Monthly archives: July, 2014

The Battle Between the Sexes: Do Men and Women Speak a Different a Language?

The Battle Between the Sexes: Do Men and Women Speak a Different a Language?

Does Effective Communication Between the Sexes Require a Translator?

How to Avoid a Communication Breakdown and Keep the Lines Open

Men and women may not speak a different language, but they do communicate differently.  Unfortunately, lack of communication is one of the top reasons behind the battle between the sexes.

In order for men and women to communicate effectively, they need to understand how the other half communicates by learning a different language – they don’t need to speak it, they just need to understand it, especially if they want to avoid a communication breakdown.

The world we live in today is different in many ways from years gone by.  However, the one thing that hasn’t changed is our basic makeup as men and women – who we are at our core, what we feel and how we express it.  In this way, you can say that men and women do speak a different language.

In my Los Angeles couples and relationship therapy practice, I’ve worked with many couples who feel misunderstood by their partners and that translates into feelings of being unloved. Miscommunication is a huge catalyst behind the battle between the sexes, and it’s my mission to give couples the tools they need to understand one another so they can communicate better.

The Different Languages of Men and Women

Similar to the way men communicate, women express themselves as a way of verbalizing a situation or problem in the hopes of finding a solution.

Men verbally share a problem, because they are looking for a solution.  For them, that is the sole reason for sharing it with you.  I have a problem; I need a solution.  They are sharing because they would like it if you would offer an idea or a different perspective.

Women verbally share a problem because they want to not only be heard, but understood by their partner.  They share as a process of sorting out their feelings, and they’re hoping to have your full attention and empathy.

What women really want – is to have someone who is listening while they verbally sort out the situation for themselves.  And the way women can make men understand this is to just preface their talks with a little statement that tells them, “I want to tell you something, and I just need you to listen.”  Why should they do this?  Because without saying that to a man, he’ll just naturally assume that she’s sharing in the hopes that he’ll offer a solution, because that is what men want when they share problems.  For women, that’s not necessarily true, at least that’s not the main goal.  To a woman, if you’re interrupting then you must not be listening.

The Secret Language of Good Listeners

When a man is a really good listener, he’ll identify with how she is feeling about a situation, and when he understands her feelings, he gives her a feeling of comfort.  She feels she has a safe place to sort those feelings out.  She feels understood, supported and loved.

When a woman is a really good listener, she’ll lend and ear and support.  He knows she’s being a real partner and he shares freely.  The only thing he’ll appreciate even more is if she offers a suggestion or solution – feel free to chime in.  He’ll feel understood and supported and loved.

They may still speak a different language, but they know they’re being understood.  And that is a true victory in the battle between the sexes.



5 Secrets of Happy Couples

5 Secrets of Happy Couples

Love, Happiness and Togetherness – The Attainable Goals

When we see happy couples together, we may ask ourselves, “What is their secret?”  Couples that are happy together may not have any monumental secrets to their success, but they do have habits and practices that ensure a lasting and happy relationship.  Here are the first 5 not so secret habits of happy couples:

  1. Positive Interaction- This is a key component to any lasting union.  Happy couples Have everyday interactions that are positive, meaning that they do small positive gestures that over time often have a tremendous influence in creating a happy relationship and can make a major difference.

It takes just as much effort to form a bad habit as it does to form a good habit.  In my Los Angeles couples therapy practice, I offer private couples therapy where I work with couples and teach them how to form good relationship habits as well as how to toss the bad ones out.

      2.  Emotional Bank Account-   Is the level of good will built up between the couple. Think of it as a bank account with deposits and withdrawals. We all do things that are thoughtless or insensitive to people we love. When there is a reservoir of goodwill or “emotional savings” in the account the relationship is more able to recover from the momentary irritability or temporary emotional distance.

3. Communication- Happy couples have the understanding that just communicating is not enough. One of the biggest keys to a successful relationships is understanding that it is not what you say so much that matters but how you say it.  Many times your partner may not be able to hear the very valid point that your are trying to make because of the way you are delivering the message.

4. Repair- Conflicts are a natural part of every relationship, however, successful couples know that it is important to practice forgiveness and don’t waste time trying to lay blame. One of the most important components of repair is knowing when to put on the brakes and take responsibility for part of the problem.

In couples therapy sharing funny memories can often serve as a reminder of all the couple has been through together, strengthening their resolve to regain that spark.  

      5.  Turn Towards- When your partner makes a bid for your attention you have three choices: you can turn towards, turn away or turn against.  Happy couples most often turn towards one another meaning they have a positive response such helping with house hold chores, doing something the partner would appreciate, or suggesting a movie he/she would like.

There are tons things that can be classified as habits of happy couples.  The overall message is to be mindful of your relationship and to not take it for granted.   Like a beautiful garden that comes back each year, a relationship needs to be cultivated and cared for.  The overarching theme here is, that you are aware of your partner’s underlying feelings and dreams.

There are many more “secrets” to come, so follow our blog to and look for part 2 of “Secrets of Happy Couples” coming soon.

Are you communicating like a happy couple?  If you think you and your partner could benefit from couples therapy and you live in the Los Angeles area, please contact me to arrange for an appointment. I offer private therapy sessions and a group couples therapy workshop. It’s never too late for love.

 

 

 

Based on Research at the Gottman institute.



5 Simple Secrets To Keep Love and Romance Alive

What Makes a Perfect Romantic Relationship?

Keeping it Simple

After years of experience with couples in both my private couples therapy sessions and the group couples therapy workshops in my Los Angeles Psychotherapy office, I’ve learned there are simple things to everyone can try to keep the romance at home, alive. Like a vase full of freshly picked flowers or the Sun setting over the ocean, it’s the simple things that often mean the most to us and bring us the most joy. When it comes to having the perfect romantic relationship, not surprisingly, the same rule applies – there is beauty in simplicity.

If we continue to recognize, appreciate and relive the moments that first brought us together, we can keep love and romance alive.  We can have the perfect romantic relationship and it really isn’t as hard as we might think.

Certainly, there are many things we can do to keep love alive and help romance thrive, but I want to share with you what I think are the top 5 things that make for a better romantic relationship.

  1. Saying “I love you” every day.  Three simple, yet important words.  You may think that actions speak louder than words, and in most cases that’s true, but saying “I love you” will not only give your partner the “warm and fuzzies,” it will make you feel good just saying it – and hearing it in return.
  2. Communication.  This is key to every romantic relationship.  It’s important to be able to communicate your thoughts, ideas and feelings openly with your partner – no secrets, no bottled up emotions or unspoken thoughts.  You should both feel free to express yourselves without fear of judgment or even rejection.  You may not always agree with one another, but at least you can talk about it.
  3. Touching.  Touching each other is another form of communication.  Hugging, holding hands and every other form of touch that occurs between romantic couples is encompassed under the category of “touching.”  It’s a way of connecting with your partner in the unspoken sense.  It says, “I’m right here with you.”
  4. Acceptance.  No one’s perfect and as human we all come with habits, foibles and quirks that can be … well, annoying sometimes to others.  Accept their idiosyncrasies as a part of the sum; they’re part of the person you love – part of the package.  Our quirks are what make us unique and your partner’s uniqueness is part of what makes them special.  Let your partner feel safe to be themselves with you – quirks and all, so you can expect the same.
  5. Date Night.  We lead busy lives and it’s easy to let the simple things fall by the wayside.  Kids, work and every other thing in life can keep us busy, occupied and otherwise obligated.  Every couple should set aside a special night that’s just for the two of you.  Get out and go on a date together.  It’s important and it should be done often.

When it comes to having the perfect romantic relationship, it’s always a work in progress, nevertheless, the best thing to remember is that it’s the simple things that we do or say that often mean the most.



3 Key Pillars of Empathy Parenting That Elevate the Parent-Child Relationship

How Empathy Parenting Cultivates a Happy Family Environment

A New Perspective on Parenting

I’ve been a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (LMFT) for 15 years.  So when I gave birth to my son, I already knew exactly what type of mother I wanted to be and the kind of relationship I wanted to have with my child.

What I did not anticipate was how challenging being a parent could be.  

In my Los Angeles-based psychotherapy practice, I provide parents with the tools to assist them with their family relationships.  Soon after having my own child, I developed a brand new perspective on parenting and a deeper understanding of the benefits of empathy parenting.  

The Birth of My Six-Week Empathy Group Parenting Therapy

It was at that moment that I decided that I needed to share this new perspective with other parents.  I wanted to incorporate empathy parenting into my expertise in child development and offer it in my Los Angeles psychotherapy office.

I designed a Six-Week Group Empathy Parenting Therapy that would offer a style of parenting that would inspire happy, emotionally-in tune and confident children.  

The Basics

Nearly half of the factors that determine a child’s happiness can be attributed to the environment in which they are raised.  It was with this thought in mind that I set the curriculum for my Group Empathy Parenting Therapy with the focus on 3 key pillars that cultivate that environment:

  • the child’s development;

  • the relationship of the parents with each other; and

  • each parent’s role in the family.

It bears mentioning that the first step in the Group Parenting Therapy process is to strive towards a genuine effort in being a great parent while also having empathy for yourself as a parent and for the mistakes that you may make along the way.

The 3 key pillars of empathy parenting enable us, as parents, to support our children in their most challenging moments in a way that allows for growth while also setting boundaries that are respectful of the child’s emotional needs.  

The Shift in Consciousness

Initially, I started my Group Parenting Therapy with eight parents.  There were three sets of couples and two single parents.

As much as I believed in all the research behind my Group Empathy Parenting Therapy, I have to admit that I was a little nervous.  Frankly, I wasn’t sure how parents would respond to the idea of letting go of their striker charts and time-outs.  

As I started to introduce the concepts and tools of empathy parenting, I could see in parents’ faces the desire to believe that it could be possible to have the type of relationship with their children where they were totally connected, even in times of trouble.  

When the first session ended, I knew that a shift was already starting to take place.  

There were two sets of parents in that group who had very similar challenges; both had seven-year-old boys.  One set of parents had been able to immediately implement some of the shifts in their home, while also giving advice to other family members on how to address their own particular challenges utilizing the concepts of empathy parenting.  

By the end of that first Six-Week Group Empathy Parenting Therapy, all of the parents in that group were able to give tangible examples of improvements in their relationships with their children, and they were able to point to shifts in their children’s behavior as a result of applying the techniques of empathy parenting.

I can tell you first-hand that it is a rewarding and uplifting experience when you and your child are truly and consistently connected.  I’ve experienced this in my own life, and I’d like to share it with you.

So, if you live or work in the Los Angeles area, and you’re interested in finding out more about my Six-Week Group Empathy Parenting Therapy or empathy parenting, please contact me and I’ll be happy to discuss it with you.