All Posts tagged couples counseling


STdsIs there a correlation between the rise of “hookup” sites like tinder and the increase in STDs? How do you ask your new partner about their sexual health? Or, are we just a more hyper-sexualized society that just throws caution to the wind when it comes to protecting ourselves? Well, I’m not quite sure which is the right answer. However, we can take a look at a smaller sample size in the state of California, more specifically the county of Los Angeles for some possible answers.

Current studies are indicating that theses stds, chlamydia, gonorrhea and syphilis have consistently been the highest infections in California. This a real concern! It is also a difficult conversation to have or bring up with your partner. Now I’m not going to dedicate this space to exploring our sexual health, rather, it is the psychological effect that contracting an STD has on a person that I want to address in this blog.

Have you considered what happens to a person when they learn that they have an STD? What I have witnessed take place with many clients is that suddenly their emotional state of mind becomes unstable, their anxiety rises, and eventually depression follows. Simply put, the dominoes begin to fall. Rarely, do I get the client when they are newly diagnosed, rather, they have already been battling the depression, anxiety, and accompanying stress for quite some time.

In reality, when people receive their diagnosis, life is never the same again. This is extremely difficult to wrap their heads around. Many times, this revelation of a sexually transmitted disease literally brings to light previously undetected, repressed, or eschewed mental illnesses.

On the opposite spectrum, my experience with some teenagers and some adults has been a interesting choice to pursue extreme sexual activity with the knowledge that they are suffering from the effects of their mental illness related to their contracted STDs. Remember, depression can cause isolation, break off connections and make one feel like they are the proverbial “island.” The psychological impact of contracting an STD is far greater than what you think, so please think and educate yourself, partner, friends, and your family. To help, their are a number of good studies written here that I suggest you read, so click HERE







Sex Works for Both

sexualissuesSex in marriage who wants it more? This is always a point of conflict in every couples counseling sessions that I hold. It is always fascinating for me to discover that the person with the least desire for sex controls the frequency of intimacy in the relationship. Think about your own relationship, which one of you is more sexual, do you see the correlation?

Sex is critical to closeness, emotional stability, and physical satisfaction. If you think that you cannot find some common ground or are you unwilling to compromise, the prospects aren’t good. Both men and women, who continually feel unsatisfied in the bedroom, eventually seek out others who will fulfill their needs. Sadly, this is reflective in the divorce ever increasing divorce rate.

I really believe we need to be realistic with our expectations for sex. If you are the one who is highly sexual, that’s fine and good, if not, ok too. However, sex is a gift and you have to do it for each other!

There is a great TEDx talk inside here 



Do You Know if Your Happily Ever After is Being Threatened?

Screen Shot 2015-03-30 at 3.34.58 PMTop reasons couples divorce — and how to head it off

Source:  Deseret News National

Certain life events can crack a marriage, from illness to job changes, infidelity to childbirth. And when babies grow up and leave the nest, it creates another stress-inducing shock to marriage, according to Time Inc. Network’s

Dr. Elizabeth Ochoa, marriage counselor and chief psychologist at Beth Israel Medical Center in New York City, listed seven life events that can lead to divorce. Her list was rounded out by trauma and living apart — which includes military couples who have one spouse deployed and the other at home.


Would you benefit from a “Hamburger meat moment?”

 What do you think?  Confused?  Read on…

Marriage tip: Stop treating your husband like a child

Screen Shot 2015-03-30 at 11.15.26 AMWomen referring to their husbands as another child is an unhealthy dynamic in a marriage relationship, according to Christine Meinecke of Psychology Today.

“Even though the appropriate model for relating to a romantic partner is adult-to-adult, most of us, when frustrated, resort to parent-to-child relating,” Meinecke wrote.

Reddit user “Fran” (pseudonym) realized she was treating her husband like a child after what she called her “hamburger meat moment.” The post, which got hundreds of responses, described Fran’s reaction to her husband’s efforts at grocery shopping:

“I started pulling things out of the bag, and realized he’d gotten the 70/30 hamburger meat — which means it’s 70 percent lean and 30 percent fat.

“I asked, ‘What’s this?’

“‘Hamburger meat,’ he replied, slightly confused.

“‘You didn’t get the right kind,’ I said ‘You got the 70/30. I always get at least the 80/20.’

“He laughed. ‘Oh. That’s all? I thought I’d really messed up or something.’ ”

Fran followed this exchange with a long tirade filled with “righteous indignation” about her husband’s lack of caring, inattention, inability to read labels and lack of knowledge about of all things, hamburger meat.

In the end, Fran’s husband looked like a scolded child, and Fran realized she’d made a mistake. “The bottom line in all this is that I chose this man as my partner. He’s not my servant. He’s not my employee. He’s not my child,” she wrote.

After an exchange at a party where he met a woman who referred to her husband as her “third child,” fatherhood blogger Frederick J. Goodall wrote: “Most men have a deep desire to feel respected. If you ask a group of men if they’d rather be respected or liked, the majority of them would say respected. When one spouse treats the other as a child, the relationship becomes unbalanced.”

Respect goes both ways, Goodall added. “Respect is something given freely and is based on love and honor. My wife encourages me and lets me know how much she appreciates the things I do for our family and I do the same for her.”

Blogger Selena Mills wrote that treating her husband like a child was “the one thing I stopped doing to improve my marriage,” but that it was “easier said than done.”

“Oh, it’s hard. So hard to bite my tongue with (not so) subtle reminders like, ‘fold all the laundry together in individual little piles, it’ll be so much easier to put away!’ Or, ‘please remember to sort the laundry!’ ” Mills wrote.

Much of the time, what motivates wives to scold their husbands is the husband’s perceived (or actual) incompetence with household chores or child care. Women spend an average of three hours a week redoing chores previously done by their husbands or partners, according to a Huffington Post report of a British study.

If quality of housework or child care is a real issue and not just a difference of opinion, that problem should be discussed as part of an adult-adult, not a parent-child, type of exchange, according to Meinecke.

“Take the opportunity to interrupt this pattern by changing the way you respond,” Meinecke wrote. “By responding constructively, you also offer your spouse a new option. With practice, any couple can transition from parent-child relating to adult-adult relating.”