Recognizing Safe People


One of our greatest needs is to be fully seen, fully known and fully loved. It’s really tough to do that if you’re not certain that you have anyone safe to share vulnerable moments and your ugliest struggles with. This is all so much more important and difficult if you … Read More

Good Pictures Bad Pictures


Some researchers are citing the age of 8 – eight years old!! – as the average age of exposure to pornography. And – that’s an average. Meaning that kids also encounter pornography at ages even younger than 8. Prior to the Internet era children typically didn’t discover porn until age … Read More

Abusive Relationships: Recognizing Control Tactics in Conflict

couple in an abusive relationship

Navigating conflicts is really a part of all relationships, including healthy ones. But a hallmark of an abusive relationship is when conflict is less about disunity and difference of opinion and it’s more about one person controlling the other. When an abuser engages in an argument, the goal has nothing … Read More

Why is He Abusive?


Most of us have probably been exposed to romantic relationships that we recognized as abusive. Sometimes, our preconceived ideas of what “domestic violence” or “victims” and “abusers” look like make it difficult to recognize and name abuse as such. But we are probably closer to victims (or perpetrators) of partner … Read More

Listening Well: An Experiment in Empathy


“An empathic response is restrained, largely silent; following, not leading, it encourages the speaker to go deeper into his or her experience.” Empathy does not mean, as we often think, “worrying about, praising, cheering up, gushing, consoling, or even encouraging. It means understanding.” (Nichols, 2009, p. 84) There are so … Read More

Listening Well: Responding to Criticism


When was the last time you found yourself in an argument with someone? Who do you argue with most frequently? And what are those arguments about? Want a more productive option?? Michael Nichols, the author of “The Lost Art of Listening” shares a story about his temperamental cat that many … Read More

The Power of [Just] Listening Well


Recently I’ve seen countless examples of people who are hurting, struggling, confused or angry – and they feel completely alone. It seems like the cause for some of the isolation can be traced back to friends, family, or trusted confidants who have no idea how to just be present… how to just listen.

We’re busy. Our thoughts are going a million miles per hour. We’re used to having so much information flying at us, that to stop, press pause, focus, and just listen requires so much discipline.

The Holidays: Managing Your Expectations


The holidays tend to come with a lot of extra hype, performance pressure, and expectations. One tool that can help family members enjoy vacations, holidays, and special events is setting realistic expectations ahead of time. Here are a few questions that can help guide that conversation.