Tools, skills and resources for relationship success and satisfaction

A Caring Approach offers couples counseling and marriage counseling in Reston, VA, Washington, DC, and Bethesda, MD. Our ability to communicate is essential for creating and sustaining a satisfying relationship. Often, the style of communication is more of a problem than the problem you are communicating about. Under stress, people use defensive communication styles that ... Read More
 

Cognitive (Thought) Distortions and Core Beliefs

Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) looks at how our thoughts affect our view of ourselves, of others and of the world. We have thoughts or evaluations about events, ourselves, and about our emotions and our behaviors; this in turn affects our ability to cope with life. Researchers estimate that we have over 60,000 automatic thoughts per ... Read More
 

Attachment Styles in Intimate Relationships

The capacity to make meaningful intimate bonds is a key feature of healthy personality functioning. The processes of attachment and intimacy are fundamental to the development of close relationships. Attachment refers to the inborn need and tendency of human beings to make strong affectionate bonds with significant others, resulting in closeness, security and safety. Attachment ... Read More
 

Partner Choice and Stages in Relationships

The choice of intimate others in relationships appears to be influenced by two important needs whose fulfillment results in completion, wholeness, and the development of higher capacities such as compassion, forgiveness, and kindness for couples. First, we are attracted to differences; we seek partners with qualities that we are missing ourselves. These traits were repressed ... Read More
 

Changing Habits One Step at a Time

Six steps to healthier living in Reston, Washington DC, and Bethesda – let life and wellness coaching and counseling be your guide. Making important changes in our lives can sometimes be more difficult than we think. Lasting changes often occur, not as a result of a single decision to act, but from a series of ... Read More
 

Exploring Personal Beliefs in Counseling

Our experience of reality is determined by the beliefs that we hold about ourselves and the world. Beliefs are like spectacles through which we see, or like boundaries around us which represent the limits of our experience. Our emotions and behaviors are deeply influenced by the ideas and beliefs that we hold to be true. ... Read More
 

Disruptive Relationship Cycles In Distressed Couples

Traps and Exits We all have vulnerabilities, sensitivities or wounds that are inevitably triggered in intimate long-term relationships. For example, for one person, it may be feeling criticized; for another it may be not feeling adequately cared for, and so on. Those sensibilities emerge and develop from woundings in family relationships with parents, siblings and ... Read More
 

Stillness and Tranquility: Recovery and Restoration

Developing the virtues of stillness and tranquility is essential for recovery and restoring our strength and energy after stress, illness or surgery. Like deep nurturing sleep, stillness and tranquility allows the parasympathetic nervous system and other self-healing mechanisms in the body to do the work of recovery and rebuilding. In quieting the mind, we support ... Read More
 

Coping with Our Suffering: Grounded Mindfulness

Mindfulness can be defined as a quality or a skill of mind and heart characterized by an open, compassionate and non-judgmental attitude to the contemplation of reality. Practicing mindfulness has been shown in research studies to have positive effects in coping with stress, illness, negative emotions, etc. In my individual counseling practice in Reston, Washington ... Read More
 

Coping with Chronic Illness and Pain

Chronic illness and pain often cause challenging and difficult life adjustments, decisions, and demands. We may experience: Grief and sadness over the loss of function and quality of life,      Anger and frustration about our new situation,     Loss of control,     Worry and fear about our future,    Guilt about being a burden to others, and    Hopelessness ... Read More