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So far michaeldawsonlpc@gmail.com has created 213 blog entries.

Anxiety has many Facets, and we CAN Manage

2021-09-12T22:32:08+00:00Anxiety|

While sitting down to write this blog on anxiety, I was reminded of a funny quote: “People with anxiety don't have a train of thought. We have seven trains on four tracks that narrowly avoid each other when paths cross, and all the conductors are screaming.” I have no idea who penned that line, but it’s the most vivid explanation of anxiety I’ve seen to date. It starts with a laugh and ends with the truth of how real anxiety is for many folks. It’s also the least clinical explanation, which I appreciate as a marriage counselor since I try my best to know when to be serious and when [...]

Generosity can Predict your Marriage Success!

2021-09-05T19:11:55+00:00Attitude, Generosity|

Close your eyes and take a few seconds to think about a wonderfully generous gesture your spouse has done for you. Was it the time they offered to give you a little back rub while watching the evening news? How about that time they got up early and grabbed you your favorite latte from Starbucks? Or, they saved the last slice of pizza for you? How did this small act of generosity make you feel inside? Did it make you feel loved … accepted … warm … cherished … valued? Generosity has that effect on all of us, right? Through our actions — even the smallest of gestures like the [...]

Transform your Communication: Determine if this is Work Talk or Heart Talk

2021-08-29T19:50:59+00:00Communication|

Couples struggle with miscommunications all the time, and one of the big reasons why is because we fail to understand what language our partner is speaking. No, we’re not talking about Spanish vs. English or French vs. Chinese — though it certainly can feel that way sometimes. What we’re talking about is Work Talk vs. Heart Talk. Below is a quick breakdown of each: Work Talk This is the task-oriented, schedule-driven, let’s-get-stuff-done kind of communication that can help make a weekly schedule. It sounds like this: “Let’s divide and conquer this TO-DO list. You go to the grocery and pick up the cleaning. I’ll fill up the car and take [...]

Connected Couples Need a Movie Theater Attitude

2021-08-29T19:07:51+00:00Attitude, Connection|

Susan and I love going out to the movie theater together. But it never ceases to amaze us how differently we view what we watched. We were in the same theater. We both saw the same actors on screen. The script was the same, and more often than not, we leave the theater with that “good movie feeling.” And yet, it’s almost always for different reasons.  It's all about our movie theater attitude. “That was great!” I’ll say excitedly. “It was full of action and suspense.” “Wait?! What movie did you just watch?” Susan says with her adorable laugh. “I thought it was romantic but also sad.” Has this ever [...]

Simple Ways We Supercharge Connection in Our Marriage

2021-08-29T18:09:46+00:00Connection|

Susan and I have been married for 39 years! Thank you. Thank you; we’ll hold for the applause! In all seriousness, though, we believe marriage is important. And we think it’s important because God began by the connection of a man and a woman together to fulfill His purpose for this earth and this life. We also believe marriage is the most powerful earthly relationship we can have — we need to be united and connected. To that end, I always ask my couples to tell me their “why.” In other words, what was it that attracted you to your spouse? What were the characteristics about each other that made [...]

Tips and Tricks to Maximize your Daily Marriage Dialogue

2021-08-25T00:30:56+00:00Communication|

With all of this talk over the last few weeks in our blog posts about communication, we’d be remiss if we didn’t include important tips and marriage hacks when it comes to improving your daily marriage dialogue and daily compliments. We do this because it’s so easy to get caught up in our busy lives that we as couples forget to have all the little conversations that ultimately make a big difference in how well we communicate. We get caught in a cycle where we stop talking about anything meaningful. As a result, we don’t connect like we used to. Engaging in daily dialogue, even if it’s a simple, “What’s [...]

Express feelings with your Spouse to unlock Secret Places

2021-08-19T18:16:22+00:00Emotion|

It’s one thing to share your thoughts when trying to communicate with your spouse. But how would you rate your ability to actually express feelings? You know, letting loose on all that makes you vulnerable, scared, happy, loved, desired, safe, etc. Regardless of whether or not you gave yourself a passing score, I think we can all agree that expressing feelings is hard — even for women, who, let’s be honest, are great at it in comparison to many men. That’s because it still takes a lot of courage to share what’s going on beneath the surface. How will my spouse respond? Will I be validated or simply brushed off? [...]

Listening is the Life Blood of Communication – Especially in Marriage

2021-08-08T17:41:21+00:00Communication|

Since the theme for this month is on communicating better as spouses, we wanted to share a few insightful words from Everett Worthington. Everett is a clinical psychologist and professor who, just like Susan and me, specializes in counseling couples. And a large part of his focus is to teach people how to communicate their love by listening. This is a valuable lesson because we typically stop listening to each other when we experience troubles in our marriage. We tune each other out or only listen to a few points before going on the defensive. When we do this, the message to our spouse is: “I don’t care enough about [...]

Communication Fails vs Love Bank 2.0

2021-08-04T22:29:54+00:00Communication, Love|

A common statement I hear from couples who are having problems in their marriage is that they aren’t communicating.  This can indicate Love Bank balance issues. “We just aren’t communicating like we used to!” “Gee, ya know … we just aren’t talking. And when we do, we end up fighting over something.” “I don’t think either of us is communicating how we really feel.” Communication breakdowns are normal. They happen to all of us. But we shouldn’t allow those breakdowns to last for too long. We need to investigate the root cause and do something about it. After all, communication is vital in marriage! It’s the only way we can [...]

Build and Maintain Trust: Essential to a Great Marriage

2021-07-09T00:13:17+00:00Trust|

We’ve been talking a lot over the past few blog posts about how important trust is in a marriage. It creates safety, openness, vulnerability, love, and all those other feel-good vibes that make living life with the person you love that much more special. We have also talked through how anger in a relationship erodes trust and makes trust extremely hard to build. Without trust, there’s no way any of us can expect our relationship to survive. But just because you and your spouse trust each other today doesn’t mean it will naturally be that way forever. Trust is earned over time, and then we must build and maintain it [...]

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