The Pursuer-Distancer Pattern of Communication


Most couples struggle with communication at some point in their relationship.  It’s normal for couples to come into session and really have a hard time working through conflict and disagreements.  Sometimes it’s as though they can’t even work through the simplest of disagreements.  Obviously, this is discouraging and scary to couples who want better for their relationship. In fact, there is a pattern called the Pursuer-Distancer that can help explain the dance that happens between couples.  Today I’m going to talk about what this looks like, and how to work together to be healthier in your communication with one another. The Pursuer Let’s meet Karen.  Karen is a pursuer.  She likes to deal with conflict in the moment.  Karen will...

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Porn Addiction versus Sex Addiction Part 2

sex addiction

If you read last week’s blog, you know that today I’m going to discuss sex addiction, and how it is different from porn addiction.  If you missed last week’s blog, click here. Although there is not an official DSM-5 diagnosis for sex addiction, there is plenty of support for a legitimate diagnosis.  This week I’m going to talk to you about what I’ve seen working with sex addiction, as well as what other experts have to say about it. What is Sex Addiction? Last week, I told you that porn addiction is a type of sex addiction—but not all sex addicts are porn addicts.  Let me tell you what sex addiction can look like. Sex addicts can be addicted to...

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Porn Addiction versus Sex Addiction Part 1

porn addiction

In my line of work, I see a lot of people who are addicted to a lot of things—alcohol, drugs, shopping, gambling, food, work, etc.  Interestingly enough, I also see a lot of people who I believe are addicted to pornography and/or sex.  I believe that people can get addicted to both—even though for the time being, there is no official DSM-5 diagnosis for either….yet.  But if you’ve ever lived with someone who has a porn addiction or sex addiction, you probably agree that both are legitimate.. My hope over the next 2 weeks is to explain the difference between porn addiction and sex addiction, and to give you a clear understanding of why both are very real, and devastating...

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What is Transfer Addiction?

transfer addiction

There is a lot of talk in the news today about the opioid crisis and addiction.  Normal, everyday people are finding themselves addicted to pain pills—or worse.  Even if these individuals are lucky enough to get into recovery, there are still a lot of obstacles for them to face.  The possibility of relapse, the pressure to stay sober, and even the possibility of a transfer addiction. If you’re someone not familiar with the world of addiction, or even if you are, there’s still a good chance you may not have heard the term transfer addiction.  My hope today is to educate you on why it’s such a problem, and why getting into recovery is only half the battle for those...

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All about the Enneagram Types

enneagram types

If you are a reader, or interested in psychology at all, you’ve probably heard of the Enneagram.  The Enneagram is comprised of 9 different personality types that explain a person’s worldview.  It also explains what motivates them, their personality characteristics, and how they relate to others.  The 9 Enneagram types are numbered one through nine and are arranged on a chart like a nonagram--a 9-pointed figure. The Enneagram not only discusses the good parts of a person’s personality, but also the “flaws”, fears, and sinful tendencies that each number may struggle with.  It also helps a person identify ways to improve themselves by identifying what they struggle with at their core. The Enneagram is becoming more and more well-known.  It’s...

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What to do When You Experience Grief


A little bit of self-disclosure here: I have experienced a lot of grief in the past few years of my life.  Prior to these losses, I felt like grief and loss was a topic that I fully understood, and could help others process in their own lives.  With the losses in my own life, my empathy and understanding have reached a whole other level I didn’t know possible.  I truly believe that God can use hard and awful things to give us the ability to help others. Two years ago I wrote a blog on grief that you can read here.  While many of the things I talked about are still true, I wanted to expand on a few things...

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Do You Have Adult ADHD?

adult ADHD

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (also known as ADHD) is commonly diagnosed in children.  However, it’s also extremely common for adults to be diagnosed with Adult ADHD.  In the past, ADHD was overlooked or misdiagnosed, and so there are many adults who have it, yet have never been properly identified.  Other adults may have adult-onset ADHD, meaning it did not occur until they were older. Today I’m going to discuss ADHD symptoms, types, and treatment.  My hope is that if you identify with or relate to any of the following, that you may be able to pursue some help. Adult ADHD Symptoms ADHD symptoms can include lack of organization, losing things, and impulsive behavior (spending money, making rash decisions, etc.).  It...

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Are You in an Enmeshed Relationship?

enmeshed relationship

Have you ever been in a relationship that controls you?  Have you ever put someone else’s wants and needs before your own?  Is it possible that you have lost your own sense of identity?  Do you feel guilt and angst over letting another person down?  If so, you may be in an enmeshed relationship. What is Enmeshment? When you are enmeshed with someone, you can become consumed with the other person.  There are no clear boundaries within the relationship, and any boundaries that do exist are permeable.  It’s very common for a lot of over-sharing to occur in an enmeshed relationship.  It may be impossible for each person to have their own individuality and instead feel defined by the relationship. ...

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How Do You Know if You Have Shame?


Shame is a very popular topic nowadays.  Researcher Brene Brown has taken a very shameful topic like shame and turned it into normal dinner conversation. So what is it?  Shame is that warm feeling that washes over you when you feel embarrassed or not good enough.  It is the negative self-talk that tells you that you are a failure, worthless, and unlovable.  It can be triggered by an embarrassing moment, someone speaking to you in a condescending or shaming way, or by your own insecurities.  Shame can make you want to hide or be invisible to others. Bullying You may have a lot of shame if you were bullied or made fun of as a child.  When someone bullies you,...

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What to do When Therapy Sucks


If you’ve ever been to therapy, you probably know it’s not all sunshine and rainbows.  Sure, there are many sessions that are productive and very positive.  But oftentimes there are sessions that are painful, raw, and emotional.  Today I’m going to focus on those sessions, why they occur, and what to do if you experience one. If you’ve never been to therapy but are contemplating it, I want to be honest with you: Sometimes therapy sucks.  That’s just the plain truth.  That is not meant to discourage you in any way from starting, but rather to give you a realistic view of what to expect.  My hope is that you will understand that the investment is yourself is worth any...

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