Category: <span>Couples Therapy</span>

relationship issues

Your Relationship Issues Were There Before Covid

Your Relationship Issues Were There Before Covid with Robin Newman, LCSW in Long Island

So, one of the things that I am finding ‘post-covid’ now that things are opening up more is people coming in individually, not as a couple, to talk about the disillusionment of their relationship and how Covid has put their relationship over the top.

The first thing I say to them is, I need you to check in with yourself, because as much as I do understand that Covid has put your relationship over the top, I’m going to invite you to consider that these issues were all there before covid.

Being locked in with your significant other / wife / husband / girlfriend / boyfriend / partner is going to bring out the ugly stuff because there is no exit.

There’s some healthy exits and there are some unhealthy exits.

Unhealthy Exits:

  • Drinking Too Much
  • Working Too Much
  • Eating Too Much

Healthy Exits:

  • Creating Space For Yourself
  • Having A Balanced Life

I try to explain to people that maybe they need to look inward at what their accountability is in the relationship process and what’s happening. How they have fed into ‘the challenge’ that’s occurring in the relationship and we go from there.

Stay Tuned For Our Next Long Island Couples Workshop Dates!

ROBIN NEWMAN, LCSW-R, PC Individual, Couples & Family Therapist
The Huntington Relationship & Therapy Center 148 East Main Street Huntington, NY (631) 421-4701

“My approach towards couples is oriented not only towards solving the problems the couple is facing, but to revive the feeling of love and affection they have towards each other.”

Robin Newman, LCSW

ABOUT ROBIN NEWMAN: I am a licensed clinical social worker, Imago relationship therapist, as well as an adjunct professor at the Graduate School of Social Work at Adelphi University. I’m a contributing therapist to Ladies Home Journal Magazine, “Can This Marriage Be Saved?” and the online magazine “Parenting Special Needs, Relationship Rescue”.

I work with couples, families and individuals. I’m successful in guiding my patients through anxiety, depression, self-esteem challenges, addictions, and/or family conflicts. The key for me is always in the patient who has the courage and openness to heal. We all have wounds that can hold us back from creating satisfying relationships. It is a privilege and a blessing to be invited into the lives of others and assist them in having a more productive and healed life.

divorce recovery counseling imago relationship therapist NY

Divorce Recovery Counseling

Divorce Recovery Counseling in Long Island, New York with the Huntington Relationship Center

Dealing with the grief of a broken marriage is a turbulent time where the very foundation of your life is being uprooted, finances are diminishing, social pressures abound, and everything feels completely disoriented.

Depression is a common side-effect and comes with the territory of losing your stability — even if the marriage was on rocky ground to begin with and even if you were the one to file the papers.

Like any breakup, it can take a long time to recover.

Since each individual and situation is different, there is no formula for how to move on from such a devastating experience. You should take as much time as you need, but here are a few suggestions that might help speed the recovery from your divorce.

Expressing your feelings in a safe and secure place can be a significant stress release.

Consider speaking with the Huntington Relationship Center about divorce recovery counseling. We can figure out a healthy way for you to cope with changes, and how to develop an exciting future for yourself.

Understand and appreciate you are part of a new world.

Open your eyes to new adventures and friends. You may find your interests change or you’ll have a desire to do something you never really thought about before. This is a time of self-exploration.

Allow yourself the time to grieve.

No matter how miserable or terrible your marriage ended or how bitter the divorce became, it is normal to feel a sense of loss once it’s done. Your ex-spouse was a big part of your life and it’s typical to feel remorse — even if you have spent the past several months or years already feeling it. This is a normal part of the breakup process.

If you are thinking of divorce or you are already divorced and looking for support, please reach out to the Huntington Relationship Center for more info. about counseling near you.

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break up in relationships

When is it time to break up?

What should you do if you’re in doubt about whether you should stay or leave the relationship you’re currently in? How do you know when a relationship is over?

Well, there’s many answers to this, and it’s quite nuanced to our individual lives, but here’s a very small list of signs that your relationship may be on the road to a break up.

1. You tend to tolerate more than you would with anyone else.

Now, in relationships, we’ll always be finding new ways to compromise, and tolerating your significant other’s silly habits or quirks, well, that’s pretty normal. This is stuff like not putting away dishes or leaving the front door unlocked or something annoying but insignificant.

But for example, if a friend or co-worker is constantly putting you down or finding new ways to make you feel self-conscious, you would probably stop communicating with those people, right? What if your partner constantly hurt your feelings or did things in spite of how badly you felt about them? If you’re in a relationship where your partner is consistently criticizing everything you do or making you feel worse about most things, evaluate if you react differently to your partner versus the rest of the world when it comes to how they treat you.

2. You do not have aligned life goals.

When you first got together with your partner, did you ever discuss whether it was just for fun’s sake or if you had other visions in mind? I.E. creating a family, owning a home, getting married, or something deeper? Do you think you have compatible life goals with your partner? For example, if one person wants children and the other person does not, this is a valid reason to consider leaving a relationship.

You both aren’t working towards a similar goal to keep you marching in the same direction as a team. When two people share a similar long term goal, they generally have a better chance at staying together. If two people have contrasting views on how they want their future to look like, this could eventually start to divide the commonality in a couple.

3. There’s a lack of attention from one or both people in a couple.

In order to give a plant the best chance of growing and thriving, it needs its basic ingredients: water, sun, and soil. This goes for couples in the same way. A relationship needs nurturing, time and attention to make it successfully satisfying.

What does this mean? In your relationship, do you have planned outings together? Are you going on dates still? Or taking vacations / staycations together? How are you both ‘sowing’ your relationship seed? If one person is always tending to the health of the relationship and the other person does nothing about it, this seems as if the lopsidedness of care will eventually make the one person who’s trying to help, give up. Let’s face it, all relationships take constant work. Make sure that you both are doing whatever is needed to make your connection stay strong.

These are just 3 common aspects that may indicate that a break up could be a possibility. Don’t let this sway you into giving up automatically, we can all change if we decide we want to and are given the right tools to do so.

If you’re struggling with whether to work on your relationship or leave, consider talking with a couples counselor before making any sudden movements. You can work out all the insecurities you have, as well as get a chance to talk about your concerns in a 100% confidential and judgement free space.

Contact Robin Newman for more information on counseling near you.

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non-verbal communication - couples counseling NY

Non-Verbal Communication in Relationships

Non-verbal communication is the messages we send to others that don’t include words. We can tell a lot about how a person feels, if they’re being genuine with us, or what kind of mood someone is in without them saying anything about it to us. Just the ‘vibe’ someone displays says a thousand words.

Making and maintaining eye contact, facial expressions, and bodily gestures are all examples of nonverbal communication.

Our non-verbal communication that we display to our partner is imperative to pay attention to. For example, if a loved one is coming to you with an issue, how you non-verbally listen and respond can change the dynamics between you from a moment of defense & arguing to a moment of clarity & progression.

No marriage or relationship is free from disagreements. However, you can prevent a disagreement from turning into a full blown out argument with good communication, both verbally and non-verbally. Nonverbal communication actually plays an essential role in verbal communication.

Here’s a checklist to see if you are projecting any negativity into your relationship:

  1. Am I rolling my eyes?
  2. Do I have my arms crossed?
  3. Am I looking at my phone?
  4. Am I condescending?
  5. Do I sound like a know-it-all?
We all can evaluate what we project into the world through our actions and words.

If you want a new reaction from your partner, try a new action yourself. Take on a different stance; see how the dynamics between you change.

Or the next time you’re in public, smile towards a stranger and mean it! See how your non-verbal communication changes the things around you.

In marriage and relationships, we need to understand that nonverbal communication plays a huge role in feelings of security, as well as creating a feeling of connection and affection.

If you are interested in learning more about counseling, contact Robin Newman today.

baggage in relationships - protective behavior

Attachment Styles in Relationships

Have you ever evaluated the attachment styles in your relationships; whether intimate, friendly or career-based? When we recognize the roles that we play in relationships, we become more aware of our habits & behavior patterns. With this awareness, comes the possibility for change within ourselves and an improved sense of well-being in our relationships.

In Imago Relationship Therapy, there’s a dynamic that is seen in most relationships described as, “The Octopus & The Turtle.”

The Octopus is the person who reaches toward the other for connection during a fight.
The Turtle is the person who withdraws by either shutting down or leaving the room.

Our attachment styles are developed in early childhood. But despite this fact, even if one person was more of a turtle in another relationship, it can change; any person with a desire to change, can.

Remember, who we choose as our partner powerfully affects our ability to thrive in the world.

When you learn about your own attachment styles, and your partner’s, you can then be clear about your needs in a relationship and what makes you happy. This is an important step towards relationship success.

Are you a turtle or an octopus when it comes to love?

Contact me for more information on counseling in Long Island.

Robin Newman LCSW

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.

Watch Robin Newman on YouTube

Imago relationship therapist in Long Island

Robin Newman, Imago Relationship Therapist in Long Island

Robin Newman, Imago Relationship Therapist in Long Island

Make a good relationship better, heal a broken relationship, or prevent a new relationship from potential pitfalls.

If you want to learn the tools to long-term relationship success, contact the Huntington Relationship Center today.

Your relationship is much more likely to be a long, happy one if you and your partner both make an active effort to communicate, both well and often.

Robin Newman, LCSW, is an Imago Relationship Therapist in Long Island, NY and is seeing individuals, couples, and small groups in her office in Huntington, New York.

Office Hours:

Tue-Thur 1-9:30, Fri 1-6, Saturdays by appt.

Robin will guide you and your partner to deeper levels of connection using Imago Relationship Therapy, a transformational approach that allows you to experience new levels of safety and appreciation. Restoring passion and hope to your relationship, Imago relationship therapy brings healing, wholeness, and spiritual growth.

TRANSFORMATION IS NEAR

·     Become passionate best friends again
·     Learn how to end the power struggles
·     Harness conflict and redirect to growth
·     Gain understanding and insight into each other
·     Experience compassion for yourself and your partner
·     Start the journey of healing

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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

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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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relationship issues

Your Relationship Issues Were There Before Covid

Your Relationship Issues Were There Before Covid with Robin Newman, LCSW in Long Island So, one of the things that I am finding …

divorce recovery counseling imago relationship therapist NY

Divorce Recovery Counseling

Divorce Recovery Counseling in Long Island, New York with the Huntington Relationship Center Dealing with the grief of a …

break up in relationships

When is it time to break up?

What should you do if you’re in doubt about whether you should stay or leave the relationship you’re currently …