Cast Blog: #LASHRINKS

Dr. Greg: What Being "Monogamish" Really Means

Dr. Greg: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

Dr. Eris: How Can I Change My Spouse?

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Power Struggles

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Dr. Eris: How to Heal Your Broken Heart

The V Spot: The "Nice Guy"

5 Ways To Improve Body Image Without Breast Impants

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Dr. Greg: Accepting My Father

Dr. Greg: Yes -- Therapists Go to Therapy!

Dr. Greg: Why Hate Fat People?

Dr. Eris: "Sharing My Story Out Loud Scared The S--- Out Of Me"

Dr. Greg: The Trap of "Good" vs. "Bad"

Dr. Eris: No Sex, No Baby

Dr. Greg: My Father's Courage

Dr. Greg: What Being "Monogamish" Really Means

It doesn't mean either partner is promiscuous.

 

Editor's Note: Each week, one of the three "L.A. Shrinks" will comment on a topic addressed in that week's episode. Dr. Greg Cason kicks us off with a discussion of open relationships.

Welcome to LA Shrinks! In the first episode you get to meet the three doctors.  The two smart and beautiful blonde women are Dr. Eris and Dr. V and the dude with the brown hair is Dr. Greg (me).

The professional scoop on me is that I have my PhD in Counseling Psychology from University of Houston; I also did an Internship in Professional Psychology at University of Texas at Austin and a Postdoctoral Fellowship in Clinical Psychology at UCLA. I also have a Master's Degree in Community-Clinical Psychology from California State University, Northridge, and I have a Bachelor's Degree from UCLA. Wow -- that was a mouthful.

Also, just so you know, I am a licensed psychologist in the state of California, and I have been in private practice in the neighborhood of my fave Real Housewives (Beverly Hills) since 1998. 

You also might have heard me mention that I practice Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, or CBT for short. There are so many approaches in the therapy world, but it is one of the biggies. I love it because it is focused on what people are dealing with in the present and gives them practical tools to achieve their goals, have better relationships, and have happier and healthier lives.

In so many ways, CBT has shaped the way I approach my life and my relationships. (I know, I really practice this stuff!) I learned flexibility of thought and making agreements in relationships, not having expectations or making demands. You heard Dr. Eris brilliantly state, "expectations are just future resentments." And, we wouldn't want any of that. So in my relationship, we talk about what is workable for us and we make agreements for how we want to live. (Sounds simple until you try it at home!)You also heard me describe my relationship as "monogamish" rather than "monogamous." Actually, the term comes from sex-columnist Dan Savage in his July 20, 2011 column, "Savage Love," where he describes "monogamish" as "mostly monogamous, not swingers, not actively-looking." The man is on to something. 

Too often we assume all couples are monogamous. If they are not, we don't hear about it. They keep it to themselves because, let's face it, people think if you are not solo with one person, you must be sleeping (or not sleeping) with 1000 people. Take a number!

Humans sometimes think in "all or nothing" terms. And though you may want an "all or nothing" relationship, you might want to check with your partner to see if that works for him or her as well. If so, great. If not, then you got some more talkin' to do.

And, since "coming out" was something we are both pretty good at already, Kevin and I decided to "come out" about our relationship too. Not because we are looking to open up our prospects. Far from it. It was to help remove some of the shame of those in relationships that don't always follow the company line. 

When talking about her sexually-troubled couple, Dr. V provocatively blames "leaders and authority figures with sex hang-ups [who] f--- it up for the rest of us." She's on to something too. These non-sexperts often try to tell people what they should do in bed, with whom, and how often. You would think they have relationships of their own to tend to. Oh... perhaps they don't.

So there, we just slid from the professional right into the personal. And that's the whole theme of the show -- we don't just preach, we practice. And, for me, it takes a helluva lot of practice!

In coming episodes, you will see me deal with some very difficult issues in my family and upbringing while trying to plan my wedding. You will also meet my father who courageously confronts the issues with me. Going through this process with him was both one of the most difficult and healing experiences of my life (and I hope his too). We even see a therapist ourselves.  I don't want to give it all away, but it is powerful and a testament to the power of therapy.My reason for doing LA Shrinks was to show people out there the power and process of therapy and that they are not alone in their struggles;even therapists have issues in life. I hope in opening our lives up to you that you find both value and entertainment. Thank you for being a part of this journey with Dr. Eris, Dr. V, and me.  But be sure to fasten your seat belts, because the ride gets bumpy!

 

Dr. Eris: How Can I Change My Spouse?

Dr. Eris Huemer explains that you can't force your partner to be on the same page as you.

 

We all go through times in our relationship where 
we encounter discomfort in our relationships.
 We think to ourselves, "Did I choose the right person?" 
We have countless reasons why "this just won't work."



The majority of the time we blame the other person for why it "won't" and "can't" work.

There are times when this is true -- like when the red flags are so huge you can't ignore them, and the other person is unwilling to change these things within themselves. However, the majority of the time you CAN work through challenging situations.



Your spouse may be emotionally "checked-out"
of the relationship and not seem to care about making any efforts of their own. 

You ask yourself, "How do I get my spouse to change?"

You have a list of 101 things that you could change about them.



So, how are you going to make your spouse change?

 You aren't!

 When you really think about it; nobody makes changes when it is IMPOSED UPON THEM. 

We like to INITIATE OUR OWN CHANGES. 

When we feel forced or manipulated to change, then we resist with all our might.



Your spouse may not be willing to change for the sake of your relationship -- right now. But, that doesn't mean that they don't want to be with you.

 Everyone wants a great relationship. 

But, the fact is that if they're going to change, they want the change to be THEIR IDEA -- when they are ready. 

Your spouse will not change one second before then. 

And, the more you push them, nag them, threaten them, ask them, scream at them, or beg them, the LESS LIKELY they are to change.

I can't tell you how many times a spouse will say to me that their significant other changed for a few days, but then returned to their old ways. That's because they never really decided to change. They were pressured. They were manipulated. And the change didn't stick.



So, what do you have to do?

 BACK OFF of your spouse! 

It is time for YOU to start creating the change that you want to find. Start giving more positive energy within your relationship.

Trust me, I know how hard it can be to wait. You saw firsthand how Clayton and I weren’t on the same page of when to have a baby. I always knew that Clayton wanted to have a baby, but the timing was different than mine. It was hard for me to wait, because I wanted these changes to happen in my time frame and the way I wanted it, and also because my biological clock was going tick tock tick tock. But the thing is, HE had to come up with when and how he would be willing to make this major life change. It was a family decision, not a singular one. I couldn’t force him. Nor would I want to do that because it would eventually cause resentment within our relationship. Instead, I chose to do my research and remain patient until we did get on the same page as you were able to see tonight on the season finale. (I hope you keep watching and following me on Twitter and sign up for my website newsletter HERE to stay tuned into what happens next).

So, are YOU ready to make some changes?

You can be the inspiring example of change in your relationship. It is a myth that your relationship won't change until your spouse does the shifting. The more love we show, the more love we will begin to feel. You can actually make more than 50% of the difference in your relationship yourself.

As Mahatma Gandhi said, "You must be the change you wish to see."

It's YOU making the changes that will have the greatest impact for you and your experience within your relationship. AND, it's YOU changing that will motivate your spouse to start making some changes on their own.

To your REALationship Success!