult romantic relationship, but sometimes it is parent-focused work within the context of a family.... more

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The Sound Marital House

John Gottman has been conducting marital therapy research for almost 30 years, and is a well-respected leader in the field. Based on this research and clinical testing of the theory, he and his wife Julie Schwartz-Gottman have developed a solid understanding of why some relationships last and why some do not, as well as an effective model for relationship therapy. The Gottmans have studied both the “masters and disasters” of marriage (as the absence of what makes for a good relationship... more

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Gender Issues in Couples Therapy

Introduction “Gender Issues” has been a difficult area for couples therapy. In 1988 the AAMFT required that accredited programs had to include gender issues in their curriculum. “Feminism” is initially what this meant, as women argued that traditional couples therapy maintained the sexist status quo, both by blaming women for violence and by maintaining therapeutic neutrality in the face of power differences in the couple. Even as late as 1997, studies of therapists still... more

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Families and Substance Abuse

This was a presentation to social workers based upon requests to know more about substance abuse and dysfunctional families. So How Does Substance Abuse Cause Changes In the Family? Drugs and alcohol are substances that alter people by producing changes in: Aggression – Research shows that substance abuse is not a risk factor for many factors in and of it self; however, substance abuse can strength other risk factors. Where there is a risk for violence and child abuse, substance abuse can... more

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Emotion Focused Therapy for Couples

Review of Susan Johnson and Leslie Greenberg’sApproach to Couples Therapy Notes from my Couples Therapy Class To hear you say my name, to see you search my eyes…To feel you touch my hand, it more than satisfies.If I was not the first, just say I’ll be the last. It’s too much to expect, but it’s not to much to ask. Now I can only dream of being all you need, And I can only try to be the reason why. You think about today, and forget about the past. It’s too much... more

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Defenses

Following is a list of defenses and some information about them. The list is not exhaustive, but covers the big ones. Displacement One way to avoid the risk associated with feeling unpleasant emotions is to displace them, or put them somewhere other than where they belong. A common example is being angry at your boss. Displaying that anger could cost you your job. You might be afraid that you can not contain it, but also afraid of what will happen if you express it toward your boss. You might... more