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Maintaining Healthy Boundaries in Relationships

Posted on: May 14, 2019

A successful relationship is composed of two individuals – each with a clearly defined sense of her or his own identity. Without our own understanding of self, of who we are, and what makes us unique, it is difficult to engage in the process of an ongoing relationship in a way that functions smoothly and enhances each of the partners. We need a sense of self in order to clearly communicate our needs and desires to our partner. When we have a strong conception of our own identity, we can appreciate and love those qualities in our partner that make him or her a unique person. When two people come together, each with a clear definition of her or his own individuality, the potential for intimacy and commitment can be astounding. The similarities between two people may bring them together, but their differences contribute to the growth, excitement, and mystery of their relationship.

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Posted in: Marriage Counseling

The Committed Relationship

Posted on: April 29, 2019

Marriage Counseling insights brought to you by Westlake Village-based California Psychotherapeutic Resources, Inc.

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Emotionally committed relationships bring excitement and passion into our lives, especially when they are new.  Over time, however, we come across roadblocks, for example, our personal issues or family experiences, that can distance us from our partners.  When we first enter into a committed relationship, we may think that we have found the answer to life’s problems, that we have a partner to share in the turmoil of daily life, that we will never be alone again, that it will be smooth sailing from here on out. If we base relationships on these assumptions, however, we may be sorely disappointed when our partner fails to live up to these expectations. There is a strong probability that if we look to another person to provide fulfillment, we will begin to focus on the failings of that person as the cause of our own disappointments in life. This pattern is the reason for a great deal of discord in committed relationships. Many people who come in for relationship therapy actually hope that the therapy will change their partner because they are convinced that the partner is the source of the problem.

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Posted in: Marriage Counseling

Relationships and Manipulation

Posted on: April 9, 2019

Marriage Counseling insights brought to you by Westlake Village-based California Psychotherapeutic Resources, Inc.

We are all vulnerable to being manipulated in relationships, whether between romantic partners, friends, parents, children, employers, coworkers, or neighbors. When we allow another person to manipulate us, we are colluding with their desire to control our feelings, motives, and even our thoughts through deceptive, exploitative, and unfair means. A manipulative relationship is one-sided and unbalanced, advancing the goals of the manipulator at the expense of the person being manipulated. These relationships become troubled over time. If you want to change this kind of relationship, you must first recognize the features of manipulation and then look within to understand your contribution to the manipulation. There are effective ways to stand up to manipulation and bring balance back into the relationship.

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Posted in: Marriage Counseling

When Your Partner’s Feelings Don’t Show

Posted on: March 21, 2019

Marriage Counseling insights brought to you by Westlake Village-based California Psychotherapeutic Resources, Inc.

“Fasten your seatbelt. It’s going to be a bumpy ride.”

– Bette Davis

When we commit to a relationship, we usually expect that our partner will reciprocate with roughly the same level of emotional involvement that we put into it. Many of us hope to find a soulmate, a partner who can share and understand our feelings and ways of thinking on an intensely personal level. Others don’t expect such an intense level of involvement and feel more comfortable maintaining personal privacy within a more boundaried relationship. Conflicts may arise when the two partners differ in their expectations of how close they should become. One partner may feel emotionally stranded, feeling abandoned and craving more closeness, while the other partner may feel smothered or pressured into providing more of his or her emotional self than can possibly be given. (more…)

Posted in: Marriage Counseling

Finding Intimacy

Posted on: March 7, 2019

Marriage Counseling insights brought to you by Westlake Village-based California Psychotherapeutic Resources, Inc.

Many people search for that special intimacy in their relationship

Some of us search our entire lives for a feeling of oneness with another person. It’s hard to describe, really, what we search for, but we know it when we finally achieve it. Maybe we tire of that dark feeling of being ultimately alone as we struggle through life. If only there were someone else here, we say to ourselves, who could understand and share these burdens. Then it wouldn’t be so lonely. It wouldn’t be so hard. Or perhaps, in our more positive moments, we want to share not just the burdens but our pleasures too, our strength and beauty. We want the powerful impact of our internal experience to have an impression on someone else, as if to say that we count, we are whole, and we want to impart this feeling to another person. (more…)

Posted in: Marriage Counseling

Staying Healthy At Work

Posted on: February 26, 2019

Individual Counseling insights brought to you by Westlake Village-based California Psychotherapeutic Resources, Inc.

Are You Working Hard or Hardly Working? (Or Both?)

The atmosphere of the workplace has changed dramatically in recent times. Ever since the exploitative practices of the industrial revolution were removed through legislation, work has been defined as a place where a person could find fulfillment through a job which was rewarding and paid a fair wage. But this definition has reverted in recent years to one in which the needs of the employee have become less important. Finding personal fulfillment through our work has become more of a challenge. Progressive occupational stress leading to job burnout has become a painful reality for many people. This is especially true during times of high unemployment – when the workers who are still employed are expected to carry the load of those who are no longer with the company. (more…)

Posted in: Individual Counseling

Loneliness

Posted on: February 12, 2019

Individual Counseling insights brought to you by Westlake Village-based California Psychotherapeutic Resources, Inc.

Only the lonely

Know the way I feel tonight

Only the lonely

Know this feeling ain’t right

  – Roy Orbison

If you feel lonely, you’re not alone.

Loneliness is a subjective sense of isolation – a feeling of not being able to connect with other people, a sense of being apart. As humans, we feel the need to be with other people. We need to relate to others, to get involved in their lives, to work with them, and to express our emotions around other people. Our social needs are nearly as powerful as our other basic needs, like our needs for food, water, and shelter. (more…)

Posted in: Individual Counseling

The Lasting Relationship

Posted on: January 29, 2019

Marriage Counseling insights brought to you by Westlake Village-based California Psychotherapeutic Resources, Inc.

A Successful Relationship Takes Work, Insight, and Commitment – and the Rewards Can Be Priceless

One hallmark of success in life may be the ability to sustain a long-term relationship. People in lasting relationships tend to live longer and stay healthier. Research shows that they report more happiness in life, more rewarding social interactions, and lower instances of substance abuse. Maybe the most important aspect of living within a successful permanent relationship is that a person not only feels loved, but also is able to share love with somebody else. Sharing love with a partner allows us to experience trust, nurturance, and a feeling of belonging. When we spend our years with another person we have a feeling of continuity in our lives which may otherwise be difficult to attain. (more…)

Posted in: Marriage Counseling

Worry, Worry

Posted on: January 18, 2019

Individual Counseling insights brought to you by Westlake Village-based California Psychotherapeutic Resources, Inc.

It’s a good thing that almost all of us worry. Think of worry as a built-in alarm device. When it is used wisely, it alerts us to danger and prompts us to navigate our way through a maze of solutions to life’s various problems. We need to think through our options when we are faced with problems, weighing the benefits and pitfalls of each alternative, and then come up with the best solution. From there we take action which, we hope, solves the problem. Worry is helpful when it is used at the right time and at the right level for resolving our difficulties. Like many things in life, however, too little worry, or too much of it, can be harmful. (more…)

Posted in: Individual Counseling

The Influence of Birth Order

Posted on: December 20, 2018

Individual Counseling insights brought to you by Westlake Village-based California Psychotherapeutic Resources, Inc.

Birth Order Affects Our Behavior and Relationships

If brothers and sisters are raised by the same parents, how do they end up so different? How is it that one sibling grows up to be successful academically and professionally but with few friends, while another becomes the athlete with loads of friends? To the degree that one of the siblings is a responsible person, another will be attention-seeking or rebellious. One follows the ways of the parents and another looks outside the family for support. The strategies we learn in childhood for dealing with our parents and siblings has a lasting influence on our behavior, often in ways we barely recognize. (more…)

Posted in: Individual Counseling