For Therapists

Is it possible to Recover from Affairs?

After infidelity, most couples struggle with rebuilding trust, earning forgiveness, and moving toward a shared vision of a new monogamy and a new future. As a therapist, it’s easy to feel ineffective in the treatment of affairs. There is an old model of infidelity treatment that focuses on a perpetrator and a victim. Common dilemmas in affair recovery often surface around this “threesome” and only make the secret keeping, both in the therapy as well as in the primary relationship, worse. The real healing comes when couples and the therapist learn to be transparent, to confront the differences between privacy and secrecy and when the causes of the affair are explored in a nonpathological way. Forgiveness can be a stuck place as well. And is many times the cause of divorce or separation. “I cant forgive you,” or “Why cant you forgive me?” is a stuck place for many couples who have cheated. Yet forgiveness is a power struggle. Some days there is true forgiveness and understanding and other days, when there is no balance in the relationship, the one who has been cheated on may take back their forgiveness to even the score. Forgiveness is not the goal of the therapy. Empathy is the focus of long term healing. Imago relationship therapy works well in this model, with its structure and understanding of validation and empathy for each partner.

Join me in a new webinar on May 14, May 21, and May 28, 2014 to learn how to help couples work through these major stumbling blocks using Imago therapy techniques of dialogue, validation and empathy. Imago therapy is uniquely therapeutic when it comes to working with affairs and will help any therapist deal directly with couples in the dialogical process necessary for post affair healing.

To register online please click here.
To register as a Graduate Student, please email

Sex, marriage, and relationships – new advice from relationship experts

I was a guest expert on Huffington Post Live’s What’s Trending. We talked about the 8 signs that you’re in the right relationship. Read the original article that inspired this topic: 8 Signs You’re In The Right Relationship

Watch 8 Signs You’re In The Right Relationship on Huffington Post LIVE


I’ve also recently hosted a series of taped discussions with John Gray, Ph.D. and other relationship experts for YourTango. See the latest episodes:

Read More»

The myth of positivity

Should we strive to be happy all of the time? Is positivity really the goal? What’s wrong with experiencing life’s wide spectrum of emotions, appreciating our good and bad days? Thankfully, Waylon Lewis, founder of, compiled just a few reasons why positivity may not be all it’s cracked up to be. You might be surprised (and relieved) to find out that awareness and intention will bring more relaxation and joy than positive thinking could ever hope to.

Read Lewis’ Positivity Manifesto

Is your preoccupation with tech hurting your kids?

For many parents, it’s difficult to balance work, family, and relationships. Last month I posted a blog to YourTango about technology affecting our sex lives. Technology can get in the way of physical and emotional connection with your partner. Huffington Post LIVE experts say your smartphone can interfere with your relationship with your kids. A new study finds that parents who are on their mobile devices are ignoring their kids and not paying close enough attention. How do we put down our phones and spend quality time with our kids? Experts Susan Stiffelman and Caroline Presno discuss our concersn and give advice for parents who want to put down their phones and engage more with their kids.

Parents With Smartphones Need A Time Out!

For more advice on relationships and parenting, check out my video series on including

New Telecourse for IMAGO therapists: Recovering from Affairs

Would you like to help couples rebuild trust, heal their sex life and work towards negotiating a new shared vision of monogamy after an affair has devastated their marriage? Is it possible to build a new future in a marriage rocked by infidelity? As a therapist, it’s easy to feel ineffective or lost in the treatment of affairs. The current model of infidelity treatment focuses on a perpetrator and a victim, but there are newer, better forms of intervention. Common dilemmas therapists can find themselves stuck in often surface around secret keeping and forgiveness. In this class participants will learn how to help couples work through these and other major stumbling blocks using Imago techniques including dialogue, validation and empathy. Imago therapy is uniquely therapeutic in its structure and Dr. Nelson is an expert in helping therapists direct couples in the dialogical process necessary for post infidelity healing and even preventing affairs in the future.

The telecourse will meet over 3 sessions, May 14th, 21st, and 28th and is worth 3 CEUs.

Imago Member – $135
Non-Imago member Therapist – $165
Graduate student – $120

For information on the entire IMAGO telecourse series, click here to see the IMAGO Relationships website.

Ever wondered what your limits are around sex?

Want to become a certified sex therapist? One important requirement is a Sexual Attitude Restructuring Workshop. Ten hours of instructive videos, lecture and an exciting demonstration by a real live practitioner will push your limits when it comes to sex. Think you know everything? Are you unsure about what you might hear about in your office? Concerned about your own sexual issues that might surface? Come to Washington DC on Wednesday March 19th and learn from an AASECT Certified Sex Therapist.

Sexual Attitude Reassessment (SAR) Workshop – Sex for Therapists: Erotic Desensitization and Revision, Realities of Our Current Sexual World

Is writing and publishing a dream for you?

We are gearing up for another Writing and Publishing for Professionals program starting February 18th. If you have a writing project – a blog, an article, a book, or a screenplay and want to start, complete or publish it – then join us! A group can inspire you and motivate you to finish your project. Being accountable to a group, completing writing exercises, getting and giving feedback, and creating a plan for submissions will help you as a writer with your personal or professional project. The class will help you start a first draft, get through a second, complete a third or maybe more. Create a plan and a vision for publication.

Participants are saying, “This class changed my life, and my writing. I am joining again!” Author, CA.
For more information and to read testimonial from the first writing group, go to the event page: Writing and Publishing for Professionals

Filmmaker highlights underrepresentation of women in American culture

Want to raise a daughter with great self esteem?  This came across my path and I’d like to share it with you. As a working mother and a business woman, I think the underrepresentation of women in our media and high-profile, high power positions is severely hindering our daughters’, sisters’, and friends’ inclination to dream of success in positions of influence in our culture.


An advocate for women, girls, and their families, Jennifer Siebel Newsom uses her skills as a filmmaker, speaker, and CEO of the non-profit social action organization to uncover the glaring injustices we live with every day yet fail to adequately see and ultimately change. She wrote, directed and produced the documentary film, Miss Representation, which exposes the underrepresentation of women in positions of power and influence in America. Her film challenges the media’s limited and often disparaging portrayals of women, which make it difficult for the average woman to feel powerful herself. Her eighteen videos on Kids in the House offer tips on raising daughters with positive self-esteem, help to inspire women empowerment and more.

Click Here to Watch Her Videos

Ending Your Marriage With Integrity

The fact of the matter is that sometimes divorce really is the best option for ending the internal and external conflict. And you can end your marriage with integrity and respect, honoring your partner and your history in a way that says more than just, “sorry, I want out.”

For more information on how to end your marriage with integrity, be sure to read my latest article for Huffington Post: Ending Your Marriage With Integrity

Therapists often struggle with providing couples – and co-creating with them – effective strategies and rituals around their decision to divorce. If you’d like to help improve your couples’ chances of ending their relationships emotionally intact, listen to The Intentional Divorce: A New Frontier – A two-part teleclass with Wendy Patterson & myself. You can still purchase a recording and listen anytime.

The happiest couple is…

I wanted to share with you an article from Huffington Post that touches on a lot of what I address in my work as a sex and relationship therapist. This Is The Happiest Relationship Ever, According To Science touches on a wide variety of research that explores which couples are happier, more satisfied in their romantic relationships. Some key points:

the happiest couple is…
Not big on texting. Not into online gaming. without a lot of overlapping Facebook friends. – Couples who engage primarily without the aid of technology and make the time to focus on the romantic relationship.

Very sexually active. – Couples who devote more time (at least once a week) to erotic connection are more happy in their relationship, and in life as a whole.

Not fighting a lot anymore, but definitely were at one point. – Couples who express their emotions and communicate fully and honestly are happier in the long run.

I’m particularly interested in the findings related to technology’s impact on relationships. I’m preparing for a full-day training on Monogamy in the Internet Age at the 2014 Psychotherapy Networker Symposium in Washington, DC March 20-23. This workshop will map out the impact of technology on couples’ struggles around what’s acceptable and what’s not, and how therapists can help clients heal from “virtual” betrayals that have real emotional repercussions.

Join Dr. Tammy Nelson at the 2014 Psychotherapy Networking Symposium in Washington, DC