Virtual Infidelity: The Dangers of Pornography

Virtual Infidelity

By Kevin Hales, MA, LPCC

Many of the couples I meet with in couples therapy have experienced infidelity in their relationship. “Virtual Affairs” are becoming more and more common. Virtual affairs betray the trust of one’s partner and violate agreements of sexual exclusivity; they happen when one partner looks at pornography or has an online affair with someone that he’s probably never met and probably never will. Because pornography is so addictive and damaging to the viewer and those involved in it, it behooves us to examine the dangers and harm that come to a relationship from a seemingly “harmless” endeavor.

Pornography Isn’t Harmless

Many believe that the viewing of pornography is harmless, that it somehow only involves the person viewing it. They ask themselves, “how can this be harmful to anyone else?”   Continue reading

Too Busy for Love During the Holidays

Too Busy for Love

Holiday Stress & Your Relationships

The holidays are just around the corner! Are you too stressed for love and connection?

Halloween is behind us and just as the kids are winding down from their sugar high, you’re anticipating and maybe even dreading the start of the holiday season. Most of us tend to view the holidays (Christmas, Hanukah, New Year’s, Kwanza, Diwali) as THE time of year for connection, bonding, love, and making cozy memories with loved ones, family and friends. Ironically however, holiday stress and busyness often lead to feelings of discontent, disconnect (especially from one’s partner), distress, and maybe even anxiety. Continue reading

Understanding Your Partner

Understanding Your Parnter

By Lisa Rosen, MA, NCC

The Death Glare

You know the look…the death glare. The expression that causes an instantaneous emotional and physical response. Your heart rate may quicken or that recurring headache might start flaring up. You may be thinking, “Is it something I did?” or you might know exactly why the laser sight is pointed at you. As your body goes into alert mode, you survey your options: Play dumb and act like you don’t notice? Ignore him/her? Confrontation? Or try to be understanding?

You don’t want to escalate the situation. You want to provide reassurance and comfort. But sometimes our automatic emotional response hijacks the opportunity. Continue reading

What if I Can’t Forgive?

What if I Can't Forgive-

By Joshua Downs, LCSW

Hurt, Betrayal, & Forgiveness

Forgiveness is frequently the goal in the work I do with couples dealing with betrayal—as well as in individual counseling with clients who have been hurt by others. And thankfully I can say I have been able to witness the relief and healing that comes from forgiveness. Forgiveness, however, is usually a hard-fought battle that is most likely to be won when the victim and the offender are both involved in the healing process.

But what about when the offender is unavailable, unrepentant, or seemingly incapable of understanding the depth of hurt he or she has caused? Continue reading

Pornography: A Dangerous Vice

Pornography Addiction - A Dangerous ViceBy Kevin Hales

Desensitization to Pornography

Pornography is largely accepted today as “normal” and typical behavior, especially by males. However, more and more research shows that pornography has  extremely detrimental effects on a person’s life and can be more addictive that many drugs. This is because with drugs, you need a substance in order to get the “high” whereas with pornography, you only need your thoughts to get the chemicals moving. Continue reading

Beginning to Heal from an Emotional Affair

Beginning to Heal from an Emotional AffairBy Joshua Downs, LCSW

Despite the varying details that I hear when working with couples dealing with some degree of infidelity, there is a simple fact that I always try to remember: at the end of the day what a hurt partner usually needs the most to heal is to feel that the offender understands the pain and hurt he or she has caused and that it won’t happen again. Continue reading

Reaching Out to an Angry Teen

Reaching Out to Your Angry Teenagerby Lisa Rosen

Stomp…stomp…stomp.  Slam!

Has your teenager ever come home from school this way? Maybe stopping on the way to her room to yell at you or comment under her breath.  She is angry and irritated.

You have no idea why. You have no idea what to do about it.

She isn’t talking. But she is giving you, with nonverbal gestures you can’t miss, a signal that something has had a strong impact on her life. It may not feel like it, but this is an opportunity to understand, support, help, and guide her.

 What’s Really Going On with Your Teen

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Seize the Day

Seize the dayby Lisa Rosen

I used to wake up each morning with a laundry list of thoughts and tasks swamping my mind. Once awake, my mind would pull me back and forth between feelings of worry and hope, like an internal tug-of-war. Some days I would find myself somewhat impaired by my fears, feeling stuck in a daily routine and unmotivated to move toward any new goals.

Something was missing.

Too Busy, Too Fast, Too Much

In a society filled with never-ending stress, working lunches, and constant accessibility to email, it is easy to get lost in the vortex of whatever is coming up next. You might sometimes feel trapped in feeling you have to keep up with the frantic pace of others around you. When Monday comes, you can’t wait for Friday. Then Friday arrives and soon it will be Monday again. It’s exhausting, and when you’re caught in the trap of busyness, you know that something important is missing.  Continue reading

Getting Through to Your Teenager

“The Look” from Your Teenager

Getting Through to Your Teenager Do you ever get “the look” from your teenager? You know the one I am talking about—the teen angst and disgust mixed with rolling of the eyes. You have something vitally important to say! They need to know this for their future! But you can’t get out of the starting gate. No one is listening. The information that you hold is valuable. Your teen would no doubt benefit from hearing what you have to say. The one barrier is…  Continue reading

Do I want to be right or do I want to be understood?

misunderstood in marriageBy Joshua Downs, LCSW

I was recently watching a clip from a therapy session and the wife explained to the therapist,  “I don’t need to be right. I just need to be heard”: a simple statement that likely rings true for many of us, but one that we rarely connect with in the moments when we need that insight the most. Continue reading