Want a Better Relationship? Update Your "Love Map"

Stephanie discusses how in every day of your relationship, you are creating a "love map" of your partner, which is essentially your understanding of them...how well you really know them. Intimacy depends on curiosity about who your partner is as a person. For this intimacy to be sustainable, these "love maps" need ongoing updates, otherwise you may lose touch with the person your partner is becoming as time passes. In a happy, long term relationship, who your partner is today is not who your partner will become in 10 or 20 years, and so on (how boring would that be if we never evolved!). 

So maybe you haven't "updated" your love map in a while? Well the good news is you can get to know your partner again and again, for who they are today. So go ahead, get to know each other better. Start by asking the questions in the "Love Map Questionnaire" on my blog post today.

Read More

Fondness & Admiration: Key (However Mushy) Ingredients for Happy Relationships

I often recommend Dr. John Gottman's most famous book, Seven Principles of Making Marriage Work, to any of my clients interested in improving their relationship, married or not. In couples therapy, I teach the skills in this book to help partners with the many difficulties related to conflict styles, communication, and strategies to heal long-term romantic relationships. 

If you're looking to build strong, sustainable, happy relationship, you have to work hard to keep liking your partner. No matter how much you love someone, if you spend enough time with them, you can grow annoyed and bored if you stop appreciating them . But this doesn't have to happen. Everyone can learn to create a healthy relationship with a culture of "fondness and admiration". 

In today's blog post, I share with you the key findings from Dr. Gottman's research on fondness and admiration, which is the second principle of making a marriage work.

Read More

Want A Better Relationship? Start Turning Towards Your Partner More

Every day in your relationship, you have infinite opportunities to connect or disconnect from your partner. Dr. John Gottman calls these "sliding door" moments--getting ready for work, doing chores, cooking meals, etc. Each is an opportunity which presents you with a choice for how to respond to your partner, either towards closeness or distance. Learn how to "turn towards" your partner during these moments, to be emotionally available, rather than turning away from them, emotionally disconnecting from them. Even if your relationship has become disconnected already, learn how to start building more intimacy and closeness. 

Stephanie Cook, LCSW, therapist and writer, discusses what "turning towards your partner" is, what it looks like, and how to get help if you think too much "turning away" is happening in your relationship.


Read More

Taking Care of Yourself

In honor of World Mental Health Day, Stephanie explains the essential components of mental health and wellness, including healthy coping techniques and self care, as well as the symptoms of mental health problems and burnout.

Read More