Openheartedness

POSTED June 15, 2017  

Two of the most important experiences of this life is letting another person know us and being known by another. It’s like letting someone come inside and feel like what it’s like to live and be inside our skin.  Be clear, this is no easy journey; in fact, many of us have been taught NOT to let others get that close. Yet, in my opinion, this experience surpasses most others in our life.

Intimacy is much more than having sex; it is risking letting another know what is honestly going on inside us. Couple therapy, when done well, gives partners the opportunity to let protective parts relax back and be openhearted.

There are times when we need to be protective and not be openhearted; these are times when we do not feel safe with those we are around or the time is just not right.  On the whole, the most satisfying relationships are those whose partners can risk being openhearted when feeling safe.

How About a New Way of Having a Conversation?

POSTED December 27, 2016  

Dr. Croninger has completed 72 hours of training experience with Toni Herbine-Blank (founder of Intimacy from the Inside Out (often called Internal Family Systems for couples), which focused on helping couples have a new way of having a conversation, whatever the content. Because 80% of disagreements between couples (actually between most persons) often occur because the message sent is not the one received, learning a new way to have a conversation becomes quite important.

Learning how to have an open-hearted conversation with persons close to us increases intimacy (closeness). As couples learn their patterns in conversations, they gain clarity as to how to get more of what they want for their lives. Because all of us have parts (Internal Family Systems), and those parts are often immature or unskilled, our behavior often gets us precisely the opposite of what we desire. As we learn a new way to have a conversation, we strengthen the Self within us, which is seeks to give leadership to all our parts and bring us more of what we want.

Call Dr. Croninger (405-226-8509) to set an appointment so you can receive more of what you want in your important relationships.

How to succeed at being highly miserable

POSTED January 1, 2014  

Recently I read an article by Cloe Madanes, The 14 Habits of Highly Miserable People: How to Succeed at Self-Sabotage (Psychotherapy Networker, Nov.-Dec., 2013, pp. 42ff).  What struck me was that if we want to be (and stay) miserable, that is possible.

Here’s how to succeed at being highly miserable:

  • Feed your sense of entitlement, never ask for help, stay isolated, take all that is said and done to you personally, and commit to not practicing gratitude.
  • While there are many resources for support all around us, to succeed at being highly miserable you just have to ignore them, make yourself the center of the universe, and do only those things that make you happy.
  • Even though your mind and heart are capable of growth and maturity, choose to allow only those things into your life that bring you pleasure.  Ignore the pain you cause and blame everything wrong on others.
  • Instead of keeping part of your heart open and supple, shut yourself off from everything except your own thoughts and desires.
  • Though you could give to others and relieve their suffering, practice greed and the arrogance that keeps everything you own always in your grasp.
  • Despite the power of hope, never believe things might change and get better.

Yes, practice these principles and you will be quite successful at being highly miserable.

Secrets to couples communication

POSTED July 13, 2012  

Living with someone is not much fun if there is little meaningful communication happening.

The most important experience for most of us is feeling understood.  With understanding comes a deep sense of well-being and hope for the future.  Many couples try to get their partners to agree with them, without much success.  Agreement is not nearly as important as understanding.  Actually, there are very few human beings who agree on their favorite flavor of ice cream, vacation destination, or most effective ways of investing money.  Good thing that intimacy does not depend on agreement.

Seeking to understand your partner and feeling understood sparks feelings of intimacy and closeness like no other experience.  I have assisted numerous couples in their journey to a more meaningful relationship.  For sure there are many obstacles that prevent intimacy and many life experiences that have hurt us.  I have been able to help couples heal from deep hurts, let go of frustrations and losses, and come out of traumatic experiences to places of deep satisfaction.

I would love to visit more with you about the things in your life that are most important.  I think I can assist you in deepening your love for your partner and getting the love you want.  Call me and let’s visit.

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