Essential Reads

The Benefits of Embracing the Ordinary

Why you should take the time to capture the mundane in your everyday life

Departing Earth

What does it say to leave your home planet forever?

Sex in the Head

What may look like pure physical arousal is usually much more complicated.

Obama and Netanyahu in Family Therapy

Mr. President and Mr. Prime Minister, for the sake of world peace, call me.

Recent Posts on Relationships

Changes in the Family: Impact on Sexual Development

In modern times, the family unit has been dramatically reconstructed. Regardless of the family’s formation, the behaviors observed by children of both single and two-parent families significantly impact children’s sexual development.

Three Ways Your Romantic Instincts Can Lead You Astray

By Juliana Breines Ph.D. on March 29, 2015 in In Love and War
Romantic instincts are subject to a number of biases that can lead us to trust the wrong people and overlook the right ones.

Are You Falling Out of Love?

By Randi Gunther Ph.D. on March 29, 2015 in Rediscovering Love
Evaluate your feelings and decide whether you should end your relationship now or take steps toward turning it around.

My Daughter and I Are Both Depressed

Yes, depression is contagious

No Limits: Relationships in Cyberspace

Virtual relationships can foster a sense of bonding and belonging, but psychological distancing can increase loneliness and alienation.

Narcissists and Social Validation on Facebook

By Catalina Toma Ph.D. on March 29, 2015 in Virtual You
Facebook is beloved by narcissists because it allows them to self-promote. But do narcissists also receive the attention and social validation they crave on Facebook?

He is Verbally Abusing Me: Why Me?

A victim of verbal abuse may manage to get out of an abusive relationship and feel relieved, but then meet someone new who is also an abuser. Or she might manage to get out of a relationship but then realize that her colleagues or friends are verbally abusing her too.

No Substitute for “Real” Relationships

Studies confirm that things, money, material riches are not the solution to human longing. Despite unprecedented affluence, health care, and technological advances, few--even among the best off elites--claim to be truly satisfied. What really matters requires riches of the heart, riches of the spirit.

What do Children Think about Love?

A group of over thirty preschoolers and kindergarteners were asked what they thought of the word “love.” While younger children were primarily focused on an external conceptual line of thinking, the older children had moved to one that was more internally based.

Shaming Women: Sex, Toys, and Cosmetic Surgery

Stigmatizing women continues. But let us be grateful to women's advocates -- those who expose the finger pointers.

The Discipline of Marriage: Advice from Long Relationships

By Karl Pillemer Ph.D. on March 28, 2015 in Lessons for Loving
Despite dire media reports, most young people want to get married - and stay married for life. A study of long-married elders offers advice on the role of commitment throughout a long relationship.

The Best Way to Get Love is to Show Love

Without realizing it, you communicate our emotions to others through our behavior as well as our words. In the best of all possible worlds, you would communicate only the positive, and not the negative emotions to those in your social world. By communicating "micro-affections," you and your relationships will benefit.

Changing the ‘No Casserole’ Response to Mental Illness

A mother of two who is active in the International Bipolar Foundation shared a story the other day. When her youngest daughter was diagnosed with diabetes, friends called, sent cards and flowers, brought food, and posted encouraging Facebook messages.

Looking for a Partner? The Four Buckets, Part 2

Look for like or love in a different way.

An Open Letter to Conversation Stealers

Are you a talker or a listener?

The Benefits of Embracing the Ordinary

By Amie M. Gordon PhD on March 27, 2015 in Between You and Me
What would you rather do, write down the last conversation you had or watch a funny video? This is one question researchers asked in an effort to understand whether we underestimate the pleasure we get from recalling mundane events from our past. We don't want to record the last conversation we had, but in a month, we'd rather read about it than watch a funny video.

15 Kinds of Verbal Abuse

"The ability to feel, like the ability to think, is universal to the nature of humanity. Unfortunately, the abuser is generally unwilling to accept his feelings and unwilling to reveal them to his partner. He builds a wall between himself and his partner He maintains a distance." -- Patricia Evans

The Real Reason People Think Promiscuity Is Wrong

Why do many people think promiscuity is morally wrong? STDs may sound like the simplest explanation, but it's probably not the correct one.

On the Wisdom of Taking a Lover

By Sheila Kohler on March 27, 2015 in Dreaming for Freud
When my ex- husband announced he had fallen in love with another woman, he said he still loved me and was not sure what to do. He felt terribly guilty as did his mistress and he had to tell me the truth. We had been married for ten years and were both in our early thirties

Letting Things Have a Life of Their Own

Turning people—turning all things—into projects is a very effective defense against allowing them to have a life of their own. Irrelationship provides a place for our attention to be focused instead of on our fear of real relationship, real intimacy. The conclusion to this brief case study provides an exemplar for how we can recover from the irrleational defense—together.

Departing Earth

By Kenneth Worthy Ph.D. on March 26, 2015 in The Green Mind
Scientists, engineers, and science fiction writers have long imagined leaving Earth to colonize space, but now a budding company is accepting volunteers to become astronauts on a one-way trip to Mars. Is this just the first wave of permanent departures from our home planet—a long exodus in which forsake our precious Earth?

Balancing Your Stress Levels One Relationship at a Time

By Amy Banks on March 26, 2015 in Wired For Love
The capacity to feel calm in a healthy relationship is as natural and automatic as the ability to feel terrified watching Friday the 13th. It is how we are wired. However, a culture that teaches “self-regulation” and urges you to stand on your own two feet is sending the wrong message to your nervous system.

Violent Expression: Sign of Our Deep Need to Communicate?

By Seth Slater M.F.A. on March 26, 2015 in The Dolphin Divide
When notions of fair play are violated, our ability to speak helps keep the peace. We are capable of sudden, violent physical outbursts, but calm expressions of anger through language can keep us from resorting to brute force – sometimes.

Affairs: The Healing Process

By Robert Taibbi L.C.S.W. on March 26, 2015 in Fixing Families
Affairs are devastating on so many levels, but at its core it is about trust and loss. A map for moving through the normal healing process.

What Makes You Say You’re Lonely?

By Peter Toohey on March 26, 2015 in Annals of the Emotions
What does it mean to be lonely and how do say that you are lonely? Is language enough to describe it? Are you lonely just because you think you are lonely and say you are lonely? Or are specific circumstances required for there to be loneliness? What does loneliness mean for the animal and human brain? Is loneliness and the word “loneliness” common to all cultures?

Three Reasons to Not (Always) Trust

The kind of trust that builds good work relationships has conditions, boundaries, and limits. But, do you know them? Do you understand when not to trust?

Who Participates in Dog-sporting Events and Why?

Although people can be highly competitive in the various dog-sports, recent research shows that internal motives and social benefits are more important than trophies and accolades.

The Most Effective Tactic to Deal With Controlling People

Controllers are hard to spot and will turn the tables on you. Learn how not to give in to the control.

Surprise

By The Book Brigade on March 26, 2015 in The Author Speaks
Surprise is good for the brain, great for relationships, and adds a certain frisson all around. Without it, life is lackluster. So why don't more people embrace the unexpected? They run from it or try to subdue it when they should instead roll with it.

Why Laughter Is Contagious

By Rob Kendall on March 26, 2015 in Blamestorming
How does laughter work? Who laughs more when telling a joke - the speaker or the listener? Are there different types of laughter? And do we laugh randomly or not?