Jun 27 / Simcha

Marital Advice from a Lawyer (J.J.Sexton)

New York City divorce lawyer James J. Sexton has faciliated the demise of over 1,000 marriages. “There is almost no story, no matter how sordid, that can surprise me,” he notes.

Without purporting to have any formal education in what makes a relationship thrive, he recently published a book  (If You’re in My Office, It’s Already Too Late: A Divorce Lawyer’s Guide to Staying Together) in which he shares what he has observed makes relationships fall apart irretrievably.

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Jun 05 / Simcha

“But I Apologized!!?” (E. Bader)

Master therapist (and co-founder of the Couples Institute) Ellyn Bader notes that several myths can render an apology meaningless and even useless. After debunking these myths, she offers a path for repair that is more effective than a glib or quick apology.

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Apr 08 / Simcha

When a Loved One Commits Suicide (Resources)

Tragically, several of my clients have had to confront the suicide of a loved one, or find themselves in the position of wanting to support someone who has experienced such a loss. The following list of resources focuses on supporting adolescents and young adults, but is relevant for a wider population as well.

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Mar 17 / Simcha

Teach People How to Treat You

To a large degree (although not across the board or in every circumstance), we have much greater power to control how people treat us than we are aware. Often from fear of appearing selfish, unkind, or losing connection, we allow ourselves to be disrespected, and in so doing, start to lose pieces of ourselves.

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Dec 16 / Simcha

How to Ask for What You Want

Working with couples, it strikes me over and over how instinctively partners move to the aggressive or passive/ avoidant end of the communication spectrum.

The former approach entails a readiness to attack, confront, criticize, or cast aspersion, and quickly escalates a conflictual exchange that could be so much more easily resolved. The latter promotes a sense of powerlessness in the relationship, self-pity and self-victimization, sulking, withdrawal, internalized and growing resentment, and does little to move a situation or dynamic in new directions.

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Dec 07 / Simcha

It All Matters (L. McBride)

In her heart-wrenching novel narrated in four distinct voicesLaura McBride looks at the humanness behind, and the significance of, our every action.  And she suggests that it all really does matter.   

The book’s title — We Are Called to Rise is drawn from the quote by poet Emily Dickenson:  “We never know how high we are, Till we are called to rise; And then, if we are true to plan, Our statures touch the skies.”  The following two eloquent quotes capture the book’s essence.

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Oct 31 / Simcha

Autism and Family Relationships (K. Doheny)

There is ripple effect in a family with an autistic child, an astronomical one in terms of family dynamics. Dr. Cecelia McCarton, founder of The McCarton School and Center for Developmental Pediatrics in New York notes that family members — parents, siblings, grandparents, and extended family members, are all affected by a child’s autism.

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Oct 14 / Simcha

Compassion for Intimacy (B. Atkinson)

Brain science supports anecdotal evidence that compassion is infinitely more effective in de-escalating conflict and nurturing intimacy than are cool logic and rational argument. The following tactics are generally less than successful in trying to get the understanding and caring we need from our partner:

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