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3 Ways to Fight Fair: Good Things Utah

3 Ways to Fight Fair: Good Things Utah

Every significant relationship has times of disagreement and disconnection. Differences are a sign that your relationship is healthy and that both people feel free to bring their authentic selves. However, how you express those differences can either bring you closer together or create distance.

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Connection Rituals in Marriage

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During my tenure in graduate school it was required to gather research and write a thesis. I aimed to create fabulous research about couples and their marital satisfaction. Out of the many questionnaires gathered, and statistical tests administered I was left with only one correlation of “statistical significance.” However, it was one that has greatly shaped how I do marriage therapy, and how I act in my own marriage. The correlation found that couples who participated in daily connection rituals reported higher levels of marital satisfaction.
What are connection rituals? I’m glad that you asked! Connection rituals span a great many ideas that include leaving notes to each other, having daily talk time, going on walks, eating dinner together, doing service for the other person, greeting each other with a hug and kiss, and many other ideas. Anything that you do on a daily or even regular basis that helps you feel connected to each other is considered a connection ritual. One husband in my survey said his favorite connection ritual was when his wife slapped his rear end after they brushed their teeth at night. How funny that something so small could send such a powerful message. I see you and love you. All that from a little slap on the rear end.
In couples counseling I ask over and over what they are doing on a daily basis to connect with each other. It is amazing the difference that comes about when the couple creates and completes things that connect them and allow them to feel attached to each other. When made a daily ritual I have found that couples feel more important to their spouse, which leads to feeling more loved, which leads to higher marital satisfaction. Want an added boost to your relationship? Add a daily connection ritual with your spouse. Eat breakfast together. Always kiss each other when one of you leaves. Use the time when the kids are in bed to talk about your day. Massage your spouses feet while you watch Stranger Things. The sky is the limit. Talk about what you would like and come up with a game plan. I have only seen very positive things come out of it!
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#1 Marriage Advice From a Marriage Counselor

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You’ve probably been getting marriage advice since you first started dating, or even earlier! Some of it has been solicited and helpful, some of it has not. I hope, since you clicked on this article, that my advice can fall into the first category.

People, apparently myself included, are eager to share what they have learned about what works (and what doesn’t) in marriage. About half of the clients that I have seen over the past seven years have been couples.

Here is a link to an article I recently wrote on my blog understandingtherapy.com. It’s my #1 Marriage Advice that I have gleaned from observing and counseling distressed couples.

 

https://understandingtherapy.com/2016/07/11/my-1-bit-of-marriage-advice/

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Creating Connection: Are You the Sun or North Wind?

Marriage Parable: The Sun and The North Windhappycouplev2-banner

A traveler was walking alone down a country lane. The Sun and the North Wind decided to have a contest to see who could remove the traveler’s overcoat. The North Wind tried first. He blew and he blew around the traveler as fiercely as he could, trying to rip the coat from the traveler but the traveler wrapped his coat more closely around him and held it tighter. The more the North Wind blew, the tighter the traveler hugged the coat. Then the Sun said, “Let me try,” and as she gently shone her warmth on the traveler, the traveler opened his coat and within minutes took it off (Alison Lee, Ph.D., EFT Community News 2013).

Now, put on your relationship hat. What is this parable teaching about creating closeness and safety in a marriage? Imagine that the traveler is you or your spouse and the overcoat represents vulnerability or risking connection in the relationship. To reach our partner and feel the reassurance that we are loved and cared for, we can choose to “blow off the overcoat” like the North Wind or “to gently warm” our spouse and he/she will remove the overcoat willingly.

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Welcome Kathleen Baxter AMFT

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Hi everyone! My name is Kathleen Baxter and I am a new Marriage and Family Therapist(MFT) here at Wasatch Family Therapy. It has been a wonderful experience being on the team so far and I am thrilled to introduce myself to all of you readers.
First off, I would like to give you a little of my personal background. I have lived in Utah most of my life and I love it here! I am a huge outdoors fanatic. I love camping, hiking, 4-wheeling, fishing, water sports, and anything else that gets me outside. Some of my hobbies include cake decorating, rollerblading, gardening, softball, and music. I have been married to my best friend for 4 ½ years now and it is the most rewarding relationship in my life. He makes marriage bliss.

Deciding to become a therapist was a rather easy decision for me. It all started when I was a high school senior in AP psychology. I fell in love! I went on to receive my Bachelor degree in Psychology from Weber State University. There I had the opportunity to develop my fascination with research outcomes and the power of new knowledge. While deciding what kind of clinician I wanted to be, I noticed I was enamored with my relationship-centered courses. This is when I decided to become an MFT. At one point, I volunteered in a group that facilitated prison inmates on their way back into society. In the group we brought victims and perpetrators of crimes together to share their experiences. I couldn’t help but notice that sexual trauma survivors were often abused by their own family members. It was here that I developed an interested in working with sexual trauma and specifically incestuous families.

After Weber State, I was accepted to Brigham Young University’s Marriage and Family Therapy Program. It was here that I developed a deep passion for working with couples and families. Here I explored my interests in working with sexual trauma survivors. I wrote my thesis on the challenging dynamics within families in which incest occurs and how to adapt new treatment protocol for these families. While at BYU I also developed a new passion for doing sex therapy with couples. I love helping couples get “unstuck” and rekindling that spark.

While at BYU I also had the valuable experience of working for Women’s Services and Resources. Here I developed a strong love and admiration for women who are trying to combat all the negative influences that our society throws at them. I worked with women who struggled with depression, anxiety, pornography addiction, as well as eating disorders.

This is the path that brought me to Wasatch Family Therapy. I look forward to developing professionally and personally working with such kind and talented clinicians. I am excited to be here and I am looking forward to my future here at Wasatch.

I’d love to talk with you about how I can help you and your family.

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Get To Know The Wasatch Family Therapy Team (Video)

Get to know our Wasatch Family Therapy therapists and their specialty areas, learn more about why we do what we do, and hear about my vision for Wasatch Family Therapy 9 years ago when it was a solo practice.

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What Is A Healthy Marriage?

Dr. Sue Johnson, creator Emotionally Focused Couples Therapy (EFT), answers the question “What is a healthy marriage?”  The essential ingredient for a healthy marriage is emotional responsiveness. Watch this to learn more about what makes a healthy marriage and the benefits of secure attachment in marriage…

Wasatch Family Therapy therapists use Emotionally Focused Couples Therapy to help distressed couples reconnect and create secure bonds.

Click here to schedule your couples therapy session.

Click here to learn more about Dr. Sue Johnson’s revolutionary book “Hold Me Tight: Seven Conversations For A Lifetime Of Love”

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