Couples Therapy

Why Secure-Functioning Matters in Partnerships

Why Secure-Functioning Matters in Partnerships

What does it mean to be in a secure-functioning relationship? And why should it matter to me? Secure-functioning relationships allow us to be the best we are individually. It does not mean that you will lose your identity or freedom.  In fact, you will have more, since trust is a guarantee you two make. Your relationship will become a place of support and love.  As well as a place to call home + restore life-energy. Are you in a secure functioning relationship? IF not, good news is you two CAN BE!

What Your Upbringing Says About Who You Are in Bed

Esther Perel asks.

As a Relationship Therapist - I ask.

📌Why is it that many women don’t seem to know what they want?

📌Where does the sense of being disconnected from your own body stem from?

📌How can it be so hard to talk about sex with our partners? 

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As Perel explains, much of our adult sexuality, our current desires, the way we relate to others, how we perceive our self-worth—is the product of the way we were raised and the environment in which our sexuality developed.

Q&A with Esther Perel:

Q
You’ve said that if you know how someone was raised, you can tell how they will be as a lover. Can you explain?

A
Consider a paradigm we’ve always known in modern psychology: Tell me how you are loved, and I’ll have a good idea of what may be some of your issues, your concerns, your worries, your aspirations, and how you love.

But this paradigm never got translated into: Tell me how you were loved and I will tell you how you MAKE love. How your emotional history is inscribed in the physicality of sex. How your body speaks a certain emotional biography.

For example, the question I often ask people is: How did you learn to love, and with whom? Were you allowed to want? Were you allowed to have needs growing up—or were you told, “What do you need that for?” Were you allowed to thrive? Were you allowed to experience pleasure—or was pleasure just a break between work sessions, a reward after a lot of effort? Were you allowed to cry—and were you allowed to cry out loud, or did you have to hide it? Were you allowed to laugh—out loud? Did you feel protected as a child by those who needed to protect you—or did you flee for protection? Did the people who were supposed to take care of you do so—or did you have to take care of your caregivers, becoming the parentified child

Interested in Reading More... 



Baltimore Area Adult Women:

Does post this resonate with you? Are you interested in exploring your own adult sexuality and how it shows up for you in your relationship?

If so, reach out - you don’t need to navigate these feelings & ideas - ALONE. 


 Susan works with Type A’s ---> Creatives as they balance schedules, stress, and the modern challenges within coupleship. 

Susan works with Type A’s ---> Creatives as they balance schedules, stress, and the modern challenges within coupleship. 


Your Coupleship: Year in Review 2017

Your Coupleship: Year in Review 2017

Coupleship: Year in Review 2017

Why would you and your partner want to do a “Year In Review”? This series of check in questions is designed to help you two invite structure, flow, play and connection into 2018.

After the wrapping paper is cleared away, but before you pull out the new year's noisemakers, I hope that you can make time for each other. Just being together and enjoying each other is great, but I have an invitation for you that will help make you stronger in the year to come...

In this space between the holidays as one year ends and another begins, I'd love to know that you’re strengthening your "coupleship bubble." Maybe you want to think of it as creating your own private snow globe where you sit together in the swirl of your past and present and plan out your future.

Why I Cheated: Because I Needed to Hide

Why I Cheated: Because I Needed to Hide

What goes through someone’s mind after they cheat? A million different things.

The following letter is a fictitious note written by a regretful partner trying to save a relationship after infidelity. The letter may be made up but the feelings and worries it describes and my response (that’s part two of this post!) are very real.

-- Susan Stork, LCPC, NCC

Photo by Konstantin Planinski on Unsplash

Season of Feelings

 Susan Stork, LCPC, NCC is a Relationship Therapist and founder Space Between Counseling Services in Baltimore City, Maryland.   Susan works with Type A’s ---> Creatives as they balance schedules, stress, and the modern challenges of coupleship.  Specializing in counseling for individuals and couples using Stan Tatkin’s PACT approach, Susan helps you move through the muck of life and into a life of purpose and connection.

Susan Stork, LCPC, NCC is a Relationship Therapist and founder Space Between Counseling Services in Baltimore City, Maryland. 

Susan works with Type A’s ---> Creatives as they balance schedules, stress, and the modern challenges of coupleship.

Specializing in counseling for individuals and couples using Stan Tatkin’s PACT approach, Susan helps you move through the muck of life and into a life of purpose and connection.

  It’s that time of year again. Holidays are in clear sight in all areas of life.   

It’s that time of year again. Holidays are in clear sight in all areas of life.
 

I get that this time of year is hard on many people.
Due to traumatic events, difficult family and/or events linked to this season - many people feel less than { Deep Gratitude, Joyful & Happy } in the days between November --> January.

#Holidays are a rough time of year for many people due to one reason or another.

So, what can we do it about it? Jaime Stacks @jamielstacks has a one formula to stop this “crazy train” that speeds through the holidays for some of us.

It starts with setting your intentions.

Using intentions {PLUS} the therapeutic idea of "Re-Storying" we can alter our current experiences in this “NOW” space of the season compared to the “THEN” space of previous sadness, harm and voids of previous seasons.

 

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{F I V E}  Mindfulness tips to jump-start your Holiday Self-Care}
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[ONE] Set intentions every morning
[TWO] Take 15-30 minutes everyday for yourself
[THREE] Take 15-30 minutes everyday for loved ones -- family + friends and mentors
[FOUR] Simplify, Simplify, Simplify
[FIVE] Gratitude Journal




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Photo by Estée Janssens on @Unsplash
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( Together )

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“We can do hard things.”
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This is a saying that I’ve been saying + hearing lately - in my head, in my sessions, as a business owner, and as a partner + parent.
Understanding that we only have so much control of certain situations but we always have control of our commitments, our responses, our pause and our compassion for ourselves + others.

Being aware of feelings & expressing them PROACTIVELY - helps when things get "hard". Acknowledging that life can be scary, raw, over-whelming & unpredictable --- helps us to realize that it is normal, and that WE don't always have control when "hard things" enter our days. However, these feeling are a {S I G N} that something is amiss.

If you OFTEN use fight (judgement + aggression) , freeze (indecision + prolonged delay) or flee (avoidance) when {hard things} come your way - you might need some more support? 


🖊Writing feelings out (journaling) and/or talking to others might help to identify difficult feelings.

📌Both help me personally to move forward with what I needed to do and not let anxious thoughts take over when "hard things" hit the fan.

🔸In addition, reaching out for help shares the load. I often reach out to my husband + colleagues + friends and ask for insight when "hard things" come my way.



What do you do to confront "hard things"❓

Who are your supports? ❓

Where do you go to reflect + recharge + reset❓

If you find that you often confront "hard things" with fight (aggression + judgement) freeze (prolonged delay + indecision) or flee (avoidance) - it might help to seek more support(s) to help process your feelings and responses to "hard things."

{HARD T H I N G S} do not have to be a way of life - you can share the load, redirect, and pivot when necessary.
 

Dating, Relationships & Carnival Rides:

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A roller-coaster relationship feels similar to a roller-coaster ride. At first, the relationship moves at a nice steady pace forward. The person you’re dating is making time and effort to see you and it feels great, putting a smile on your face that’s bigger than Julia Robert's.

Relationships are bound to have moments of ups and downs; that’s normal. However, the downs should never exceed the ups. Those should also be far and few between.

If your relationship starts to have more unexpected jerking and swerving from left to right, back and forth leaving you nauseously dizzy, confused…that is obviously not a fun ride (or a healthy relationship).

If you start to feel more stress then excitement, sadness then happiness and more down’s than ups, it’s time to get your booty off this emotional roller-coaster relationship ride!

What does a "Foxhole" have to do with Couples Work?

Partners can be helped immensely by having an "owners manual" for each other and their relationship.

Does your relationship have one in place? 


Part of that "owners manual" or being an "expert on your partner" can be created by using the principles in the Couple Bubble by Dr. Stan Tatkin. 


It's like being in a "fox hole" together and having each others back consistently both privately and publicly.

Does your partner have YOUR back and YOU, theirs?

Are you struggling within your couple bubble❓

OR

Maybe you two need help forming YOUR couple bubble❓

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{{ Yawning }} every creature that has a spine YAWNS

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Yawning is a built-in repair circuit which triggers the Parasympathetic Nervous System, which calms everything down in your body.

We most associate yawning with boredom or being sleepy, but new research suggests it can be good for your health - by cooling down your brain.

Yawning is particularly useful when your body is stressed, injured, or ill. If you’ve got a headache, try yawn “surfing”– where you literally try to yawn over and over–in most situations, your headache will ease up.

Scientists at Princeton University found a big yawn can regulate the temperature of the brain and prevent over-heating. Stress activates the sympathetic nervous system, which increase blood pressure. Yawning activates the parasympathetic nervous system, which attenuates the sympathetic nervous system, reduces stress, and lowers the risk for high blood pressure.

Because #yawning disturbs your current sympathetic tone and forces the parasympathetic nervous system to act in order to restore your body to a resting state because yawning discharges STREE from the body.

Feeling stressed or drained? Make an effort to yawn as a self-care strategy to help your blood pressure!


Be well and #bmore #aware#Baltimore!

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📷: Borna Bevanda via: @unsplash @bbevanda