Monday, September 21, 2015

This Site Has Moved to YOURFAMILYEXPERT.COM


Please visit yourfamilyexpert.com for my latest relationship tips, parent movie reviews, and to schedule therapy appointments with me. Thank you!

Thursday, July 23, 2015

THE POWER OF APOLOGIZING TO YOUR KIDS

Image credit: newsone.com

By Jonathan Decker, LMFT, MS

For some time I have been struck with just how many of my clients, while dealing with their own mental, emotional, or relational struggles, mention that they had a parent who "always had to be right," and "never took accountability for anything." While they cannot blame their parents for their behavior, the fact is that harmful patterns in our thinking and relationships can often be traced back to lessons learned, and examples observed, in childhood. The same is also true for healthy patterns, including apologizing and taking responsibility.

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

THE BEST WAY TO SUPPORT TRADITIONAL MARRIAGES (Hint: It's Not By Opposing Gay Ones)


By Jonathan Decker, LMFT, MS   

Traditional marriage* advocates often express feeling misunderstood and "misrepresented as bigots." They don't hate the LGBT community, they explain. Rather, they deeply believe that marriage between a man and a woman is fundamental for strong individuals, families, and communities. Having been raised by a happily-married mother and father, I agree that this kind of marriage is a great thing for society. But the best way to support traditional marriages is by...you know... actually supporting traditional marriages, not by opposing gay ones.

Friday, June 12, 2015

MARRIAGE COUNSELING- IS IT EVER TOO LATE?

Image: singledadhouse.com

Terminal illnesses are treated most effectively when they are caught early. Patients who resist a trip to the doctor and put it off often wish that they hadn't. Disease often does the most damage when it's left unchecked over time. This is true, also, of problems in marriage. While many things can certainly be resolved and healed between the couple without assistance, some issues can prove fatal to the relationship if help isn't sought, and sooner is always better than later. 

Thursday, June 4, 2015

PURSUE YOUR DREAMS, BUT BE FLEXIBLE (LESSONS LEARNED FROM SHARK-DIVING)


By Jonathan Decker, LMFT, MS

I saw Jaws at entirely too young of an age. The film terrified me, but it also sparked a lifelong obsession with sharks, particularly Great Whites (the species in the movie). For decades I fantasized about climbing into a cage and seeing one up close. It was on my bucket list. I once had the opportunity to cage-dive in shark-infested waters, but passed it up because "it had to be a Great White." Even though one attacks a cage in the film, that was fiction, or so I thought. Then I saw this (skip to 1:40).

Friday, May 22, 2015

FORGIVENESS ISN'T THE SAME THING AS TRUST

Image: abcgo.com

By Jonathan Decker, LMFT, MS

There seems to be a widespread belief, especially among those who've hurt others, that with forgiveness comes a restoration of trust. In other words, if the offended individual doesn't trust the offender and resume the same relationship with them, then the offended has not truly forgiven. Nothing could be further from the truth.

Friday, May 1, 2015

THE REAL "GOLDEN RULE" FOR MARRIAGES

Image: Unknown

"Treat others the way you want to be treated." The Golden Rule has been the standard of behavior in friendships, business partnerships, customer service, and much more. In marriage, however, it can actually lead to problems. Might I suggest an amendment? "Treat your spouse the way he or she wants to be treated."