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    Comforting Quote

    As I look back on my life, I realize that every time I thought I was being rejected from something good, I was actually being redirected to something better.”  
    – F Scott Fitzgerald



    Relationships In Spring

    Here are some delightful ways to grow your relationships this Spring - 2015!

    For your relationships to grow and thrive you need to care for them.

    Feeling a little blah? Spruce up your relationships and enter this spring 2015 in joy and delight!
    Nurture a strong and mutually supportive relationship
    What is it about people every where that makes them go into a cleaning frenzy mode in Spring?
    Listen to a great song about Spring like Daydream by The Lovin Spoonful or Beautiful Day by U2

    Try some Spring Cleaning of your emotional baggage!
    Spring is in the air, wake up and smell those roses!
    CLEAN THE AIR! Any conversations you have been avoiding or arguments that have come up?
    Remember you have the tools within you to create change in your external environment!

    More fulfilling then 409-ing your kitchen!

    Here is a great article link from Love and Life Toolbox website titled "Get Out The Broom... 8 Ways to Spring Clean Your Marriage"

    Also check out our Facebook page for a new post from The Gottman Institute titled "How-To Guide For Spring Cleaning Your Marriage"

     A great resource is the book titled "Seven Principles For Making Marriage Work" by The Gottman Institute. Try this weekend a few of the items outlined in this excellent resource. 

    Another great resource from the Gottman Institute is the book titled "The Relationship Cure". 



    Valentines Day Clichés And Good Relationships

    Long live the clichés of love--- cards, letters, flowers or chocolate or even all four given to someone special. Our brains are genetically hard-wired for attachment or connection. When a connection is warm and secure, we thrive in romantic relationships and may use one of the clichés to express our love. When we do not have this type of connection or attachment, we can learn it with practice and trial and error, much like learning to play an musical instrument. This Valentines Day you can enjoy the day and attach to any person/s in your life that is special and try something new and different. But even better is:

          Daily Dialogue!  

    “Being heard is so close to being loved 
that for the average person, 
they are almost indistinguishable.” David Augsburger

    There are several things that happy couples tend to do to get, and keep their relationship, happy. Based on research, whatever they do every day dialogue can make all the difference . This daily habit of communication keeps a couple knowing each other currently and keeps things fresh and alive. This can mean praying together, a talking time together or even just a short walk together. Designating a Speaker and then a listener in a talk time with each other can be money in the bank!

    There are  other "Rituals of connection" that you can tap into. Research tells us that two-thirds of couples do not have sex daily. The good news is there are  other ways (including sexual talk) that are effective in putting money in the love bank.

    A way to get a good connection going now is to work it into your daily routine. Five Minutes a day is all the time it takes to kiss someone hello in the morning, hug at the door goodbye, greeting them at the door with a quick "how are you?" and offer another hug or kiss at nighttime. Couples who build in these routines often have busy lives but feel more satisfied with their relationships. Try it yourself and get a good change going.


    Here are some more ideas for making daily deposits into the love bank.

    Make fondness, admiration, affection, respect and praise a constant part of your relationship. The ratio of 5:1 positive to negative is so important. Mention the positives in great detail.

    Strengthen intimacy with rituals of emotional connection---ways you always do things that show care for each other. Reduce distress in your relationship and increase your sexual pleasure and joy through a solid friendship. This is key to Lovemaking and one way couples counseling helps with both "communication" and sex.


    Be able to “repair” an argument

    Arguing in itself does not necessarily hurt a marriage. But hurt needs to be repaired for the relationship to flourish. A couple of ways to repair an argument is to:

    Get to Yes.:” I agree with part of what you’re saying. I never thought of things that way. “

    Stating: “I need to calm down.: Just listen to me right now and try to understand (kind tone needed). Can I take that back? This is important to me. Please listen. I am starting to feel flooded.”

     Accept influence from each other. Stay engaged and calm in discussion. Start gently with a compliant rather than harshly. Research shows men especially need to accept influence from their wives.

    The couple that repairs a relationship instead of withdrawing from conflict. If you want to grow and change your relationship including your sexual intimacy---remember Repair is key in a couples relationship. 

    All of these items as noted can make your Valentines day special, try to practice just a few of these and see changes occure!


    ~ Barbara Massey LMFT





    Less Daylight, Positive Interactions Needed

    In the fall leaves start to change, Daylight Savings time ends and we stay inside more often. Now's the time to add More positive Interactions if you don't already do so in your relationship. Now in your household the stress, sickness and possible addition of school combine to increase interactions. (I like to start things off on a cheery note!).

    There is a need for negative reactions (you can't stuff it forever or it will "leak") along with five positive interaction between partners. (Hold up one hand with one finger and the other hand with five fingers up, this is how I demonstrate this prinicple.) Humor, affection, sympathy and connection in this amount influences the other to hear their partner. This hearing is soothing and then couples "behave like good friends, and they handle their conflicts in gentle, positive ways." (Gottman blog)

    This ratio is key to a happy marriage and if continued will lead to divorce. Use this tool to increase the ratio and change the course of your marriage. Medford is citied as a high divorce city, let's prove 'm wrong and work smart with this ratio.







    App to Prevent Another "Robin Williams"

    Robin William's suicide was a shock to most people. A person with depression who considers suicide and talks about suicide as a possibility is hard to comprehend. Perhaps that's why my relatives weren't prepared when he gathered everyone and said goodbye. Many relatives were professionals but ASKing didn't happen.

    So now I am especially, strongly suggesting going to this app or one like it. Anything that helps you talk to someone who is extremely depressed. You can download the app beforehand and have it with you when needed.

    How to: go to the App store and search "suicide prevention ASK by Mental Health of Texas". This app has warning signs and very clear questions to ask. It takes some maneuvering to get to the Ask questions. (Using the section Ask:Here's How, keep swiping 3 times to get to specific questions, it does take some persistence). 

    As a therapist I know people do Want to be asked. They are not insulted. They want others to reach beyond their comfort zones as a sign of love for them. Couples need to ask each other, family members, in-laws and more. Being a professional is not necessary. As a starting point to help a depressed person, please ASK. 

    Barbara Massey

    Medford Oregon