Category: <span>Couples Therapy</span>

Imago relationship therapy workshops

Imago Workshops for Couples in Long Island

Imago relationship therapy workshops for couples in Long Island, NY ~ The Huntington Relationship Center

Stay tuned for our LINY couples workshop dates!!

I am open for business, I have been seeing people face-to-face, Tuesdays through Fridays. I’m fully vaccinated. People come in, sit in the waiting room with a mask on, once you come in, we’re sitting far enough away from one another.

Soon (hopefully by September 2021), my husband Don and I will be back to hosting our Imago workshops in Long Island, NY, GETTING THE LOVE YOU WANT. We are very excited about this and looking forward to it because that is something that gives us both joy. So, soon we will be able to offer you couples workshops once again.

In our Imago workshops, the maximum capacity will be about 5-6 couples. In the past, we’ve done a larger amount but due to COVID19 and respecting the parameters of the space and keeping people safe, that’s what we’re going to be doing so please stay tuned!

Robin Newman, LCSW-R, PC

Imago Relationship Therapist

Individual, Couples & Family Counseling

THE HUNTINGTON RELATIONSHIP CENTER

148 East Main Street (Suite 102) Huntington, NY 11743

For more info. on counseling, contact Robin Newman, LCSW

Follow The Huntington Relationship Center on YouTube

marriage killers - Imago Relationship Therapy New York

Avoid These Marriage Killers

Let’s face it – we’ve all probably been in a situation where we are arguing with our partner and start to become unkind in the process. Anger flares, insults are hurled, and now the difficult situation we found ourselves in has gotten increasingly worse. There’s many factors that can get in the way of a good marriage, but often, they’re the small, unnoticed things that make their way in. In order to make sure our marriages survive and thrive, here are 4 marriage killers every couple should be on the lookout for:

marriage killers - Imago Relationship Therapy New York
  1. The Silent Treatment
    This behavior shuts off all communication and is used as a weapon of manipulation. You withdraw from the interaction. It’s sometimes a way to shutout stimulation when feeling attacked. You’re simply unresponsive. Learn to process your emotions when under stress. Communicate that you’re feeling overwhelmed / attacked and need time to process. If you find yourself consistently resorting to this behavior, it’s beneficial to seek out counseling to understand why this is your default response to conflict.
  2. Defensiveness
    You completely shut out what your partner is trying to say and instead you avoid accountability for your part in the conflict. It’s used to protect against feeling blamed – a form of counter attack. Realize that in every conflict, there are two sides. Accept responsibility for even part of the problem. Demonstrate a willingness to see your role in the problem.
  3. Criticism
    This is pointing out something negative by blaming a personality flaw verses the actual behavior. It’s about who a person is… a character assassination. This marriage killer is a form of verbal abuse and an attempt to tear down the other person’s self-esteem in order to obtain the outcome the critic desires. To combat criticism, use a gentle start up to a conversation. You can complain without attacking or blaming.
  4. Contempt
    Once criticism has taken root, the heat gets turned up to contempt. Tone of voice is the most powerful weapon in contempt. It diminishes another person in order to belittle or put them down. You portray harmful feelings of disgust, disrespect, mockery, name-calling, sneering or hostile humor. Build a culture of appreciation and respect in your relationship. Look for the good in the other person and seek to restore the relationship through asking for forgiveness.

I think it’s important to remember that we’re all probably guilty of a few of these marriage killers on occasion. However, a pattern of these in your relationship should really serve as a red flag for you and your partner.

For more info. on couples counseling, contact Robin Newman, LCSW

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the spiral experience in relationships - Imago therapy NY

The spiral experience in relationships – Imago therapy NY

Robin talks about the spiral experience in relationships according to Imago relationship therapy during her couples’ intensive workshops in Long Island, New York. For more information on couples counseling, contact Robin today.

marrying partners like our parents

All relationships start off with a flood of good emotions, then couples begin to hit a wall when things get challenging. What Robin teaches is that this is a normal cycle, and in order to come out on the other side better, we must be aware and DO THE WORK to get to a place of real love and safety.

It all starts when you or your partner perceive a disconnect: in intimacy, in support, or in understanding of each other.

Then you notice that you don’t feel as close to or as attracted to your partner as you used to be. This makes you sad because you remember what it was like to be so giddy in love when you were first together.

You have a realization that something has gone wrong. At this point, you start to feel anxious. You begin to look for a reason or a scapegoat, for those negative feelings. In this case, your partner becomes the scapegoat. You start to look for what your partner is doing wrong or what he/she is neglecting to do:

They left the house without saying goodbye. They forgot to tell you they invited friends over for drinks tonight. They left dishes in the sink instead of putting them in the dishwasher. They didn’t call you to tell you they’d be getting home late.

Now you have something to latch onto. You criticize and attack your partner. They did something wrong because of a flaw in their character. This becomes a power struggle.

When you’re in this state of looking for reasons why your partner is causing your unhappiness, you only see what they’re doing wrong. You ignore all the things your partner may be doing right.

What’s interesting about this is that science has shown that women subconsciously use criticism as a way to draw their partner in and as an indication to move closer. That’s not how a man sees complaining and criticism! When a woman criticizes, the man believes he’s failed in some way, and begins to feel hurt, ashamed, and misunderstood. This makes him angry with himself. But he doesn’t want to direct his anger at you, so he withdraws. He stops talking. He grows cold. He seems to ignore you. He may even leave the room or the house.

When a man withdraws, he’s often protecting you from his anger. But if he withdraws long enough and often enough, you don’t feel safe or connected. This again causes you to feel contempt. When you’re in a state of contempt, you believe they can no longer do anything right, because their actions aren’t just what’s wrong. THEY are wrong.

When you’re in a state of contempt, you also may say mean things, be sarcastic, or belittle them… Contempt is ugly. Once you start to feel it, it’s much more difficult to bring the relationship back. That’s because with contempt, you believe you’ve made up your mind about your partner, and it’s not good. They can’t do anything right. They can’t give you what you need. They’re flawed.

Now it’s just a matter of time before things fall apart. That’s why it’s so important to recognize EARLY ON if you’re falling into relationship failure and do the things that will reconnect with your partner, FAST.

How can you do that? You both must make the decision to recommit to your relationship with curiosity.

Rather than complain, criticize, or ask your your partner to stop doing things that annoy you, look for ways to add positives to your relationship. Ask questions on how your partner feels. Be curious on how they’re feeling as well. That is by far the most effective way to turn any relationship around. This will forge a stronger connection with your partner, knowing that you are both on the same page looking for more love, intimacy, and trust.

When you strengthen intimacy and connection, your entire relationship changes for the better.

The spiral experience in relationships is something you should be aware of from the start so when you feel that things are not going smoothly, you can know what to do to get back on track and move forward stronger together!

For more information on Imago relationship therapy, follow Robin on Facebook!

imago relationship therapy NY

The Imago Dialogue for Couples

If you feel that your relationship is lacking intimacy, I highly encourage you to look into the Imago Dialogue. As an Imago Relationship Therapist, I help guide couples who struggle for re-connection to find their way, develop better communication skills, and fully be heard and understood. Once this happens, couples open up, their hearts open, and their relationships are revived with a new hope and feeling of intimacy with one another.

Effective communication is really the lubrication to your relationship. It matters to both partners to have the freedom and safety to express their concerns/resentments/issues and fully be heard.

The Imago Dialogue

In the Imago Dialogue, both partners agree to a basic ground rule: one person talks at a time.

There is one person who is speaking (aka sending) and another who is listening (aka receiving).

It’s when you’re in the role of Listener/Receiver that you will be doing the 3 steps of Imago Dialogue which are:

• Mirroring
• Validation
• Empathy

STEP 1: MIRROR

When your partner pauses, or perhaps when you have asked them to pause, you will repeat back exactly everything you heard them say. You will mirror without analyzing, critiquing, modifying or responding.

EXAMPLE: “If I got it right, I heard you say…” and then ask the Speaker/Sender if there’s more they’d like to add to what they said: “Is there anything else you want to add/say?”

STEP 2: VALIDATE

After giving the Sender as many opportunities to “add more” as needed, once the Sender says there is no more, the Receiver attempts to validate what the Sender said. The Sender will validate if what they are hearing back from you is making logical sense to them – if they feel you got the message. If the Sender feels that you didn’t understand what they’ve told you, you simply share what does make sense to you, and then ask the Sender to say more about the parts that don’t.

EXAMPLE: “This makes sense to me because…” or “That makes sense, I can see where…”

Ask for clarification:  “This part makes sense, but help me understand this, can you say more?”

STEP 3: EMPATHIZE

In the final step, the Receiver takes a guess as to what they imagine the Sender might be feeling with regard to what they have been saying. If the Sender has already said how they feel, then the Receiver can simply reflect this back once more. If the Receiver can think of an additional way their partner might be feeling, this is where they add that.

When sending empathy, it is fine to say something such as:  “I can imagine you feel like …. (you’re the only one working on our relationship).” However, it’s important to know that once the word “like” comes into play, what’s being expressed is a thought, not a feeling. The best way we have come to distinguish the difference between a thought and a feeling, is that a feeling can generally be described in a few words: happy, excited, safe, cared for, hurt, frustrated, scared. Try to include feeling words if you can. Doing so, especially when lucky enough to hit the proverbial nail on the head, will often bring a look of recognition and joy to your partner’s face faster than anything else you could say.

EXAMPLE:  “I can imagine you might be feeling drained from this…”

Now that the Sender has said all they have to say and the Receiver has mirrored, validated and empathized, the whole process reverses. Partners trade places, but the new Sender does not start a new topic, rather s/he responds to what the first Sender said. The Receiver now gets their turn to respond with whatever came up for them while the first partner was sending.

If you are interested in learning more about using Imago Dialogue for your relationship, contact Robin Newman, LCSW.

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centering exercise - Book an appointment with social worker in Huntington, NY

Centering exercise before couples speak during therapy

Centering exercise before couples speak during therapy with Robin Newman, LCSW in Long Island, NY.

Whenever I start an Imago session with a couple, they often ask why we do a centering exercise before starting.

Part of why I believe in doing a centering exercises, is first of all, to calm oneself. It also sets up an openness to listen.

Casey the therapy dog

I have a therapy dog in this practice and I now like to use the metaphor of trying to see the world through a puppy’s eyes.

Take that puppy-kind-of-attitude and use that when looking at your partner’s stated issues.

Be curious at what they’re saying, opposed to getting defensive, annoyed and/or angry.

“Being heard is so close to being loved that for the average person, they are almost indistinguishable.”

David Augsberger

For more info. on counseling, contact Robin Newman, LCSW

Imago relationship therapy provides couples with effective communication tools that allow both people to feel safe & connected as they talk about their problems, instead of entering the painful “power struggle”.

When both partners make positive changes that have meaning to the other, it serves as reinforcement and is a catalyst for more positive change. At this time, making changes could seem difficult but this too will probably be explored in the counseling process.

Robin Newman, social worker & owner of the Huntington Relationship Center in Long Island, NY.

imago relationship therapy for individuals long island ny

Recognizing Conflict, Resolving Tensions, and Rebuilding Your Relationship

Conflicts in a marriage are inevitable and perfectly normal, but many couples struggle to resolve these conflicts alone. This inability to communicate effectively with one another can cause dissatisfaction in one or both parties. Seeing a marriage counselor is one of the best ways to help clarify and resolve the issues that arise between couples.

It’s a common misconception that couples only pursue marriage counseling when there is infidelity in a relationship. Seeking marriage counseling can resolve a variety of issues including poor communication, lack of intimacy, finances, children, transitions, and a range of other topics.

It may be hard to decipher when marriage counseling is the right step for you and your partner, but getting information is the first step.

Each couple is unique, so a marriage counselor takes a personalized approach to help resolve the conflict between partners.

Robin Newman LCSW Long Island, marriage counselor

Robin Newman uses Imago Relationship Therapy with couples of all kinds.

Imago Relationship Therapy focuses on relational counseling to transform conflict between couples into opportunities for healing and growth.

There is frequently a connection between early childhood experiences and frustrations in adulthood, and these childhood sensitivities often arise in a marriage. When issues that occurred in childhood repeatedly come up with a partner, they can overshadow the positive aspects of a relationship.

Imago Relationship Therapy allows couples to understand their childhood experiences and allow themselves to heal their relationship and move towards more effective means of communication.

During counseling, Robin aims to disarm conflicting verbal communication, and in doing so, increase respect, intimacy, and affection. Additionally, Imago Relationship Therapy works to remove barriers that may make couples feel stagnant in their conflicts while creating a heightened sense of empathy in the relationship.

Couples learn how to replace negative conflict patterns, increase intimacy and emotional connection, and enhance shared goals.

With marriage counseling, couples learn how to be emotionally available and empathetic towards one another, eliminating negative conflict cycles and strengthening attachment bonds.

Marriage counseling is extremely effective when partners are motivated and willing to work on the conflicts in their relationship.

Working to resolve conflicts in a marriage is hard work, requiring a lot of communication and commitment, but with the help of a counselor, couples don’t have to face that strain alone.

Robin is trained in helping partners through a variety of issues and tailors her method towards your needs. Open and honest communication between all parties is the best way to go about counseling and will yield positive results.

For more info. on counseling, contact Robin Newman, LCSW

Robin Newman, social worker & owner of the Huntington Relationship Center in Long Island, NY.

Robin Newman, LCSW-R, PC, Imago Relationship Therapist
Individual, Couples & Family Counseling

THE HUNTINGTON RELATIONSHIP CENTER
148 East Main Street (Suite 102) Huntington, NY 11743
(631) 421-4701

baggage in relationships

How we bring baggage into our relationships.

Emotional baggage is what people often carry into relationships.

Simply put, “baggage” is the collection of unpleasant memories from the past that continue to negatively affect our perception and behavior in the present.

How and why do we bring baggage into our relationships from the past?

unmet needs - baggage in relationships - Imago therapy

Unmet Needs:

Each of these must be met or we will not feel secure:

Attachment: I’m connected to my caretakers and can depend upon them.

Exploration: I can leave Mom & Dad and come back. I’m not smothered.

Identity I am secure in who I am. I don’t have to be like anyone else.

Competency: I can reach for my dreams and find success without shame.

lost parts - baggage in relationships - Imago therapy

Lost Parts:

We’re born with 4 beautiful ways to connect to others:

Thinking: I can have my own ideas.
Sensing: It’s okay to explore my body.
Feeling: I can have feelings that are different from yours.
Acting: I can show my feelings.

baggage in relationships - protective behavior

Protective behaviors are always defensive and adaptive.

They allow us to restore a sense of safety and to continue living and being accepted by our parents, whom we adore and love unconditionally, despite the pain, as infants and young kids. But they can also create problems when their ability to defend and protect is mistaken for an attack.

We look for partners who make us whole, shedding the need to use any protective behaviors. When we can release these protective behaviors in our baggage, we are able to live a freer life.

Although we categorize our baggage into three separate areas, know that all of our baggage is very closely related.

Our protective behaviors are developed from our unmet needs and lost parts. By failing to embrace all of the parts of our personality, our caregivers fail to meet certain needs.

We can’t always unpack one type of baggage. This process can get messy, confusing, and disorganized. But the benefits of unpacking our baggage and opening it up for our partners to see and understand will have unbelievable benefits on our relationship and our lives.

A relationship goes through numerous phases during its life cycle, and it’s obvious for it to have a few rough patches. The strength of a relationship is reflected in how couples deal with the rough patches and move ahead.

Long Island couples therapist - getting through hard times

 
For more info. on relationship counseling, contact Robin Newman, LCSW today.

Robin Newman helps couples break through barriers to achieve greater understanding, connection and intimacy.

< Watch Robin Newman on YouTube >

Imago Relationship Therapy founders

Marriage (even for marriage experts) is never easy.

Imago therapy is a highly effective form of relationship and couples therapy that has positively affected thousands of couples around the world. This transformational method of therapy was developed 25 years ago by Dr. Harville Hendrix & Dr. Helen LaKelly Hunt, and provides resources for couples & individuals seeking to find a way to be more effective in their life and relationships.

Just like any other couple, Harville & Helen experienced a power struggle where they attempted to change each other to be “more like me.”

GETTING THE LOVE YOU WANT - a guide for couples

A critical comment would degenerate into loud arguments.

Blaming each other was a common focus of conversation.

After a decade of marriage, they found themselves teetering on the brink of divorce. They started to lose hope that their relationship would survive.

Facing the inevitable, they decided to give one last try and commit to doing everything possible to salvage their relationship.

Harville & Helen co-created Imago Relationship Therapy to promote the transformation of couples & families by a creating relational culture that supports universal equality and effective communication.

It offers communication tools that will allow both people to feel safe & connected as they talk about their problems, instead of entering the painful “power struggle”.

Invest In Your Love

A relationship goes through numerous phases during its life cycle, and it’s obvious for it to have a few rough patches. The strength of a relationship is reflected in how couples deal with the rough patches and move ahead.

For info. on couples counseling, contact Robin Newman, LCSW today.

Watch Robin Newman on YouTube >

stay in connection - Huntington Relationship Therapy

Stay in connection 2020

Stay in connection 2020 – Huntington Relationship Center – Imago Relationship Therapy

Humans are social animals: We crave feeling supported, valued and connected.

Research points to the benefits of social connection: in one compelling study, a key difference between very happy people and less happy people was good relationships.

Communicate to help manage anxiety and stress.

During this time of sheltering in place / being quarantined under the same roof, it’s highly possible that stress, anxiety and depression might start to get the best of us. If it happens to you, know that it’s perfectly normal, especially under these chaotic circumstances.

That’s why it’s so important to stay in connection during these uncertain times. No one should struggle alone. If you find that you could use someone to talk to or you know someone who is in need of assistance, contact the Huntington Relationship Center today.

As a Long Island social worker, Robin welcomes couples, families, and individuals to her office:
148 East Main Street (Suite 102) Huntington, NY 11743.

Long Island couples therapist - getting through hard times

For more info. on counseling, contact Robin Newman, LCSW today.

Robin Newman helps individuals and couples break through barriers to achieve greater understanding, connection and intimacy. (631) 421-4701

< Watch Robin Newman on YouTube >

Heightened Stress in 2020 - Counseling Services for NYers - Robin Newman, LCSW

Heightened Stress in 2020 – Counseling for NYers

Heightened Stress in 2020 – Counseling Services for NYers – Robin Newman, LCSW

Invest In Your Love

A relationship goes through numerous phases during its life cycle, and it’s obvious for it to have a few rough patches. The strength of a relationship is reflected in how couples deal with the rough patches and move ahead. During these stressful times, counseling can be very helpful.

Surviving Heightened Stress in 2020:

Maintain your emotional support system. If you don’t have any, find a licensed therapist who will be that for you. These are the people you can vent your frustration with and share your successes with.

Talking about what’s happening to you is the best way to defuse your feelings and symptoms. Allow yourself to cry. It releases feelings and tension. Get feedback and advice from a professional NY counselor.

Value and protect yourself. Try to exercise. Exercise releases tension in the muscles and reduces the effects of anxiety. Eat right and get your sleep. If you’re run down, you won’t be efficient or function at the intellectual level required to get good grades, do good at work, take care of your kids. Stress degrades the first line of defense in our immune system and prolonged stress usually leads to illness.

Long Island couples therapist - getting through hard times

For more info. on counseling, contact Robin Newman, LCSW today.

Robin Newman helps couples & individuals break through barriers to achieve greater understanding, connection and intimacy.

< Watch Robin Newman on YouTube >

Imago relationship therapy workshops

Imago Workshops for Couples in Long Island

Imago relationship therapy workshops for couples in Long Island, NY ~ The Huntington Relationship Center Stay tuned for our …

Imago relationship therapist Long Island New York

Individuals can use an Imago Relationship Therapist too!

What’s interesting about Imago relationship therapy, is once you have an understanding… Once you read that book, …

imago relationship therapy for individuals long island ny

Imago Relationship Therapy for Individuals Long Island, NY

The Huntington Relationship Center offers Imago Relationship Therapy for Individuals, Couples & Families in Long Island, …