Is COVID-19 Killing the Romance in your Marriage?  Get Silly and Laugh !

Is COVID-19 Killing the Romance in your Marriage? Get Silly and Laugh !

With more and more people working at home and sheltering, due to the Covid-19 pandemic, many couples are spending additional time in physical proximity to one another. This increased togetherness has resulted in many partners taking advantage of the increased opportunity and having more sex.
Unfortunately, for other couples, the forced togetherness has exposed previously avoided problems of intimacy and romance and created some uncomfortable awkwardness.
As a clinician who helps couples have better sex lives, I see the coronavirus crisis as an excellent opportunity to address and fix an embarrassing and discouraging problem.
The good news is that the solution is really fun but doesn’t involve sex at all. The key for many couples to re-ignite the flames of passion is unlocking pent up inhibitions and learning how to get silly . Yes, that is not a typographical error. Increasing silliness in couple is good and allows passion to follow. Let me explain:

Frequently Asked Questions about Tele-Therapy .

Frequently Asked Questions about Tele-Therapy .

It’s been almost two months since all counseling here in New York State has been conducted via tele-therapy , i.e. over either a telephone or a video platform.

At first, speaking with your counselor in this way may seem artificial or odd, but my experience and the experience of many others has been that, with a little practice, it becomes quite natural and normal.

While remote counseling is not new,, ( I first provided Skype style sessions for military families with deployed members almost twenty years ago), many folks don’t know much about it.

So , if you have been considering getting some counseling but have been reluctant due to this different format, here are some frequently asked questions and answers about tele-therapy to help you understand it and feel more comfortable with it.

Understanding and Overcoming the Self-Blame and Shame of Sexual Abuse

Understanding and Overcoming the Self-Blame and Shame of Sexual Abuse

Okay , my apologies for not posting earlier about this. With all the attention given to and disruptions caused by COVID-19, I almost neglected to acknowledge that April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month.

That said , I want to address a serious two headed problem faced by many who have been sexually assaulted: Shame and Self-Blame. Too often, even after many years have passed, many folks who have experienced sexual assault as children say that, even though they “know better”, they still can’t shake the feeling deep down inside that what happened was their fault.

It is important to understand that self-recrimination is a common psychological phenomenon experienced by many who have been abused. The good news is that, once understood, individuals can break its depressing hold and free themselves from this false sense of guilt and responsibility . Let me show you how.

Lessons from Job for Families Dealing with Anger Issues  while Sheltering-in-Place.

Lessons from Job for Families Dealing with Anger Issues while Sheltering-in-Place.

As the Covid-19 crisis drags on and the isolation restrictions take their emotional toll, how to deal with increased irritability and anger is one of the of the most commonly asked questions by many cooped-up couples and families.

For me, both as a pastoral counselor and a psychotherapist, The Bible is filled with stories which can help us in times such as these. The Old Testament book of Job offers some especially valuable guidance.
What is remarkable about Job’s anger is how it is expressed and where it is directed . Unlike most of us when we get mad, Job did not externalize or displace his frustrations onto others or God. He did not become verbally abusive or name-call nor did he blame or make excuses. What he did in perfect I-statement form, was to talk about his experience and his pain and what he wanted.
Applying this illustrative story to our situation, here are the key points to remember about Job’s model for dealing with anger and frustrations while living in cramped quarters and restricted circumstances:

Tips for Coping with Shelter-In-Place Living

Tips for Coping with Shelter-In-Place Living

Recently, I was interviewed by Spectrum News to help families regarding the challenges presented by shelter-in-place living. Here is a summary of that interview:

The threat of the coronavirus has resulted in many new restrictions on our every day living. One particularly difficult change has been the order to shelter-in-place (SIP). Since schools and businesses are closed and other organizations have ordered their employees to work from home, many folks are struggling to adjust to a new daily routine in their over-crowded living spaces. Change of any kind is difficult for most folks but the sudden and radical changes created by SIP are especially precarious for household harmony.

Here are some tips to help you cope with this unexpected and disruptive situation:
(By the way, everything I recommend are common sense things that you already know. I’m just here to remind and encourage you.)