Saturday, April 21, 2012

How To

Here's a quick how to video about how to more effectively communicate using validation. Enjoy! Thanks for stopping by.  

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Video blog Coping with typical solvable problems

By Chris

This is a video blog I made on coping with typical solvable problems in your relationship. From Gottman, John M., and Nan Silver. (1999) The seven principles for making marriages work (Chapter nine, 186-216). New York: Three Rivers Press (Random House, Inc)

You can find my video here:


Saturday, April 14, 2012

Blog Review- Jen's Love Lessons

 by Teresa

This past week, I spent several hours searching and sorting through blogs and websites on dating and relationships. After a couple of hours on Google, I realized that finding a decent blog on dating and relationships was going to be significantly more difficult than I realized.  However, I am happy to report that perseverance paid off and I finally found one that I liked! The blog is  The author has a PhD. and is an Assistant Professor at James Madison University in the School of Communication Studies.  Unlike many of the other blogs that I searched through, Jen’s posts are researched based and very applicable to people in relationships.

 In her about Jen section she states, “I truly believe that good social scientific research should not only improve the lives of others, but should also be made available to them.”  Her belief in getting good social scientific research out to the public has encouraged her to write this blog and a book.  Her book is advertised on the blog but it doesn’t overtake the blog, like so many others that I reviewed.  Jen’s Love Lessons does have advertisements that can be distracting, but if you scroll down until you pass them you will find: Love Lesson topics, Love Lesson series, and Missed Love Lessons.  Overall this blog is very well organized and user friendly. 

 I have really enjoyed searching through her blog. She has really insightful information, as well as things to make you laugh.  One of her recent posts, just for the love of it: a few interesting relationship articles, has a link to an article titled, “How do you decide who to marry (written by kids).”  The article was so adorably hilarious. One of her researched based posts that I enjoyed was about actually being supportive. Not only did she post about a common life experience and a natural response to the scenario, she supplied research based steps on how to supply person-centered support. She also included what to avoid when you are trying to be supportive. At the end of her post she referenced the articles she cited, and offered additional information about providing support with book and article recommendations. All in all, I think Jen’s Love Lessons are very relevant for anyone who is in a relationship. Her various posts and tips on how to strengthen relationships are very applicable and fun to read- I encourage you all to check it out!

Video Blog on "I" Messages

This is a video that I made about using "I" Messages. These help you to communicate with your partner during a conflict without blame. I hope that it is helpful! :)

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Two of Us

A little blog review.  Through out the past week I have been searching the vast expanse of the Internet for other helpful links about dating, and marriage preparation. I was alarmed by how little information is available for the dating individual seeking marriage preparation. It affirmed to me this need we have to A.) Become educated ourselves. B.) Use that information to help other people. Its shocking to me how little information there is about what to expect in a healthy relationship in the blog sphere. As I was searching of course I ran into some darling wedding blogs preparing anxious brides for their special day, blogs about flirting tips, and date ideas, how to be more datable. Then when I ran into blogs that had a research backbone they were dryer than dirt, lacking the voice of the author. Honestly the search for a good balanced dating blog was dismal. Need I remind you that I was particularly looking for blogs and, not at more general websites. I found a blog that seems to have some potential Written by The National Health Marriage Resource Center. (NHMRC)

“(NHMRC) is the national resource and clearinghouse for information and research relating to healthy marriages. We strive to be a "first stop shop" for marriage and family trends and statistics, marriage education and programming, scholarly research, and the latest news and events. In particular, the NHMRC also provides training and technical assistance presentations and documents for federally funded Healthy Marriage Initiative grantees.”

This blog has tabs that allow you to pick which topic relates to you dating, exclusive, engaged, married, and parents. This feature opens up the target audience of this site to have a rather large range of people who may find it applicable. Even though the site isn’t directly targeted at the dating population the information it has to offer for dating couples is really quite wonderful. Keeping that in mind I mainly looked at the dating tab of the blog.  This section of the site has podcasts, videos, and articles to shift through, and my personal favorite: quizzes. I really enjoy that they have versatile media-viewing options. The site has a good array of topics ranging from: A Guy’s Guide to the Perfect Wedding Proposal, to Why Commitment Matters.

 The site yields good advice. It talks about issues that couples really could benefit from. The content isn’t shallow and flighty, but rather it’s applicable.  Unfortunately it’s missing a solid backbone in research, or at least the authors don’t cite their sources.  The articles don’t mention studies, and references aren’t available.  Taking into consideration who writes for the blog, it’s safe to assume it’s creditable. Even though it lacks research, the articles are easy to read, and have a nice flow. They lack a certain tone of formality; I actually really liked that about the articles. They seemed more applicable because of the friendlier, and more casual tone.

A Job Well Done:
  • Variety of media options
  • Fluid writing
  • Quizzes!
  • Variety of good information

Irritating Factors:
  • Too many ads: The site is more difficult to navigate than I would like because of the plethora of ads monopolizing the screen. Once you scroll past the ads you are able to find some excellent information.
  • Lack of reference to research within the articles
The site is enjoyable, and if you're in need of more dating advice it's an excellent source! Enjoy

Book Review: Getting the love you want: A guide for couples, 20th anniversary edition.

By Chris

Originally published in 1988 Getting the love you want has been updated with a new chapter. 

This book is written by Harville Hendrix, Ph.D., in partnership with his wife, Helen LaKelly Hunt, PhD., they originated Imago Relationship Therapy, a unique healing process for couples, prospective couples, and parents.

This book is broken into three sections.  The first section covers our old brain.  It describes that for the first 10-12 months of life we live in an Edenistic state where all of our wants and needs are met and fulfilled. This is the time where our "old brain" starts to form our basis of relationships with our parents.

The second section covers our higher reasoning new brain.  This is where when we are attracted to a potential partner we find remnants of our relationships with our parents.  We try to recreate the unfinished business that we have with our parents and resolve it with our partners.  We learn how to recognize what we are doing and understand ourselves better.

The third section is the exercises. Here you'll be taken through a series of exercises that you can do at home that have been actually used in the author's practice. They're easy to do and involve writing. They are interesting and practical, blended in a very readable format. Keep in mind however that this is not a quick fix book full of easy answers. 

Here is an extraordinary practical guide to resolving problems, using 16 exercises to enhance communication, stop self-defeating behavior, and achieve mutual emotional satisfaction. With Hendrix's advice, the all-too-common marital power struggle can be gradually transformed into a mutually beneficial process of spiritual and emotional growth.

 Hendrix, Harville. (2007). Getting the love you want: A guide for couples, 20th anniversary edition. New York, NY: Henry Holt & Co.

Book Review: Marry Him: The Case For Settling For Mr. Good Enough

            I have just finished reading the book Marry Him: The Case for Settling For Mr. Good Enough By: Lori Gottlieb. I loved this book! It had a lot of personal experiences that were analyzed and help you realize what might help you when you are looking for the person you want to marry. There was also a fair amount of research that allowed for the book to still be enjoyable and not feel like you were reading a text book, but also to make the book seem more real and believable. The author sets up the book very well. The book consists of five parts and in each part you can clearly find a subject that will be of interest to you if you just have time to thumb through the book. The beginning of this book is what really ties you in. It starts with a story about a husband store. As you go up each level, the husbands on the next level up will have gained another desirable quality. There are 6 floors in the store and when the woman gets to level five the husband she could choose are men who have good jobs, love kids, are extremely handsome, help equally with the housework, and have a great sense of humor. The trick to this store is you can only move up in floors and you may only enter the store once. So the woman as she reached this floor she was tempted to stay because she has found exactly what she was looking for, but something leads her to the last floor. On the last floor there are no men. This story helps begin the whole basis of the book. Women can sometimes be impossible to please. So I want to share my favorite part from each section of the book.

Part One: How Did We Get Here?
            In this part of the book the author does some social research between a group of five twenty-something year olds, and a group of five women in their thirties and forties. What she finds is that the 20 year olds are very picky in the kind of men they date. They basically throw away really amazing guys because they don’t meet one requirement on their list. Well it turns out that is what these women in their 30’s and 40’s had done and now they would give anything to be back with the guy who was too optimistic, or wasn’t exciting enough, or who didn’t give the “right kind of flowers”, or who was going bald.

Part Two: From Fantasy To Reality
“Illusions commend themselves to us because they save us pain and allow us to enjoy pleasure instead. We must therefore accept it without complaint when they sometimes collide with a bit of reality against which they are dashed to pieces”-Sigmund Freud
            *Learn to be happily realistic about the person you want to marry.
*The M&M test: When you ask people why they like M&M’s they can tell you what they like but not necessarily why. How does this relate to dating? Our must haves and deal-breakers are the “what” when they should be the “why.” We need to really take a closer look and decide what is really important to us.
*”You end up with the type of woman today who sees herself as too good for an ordinary relationship”-Dr. Broder (pg. 131)

Part Three: Making Smarter Choices
*”First Impressions are not a strong predictor of marital success.”- Scott Haltzman (pg. 195) We need to make smarter choices and not just get rid of someone after the first date because they ate shrimp and you hate shrimp. Give it some time and you might just find they are an amazing person, maybe even the one for you!

Part Four: What Really Matters
*I love this section because it focused on wants vs. needs and it gave some great examples! Here they are:
            *You want someone creative. You need someone you can trust.
*You want someone who shares your love of jazz. You need someone who appreciates some of your interests.
* You want someone who is athletic and physically active. You need someone who accepts you at your worst. (Gottlieb, pg 221).

Part Five: Putting it All Together
“It is not lack of love but lack of friendship that makes unhappy marriages.”-Friedrich Nietzsche
*Cooperative teamwork was the definition of a good marriage, but now the focus has shifted to personal satisfaction through the marital relationship itself.”-Paul Amato (Gotlieb, pg. 277) As we learn to make our marriage work and work on having satisfaction as a couple, the marriage will stay strong and so will the relationship.

I love this book and I recommend that you all read it! Hopefully I didn’t give away too much, but just enough to get you interested. Happy Reading!