Beware the Holiday Landmines

Daily news reports of body counts and terror create in us a longing for the holidays to bring us cheer. We ache for moments of happiness, meaningful family time, celebration, fun. We yearn for the reality of “peace on earth and good will among men.” We are drawn to stories of love and generosity that… Read more »

For Better For Worse

This week my husband, Mike and I will celebrate (gasp!) 49 years of marriage. We met when I was a freshman and he a junior in college. By Christmas break, we were engaged. We married 18 months later after Mike graduated. I took a year off, or so I thought, to accommodate his post-graduate plans…. Read more »

Reflections On Mother’s Day

Another Mother’s Day has come and gone. It is a day often fraught with emotion – hope and disappointment, joy and sadness, pride, anger, guilt, gratitude are among the feelings that this annual ritual evokes. Why is this day so loaded with feelings? Sheer numbers are part of the reason. According to the census bureau,… Read more »

A False Spring?

Record lows in January, followed by record highs in February. Out for my morning walk, the air feels soft and spring-like. A chorus of birds attests to it, chattering, chirping, singing. It doesn’t look like spring. The grass is brown, trees are bare. But wait, the smallest limbs have lacy outlines, telltale signs of swollen… Read more »

Marriage Book Recommendations

Clients often ask me if I can recommend a good book on marriage and there are many. The following are a few of my favorites. I am especially partial to Sue Johnson’s books. Click the links to read the Amazon summary and find other books by the same authors: The Seven Principles for Making Marriage… Read more »

Trauma in Real Life

When you find yourself ambushed by anxiety or laid low by depression that seems to have no cause or cure, an unprocessed trauma is often to blame. The obvious traumas of wars, fires, floods, school shootings, and terror attacks are all realities of 21st-century life. Yet without experiencing any of these, you may still be… Read more »

Christmas Memories

We hear a lot about making memories these days. Making memories has become a hook for selling everything from lavish birthday parties to cruises. In fact, memories are important. Good and bad, memories tell the story of our lives, in some measure giving us a sense of who we are. Treasured holiday memories grow not… Read more »

The Neuroscience of Couples Therapy

It may surprise you to learn that neuroscience has a lot to say about the issues that bring couples to therapy. For instance, it can tell you why your spouse reacts the way he or she does. It is as simple as the fight, flight, freeze response in the brain. Which, of course, is not… Read more »

Couples Therapy, How to Get the Most from It

COUPLES THERAPY. The very words can strike fear in the heart of a struggling couple. Too often it is a last resort. Nothing has worked to make your relationship better, so you start couples counseling with little hope and the thought that if things don’t work out at least you’ll be able to say you… Read more »

Marriage Counseling, What Happens When You Go

When I meet couples for marriage counseling at my office in Salisbury, North Carolina, they are usually uncertain and apprehensive. At least one of them probably doesn’t want to be there. One partner may think everything is fine while the other is all but ready to file for divorce. “Tom and Tina, so good to… Read more »