Imago Think Tank: Wedding Planning is Therapy

Modern Brides & Modern Grooms coverMany of you know that I regularly host the Imago Think Tank, interviewing therapists, authors, and innovators in couples therapy. Recently I had the pleasure of interviewing Mark O’Connell L.C.S.W., author of Modern Brides & Modern Grooms: A Guide to Planning Straight, Gay, and Other Nontraditional Twenty-First-Century Weddings.

Mark discussed how marriage is changing for people of all walks of life, and how events like weddings celebrate the story of a couple’s relationship. In Mark’s post about the interview on Psychology Today, Celebration Planning Can Be Effective Therapy, he discusses how wedding planning can be an important time period for couples who are creating their future together.

I encourage you to read his article on Psychology Today and listen to the Imago Think Tank interview below.

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Key to happy marriage: financial freedom

Financial freedomThe number one reason couples fight is money. Nobody wants to let arguments over household finances destroy an otherwise healthy relationship. But how do we keep money from tearing us apart?

I love James Van Praagh’s approach to financial freedom: money is energy. Where and how you choose to spend your money reveals what is most important to you. If you want more financial freedom (and really, who doesn’t) start with reading this: Choose Financial Freedom by James Van Praagh

5 Easy Hacks That’ll Save Your Toxic Relationship

Being in a toxic relationship is horrible enough; having to go through the same experiences on more than one occasion (and with different people) is even more frustrating. There’s nothing worse than falling in love with someone who really connects with you…only to discover that they have some less than desirable traits that are pretty much dealbreakers. You can only get drawn into so many fights and shouting matches before the bone crushing fatigue kicks in.

Honestly, are there ways to avoid falling into this vicious cycle?

As sad it sounds, sometimes you just have to know when it’s time to call it quits and accept that nothing will change. The problem lies in the fact that making that call isn’t always easy—Especially when there are kids involved. That’s just one of the reasons why it’s important to try to fix things before it’s too late.

But how can you tell if your relationship is even worth saving?

Making the decision to work things out isn’t the most important step — coming to that decision TOGETHER is. After all, it definitely takes two to tango. You can’t expect your relationship to improve if you and your partner aren’t on the same page. So, if you want to save yourself from a sinking ship, listen closely.

According to host Dr. Tammy Nelson, Imago Institute’s Harville Hendrix and Helen LaKelly Hunt, Psychotherapist Dr. Jamie Turndorf, Spiritual Psychotherapist Tracy B. Richards and Psychotherapist Ross Rosenberg, doing just one of the five things mentioned in the video after the jump can make a major difference in your love life. Seriously.

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Fifty Shades of Feminism

50 Shades of Grey posterI was in Paris for the opening of the movie, Fifty Shades of Grey. There were over 2,000 advanced tickets sold for the opening night in Paris, and almost 5,000 tickets sold for the 2:00 p.m. show.

The movie opened to over $100 million in worldwide sales. Tickets will continue to sell out and men, women and couples of all ages will see this film for months and maybe even years to come.

As I walked through the underground Metro there are movie posters on the wall with Christian Grey holding Anastasia’s arms above her head and kissing her passionately. There is another of her biting her lip, seductively, waiting.

The words in French make it look romantic. But is the movie romantic? Is a movie about a man who abuses his power over a young woman supposed to be romantic? And why is it grabbing the heartstrings of so many viewers? Is this a reflection of women in our western culture giving up their power and a step back for feminism? Or is Fifty Shades a true modern-day fairy tale?

The risk of the movie, particularly for young girls or beginners who want to try some BDSM in their own relationship, is that power must be used with permission and with a safe word within a trusting partnership. This may not be clear in the film.

One of the reasons that the book has been such an overnight success is that it hits a combination of sweet spots in our history of feminism and erotic power, crucial to our role as women.

But do not underestimate or mistake our desire for ravishment by a strong man for weakness.

We are not giving up our power; we are taking back our power. We are coming into a time of real authority, recognizing our own internal strengths and finding real choices. We don’t want to give our power away to men. We want to open ourselves to a man who can handle it. We want sexual satisfaction and we will not settle for less.

Read the full article on Huffington Post: Fifty Shades of Feminism: Hot Sex and the New Fairy Tale

Sexual Repair: Create More Desire, Arousal, and Fun

Was your Valentine’s Day lackluster in the sex department? Would like to create more desire, arousal and fun in your sexual life? Then mark your calendar for 12pm EST April 7th, April 21st, and May 5th and register for Sexual Repair: Three ways to Heal and Grow Your Erotic Self

In this course,

Participants will learn ways to heal sexual dysfunction including premature ejaculation, orgasmic delay and lack of orgasm.
Participants will explore how to work on bringing excitement and eroticism into a long term relationship.
Participants will learn how rape, incest, bullying, coming out, reassignment, and harassment affect erotic behaviors and how to heal from them.
Participants will discover their own smaller traumas and ways they affect their erotic lives.
Participants will find out the difference between being a cheater and being cheated on, both online and in real life.
Participants will discover what mate guarding, ravishment and cuckolding have to do with healing from the betrayal of a cheating relationship.
Participants will focus on what heals sexual self esteem and how they can heal from shame, feel sexy and find erotic behaviors in bed with a partner or alone.

Register before April 1 to save $50!