Can people Really Change?

Surely there are things about yourself that you don’t like. So you change them, right? Well, not exactly. It’s more likely that you keep on doing them, even though you say you’d like to change them. So is the old adage, “A leopard can’t change his spots,” true? That people can’t change? No, people can change. But you can’t just snap your fingers and say goodbye to well-established patterns, even when those patterns result in bad consequences.

 How to Forgive & Deal with Marriage Betrayal

So how do we heal from being betrayed? We begin by developing the skills to deal with strong negative emotions and to talk more effectively about the impact the betrayal had. This may require setting appropriate boundaries with each other, learning how to deal with emotions effectively and expressing how you feel about the infidelity. Next you look at both the current and the developmental issues within yourselves and within your relationship that may have contributed to the affair.

  Guidelines for an Enhancement Separation

This is when a couple separates while still working on their marriage

Here are some thoughts on how to go about creating your own Enhancement Separation.

  1. Get Third-Party Support. While some couples can do this on their own, I highly recommend seeking out some type of neutral third party to help facilitate this process. It can get tricky, especially if this is being done while there is currently some tension or problems between spouses. This can be a therapist, clergy, mediator, or lawyer.
  2. Set Clear and Reasonable Expectations. Ground rules are a must to maintain a sense of trust between the parties. If one person expects to communicate every day but the other doesn't, this could cause hurt feelings. Knowing what to expect avoids this type of situation.

 Protecting Children From The Effects of Separation

Around one in three children are likely to experience parental separation before the age of 16. Knowing the effects a breakup might have can help you protect against them and give your children the best chance at managing the change.

One of the most common effects children of separated couples will notice is having less money. Children whose parents split up are also more likely to struggle with social, emotional and cognitive development. This is true whether the parents were married or not. Children’s health can also suffer – physically and psychologically. Children of separated parents are more likely to act out and take part in risky behaviors like substance misuse.

 20 Glaring Signs You Are Married To a Narcissist

By Divorced Moms Odds are that through the years, you have encountered a narcissist or two. You know, the person who is always talking about their latest and greatest achievement, the friend who thinks she is hotter and smarter than everyone, and the person who always manages to revert every conversation back to him or herself.

According to the Mayo Clinic, not all the signs of narcissism are obvious, and I would guess that many people have various traits of narcissism without actually being a full-blown narcissist or having been diagnosed with  narcissistic personality disorder. An official diagnosis can be made by a qualified mental health professional, and requires that the individual exhibit five of the nine symptoms identified in the DSM-IV.

  How to Meet New Friends as an Adult

Do you find it hard to make friends now that you are out of school & live an adult life?

 Flirting and Closing

Do you get stuck after flirting with a woman, not knowing how to close?

After I get the girl talking to me, laughing, and I feel like she has some attraction to me.  I never know how to make the transition. First, I am going to assume when you say “make the transition” you are referring to getting physical with her in some sense, or displaying a more sexual intent. A lot of guys have this same problem you’re facing because they wait WAY too long in the interaction to display any sort of sexual interest in the woman.

 7 Stupid Reasons People Stay In Relationships When They're Unhappy

We all know that one couple. Whether it’s your sister and her boyfriend, your best friend and his ball and chain or those two screaming people you call your parents, they’re that couple that’s just that miserable.

They fight and talk behind each other’s backs and say they absolutely "hate" the people they’re so in love with. Many times, they will cheat on each other or talk nonstop about how much they’d like to. They bitch, moan and point out the others' flaws in attempt to prove exactly how much they suck.

 Experience the Thrill of Becoming Emotionally Independent

We all know the unpleasant feeling of being dependent on someone or something. You remember all the times your parents gave you money for something, you needed to take the bus (and thus had to comply with its schedule), borrowed something from a friend and so on. You felt uncomfortable and a little disappointed by the fact that you had to rely on others to survive your day.

 Are you ready to date after Divorce? Here’s how you’ll know…..

Dating after divorce is different for everyone. Some people start dating right when they decide to separate and or move out, perhaps because their marriage has been over for years and they have felt alone for such a long time. Others wait months or even years, due to the trauma or shock of the divorce, because they lack self-confidence, or possibly because they just need time to heal.

 Gestalt Prayer

This was written by Fritz Perls, the brilliant scholar & psychologist that developed Gestalt therapy. I have many of my clients memorize it & use it in their daily lives. It helps with codependent relationships, obligatory family relationships, developing independence, & maintaining an overall healthy philosophy in relationships.


There are moments that you struggle in an unhealthy relationship. Find out and understand how you can avoid and get out of it. At one time or another we have all experiences a realization that a relationship we are in is just not healthy for us anymore.

 Six Mistakes Couples Make That Lead to Infidelity

Ignoring partners needs and emotions and turning away from attempts to share or connect! In healthy interdependent relationships couples make constant requests for support, understanding, and connection. Gottman calls these “sliding glass door moments”, referring to the choice we always have to respond positively, or not, to the partner’s attempt to express feelings or a need, or to connect.

 12 Ways to Respect Yourself

Self love is an essential element for living a positively present life, and self respect is a vital aspect of self love. The more you respect yourself, the more you are able to love yourself. However, self respect isn't always as easy to come by as you might think. There are a lot of aspects of life that can lure you away from respect. As much as you might want to treat yourself with respect, there are often outside influences that can get in the way of treating yourself honorably.

 10 Principles of Success

I have learned from working with and observing hundreds of couples in my office & out in the world:

  • You are not solely responsible for your partner's happiness. Everyone wants to be happy, but happiness will come and go. Successful couples learn to intentionally do things that will bring happiness back when life pulls it away.
  • Couples discover the value in just showing up. When things get tough and couples don't know what to do, they need to hang in there and be there for their spouse. Time has a way of helping couples work things out by providing opportunities to reduce stress and overcome challenges.
  • If you do what you always do, you will get same result. Wise couples have learned that you have to approach problems differently to get different results. Often, minor changes in approach, attitude and actions make the biggest difference in marriage.

 How To Set Goals

You set your goals on a number of levels:

  • First you create your "big picture" of what you want to do with your life (or over, say, the next 10 years), and identify the large-scale goals that you want to achieve.
  • Then, you break these down into the smaller and smaller targets that you must hit to reach your lifetime goals.
  • Finally, once you have your plan, you start working on it to achieve these goals.

 Body Image Of Women
Negative body image of women is a very hot topic these days! The female body image and what a person should or could look like in marketing and advertising in particular is a controversial issue. It is noticeable that the body size of women as portrayed in mass media has been steadily getting smaller. Marketers will often do anything that they can to sell a product and make a profit, and almost anything can be sold if it appeals to our sense of beauty or is considered attractive.

Notice what sets you off. Determine if your feelings stem from within you or from external forces. For example, you may become agitated in loud, crowded places resulting in you taking your feelings out on others.

 Emotional Reactivity
How wonderful it would be to be totally relaxed and comfortable when the most important person in your life is finding fault with you. How amazing it would be to let the critiques fly by and respond with only graciousness and dignity.

 Overcoming Jealousy, and Control in Relationships
Overcoming jealousy is like changing any emotional reaction or behavior. It begins with awareness. Awareness allows you to see that the projected stories in your mind are not true. When you have this clarity you no longer react to the scenarios that your mind imagines.

 Understanding Jealousy
First of all, you should be aware of what jealousy is in regards to romantic relationships. This type of jealousy is an emotion that can best be defined as negative thoughts, such as insecurities or anxieties, related to losing something of value. In this case, the “something of value” is a romantic partner. Jealousy can also be defined as an emotional reaction to a perceived threat.

 Consciously Uncoupling
If you are in the process of separating, here are four steps to support you in finding the new beginning you and your family deserve.

 Letting Your Partner In
As part of his research, Dr. Gottman conducted a study with newlyweds and then followed up with them six years later. Many of the couples had remained together. Many had divorced. The couples that stayed married were much better at one thing – the third level of the Sound Relationship House, Turn Towards Instead of Away.

There are moments that you struggle in an unhealthy relationship. Find out and understand how you can avoid and get out of it.

 What is a Healthy Relationship?
Communication is a key part to building a healthy relationship. The first step is making sure you both want and expect the same things—being on the same page is very important. The following tips can help you create and maintain a healthy relationship

 Codependency Love Drug
It can be helpful to view romantic/sexual obsessions as a form of addiction. As the therapy community in NYC and beyond has learned in recent years, the addictive process is very similar no matter what the drug of choice is:

  1. Craving a 'fix' from your drug of choice (person, alcohol, gambling, weed, food, pornography, shopping, etc.)—while feeling somewhat down/depressed or restless/jittery
  2. Score the drug of choice and get 'high'
  3. Experience the high for a while
  4. As you come down from the high, you start feeling down/depressed or restless/jittery which triggers familiar cravings for your drug
  5. Back to the beginning and repeat

 Can People Change?
Surely there are things about yourself that you don’t like. So you change them, right? Well, not exactly. It’s more likely that you keep on doing them, even though you say you’d like to change them. So is the old adage, “A leopard can’t change his spots,” true? That people can’t change?

No, people can change.

But you can’t just snap your fingers and say goodbye to well-established patterns, even when those patterns result in bad consequences. Sure, you wish it could be easier. You may be impatient with yourself, giving yourself a good scold: “Just stop it already!” Oh, how I hate the word “just” when it pertains to change. We don’t change “just” because someone (even ourselves) wants us to.

 What is a Boundary?

  • It’s a limit or edge that defines you as separate from others.
  • A boundary is a limit that promotes integrity, can preserve life and advance relationship.
  • Boundaries are physical, emotional, spiritual, sexual, relational. They can consist of the limits of what we consider safe and appropriate, our unique set of feelings and reactions, individual perceptions, values, goals, concerns, roles we choose to play, etc.
  • There are similarities and differences in boundaries across cultures, so it is important to be sensitive to people’s differences.

Self-Soothing is something we all learn as infants. When we cry, our caregiver tends to us and soothe us. This pattern teaches us confidence that everything will be alright. After a while, just knowing that our caregiver i there for us gives us the confidence to self-sooth. As we grow older we use our five senses to evoke memories of sooting moments to self-sooth. Some of us didn't always get this consistent nurturing from our caregiver or sometimes we forget as we go through traumas and disappointments, which puts us at risk to use unhealthy quick fixes to sooth. Some of these may include alcohol, drugs, sex, binge eating, and the like. I have comprised a list of healthy self-soothing techniques with the members of one of my groups. It is a good idea to pick couple that work for you and use them on a regular basis so when you really need to self-sooth, you already know what works.

 NEW! - Co-Dependency Group
This November I started a new Co-dependency group. Some people think co-dependency means that you are enabling an alcoholic or addict. Research now shows that codependency is a learned behavior from growing up in a dysfunctional family and includes anyone struggling to be emotionally independent. My group deals with such issues as learning to have healthy boundaries, difficulties saying "no", learning assertiveness skills, recognizing and changing behaviors such as reactivity, care-taking, people-pleasing, and problems with intimacy.

 3 Keys to Happiness
The 3 keys to happiness run on a continuum. You don’t have to have everything mentioned or be perfect to be happy. You just have to have enough of each of the three areas to feel grateful & proud of your life. As you self-actualize through your life, each of the three areas will be shifting & changing, however over time hopefully improving as your happiness increases.