Dr. Barbara Fontana, PhD
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"Relationships & How to Make Them Work"

Barbara Fontana, Ph.D
45 Route 25A
Shoreham, NY 11786
Ph: 631-821-1880

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Barbara Fontana, PhD - Psychologist & Imago Relationship Therapist
Suffolk County, Long Island, New York - Couples Therapy

Tips of the Week for Couples

  • Make a list of your spouse/partner's positive qualities...

...and tell them one quality you appreciate each day.

  • How you greet your spouse can make a difference: when you wake up, come home, go to bed, talk on the phone.

Use your greeting to let your spouse/partner know you are glad to see them and love them by the look on your face and the tone in your voice.

  • Couples often disagree.

Try not to bicker over petty things. Before your argument escalates, take a breath and ask yourself how important is this to me. If it's not important, drop it. If it is important, ask yourself how can I state my view in a respectful way?

  • Marriage or a committed relationship is the most intimate of all human relationships.

We know our spouse/partner better than anyone else. We can love them deeply or wound them deeply. Choose to love.

  • In Imago therapy we believe "conflict is growth trying to happen."

When a couple disagrees about the same thing over and over, it is often because one person needs to stretch/grow to meet an important need of their spouse/partner and this is hard to do. When we stretch to meet our spouse/partner's need, it not only helps our partner to heal but also helps us to grow as a person.

  • The next several tips are love-building exercises to create emotional intimacy from Dr. Robert Epstein, who does research on relationships.

"Two as One: embrace each other gently, begin to sense your partner's breathing and gradually try to synchronize your breathing with his or hers. After a few minutes, you might feel that the two of you have merged."

  • Another exercise from Dr. Robert Epstein: "Soul Gazing: Standing or sitting about two feet away from each other, look deeply into each other's eyes, trying to look into the very core of your beings. Do this for about two minutes and then talk about what you saw."

For many couples, soul gazing will increase feelings of love because each person is being more vulnerable and that is a key element in emotional bonding.

  • Another exercise from Dr. Robert Epstein: "Monkey Love: Standing or sitting fairly near each other, start moving your hands arms and legs any way you like but in a fashion that perfectly imitates your partner.

This is fun but also challenging. You will both feel as if you are moving voluntarily, but your actions are also linked to those of your partner.

  • Another exercise from Dr. Robert Epstein: "Let Me Inside:

Stand about four feet away from each other and focus on each other. Every 10 seconds or so move a bit closer until, after several shifts, you are well inside each other's personal space (the boundary is about 18 inches). Get as close as you can without touching." This exercise often ends with kissing.

Psychologist Shoreham, Long Island | (631) 821-1880