Key Ingredients for Emotional Connectedness in a Relationship

Dr. Sue Johnson, an expert on couple’s emotional connectedness, created the acronym A.R.E. to describe three ingredients that are needed to create healthy, emotionally satisfying relationships. Relationships that embodied accessibility, responsiveness, and engagement tend to have the highest relationship satisfaction and are characterized by high levels of trust and commitment.   What exactly is A.R.E.? “A” [...]

Remembering why we love each other

By Shelton Piland, Supervisee in Clinical Social Work in Northern, VA Frequently I have clients come in stating that “nothing is particularly wrong” in their relationship or in their marriage, but lately the spark is not there any longer, arguments occur more often and easily and the arguments seem trivial. Both individuals just seem more [...]

What’s Your “Upside Down” Magic?

This weekend my family watched the movie, “Upside Down Magic,” for movie night. In the movie, a group of young children are deemed misfits because of their “wonky, ” “unorthodox,” and “upside down” magic. When the school gets attacked by “Shadow Magic,” the children must confront the parts of them they once avoided to rediscover [...]

Understanding the Teenage Brain

Photo by Melissa Askew on Unsplash By Dr. Debra Rezendes, HMT Resident in Marriage and Family Therapy in Northern Virginia  Raising a teenager can be hard. There is so much social, emotional, and neurobiological change happening in such a short amount of time. Many of us can remember, rather vividly, what it felt like during this awkward and [...]

The Magic Ratio to a Happy, Healthy Relationship

By Dr. Debra Rezendes, HMT Resident in Marriage and Family Therapy Photo by Kristina Litvjak on Unsplash John Gottman, a well-known and well-respected couples researcher, has documented multiple differences between healthy and unhealthy relationships.  Of these differences, healthy relationships, he suggests, have five times more positive interactions than negative interactions. Luckily, this means that we don’t have to [...]

Getting to the Heart of Communication

By Dr. Debra Rezendes, HMT Resident in Marriage and Family Therapy Photo by Jamez Picard on Unsplash Many couples seek out couples therapy because they are finding communication difficult. In the world of couples interventions, communication skills training and “I” statements are popular. While these skills may provide short-term gains, I often see them failing to provide the [...]