“What’s in a Label?” — Being Non-Binary with a History of Trauma

“What’s in a Label?” — Being Non-Binary with a History of Trauma

There are reasons for using labels. They can be very useful, in an elemental way. To label something is to identify it and categorize it, which makes it easier to talk about, and therefore easier to share. Labels can promote intimacy and community, and when more and more people agree on the usefulness of a

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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 The Outdated Default Relationship Dynamic Recently, I noticed

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Infidelity as a Growth Opportunity

tiny sprout growing through sand, growth

Santiago Delboy is a colleague and friend to LifeWorks who brings insight and thoughtfulness to his work, writing and collaboration. We are pleased to share some of his thougths about infidelity. This post appears in Santiago’s blog, which can be found here.   This afternoon, I watched a TED talk by therapist and author Esther Perel about infidelity. I read her book Mating

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When Relationships Fall Apart

handshake

This article was written by Lisa Blair, M.A. and David Bedrick, J.D., who are both Certified Process Work Diplomats. It first appeared here and is reposted with permission.  Every relationship has two handshakes: one above the table and one below. The first handshake is a conscious agreement between the two people, saying “We’re going to support each

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Low Libido Blues: Desire Discrepancy in Intimate Relationship

Couple holding hands

Michelle Herzog is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist and Certified Sex Therapist based out of Chicago. She is the owner of the Center for Mindful Living, a private practice specializing in relationship and sex therapy. We are delighted to share her post on desire discrepancy and communication.  One of the most common sexual issues couples

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Navigating the Relationship Journey

couple celebrating on mountain

Santiago Delboy is a colleague and friend to LifeWorks who brings insight and thoughtfulness to his work and collaboration. We are pleased to share some of his writing. This post appears in Santiago Delboy’s blog, which can be found here. Just to state the obvious, relationships are not easy. While we are “wired” to be in relationships and they

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Domestic Violence: Power and Rank Dynamics

people walking through train station

I practiced family law for 10 years, some 20 years ago now, taking on several domestic violence cases. The police would be called to a house because a man had physically beaten a woman. By the time the police got there, he had released his anger freely, privately; publicly, he presented as calm and rational. The woman, being less powerful, was less free to fight back and express her anger privately; feeling safer once the police had arrived, she was now free to express her terror, anger, and viewpoint.

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How to React After Accidentally Misgendering Someone

sketched figures facing one another

This article was originally published in 2014 through the Q Center in Portland, OR. We are delighted to share it with you. Being misgendered can create an uncomfortable, embarrassing and even unsafe situation for many trans* individuals. There’s no doubt that when working toward creating or contributing to safer, more accessible spaces and services for

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Loving Bravely – Book Review

Loving Bravely by Alexandra H. Solomon, Ph.D.

Clients are often interested in ways that they can do their own self-awareness and relationship work outside of their weekly hour of therapy. A great way to do this is by reading books that help you explore your inner experience and the relationships in your life.

With that in mind, I am really excited to share with you all a book that I had the pleasure to help create with it’s author Dr. Alexandra Solomon. The book is Loving Bravely: 20 Lessons of Self-Discovery to Help You Get the Love You Want.

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Children in Polyamorous Families Part 3

poly family drawn by child

This is the third in a series of blogs on children in polyamorous families. The first looked at the age dependent experiences of children in polyamorous families and why they appear to be doing so well, and the second detailed the advantages and disadvantages these children identified in poly family life. Third in the series, this blog explains four strategies these kids use to deal with the disadvantages found in poly family life, including blending in, being careful who they told about their families, avoiding the issue completely, and negotiating with parents.

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Children in Polyamorous Families Part 2

child smelling flower

In the first part of this series on children in polyamorous families, I explained how these kids have age-dependent experiences and why they appear to be doing so well in general. This second blog in the series details the advantages and disadvantages that children report in my study of polyamorous families. Advantages Children and young

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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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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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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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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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Caring in Uncertain Times

elderly woman in sunlight

We are pleased to share this post by Jacqueline Boyd from The Care Plan.  Jacqueline is a tireless advocate for healthcare needs of the elderly and LGBTQ+ community providing guidance and planning for her clients.  by Jacqueline Boyd “How will changes to the Affordable Care Act affect my insurance coverage?” “Will my 85-year-old parent be

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Communication Challenges: Yes, That Again!!

children talking with cans on string

Have you ever fallen into the pit of communication challenges? Or should I say miscommunication challenges? What an interesting phenomena it can be, if and when you have the detachment to notice you are in the pit and are able to name it as interesting! More often it is experienced as a quagmire, an endless

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