Dr. Barbara Fontana, PhD
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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

  • According to Dr. Harville Hendrix, we all have unmet needs from our childhood and look to our partner to met those needs and help us heal and grow.

When we are most frustrated or upset with our partner, it's usually because he/she is not meeting one of those unmet needs from childhood. The next time this happens, pause and try to figure out what is the underlying cause of your negative reaction. Do you remember feeling like this when you were a child? Share this with your partner to increase his/her empathy for your experiences.

  • Every day this week ask yourself:

What can I do today to love my partner the way he/she wants and needs to be loved? and then do it!

  • People often dwell on the past or worry about the future.

Try to be present and enjoy the moment when you are with your partner this week.

  • In Imago couples therapy, I ask both partners to remember that what you most want from your partner is often the hardest for him/her to give or do and what your partner most wants from you is often the hardest for you to give or do.

Try to be clear about what your needs are and patient with your partner if you see he/she is trying to meet your needs.

  • "Sometimes when people try to stay in (a marriage) with unresolved issues, they begin to shut down. It's like you see them dying." Comment from Carol Grant Nuismer in AARP Magazine May/June 2011.

If there are unresolved issues in your relationship and you are dying slowly, talk to your partner about whatever is bothering you. Consider couples therapy if you cannot resolve it on your own.

  • If you cannot improve your relationship or marriage on your own, seek professional help.

I think Imago Relationship Therapy is the best approach for working with couples.

  • "We need what we did not get in childhood from a person similar to the person who did not give it to us in childhood."

"We want what we want from a person who cannot give it to us, thus reliving the trauma of childhood as the drama of marriage." (tweets from Dr. Harville Hendrix 12.15.2010)

  • Kiss your partner, not just a peck but a real kiss every day.

Kissing is very intimate, there is a deep level of connection when we kiss. Our bodies release endorphins and oxytocin, and we feel happier and more attached.

  • Consider this quote the next time you are struggling to forgive your partner:

"Forgiveness defines who you are; it does not redefine the other's wrongful act as right" (Tibbits, 2006).

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