Displaying items by tag: couples therapy

Have you ever felt like you and your partner just can't seem to understand each other? Do you find yourselves constantly arguing or feeling disconnected? Relationships require effort and commitment from both parties, and sometimes, seeking professional help can be the best way to address underlying issues and improve your relationship. Relationship counseling in Chicago offers a safe and supportive environment for couples to explore their emotions, improve their communication skills, and work through conflicts. By understanding your partner better and learning how to productively navigate challenges together, you can build a stronger, more fulfilling relationship.

Published in Treatment For Adults

No marriage is perfect, and all relationships require work to keep the harmony and connection between partners. Marriage counseling in Chicago can be tremendously helpful for couples experiencing all levels of satisfaction in their relationship. However, for couples that are going through a rough patch or feel stuck, there are some clear indications it may be time to seek professional counseling. In this article, we aim to shed light on some of the signs to look out for that suggest it's the right time to seek therapeutic intervention for your marriage.

Published in Treatment For Adults

All relationships, even the most committed ones, go through challenges and require work. The stresses and pressures of daily life can take a significant toll on relationships, leaving couples feeling disconnected and unsure of how to rebuild their bond when it falters. However, with the guidance of a skilled therapist, partners can learn effective communication techniques, resolve conflicts, and strengthen their emotional connection. Let's take a closer look at the process of couples therapy in Chicago and how it can contribute to creating a healthier and happier relationship.

Published in Treatment For Adults
Tuesday, 29 August 2023 16:06

The Impact of Pornography on Couples: Part 1

“Is pornography use harmful to our relationship?” This is a common question for couples and has been of increasing interest in the field of couples therapy as pornography use has become more accepted and prevalent in today’s society, especially among young adults (Hesse & Floyd, 2019). The current literature reports somewhat mixed findings, and there are still gaps in the research as this area of study is relatively newer. Overall, the negative effects of pornography use on relationships appear to vastly outnumber any positive ones. However, every relationship is different and there are myriad factors to consider when assessing the impact of pornography use on your relationship. The goal of this brief piece is to provide you with knowledge of the most relevant and current research so that you can make an informed decision regarding the role of pornography in your relationship and in your personal life.

In terms of the positive impacts of watching pornography, the current literature has identified some positive effects for women, gay men, and couples. Within these populations, pornography use was found to be associated with increased relationship quality, sexual satisfaction, communication about sexual desires, partner sexual desire, and partnered sexual activity for women in both heterosexual and same-sex relationships (Huntington et al., 2021; Vaillancourt-Morel et al., 2020). An increase in partnered sexual activity was also found to be associated with pornography use for gay men (Vaillancourt-Morel et al., 2020). Interestingly, no positive impacts of pornography use were identified for heterosexual men. These findings indicate that the type of pornography being watched may be an important factor when it comes to predicting the impact of pornography on relationships, since men and women tend to watch very different types of pornography (Huntington et al., 2021).

To address the opening question, pornography use is consistently found to be associated with weaker relationship stability and commitment (Willoughby & Dover, 2022). Couples watching pornography together was associated with psychological and physical aggression, as well as contention. When people watch pornography, they are choosing to turn towards a screen for gratification and connection instead of their partner, resulting in increased feelings of loneliness and disconnection (Gottman, 2021; Hesse & Floyd, 2019). Even more concerning is the idea highlighted in the documentary Brain, heart, world that, in general, pornography use is associated with people viewing their partners – and the actors in pornography – as mere objects for sexual gratification. With more frequent use, pornography can alter individuals’ brain chemistry and lead to pornography (or other related) addictions. Eventually one’s brain can become excessively and exclusively preoccupied with viewing pornography, with any other stimulus holding increasingly little interest (Brain, heart, world). Needless to say, this change in brain chemistry is detrimental to relationships, interpersonal connection, and sexual intimacy.

Part two of this piece will explore ethical considerations as well as factors to keep in mind regarding pornography use in order to be aware of the potential negative effects on your relationship.

Written by Chloe Pimentel, Graduate Level Therapist of Wellington Counseling Group

References

Brain, heart, world - docuseries about the harmful effects of porn. Brain Heart World. (2022, June 23). https://brainheartworld.org/

Gottman, J. (2021, February 4). An open letter on Porn. The Gottman Institute. https://www.gottman.com/blog/an-open-letter-on-porn/

Hesse, C., & Floyd, K. (2019). Affection substitution: The effect of pornography consumption on close relationships. Journal of Social & Personal Relationships, 36(11–12), 3887–3907. https://doi-org.auth.lib.niu.edu/10.1177/0265407519841719

Huntington, C., Markman, H., & Rhoades, G. (2021). Watching Pornography Alone or Together: Longitudinal Associations With Romantic Relationship Quality. Journal of Sex & Marital Therapy, 47(2), 130–146. https://doi-org.auth.lib.niu.edu/10.1080/0092623X.2020.1835760

Willoughby, B. J., & Dover, C. R. (2022). Context matters: Moderating effects in the associations between pornography use, perceived addiction, and relationship well-being. The Journal of Sex Research, 1–14. https://doi.org/10.1080/00224499.2022.2148155

Vaillancourt-Morel, M.-P., Rosen, N. O., Willoughby, B. J., Leonhardt, N. D., & Bergeron, S. (2020). Pornography use and romantic relationships: A dyadic daily diary study.

Published in Treatment For Adults

Watching someone you love struggle with an eating disorder can be a heart-wrenching and overwhelming experience. You may feel helpless and unsure of how to best support them. However, there are steps you can take to assist your loved one on their journey towards recovery, even as they seek treatment. If someone you care about is in eating disorder treatment in Chicago, there are ways you can provide meaningful support. Our counselors have provided some suggestions on helping your loved one navigate the recovery process and offer guidance on how to be an ally in their journey towards a healthier life.

Published in Treatment For Adults

In every romantic relationship, you'll see the occasional spat or minor conflict. If you're arguing more often than not with your partner, then it might be time to seek out couples therapy in Chicago. But if you've never been to couples counseling before, you might not know what to expect.

Published in Treatment For Adults