The Gift of Acceptance

I see plenty of adults who are punishing themselves because they aren’t someone else.  Most of them started as children who felt punished because they weren’t someone else. This someone else they never were is not even a real person, it’s an ideal.  This ideal was communicated to them by their parents and it is an anachronism, a relic, based on expectations, dreams, and hopes that the parent had for their child.  Parental expectations and visions of the ideal child are formed before the baby is even born.  Every parent develops these hopes and dreams to some extent.  Mostly these
Read More →

Categories: Parenting.

FIRO for your Family

Based on research and experience, it’s not just Aretha Franklin that wants R-E-S-P-E-C-T, its every one of us! We are wired to be social.  In social relationships, there is an essential human need to feel loved and respected.  A theory developed in 1958 by Will Schutz really spells out these needs in practical terms.  This model for relationships is called the Fundamental Interpersonal Relations Orientation, or FIRO for short.  I have found this model to be very useful for helping people transform troublesome relationships into more satisfying ones. FIRO suggests that the basic ingredients of any interpersonal relationship are acceptance,
Read More →

Categories: Mental Health.

Communication: Can you Hear me Now?

There’s no doubt that communication is essential yet very complex.  I work with a lot of couples in my private practice.  During the initial visit, someone will predictably say that communication is their biggest problem.   Can you guess which person says this the most?  You guessed it, the woman.  It has been observed that women want to talk about the relationship regularly to prevent any big problems, but men believe talking about the marriage all the time means there is a big problem!  According to marriage experts Pat Love and Steven Stosny, this gender difference in desire to talk is
Read More →

Categories: Marriage.