Posts tagged #couples

Five Tips for a Healthy Relationship

by Stephanie Steele, PhD, LMFT

1. Establish trust every day. 

    Communicating to your partner comments of security creates stability in long-term relationships. Sentiments such as "I just love spending time with you," "You are my favorite person," or "I love this life we are creating together."

2. Be curious about your partner's world, thoughts, feelings, etc.

    Instead of the typical "how was your day?" question, ask more in-depth questions such as "What happened at work today?" or "When was the last time you spoke with your sister?" Being curious about your partner's world in a way that expresses that you have a desire to understand them on a deeper level keeps couples connected.

3. Have an activity that only you two do, i.e. read a book together

    We all have our rituals or things that we do with only that one person. If you don't have that with your spouse - create it! Whether that is taking 10 minutes every morning to share a cup of coffee or tea, start a new workout regimen together or play cards every Saturday afternoon.

4. Encourage your partner daily

    When your spouse talks about work or their day, encourage them with uplifting phrases. Letting them know that they work very hard and they have every right to feel the way they feel is extremely validating. These encouraging remarks make a couples feel they are on the same team and it is always okay to share thoughts and feelings amongst each other.

happy couple.jpeg

5. Treat yourself well

    You've heard the phrase, "take care of yourself so you can take care of others." This is especially true when it comes to relationships. Make sure you are fulfilled in all areas of your life - without expecting your partner to fulfill you. Eating well, sleeping well and enjoying your life will make your relationship that much more rewarding.

Posted on September 11, 2014 .

Don’t just survive, but savor the holiday season. Here are ten tips for couples

by Stephanie Steele, PhD, LMFT

1. Set realistic expectations. If you are travelling over the holidays and plan to see both family and friends (involving multiple get-togethers), consider otherwise. Given traffic and weather conditions as well as the hosting family’s expectations, it may not be possible to squeeze everything in. Consider what is most important to you and your partner.

2. Be flexible. Whether you plan to stay inside all day or go skiing and do many activities, try to keep an open mind and a schedule that seems feasible. Trying to cram too many events in one trip can lead to disappointment.



3. If you’re going to spend time with your family, remember that your other half is sacrificing time with their family.Although this likely alternates, make sure your partner is comfortable throughout the holiday and you are thankful they are coming to support you while creating bonds with your family and friends.

4. Establish and maintain healthy boundaries with family and friends. This includes not discussing any topics that you are not comfortable with and making sure you feel comfortable and safe with every family member or friend.

5. Be on the same team as your partner. This can be a difficult one, but being a united front together is very important. Putting your relationship before the relationship with your family is going to feel very respectful and supportive. Bonding together over the idiosyncrasies of family proves more successful for your relationship than bonding with the family over the idiosyncrasies of your partner.

6. Talk about situations that are “off limits” including, but certainly not limited to, family drama that has cropped up in the past year. Before you attend the family gathering, discuss with your partner areas of conversation that would better be left unsaid. It is important to know going in which areas of your life or others’ lives you feel comfortable divulging, and how much detail.

7. Stay away from religious or political conversations, if necessary. This one is self-explanatory and depends upon the family. Use your best judgment!

8. Practice good communication. Not just during the holidays, but this is a great time to ensure you are a friendly guest or welcoming host.

9. Work on creating positive memories. ‘Tis the season for memories! If you’re not planning on enjoying yourself, I hope you’d reconsider the investment of the holiday trip! Remember what the holidays are about and enjoy them fully!

10. Remember that the holidays are a great time to be thankful for friends, family, and of course, your spouse. Ensure the holidays draw you closer together, and launch you into the New Year with new hopes, aspirations and closer bonds.

Start the New Year off right!  Join Stephanie Steele, PhD, LMFT for a powerful one day couples workshop : Prepare/Enrich Group 1-Day Workshop.  Saturday, January 25th, 2014, from 9am-5pm.  

Posted on December 9, 2013 .

How does couples counseling help?

Ask a Couples Therapist: What are the three top problems that couples have that lead them to therapy?


  1. Communication has become negative and/or ineffective
  2. It feels like the couple is fulfilling the role of roommates rather than spouses
  3. One or both partners are considering infidelity, or an infidelity has occurred

What are the top three goals or resolutions that couples want?


  1. To be able to communicate more effectively and resolve conflicts faster and easier
  2. Get that "spark" back; become friends again
  3. Identify future-focused goals to maintain the positive and healthy relationship they both desire




Stephanie Steele, LMFT is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist.  Learn more about her and schedule an appointment by visiting her page at  .

Stephanie Steele, LMFT is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist.  Learn more about her and schedule an appointment by visiting her page at .

Posted on July 31, 2013 .

Practice Empathy for Better Relationships at Home & Work

"Empathy is perhaps the single most important relational skill. Empathy is the ability to put yourself in somebody else’s shoes and understand how they might be feeling in a given situation. The ability to listen empathetically – relating to and understanding the perspective, position and feelings of others – is a tremendously important capability in both personal and professional relationships."

Read more here.... 

Posted on July 6, 2013 .