Archives for Communication

Communication

What We Have Here is a Failure to Communicate!

I am constantly shocked and reminded just how easy it is to hurt or be hurt by our loved ones due to problems of communication. Communication is supposed to consist of both talking and listening in somewhat equal measure. But regrettably, sometimes there is one but not the other. Sound familiar?

In some families, everyone seems to be talking but no one is listening. In others, members of a couple or family feel alone, left in...
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Communication

Are You Tending Your Garden of Love?

"Your family and your love must be cultivated like a garden. Time, effort, and imagination must be summoned constantly to keep any relationship flourishing and growing."  -Jim Rohn

The wish for a deep sense of human connection and commitment is universal. Ask people what is most important to them and their first answer is always the same--their family. Our families give us a sense of identity and belonging, reminding us of who we are and what is...
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Communication

Do You Want to Avoid the Next Fight?

Most people are now aware that high levels of conflict--loud, angry or bitter fighting--can be tremendously destructive not only to marriages and intimate relationships but can cause lasting harm to the children caught in the crossfire.

As painful as divorce can be for kids, what we know now is that excessive fighting is what troubles kids--whether the family remains intact or not. On the flip side, disagreements and differences go hand in hand with any relationship...
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Anxiety

10 Tips to Help Kids Cope with War & Traumatic Events

"I dream of giving birth to a child who will ask, 'Mother, what was war?'" ~Eve Merriam

These are uncertain, turbulent times, colored as they are by fears about war and terrorism. As a result, children as well as adults are experiencing higher levels of stress.

When a flu bug is going around, conscientious parents make sure their child is getting plenty of sleep, vitamins, and a healthy diet to build their immune system....
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Change

The Aftermath of the Isla Vista Massacre: What Can Be Learned

The tragedy in Isla Vista has left my precious Santa Barbara community—and the nation—reeling. The senseless violence, claiming the lives of innocent young people, has stimulated many different conversations…Conversations about mental illness, about more stringent gun control laws, about violence against women, about inappropriate parenting and the rise of narcissism.

No one, myself included, wants to accept that we are utterly powerless, and that the rising tide of mass murders cannot be stopped. We should all...
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Communication

6 Tips for Breaking the Blame Barrier

Hardly a day ever goes by when I don't hear someone blaming someone for something. It is one of the most common--and one of the most frustrating patterns that confront couples and families. Blame can destroy a good marriage, wreak havoc on our friendships, and put innocent kids in the middle of their parents' arguments.

Not only are families besieged by this destructive pattern, the whole culture is mired in it. We blame the...
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Anxiety

Unhappy Relationships and Depression Go Hand in Hand

"What is the opposite of two? A lonely me. A lonely you." -Richard Wilbur

"It is not a lack of love, but a lack of friendship that makes unhappy marriages." -Friedrich Nietzsche

The TV ads would have all of us believe that the best cure for depression is the latest and greatest medication. First it was Prozac and now it's Pristiq and Abilify. Although medication is a life saver for many, for others the side effects are...
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Communication

7 Warning Signs Of a Troubled Marriage

I've been counseling couples and families for over three decades and one thing stands out. Most people wait too long before they reach out for too long. Problems that might have been solved in five to ten sessions become crises that break up perfectly good relationships.

Since only a precious few learned the necessary skills to weather the ups and downs of a long-term relationship, it is easy to slip into negative patterns of relating--either...
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Communication

Where Does the Time Go? 5 Tips to Conscious Connection

“What greater thing is there for human souls than to feel that they are joined for life—to be with each other in silent unspeakable memories."  –George Eliot

The wish to seek and have a deep sense of family connection and commitment is universal. Ask people what is most important to them and their first answer is always the same--their family. In healthy families, there is a sense of cohesion or family togetherness. Without it, we feel more like strangers than...
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Communication

The ABC’s of Mental Health and Happiness

How well do you know your ABC's of mental health and happiness? Let's start at the very beginning--although you will see that the alphabet of skills below is really a circle that starts and ends wherever you

Awareness...because the first step in happiness is to become aware of what you are thinking, feeling, doing and projecting in the world. Awareness leads to authenticity--striving to be yourself, unique and...
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