Loving and Gentle Communication in Relationships

Is Your Partner Guessing?

Trees With Question Marks

Have you ever noticed that rather than communicate directly, you make your partner guess about what you want? Certain conversations can be difficult to begin. Strong emotions can keep us from getting started. Fear of conflict escalating may hold us back. Unspoken signals can confuse us and make it less safe to proceed. Not trusting

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An Interview With Elisabeth Sheff, Ph.D., CASA, CSE

Highway 1 on the pacific coast, California.

Eli Sheff is a leading expert on polyamory and has conducted groundbreaking research on polyamorous families with children. In the past, she has contributed her findings to the LifeWorks blog. This summer, Eli is traveling the country for her Practical NonMonogamy workshop tour, which is bringing her here to Chicago. On Saturday July 7, 2018,

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Relationship Reset

Girls touching noses in christmas lights

This article is a guest post from Candice Wu, LCPC. She is an intuitive coach and holistic healing facilitator who helps people through the power of love, self-forgiveness, empowerment and body wisdom.    Have you ever felt like you wanted to just reset or reboot the relationship? The Outdated Default Relationship Dynamic Recently, I noticed

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Meet Our Intake Coordinator, Greenlee Brown

Greenlee Brown

Greenlee moved from Buffalo, NY in August 2017, and began working with LifeWorks in October in an administrative capacity. They are a writer, a musician, and a community organizer. Before moving to Chicago, they received their MA in English and taught writing classes and led gender and sexuality workshops at both the high school and

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Meet Cassandra Damm, LCSW

Cassandra Damm, LCSW, is a graduate of Loyola University with a passion for working with those who identify as LGBTQ, as well as those who are in the kink, polyamory/consensual non-monogamy and sex work communities. She is also a board member of Sex Workers Outreach Project (SWOP) – Chicago and runs the Sex Worker Support Group as a partnership co-sponsored by SWOP and Lifeworks.

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Welcoming The 2018 Green House Therapists  

Greenhouse Psychotherapy Training Program Logo

LifeWorks is proud to announce the newest Green House cohort. Please join us in welcoming four new therapists to our team, and read on to learn more about Thomas Bateman, MSMFT; Marissa Faustini, MA; Benjamin Marton, LSW; and Courtney Wilson, MSW. The Green House is a postgraduate psychotherapy training and mentorship program developed and sponsored by LifeWorks.

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Meet Adaora Aguoji, MSMFT

Adaora Aguoji, MSMFT, is a graduate of the Family Institute at Northwestern University with a passion for working with diverse populations including varied race, ethnicity, sexuality and gender. Join us in welcoming her to LifeWorks Psychotherapy Center! LifeWorks: What drew you to LifeWorks? On a cosmic level, I am sure this is where I’m supposed to be. Though, if

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Children in Polyamorous Families Part 5

Drawing of family

This fifth and final blog in the series on children in polyamorous families focuses on custody. The first looked at age-dependent experiences and why the kids are in such great shape, and the second detailed some of the advantages and disadvantages in poly family life. Third in the series came poly families’ strategies for dealing

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Assertive Communication 101: Finding Your Assertive Voice

Woman Standing Strong

I am passionate about interpersonal boundaries, and in order to have good boundaries, you need to tell others about them!  Assertive communication is crucial to being able to set, clarify, and defend your boundaries and their consequences in relationships.  I’m also motivated to write due to how many times I talk about this topic in therapy

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The Conflict with Conflict in Poly Relationships

Cindy and Rami

Ever had conflict? Most people have had more conflict than they care to recall. Conflict is important to everyone and every relationship but when you are in a multi-partnered relationship good conflict skills become even more critical. On May 6, 2017, Rami Henrich, LCSW and I presented a workshop on applying the principle of deep

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More to Love: Polyamory in the Real World

Rami Henrich being interviewed regarding non-monogamy

On May 30, 2017, LifeWorks partner Rami Henrich, LCSW was part of an interview for Chicago Tonight which aired on Chicago’s PBS station WTTW regarding polyamorous relationships.  In the on air interview, Rami shares her experience of being in a polyamorous relationship for over 34 years.  She is joined in the interview by Caroline Kearns of Chicago Polyamory Connection

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Shaming Methods in Popular Psychology

David Bedrick

David Bedrick, J.D., Dipl. PW, is a speaker, counselor, attorney, and teacher.  He is the author of the acclaimed Talking Back to Dr. Phil: Alternatives to Mainstream Psychology and the forthcoming title Revisioning Activism: Bringing Depth, Dialogue, and Diversity to Individual and Social Change (Belly Song Press, 2017). The following article is posted with permission from David Bedrick, J.D., Dipl. PW.

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What Basson’s Sexual Response Cycle Teaches Us About Sexuality

Basson's model of sexual motivation

The following article has been adapted from “Taking a Closer Look at Basson’s Model of the Sexual Response Cycle,” Jo Flannery’s article for Sexology International. It has been edited from its original format. To read the original article, click here. There is no one reason people choose to have sex. Rather, human beings become aroused

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How to Create Fulfilling Relationships After Experiences of Abuse

hanging heart in window

We are pleased to share this article by our friend and colleague, Niyati Evers, MAPW, and diplomate in Process Work. Niyati is a sex-positive therapist with Alchemy of Eros, a Portland, Oregon-based professional counseling services organization that seeks to create a welcoming, non-judgmental space where people can explore issues around relationships, intimacy, power, passion, desire,

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Anam Cara: Soul Lessons From Anxiety & Panic

man screaming while driving

There is a phrase in Gaelic, anam cara, which means “soul friend.” According to the Anam Cara Therapy Center in California, anam cara is: A teacher, companion or spiritual guide … where consciousness is dulled, distant or blind, its presence grows faint and vanishes. Therefore awareness which brings integration and healing, is one of the

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Interpersonal Boundaries: How Trauma Keeps Us Silent

daisy

What are personal boundaries? Personal boundaries are what separate us from other people and things and help us form a distinct identity. Boundaries help us protect ourselves. Boundaries help define what belongs to you and what belongs to someone else. Boundaries can define what is “ok” and what is “not ok.” Boundaries help others know

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Meet Jacque Pfeifer, MAMFT

Jacque Pfeifer, MAMFT is one of four therapists to join LifeWorks this year through the Green House, our postgraduate psychotherapy training and mentoring program. What first drew you to the Green House? Initially, I was drawn to the Green House program because I am passionate about working with marginalized communities, especially the non-monogamy and LGBTQ communities. As

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Connecting with Personal Power After Abuse, Trauma, or Marginalization

Julie Diamond, Personal Power

Why do some people abuse power while others don’t? That question is at the core of POWER: A USER’S GUIDE, the latest book by coach, facilitator, educator, and author Julie Diamond, Ph.D. As its title suggests, Power: A User’s Guide is a how-to manual for anybody—parent, boss, teacher, politician, social activist—for whom wielding authority justly

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