Big Dream, 2016

23 Dec

For several years I have wanted to do a follow-up mission trip to Nepal, but this time with my wife, Robin. She didn’t want to take the necessary three weeks away from our son while he was still in high school and it took her another year to adjust to the challenge of being away […]

Summer Love in Denver! Assessing your Relationship.

04 Jul

Summer Love in Denver! Assessing your Relationship. Those of you who have been reading this blog have already read about the first three types of intimacy. Hopefully, you’ve been using these ideas with your partner to deepen these types of intimacy in your relationship. Before we get any further along in this process, I thought […]

Summer Love in Denver! Vocational Intimacy

26 Jun

This type of intimacy certainly doesn’t sound very sexy. But truly this type of intimacy can build a strong foundation for a successful partnership including a passionate sexual relationship. Vocational intimacy is built whenever two people join together in a significant way to accomplish a task. It is powerful because it taps into our natural […]

Summer Love in Denver. Let’s Recreate!

06 Jun

There’s no better way to get a relationship rejuvenated than by recreating together. You can literally re-create your relationship into one that is fun, peaceful, and connecting by learning to play together. John Gottman, America’s foremost marriage researcher, found that at the foundation of all healthy marriages is a solid friendship. Gottman found that one […]

Summer Love in Denver

29 May

Do you want to have a passionate, fun, and satisfying relationship with your partner? But does your relationship feel more stuck in a rut of routine, busyness, responsibilities, and distance? This summer just may be the time to re-ignite the love in your relationship! Over the next six weeks I am going to offer you […]

Sexual Anorexia and the Cuddle Hormone

14 May

Ralph calls me up and schedules an appointment. He is in crisis because his girlfriend, Sarah, discovered his sex chat with another woman and has threatened to end the relationship. Ralph recounts his history of looking at porn, masturbation, a long history of one-night stands in the dating scene, and, more-recently, forays into the intrigue […]

Four Steps, Plus One

18 Apr

Several of my blogs now have been singing the praises of Gabor Maté’s “In the Realm of Hungry Ghosts.” This blog is an unabashed summary of his chapter entitled, “The Four Steps, Plus One.” Maté adapts Jeffrey Schwartz’s “Four-Step Self Treatment Model” which was developed to overcome compulsions (such as hand-washing) that are part of […]

Sex Is Not the Problem

30 Mar

Recovery from sex addiction requires both letting go of the bad and embracing the good. Too often sex addicts feel that they must “give up sex” or else they will be caught up again in their self-destructive acting out cycle. The addict can develop sexual anorexia in which it actually feels safer to avoid all […]

Attunement

18 Mar

Gladys sits expressionless, locked in her Alzeimer’s world of little memory and human disconnection. She has become virtually nonverbal. Naomi, the therapist, draws close to her, speaks gently, sings songs from Gladys’s childhood and as Gladys begins to tap out the beat of the song with her hand, Naomi matches her tempo to Gladys’ rhythm. […]

I Am Not Alone

27 Feb

A man meets with me.  He is filled with shame, guilt, and despair.  He has decades of living a secret life of sexual acting out.  His earlier life of pornography and strip bars graduated to sex chat online, anonymous hook ups, and prostitutes.  He confesses that I am the first person he has ever told […]

My Wife Complains

24 Jan

  My wife complains.  Does it sound like I’m complaining about that?  I’m not.  When my wife complains about stresses in her job or life’s frustrations, it gives me an opportunity to listen.  Oh yes, I used to be one of those fix-it husbands; I had suggestions for how she could do everything better.  Even […]

Battleship Wounds

22 Dec

What if you saw the vast power you have to heal and satisfy your partner?  Would you dare to use that power? Here is a common pattern I see in my couples (of course, genders can be reversed):  she moves closer to him in a warm way, he responds in a guarded manner, she feels […]

The New Truck Crisis

09 Dec

I have decided to buy a new truck.  And this is very difficult for me.  You see, in my 60 years on this planet I’ve never purchased a new vehicle.  I’ve prided myself on my frugality and practicality of owning used cars that are a “better value.”  I think there is some goodness in that […]

The Couple Bubble

25 Nov

How many times have you seen this couple battle: the wife has pulled her husband into therapy because she is sick of an empty marriage.  “He spends hours watching golf or football and I’m lucky to get two sentences out of him.”  He retorts, “Every conversation leads to another litany about what I’ve done wrong.  […]

A Dangerous Place

11 Nov

A repeated saying in 12-Step groups is, “My mind is a dangerous place.  I really shouldn’t go there alone.”  When we try to “go it alone,” when we try to make sense of our lives on our own, we are condemned to see the world through our woundedness and fears.  My joy as a therapist […]

Hang in there, Baby!

31 Oct

“I haven’t loved you in a very long time and I think I need out of this relationship.”  This is what Robin told me after dinner on November 2, 1988.  We had been married five years, had a one-year old son, and I had thought she was happy enough with our marriage.  Boy, was I […]

Primitives and Ambassadors

13 Oct

My son just got stung by a wasp while atop a ladder painting our house.  He flailed at the wasp totally forgetting that he was high off the ground.  This is what happens in marital fights: each person is fighting for personal survival, forgetting that they may be injuring the one person on the planet […]

Together

18 Sep

“Now this is what a team looks like!”  “I’m telling you, this is beautiful concrete!”  “We’ve got the whole gang getting this job done!”  As I watched Matt and his crew pour the concrete for my driveway this morning I saw a leader creating a strong team and motivating his helpers.  In contrast, I heard […]

Go on Your Honeymoon

07 Aug

Take your partner on a honeymoon today.  Leave behind the mess at home and the stresses at your job, and find a place to be in paradise with your partner.  OK, I can hear you saying, “I’ve already used up my vacation time and the funds for a trip to the Caribbean aren’t there either.”  […]