Keep Your Life Vital

Why are Relationship Struggles so Common and so Challenging

Excuse me for being a bit skeptical about relationship therapies. Given that I work with many couples of all shapes, sizes, and ages, that may be surprising, or even confusing….Aren’t there some basic, common sense, and proven truths about what creates relationship struggles and challenges and what can be done to help you to get back on track toward a more satisfying, rewarding, and fulfilling relationship? Thankfully, the answer is yes.

Awash in Neuro-Chemical Data and Still Uncertain What You Want or Need?

Wouldn’t it be wonderful if the “recipe” for loving relationships could be distilled into just a few words? The complexity of individual and interpersonal needs that intersect in our relationships prevents any simplistic, one-size-fits-all solution. But, there are several timeless skills that appear over and over as essential to cultivating strong, loving, and lasting relationships. In this post, I connect the brain’s functioning to relationship health. I hope you enjoy it!

A Single Step to Whole Health

Are you interested in one step you can take that requires only time and consistency to obtain a cascade of benefits affecting your mental well-being, your heart, immune function, brain health, and the rate of cell aging? Read on…

Relationally Yours...

I just submitted an essay I was asked to write for a professional journal that explores the relevance of the therapeutic relationship to the practice of psychotherapy. The article's research reinforces what you would suspect: more than any other single variable, the quality of the therapeutic relationship is what most determines treatment outcomes. But, the article reveals even more about relationships and health. Read on to learn more.

Endings and Beginnings

For millennia, the world’s great wisdom traditions have taught about two seemingly contradictory truths: life is fleeting, so don’t waste time. Make every moment count. They have also taught that life is precious and to be enjoyed, so don’t get too bogged down in the details. Things are rarely as important as they might appear in the long run. If you find yourself stuck at one end of this continuum or the other, read on.

Why Resilience Requires Failing

Do you want to be described as resilient? Most people do. Resilient people are “winners,” it seems. They are people who can take what life dishes out and respond in ways that make them, wiser, stronger, more compassionate and loving, and able to live life to the fullest no matter what. There is certainly value to wisdom, strength, compassion, love, and tenacity. But, I find that resilience, from a neurobiological view, involves something different. Read on to learn about "neuro-resilience," and how pain and failure are necessary life experiences for developing it.

Thank you, Charles Darwin

Diversity, it seems, is hardwired into Mother Nature’s plans. But, what role does diversity play in supporting intimate relationship health? This blog explores the role diversity plays in our bodies, our social communities, and ultimately in our intimate lives. Read on to learn more. 

Dreams: Our Nightly Visitations

Dreams are nightly visitations that enchant our minds with their unpredictable plot twists. Dreams disregard the laws of physics making time travel natural shape shifting second nature. Myriad mythic creatures teleport from distant galaxies and mingle with the people that populate our lives. Dreams have fascinated us for thousands of years. We have come far in our understandings of why we dream but agreement about what dreams mean, if anything at all, continues to be mired in energetic scientific and mystical debate. Can we use our dreams to better our lives? Read on...

Exiting Love's Perpetual Tug-of-War

Exiting Love's Perpetual Tug-of-War

In seeking love, we engage in a never-ending tug-of-war with ourselves that dramatically colors our connection to our partner. On one hand, we take actions that we hope will make permanent (as in, "lived happily ever after") our connection to the “other” (spouse, partner, lover, or friend). We act from the barely conscious belief that “if only” we make the right choices we will achieve our romantic/intimate ideal. On the other hand, we are haunted by the dim awareness that no matter what we do, our efforts will ultimately end in separation from that ideal partner. They'll disappoint us, leave us, or we'll end up leaving them. (In this blog, I’ll use partner to refer to our intimate other, regardless of the form of the connection.) Read on to learn to build better connections.