What we learned about marriage

My husband and I attended a wedding yesterday and, as a gift, wrote a note about what we had learned in our 30-year relationship. We learned from each other, from individual and couple's therapy, and from all the germane trainings and books I've digested over the years. Doug's main point is about differentiation: being and

By |2022-02-04T13:23:07-08:00February 4th, 2022|Comments Off on What we learned about marriage

Easy Ego State Intervention Workshops

Dear Readers, Ego state work has been around since before Freud, and in latter years, has been the main stay of many practices. Interventions can range from "How old did you feel when you were yelling at your wife?" to "Let's identify those dissociative states that take over your body." I've been working with this

By |2018-04-16T12:30:12-07:00April 16th, 2018|Comments Off on Easy Ego State Intervention Workshops

Two Takes on Marriage

David Schnarch and the dynamic duo of Ellen Bader and Pete Pearson tell us that the secret to happy marriage is the level of differentiation of each spouse. (Differentiated people show completely who they are and what they want, even when the other partner doesn't like it or agree. They also are able to accept

By |2011-01-02T17:35:23-08:00January 2nd, 2011|Comments Off on Two Takes on Marriage

“Tell Me You Love Me”

HBO's new show, "Tell Me You Love Me" premiered this week. It follows 4 couples, 3 of them 20's-40-year-old clients and their 60-year-old therapist Jane Alexander and her husband through their relational and sexual lives. It is the most sexually graphic, though not the most erotic, show I've ever seen on television. The sex is

By |2007-09-12T12:07:45-07:00September 12th, 2007|Comments Off on “Tell Me You Love Me”

Positive Affect

Happiness, Joy, Giggles, Aha!s,Shared Humor. What place does positive affect have in therapy? In my opinion, a big one. Delving deep and bringin to consciousness avoided trauma responses, anxiety, anger, hatred, and shame are important elements of any therapy. First you find them, then you process them in some way, so that the client is

By |2007-04-05T07:58:31-07:00April 5th, 2007|Comments Off on Positive Affect


As I travel up the California coast with my husband, I am watching our interactions through the new lenses I obtained at the Attachment Conference. My high-strung husband goes into "mobilization" when stressed. (According to Porges, his myelenated vagal nerve switches on, he starts looking for danger, every stimulus is suspect, and bcomes unable to

By |2007-03-16T19:30:23-07:00March 16th, 2007|Comments Off on Mobilization

Day II: UCLA Attachment Conference Day 2

John Gottman on Meta-EmotionsJohn Gottman is the relationship research guru of the world. He’s studied thousands of couples to find out what makes happy and long-lasting relationships and what makes miserable short-lived ones. Today he talked about research he did with Lynn Katz, starting in 1985 on Meta-Emotions: thoughts and feelings about emotions. They identify

By |2007-03-10T22:50:42-08:00March 10th, 2007|6 Comments

More “Healing Trauma”

Our book group has just finished Solomon & Siegel's Healing Trauma: attachment, mind, body, and brain. It is one of the most difficult books I've read, and quite rewarding. The first four chapters by Dan Siegel, Hesse/Main et. al, Allan Schore and Bessel van der Kolk speak to research about the interactive nature of attachment/brain

By |2007-02-25T17:46:31-08:00February 25th, 2007|Comments Off on More “Healing Trauma”

Emotionally Focused Therapy

I just had the first two days of an EFT for Couples training. It's good stuff, develped by Sue Johnson & Leslie Greenberg that dovetails nicely with what I already know, but brings in a new perspective and new useful tools. As Yolanda von Hockauf of the Vancouver Couple & Family Institute ably told us,

By |2007-01-20T21:43:33-08:00January 20th, 2007|Comments Off on Emotionally Focused Therapy

Differentiation in a marriage

I posted this piece on my husband, Doug Plummer's blog last September. Re-reading it, I realized that it was all about differentiation. I'm a great fan of David Schnarch and of Ellyn Bader and Pete Pearson, therapists/trainers/writers who specialize in couple's therapy from a differentiation perspective. They all espouse developmental models for relationships and the

By |2007-01-15T20:24:23-08:00January 15th, 2007|Comments Off on Differentiation in a marriage
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