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Session 2: Parents Create Change in the Family System

    Jenny* and Stefan are parents having difficulty with their 7 year-old son, Nicholas.  They have come into therapy to create change in their family system.  This is their second therapy session. Lorna (Therapist), to Jenny and Stefan:  Last session you told me about problems you’re having with your son, Nicholas.  I encouraged you to

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Discipline is Attention

Session 1: Parents Create Change in the Family System

When there’s a problem with a child, I see the parents  for coaching in therapy.  As leaders of the family, parents have the power and ability to create change in the family system.   Jenny* and Stefan are having difficulty with their 7 year-old son, Nicholas.  I explain during the initial phone call that if

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60 Minutes Interview

Emotional Triangles with Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton

The Bowen Family Systems Theory concept of Emotional Triangles was illustrated in a recent T.V. interview with Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama. Reporter Steve Kroft interviewed Clinton and Obama. They answered his questions about how they resolved their differences after the contentious 2008 election.  Both acknowledged that their staffs and their spouses had more difficulty

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A Lesson From An Animal Family About Human Family Attachment

Is attachment in human families anything like attachment in animal families? Can we learn anything about ourselves by watching animal families interact? A family of squirrels visits my home nearly every day. They’re usually waiting for my husband or me first thing in the morning. I toss almonds outside before I can even make my

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Anxious Pet and People Parenting

Anxious pet parents are probably anxious people parents. My mother and I head out for a day of shopping and lunch when her (perfectly coiffed) Bichon Frise scoots between my legs and out the front door.  The fancy doggie bounces across the neighbors’ lawns and directly toward the street. Mom yells frantically, “Samantha, come here,

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Healing From an Affair

Understanding Marital Infidelity: The Key to Healing From an Affair

The key to healing from an affair lies in making the effort to understand, really understand, how you and your mate have been operating in your relationship. Dwayne* came in for therapy after discovering that his wife, Gina, had been seeing another man for the past six months. He was   understandably devastated and confused. 

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Affair-Proof Your Marriage

Affair-Proof your marriage, 4 Do’s and 4 Don’ts

Maybe some folks get married with the thought that it’s o.k. to have an affair or two along the way. After all, marriage lasts a long time, right? But surely this is not true for most people. Almost everyone assumes that if their spouse cheated on them it would be a deal breaker. And almost

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Office Romance

2 Universal Truths about Affairs

Everyone knows it’s wrong to cheat when they’re in a in a relationship. Yet despite the predictable terrible consequences, infidelity has always been, and probably always will be, part of the relationship landscape. The question is, why? In my last blog post I exposed some common myths about affairs. Now it’s time for the truth. Truth #1:  There is

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infidelity

4 Common Myths about Infidelity

Infidelity Myths Exposed People have lots of theories about why infidelity is as common as it is. Most of these theories don’t hold water. It is difficult to deal with an issue that is so painful and destructive to families. Therefore, it is important to try to have an accurate, objective understanding of what’s really happening when

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Tearing Away to Grow Up

Selma, 38, has come in to therapy because of an on-going conflict with her daughter, Salina.   Salina is 19 years-old and, according to her mother, her behavior has recently spiraled out of control.   Selma was married to Salina’s father, William, until Salina was 9.   That’s when William got caught having an affair with a co-worker

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