Posts Tagged ‘Relationshnip Therapist’

Dr. Barbara Cunningham, licensed marriage and family therapist, specializes in relationship counseling for couples and individuals seeking relief from acute problems or for personal growth. She enjoys a busy couples counseling practice and offers working couples evening hours at her office in the heart of San Diego. Whether you are seeking marriage counseling, couples counseling, or individual psychotherapy, Dr. Cunningham has affordable rates and provides a safe environment to work on increasing relational health. Seeking help through counseling is a sign of courage and strength of character. It is not a sign of weakness to enlist the help of a professional in sorting out issues.

Dr. Cunningham encourages couples to continue working on increasing their emotional connection with one another. Even though each partner may think they “know” the other, over time, sometimes this perception stops couples from becoming more engaged. Taking your partner for granted makes a relationship stale. Becoming more curious about how your partner thinks about a myriad number of issues can be stimulating.

One “fun” way to accomplish this goal is to make time for weekly  “pillow talk” evenings. Take a stack of blank 3×5 cards and write a conversation starter in the form of a question on each card and place each completed card in a box. After the children have been put down for the night, or if you do not have children, after you get ready for bed, settle down with your box of 3×5 cards between you. Take turns choosing a card and each of you speak to the topic on the card. Talk, agree, disagree, laugh, and then laugh some more. Be respectful. Demonstrate active listening skills. Do not interrupt. Ask clarifying questions to show interest in hearing what your partner has to say.  See the list below for conversation starter suggestions:

If you knew you had only one week left to live, what would you do with the remaining time?

What do you consider the greatest accomplishment of your life thus far? What do you hope to do that is even better?

Given the choice of anyone in the wold, alive or dead, what five people would you most like to invite to dinner? As your close friends?

Do you believe in free will or in predestination? Why?

For what in your life do you feel most grateful?

Can you name a challenge we faced in our relationship and describe how you were proud of how we handled it as a couple? Of how you handled yourself as an individual?

Talk about a point of pride in your own reaction to an outside challenge that you experienced this week. A regret?

How do you want people to remember you most after you are gone?

In what ways has knowing me influenced you to be a better person? How do you think that I have become a better person as a result of knowing you?

Do you believe that you have enough time? In what ways has your notion of time changed over the years?

Do we spend enough time together? If not, how could we improve our time management to make more time for one another?

Going back to earlier, important romantic relationships in your life, what did you learn about YOURSELF after time passed and you took another look at the breakup? What was YOUR part in the unraveling of that relationship?

As you can see, the list can go on and on. It is almost as much fun to come up with ideas for conversation starters as it is to actually converse about them.  Research has shown that couples who know more rather than less about one another have a more stable and fulfilling relationship. You can never stop getting to know someone better. Curiosity is a kind of aphrodisiac-showing interest in another person’s thoughts, feelings and emotions can be a turn-on!

To learn more about Dr. Cunningham’s model of relationship counseling, visit her website at http://www.Cunninghamtherapy.com or call 619 990-6203 for a complimentary telephone consultation.

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“The truth is that our finest moments are most likely to occur when we are feeling deeply uncomfortable, unhappy, or unfulfilled. For it is only is such moments, propelled by our discomfort, that we are likely to step out of our ruts and start searching for different ways or truer answers.” M. Scott Peck

We all experience times in our lives when our problems seem overwhelming. In earlier eras, there was a social stigma to seeking counseling. But over the past forty years or so, it is becoming increasingly clear that counseling is a treatment that everyone can benefit from at one time or another in one’s life. To seek counseling is to address one’s problems, conflicts and relationship difficulties directly. Counseling is an effort that is inherently relational. The counseling relationship is itself a place to practice being honest with self and with other. Counseling is a courageous move. It can be empowering for the individual and his/her relationship. If you are having problems either individually or in your relationship, why not begin the new year by seeking counseling? It may put you on a different path that will lead you toward increasing clarity and fulfillment. For affordable relationship counseling, call 619 9906203 for a complimentary consultation or visit http://www.Cunninghamtherapy.com for some free tips and information about Dr. Cunningham’s model of practice.

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Dr. Murray Bowen, pioneering figure in marriage and family therapy, presented the groundbreaking idea that there are two competing life forces, and the tension between these life forces is always at play in relationship systems. On one hand, human beings have a need to be connected to important others. On the other hand, they have the need to be a separate self. How to balance these reciprocal forces in a way that works for oneself while at the same time having the ability to respect a partner’s differing needs for connection and separateness is the stuff of good therapy….learn more by reading my model of practice at http://www.Cunninghamtherapy.comand get some free tips just for stopping by.

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 Oftentimes, I get calls from potential clients who say their partner finally agreed to “come along” to therapy even though they insist they are not the one that “needs” it. Most of the time, people who rail on about how the other person needs the help are anxious and frightened to look at their part in a relationship problem. They are afraid that if they admit to even a small part in the relational problem, their partner will use it “against them” and they will be even more unhappy. A competent therapist can see that both people are free to state their truths without being “clobbered” by the other person. Anne Morrow Lindbergh had it right when she said, “If one is out of touch with oneself, then one cannot touch others.” Relationship counseling should provide a safe, holding environment so that each partner can feel confident that if they are called upon to self-examine and then to change an aspect of their behavior, the benefits will far outweigh the costs of admitting fallibility. In my practice, clients are routinely called upon to look at their own part in the relational dance, to have the courage to make changes in their way of coming toward their partner, and to look at ways they are being frightened and moving “away” rather than moving in the relationship as an effective partner. To be able to look within and then to be able to look at your part takes courage. Relationship counseling is definitely not for sissies! To learn more about Dr. Cunningham’s model of relationship counseling, click on “model of practice” at her web site: http://www.Cunninghamtherapy.com or feel free to call for a complimentary phone consultation. Relationship counseling is a proven way to begin to heal the attachment wounds that may be impacting your couplehood. The longer you wait to call, the more work will need to be done. Call now and get started on a path of healing and love.

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