Relationships

Articles on the applied positive psychology of relationships and communication based on the latest scientific insights.

What Is Bullying? 3 Mental Health Effects According to Research

Bullying

Bullying is certainly an unusual yet interesting phenomenon. If you ask most people, they are likely to say that they have been the victim of a bully. They may even admit to being the bully. Others will tell you they have been a bully–victim. This is the dual experience of […]

11 Social Skills Worksheets for Seamless Social Interactions

Social Skills Worksheets

Perhaps you feel shy, awkward, or anxious around other people. And that’s okay. All of us, at times, experience similar feelings and find making conversation difficult while we struggle to leave a good impression (MacLeod, 2018). Social problems can be helped. Shyness and anxiety can be identified and managed, and […]

How to Improve Communication Skills: 14 Best Worksheets

Communication Skills

In his acclaimed book, How to Win Friends and Influence People, Dale Carnegie (2019, p. 32) hints at a key strategy involved in effective communication that involves focusing on others and their motivations: “Instead of condemning people, let’s try to understand them. Let’s try to figure out why they do […]

Social Skills Support Groups: 10 Helpful Activities & Games

Social Skills Groups

Have you ever met someone brimming with confidence and communication skills, and thought to yourself, 'I want to be like them'? Social skills can be like second nature, performed effortlessly by some. Other people struggle and feel awkward and out of place, with even basic skills. This article will explain […]

Transference vs Countertransference in Therapy: 6 Examples

Countertransference

For ages, the term “transference” has been associated with pathology, enmeshed boundaries, and unhealthy therapy sessions. In reality, transference occurs within the context of relationships and represents a complex interplay of emotions, memories, and subconscious actions. While transference is a phenomenon seen in daily life, relationships, and interactions, we will […]

How to Improve the Therapeutic Relationship Digitally

Digital Therapeutic Relationship

A significant shift has taken place in psychotherapy over recent years. Based on continuing research, it has become clear that the client and therapist are equal partners, and there must be a move toward a greater degree of mutuality (DeAngelis, 2019). Crucially, it is about the therapist committing to be […]

Attachment Styles in Childhood: 6 Tips to Raise Secure and Happy Children

Attachment styles

As a parent, have you ever wondered how your child’s attachment to you would affect them as an adult? Would they become a 'mama's boy' or a ‘cold fish?’ Attachment is a concept that is often underrated in the role it plays throughout childhood and beyond. It is crucial that […]

Pets & Mental Health: 15 Benefits of Emotional Support Animals

Pets and mental health

As I write, my dog lies beside me, snoring. He’s our companion, colleague, friend, and family member. Despite ignoring most commands and eating what he shouldn’t, he is deeply loved and the ideal listener. While often boisterous, when approached by a child or someone elderly or less able, he yields […]

Relationship Therapy Sessions: 45 Questions & Worksheets

Relationship therapy

We live in a fast-paced, consumer-oriented world in which we all too often either forget or fail to communicate effectively with our partners. Communication, as with all other aspects of our relationships, can be improved with practice and the right techniques (Robinson, 2012). Relationship counseling is challenging for the couple, […]

Harlow’s Monkey Experiments: 3 Findings About Attachment

Harlow expriment

Attachment theory refers to the idea that an infant is born with the biological need to have contact with their primary caregiver in the first few months of their life (Colman, 2001). When that need is met, the infant develops a secure attachment style; however, when that need is not […]

11 Healthy Discipline Strategies for Teaching & Inspiring Children

Discipline Strategies

Parenting comes with its own set of challenges, with new demands and stressors being placed on families in the forms of rapidly developing technology, easier access to information, and the looming presence of social media. Despite the challenges, increased access to information and technological tools have also made it easier […]

14 Imago Therapy Worksheets, Examples, and Techniques

Imago Therapy

The morning after he received his divorce papers, Harville Hendrix was teaching a psychotherapy class when one of his students asked why relationships were so tricky (Hannah, Luquet, Hendrix, Hunt, & Mason, 2005). While admitting he had no clue, he committed to finding an answer for personal and professional reasons. […]

Social Media Effects on Mental Health: 6 Life-Enhancing Tips

social media effects

In recent years, social media platforms, which allow individuals to connect virtually with others through a shared network, have grown in popularity at a formidable rate. Indeed, recent estimates indicate that around half of the global population, around 3.8 billion people, are using these networks (We Are Social, 2020). Social […]

Prosocial Behavior: 12 Examples, Activities & Research Findings

prosocial behavior

It was around midnight when a little dog darted out in front of Dr. Abigail Marsh’s car. She swerved to avoid it, sending her car into a spin across the freeway until it finally came to a stop in the fast lane. In a daze, she realized that someone was […]

Fostering Healthy Relationships: 60 Helpful Worksheets

Healthy relationships represent one of the most vital aspects of the human experience. Social relationships have been researched by psychologists for some time, with the results consistently showing a significant link between quality social relationships and improved health (Umberson & Karas Montez, 2010). Social development is integral to physiological and […]

Social Comparison Theory & 12 Real-Life Examples

Social comparison is a normal behavior strategy where we seek to better understand our status relating to ability, opinion, emotional reaction, and more, by comparing ourselves to other people. Social comparison can be useful because it provides us with a way to determine if we are ‘on track,’ but it […]

8 Best Positive Parenting Books & Workbooks for Parents

In our two previous articles, we have included many helpful resources and positive parenting techniques. There are so many great resources and programs it can be hard to navigate through them all. We’ve done our best to put some of the highlights together for you. This is your go-to source for […]

What is Positive Parenting? 33 Examples and Benefits

Most adults will become parents at some point in their lives (i.e., around 89.6% of the adult population worldwide; Ranjan, 2015). And while most of us strive to be great parents, we may also find ourselves confused and frustrated by the seemingly endless challenges of parenthood. As both parents of […]

Marriage Psychology and Therapy: The Science of Successful Relationships

marriage psychology and therapy

Have you ever considered therapy for your marriage? Have you contemplated therapy before saying, "I do?" If you're reading this article chances are it's because you're married and struggling, thinking about getting married, or contemplating divorce. You're looking for answers to that age-old question: Can we make this work? You're […]

What is Active Constructive Responding?

How positive we are when our significant other shares with us something they express with enthusiasm and feel strongly about, it turns out, not only speaks volumes about our attachment styles but also, have a long-term impact on the quality and longevity of our relationships. These micro instances are often […]

18 Ways to Handle Emotional Blackmail (+ Examples & Quotes)

Emotional blackmail is a dysfunctional form of manipulation that people use to place demands and threaten victims to get what they want. The undertone of emotional blackmail is if you don’t do what I want when I want it, you will suffer. The term was introduced by Susan Forward, Ph.D., […]

10 Ways To Build Trust in a Relationship

Trust: You cannot have a healthy relationship without it. And yet, virtually all of us can bring to mind a scenario where our trust has been broken. But how do we develop trust in the first place? Can trust that's been broken be rebuilt? This article explores how to build […]

12 Examples of Positive Punishment & Negative Reinforcement

You might be thinking that “positive punishment” sounds like an oxymoron, after all, how can punishment be positive? Not many people "like" punishment, right? The disconnect in understanding this concept comes from the usage of the word “positive;” here at PositivePsychology.com, we generally use the term “positive” to refer to […]

What is Attachment Theory? Bowlby’s 4 Stages Explained

Is it all your mother’s fault? No matter what the “it” refers to, Sigmund Freud would have probably said yes to that question. However, we now know a lot more about psychology, parenting, and human relationships than Freud did. It's clear now that not every issue can be traced back […]

Codependency: What Are The Signs & How To Overcome It

Codependency refers to a psychological construct involving an unhealthy relationship that people might share with those closest to them. It was originally thought to involve families of substance abuse but has since grown to include other types of dysfunctional relationships. Read on to learn about what codependency is and how […]

Interpersonal Effectiveness: 9 Worksheets & Examples (+ PDF)

What is the most important skill a person can have? There is a myriad of skills that can be added to our repertoire, enhanced, and improved. There are thousands of courses, millions of books and articles, and countless tips and suggestions to improve our lives by cultivating a certain skill […]

What is Interpersonal Psychotherapy (IPT): A Case History

How often do you feel relationships are your biggest source of stress, sadness, and worry? If the answer is “often”, you may find a solution in the lesser-known but enduring practice of Interpersonal Psychotherapy. This brief, attachment-focused form of therapy aims to help patients address challenges in managing relationships and […]

21 Couples Therapy Worksheets, Questions & Activities (PDF)

What if I told you there was a magic recipe for making a relationship work? I’m sure you wouldn’t believe me, and for good reason! It’s easy to see how difficult relationships can be. If there was a totally effective method for happy, healthy relationships out there, surely someone would […]

How to Get Your Desired Behaviour Using Operant Conditioning

There are two types of reinforcement: positive and negative. You may have had moments where one of these forms of reinforcement worked well for you, while another stirred up feelings of shame or resentment. Have you ever rewarded a child with candy for good behavior? That is an example of […]

10 Traits That Make a Positive Community

positive-community

What makes a positive community? Before answering that question, let's zoom out a little bit. Humans are made to live and work with others in a community where we can thrive. We are social beings that have evolved to exist within communities. The quality of a community is often dictated […]