counseling couple

When you’ve reached a crossroads in your relationship, you can feel it. Perhaps you’ve started to argue with your partner more than ever… or worse, fallen into silence.

Should you work on things or walk away? It’s a tricky question to answer. But if you want to give your relationship a chance, consider seeking help before you throw in the towel. Couples therapy could be the solution.


Limerace When Love Turns to Obsession photo of a man grabbing at a woman's feet

By Parul M. Patel, Psy.D., Clinical Psychologist, Orange County Health Psychologists, Inc.

Many of us know what it’s like to fall in love: Those butterflies in your stomach. That feeling of excitement or nervousness. How your heart literally races at just the thought of your loved one.

If it is the unhealthy bond of limerence, which can look much like the honeymoon stage of a developing relationship, these feelings do not lead to true love — for the relationship rush eventually fades, leaving behind the real struggles and decisions of an adult relationship.

Sometimes, however, the feelings related to limerence get a little out of control.


Woman holding baby with hand over her face being embraced by another woman.

By Pooja Sharma, M.A., Psy.D., LMFT, Orange County Health Psychologists, Inc.

When new and expectant mothers share feelings of sadness, the response from well-meaning friends and family might be something like: “How can you be depressed if you’re having a baby?” or “But look how beautiful your baby is!”

Sadly, these seemingly uplifting and innocent comments often hurt. Despite everyone’s good intentions, what she really hears is: “Good mothers do not get depressed.”

 teen questioning

By Kristin Kleppe, Psy.D., Clinical Psychologist, Orange County Health Psychologists, Inc.

Of all the questions we fear our children might ask us, “Hey Mom, what’s my amygdala?” is probably not one of them. Yet understanding this part of the brain prepares a child to manage their emotions and behavior for an entire lifetime. This makes it one of the most important conversations you can have with your kids.

Here’s one way to think about it: As a society, we devote tremendous resources to giving kids sex education, but don’t give them the brain education to go with it. So, imagine having a sexual encounter as a teen, for example, without being able to properly deal with amygdala-induced anxiety, fear, and aggression. It could be disastrous.

By Kristin Kleppe, Psy.D., Clinical Psychologist, Orange County Health Psychologists, Inc.

The longer I am in practice in clinical psychology, the more I appreciate the importance of psychologists learning about the physical body as they endeavor to heal the mind or spirit. I often hear people complain about medical doctors who conceptualize cases from only the biological or physical and not understanding how the physical body is impacted by depression, anxiety, stress and interpersonal relationships. In other words, we want our medical doctors to practice from a “biopsychosocial” model. When I was on faculty at UC Irvine, in the Department of Family Medicine, part of my job was to train residents and medical students on the biopsychosocial model. Many family medicine residents were truly gifted in being able to conceptualize cause and effect – and healing – from this model and others struggled with it.