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Relationship Corner
with Tarra Bates-Duford, Ph.D., MFT

Family, Mental Health, Relationships, Support. Treatment

Mental Illness and Dating: 11 Key Things to Consider


Dating and starting a new relationship can be an extremely fun and exciting time in our lives, however, when you have a mental illness the process of dating and relationships can be less than thrilling. In fact, for some people with mental illness the prospect of dating and relationships can be very frustrating, scary, and even depressing. For many people suffering...


Family, Mental Health, Relationships, Support. Treatment

Harmful Family Legacies: 18 Signs


Harmful family legacies consist of a pattern of hurtful, painful and/or damaging behaviors that have been passed down from one generation to the next through a process called modeling. When adults or caregivers repeatedly interact in a family system in an unhealthy way, they are imprinting this behavior on their children. Many children that have been exposed to a harmful or toxic environment often...


Family, Mental Health, Relationships, Support. Treatment

Unrealistic Expectations and Relationships: 5 Key Signs


Most of us long for a sense of love and acceptance, a desire to be in an enduring committed partnership with someone we love.

The majority of the thoughts, feelings, and ideas we have about family and relationships have been guided by what we have seen in movies, read in books, or heard about through generational tales of soulmates and fated love. Fairly early in our lives we develop expectations regarding what our relationships should consist of,...


Family, Mental Health, Relationships, Support. Treatment

Dissociative Disorder: 8 Common Signs


Dissociative Disorder is a complex mental process that allows children and adults to cope with an extremely distressing or traumatic experience.

"Dissociation" can look differently from person to person, as well as take many forms. Dissociation can appear as "blocking out" a painful experience from memory, feeling detached from the event or experience, or lackingcontrol of one’s body.

We have all attempted to block out unpleasant feelings, memories, or images from our mind. However, repetitively blocking out an...


Family, Mental Health, Relationships, Support. Treatment

Responses to Trauma: 4 Key Components


Trauma is generally understood as the response to a traumatic experience, event, or an incident that threatens one’s own life or the bodily integrity of another in close proximity or relationship to you. In order to qualify as a traumatic event, the element of threat or harm to life or body must be present.

Trauma or Posttraumatic Stress Disorder, PTSD can be caused by or associated with a wide variety of events, but there are a few...


Family, Mental Health, Relationships, Support. Treatment

Inhibited Sexual Desires and Romantic Relationships


Inhibited sexual desire (ISD) refers to a low level of sexual interest, resulting in a failure to initiate or respond to sexual intimacy.

People with ISD may lack interest in trying something new or have never felt much sexual desire. ISD is a medical condition with only one symptom: low sexual desire. Personal attitudes towards one’s partner can  be a contributing factor to ISD, as personal attitudes can both enhance and diminish sexual desires. ISD can affect...


Family, Mental Health, Relationships, Support. Treatment

12 Signs You Are Falling Out of Love with Your Partner

The act of meeting and falling in love can be an exciting and thrilling experience for most people. The whole “newness” of learning about and experiencing feelings and events with someone new can be intoxicating. Sometimes when we experience something new and exciting with someone we make the assumption he or she is “the one”. Happily, we start mentally envisioning a future together, hopeful we will...


Family, Mental Health, Relationships, Support. Treatment

Is Monogamy a Thing of the Past: 5 Reasons Monogamy May Not Work


Dating and relationships can be a really trick balancing act.

We have all heard stories of love at first sight, meeting our soulmate, living happily ever after, etc. However, for many people the struggle to find “the one,” remaining in a monogamous relationship, and living happily ever after seems to be an ever-elusive dream.

Typically, we enter into a relationship with the greatest intentions and often blinding optimism. Wearing our heart on our sleeve, we often run headfirst into a...


Family, Mental Health, Relationships, Support. Treatment

Living Inside Your Head: 6 Techniques to Become Present


For some people, living inside one’s head, lost inside of our thoughts can be an ongoing distraction that wreaks havoc on our life. Most people that spend an extensive amount of time daydreaming and fantasizing often pay little attention to the world outside of their head. Unfortunately, most people that live inside of their head do not even realize how often they engage in “mind journeys” until it is brought to their attention. Typically, when we...