The purpose of this blog is to fill in some pieces of a larger puzzle. Many books and blogs exist to spread the wisdom of what makes happy and healthy relationships. Books on conflict resolution, emotional attachment, and communication flood the bookstores. Blogs inform web surfers how to avoid destructive relationship myths and establish healthy habits. So what can I add to this vast sea of knowledge that hasn't already been said?
Simply, I can add my perspective. Each unique perspective contributes to the complex puzzle of human relationships. I have worked with hundreds of couples during my tenure as a counselor, and see myself as a coach or a teacher. Having also taught countless university psychology classes, it amazes me how much can be learned through the teaching process. It is true that the teacher learns more than the student. Every day I have an opportunity to learn from my clients as I teach them about how to have healthier relationships. Through this blog I pass along some of this wisdom my clients have instilled in me over the past fifteen years.
Many times in my therapy office I am asked, "Why didn't someone teach us this stuff when we were younger?" I tell them that we learn best out of necessity. When the student is ready, the teacher will appear. I could easily teach a high school or college class about healthy relationship habits, but until a person has experienced difficulties and failures in their own relationships, they are not likely to understand the importance of these lessons.
My perspective stems from social-cognitive and needs-based approaches to relationships. I believe that above all else, we are social beings, and can best meet our needs in the presence of other people. Therefore, the well-researched principles of social psychology are considered here. In addition, our thinking habits play a significant role in determining how we relate to others as well as ourselves. Thousands of years ago, philosophers recognized that the nature of our thoughts dictate how we live and behave. Psychology in the 20th century focused a lot of attention on the self-fulfilling prophecy, which reflects these ancient teachings: what we expect will drive the outcome of a situation. You might be more familiar with the most recent incarnation of this same idea: the Law of Attraction, popularly referred to as "The Secret."
My writings reflect the ways I work with my clients to help them to be more effective in establishing and maintaining their relationships, and in meeting their relationship needs. It is my hope that this approach may help some of you as well. I welcome your comments and discussion on these points as we work together to put the puzzle together in a way that makes most sense.
Stay tuned for my writings on various topics about relationships and happiness, and feel free to write to me and comment or start a conversation about any of these topics. I would love to hear your perspective as well.
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