Q: I get panic attacks in public places. What can I do?

A: This is not a problem I can solve online, but I can tell you to go to the client resources pageĀ of this website and watch my videos for “Breathing Techniques For Stress Reduction”. Parasympathetic (Relaxation) breathing techniques; breathing into the belly, not the chest, longer exhale than inhale, exhaling with a sigh, will calm you down within a minute. If you practice these techniques on a daily preventative basis, they will create neural pathways in the brain which will over-ride the panic attacks over time.

 

You should also know that you are probably experiencing a diaphragm spasm, so doing a back bend over a ball or chair (if you are able) is a good way to release the diaphragm. If you cannot do this, find a good, experienced massage therapist to help you.

Q: What do I do when my partner doesn’t want to have sex as often as I do?

A: We do not know here if the questioner is a man or a woman, but let’s proceed as though it doesn’t matter. Sometimes people want to “hook up” when they are not connected, thinking sex will bring the intimacy they are lacking. And that might work for the short term, but it will not bring emotional intimacy. Men and women should spend time connecting emotionally through dialogue, energetically through eye contact and breathing, and physically through “skin time”. All of these can be found in “The Intimate Couple” by Dr. Jack Rosenberg and Beverly Kitaen-Morse.

Q. How do you go about confronting your partner about cheating?

A. This is a really complicated question, but I will try to answer in a short version. In my 40 years of practice with couples, I have found that cheating is NOT the greatest emotional trust issue in a relationship. LYING is a bigger trust issue. So when a person has evidence that a partner has cheated (not just suspicions), and can confront the partner with that evidence it is always better to answer with the truth than to lie. The relationship will have a much better chance of healing the wound of betrayal if both people agree to tell each other everything and make their lives an open book.

Q. Do long distance relationships really work or not?

A. I have had several couples in my practice come to see me who have been in long distance relationships. Perhaps they met on a vacation and then continued to communicate and visit each other over an extended period. At a certain point one of them (usually the one with the lower paying job) gives up his/her job and moves to the city where the other one lives to be with them, and has to start all over again without a support system of family, friends or work. All of a sudden that one person becomes their whole life, the center of their universe.

Perhaps with more advanced planning, some of these issues could be avoided. Also, it might be a good idea if the couple could even engage in counseling before they make the decision to move in together. Counseling is available by Skype. That may make it possible to avoid some of the issues which might arise.