Cedar Cove, Couple

Family Life Cycle and Couple Relationship: What Does Cedar Cove Teach Us (Part 6)

family Life Cycle
Just a friendly reminder that you might want to read these articles before you started reading this entry.

Family Life Cycle Theory (Reuben Hill, 1949): Stage 6: Families in Later Life

The last stage is the stage when the couple moves into the “grandparent” generation and possibly requires the assistance of their children, or to assist babysitting to their grandchildren. They also adjust their roles socially and with each other as they face each other’s physical decline and the changes in their social responsibility, such as retirement from work. Continue reading “Family Life Cycle and Couple Relationship: What Does Cedar Cove Teach Us (Part 6)”

Cedar Cove, Couple, Depression/Anxiety

Family Life Cycle and Couple Relationship: What Does Cedar Cove Teach Us (Part 5)

launching children
Just a friendly reminder that you might want to read these articles before you started reading this entry.

Family Life Cycle Theory (Reuben Hill, 1949): Stage 5: Launching children and moving on

Once the first child leaves for college, the couple enters into the stage of launching the children and moving on. When the last child leaves the family, the couple enters the empty nest stage. The important tasks for the couple are to realign their relationship with the adult children as they did when they were a young adult with their parents, to “fill” space once occupied by their children, and to deal with the issues from the aging parents.

Continue reading “Family Life Cycle and Couple Relationship: What Does Cedar Cove Teach Us (Part 5)”

Couple, Training Notes

Divorce & Co-Parenting

divorce and coparentingI am currently at the National Council on Family Relationship 2017 conference (11/16). Today, I attended a session about changes in the family system.

The changes in the family system are either adding the members or losing the members. The focus of the session I attended was divorce. For any children who are minor, it means that you either lose a father or mother in your residence. After the divorce, if the parents are remarried, a child gains a stepparent in the family system.

There were four papers presented, discussing the factors influencing co-parenting decisions, the impact on the children’s development, and the mental health issues due to the divorce.

Continue reading “Divorce & Co-Parenting”

Couple, Depression/Anxiety, Training Notes

Depression and Marital Satisfaction

Depression & Marital Satisfaction

I am currently in Orlando for National Council on Family Relation Annual Conference (2017). This entry is a summary and reflection on a presentation related depression and marital satisfaction (11/15/2017). There were four presenters and two of them specifically research on the depression and marital satisfaction/sexual satisfaction.

One of the papers researched on the secure attachment style and its impact on the couple interaction and the co-parenting conflicts with children less than 1-year-old.

The research findings got me to think about my clinical practices and what I have seen in my couples.

It is not surprising that depression and marital satisfaction are negatively correlated to each other. That is, the higher the depression, the lower the marriage satisfaction. However, which caused what?

Continue reading “Depression and Marital Satisfaction”


Divorce Process in Massachusetts

Introduction.001As a couple’s therapist, I would never tell anyone to get a divorce. I do believe that you can fall “out” of love and can fall “in” love again. Love is an emotion and you can find that emotion again.

An intimate relationship is more than just emotions. Staying in the relationship is a choice. I always believe this: “even when I don’t feel the love towards you, I can still choose to love you.” For me, that is the true definition of love.

Continue reading “Divorce Process in Massachusetts”


[Working with Immigrants] Working with Hispanic Adult Children with Immigrant Parents (Part I)

Working with Hispanic Adult Children with Immigrant Parents

Immigrants tend to move to the places where they have their relatives or families. For example, the city of Lowell has a huge Vietnamese, Cambodian, and Laos population. The city of Lawrence also is central of the Hispanic population. My office located next to Lawrence and 10 miles from the city of Lowell. Being an Asian immigrant myself, I found myself getting clients from these two population quite often. However, because I don’t speak Vietnamese, Khmer, and Spanish, most of the clients from these countries are the first generation of the immigrant family who either immigrated here very young or was born here.

Therefore, my disclaimer here is that my working experiences with the Hispanic population are primary the adult children with immigrant parents. Let’s start with the Hispanic population.

The assessment questions were developed in the process of working with these children who speak both perfect English and native language. Other than discussing with my clients about these questions, I also research the history of the country of origin as part of my homework after the first intake session.

Let me start with the Hispanic population. Continue reading “[Working with Immigrants] Working with Hispanic Adult Children with Immigrant Parents (Part I)”


[Working With Immigrants] Assessment (Part 2)

immigration 3I hope you enjoyed this series so far. I am enjoying writing it and sharing my experiences. I would love to hear from you.
Just to refresh your memories, here are the questions I routinely ask my clients who are immigrants or the first generations of the immigrants.

Individual factor:
Where are you originally from?
When did you come here?
How old were you when you first got here?
What’s your birth order in the family?
How old are you and what are the issues you are facing right now?

Family factors:
How did you/your family come to the US?
Do you have family members around here? If not, where are your family of origin now and how did you end up at where you are now?
How often do you have the communication/interaction with your family of origin?
If married, how did you meet your partner? Are you the same cultural background or different?

Community factors:
How often do you have the interaction with people from your culture, talking in your native language, and participating activities that are often done in your culture of origin?

I have shared my thoughts about the individual factors, here are the reasons to ask these questions for the family and community factors.

Continue reading “[Working With Immigrants] Assessment (Part 2)”


[Working with Immigrants]Assessment (Part I)

immigration 1Thank you for interested in this series. If you want to know why I am interested in sharing my thoughts about working with immigrants, please check the introduction section.

Dr. Glick reviewed the research done between 200-2010 and found that an individual’s decision to immigrate and the chances to be successful in the immigration country was not an individual but a family decision (Galick, 2010). This confirmed to my personal experiences when I worked with either individual or couples when one or both partners were the immigrant generations or the first generation of the immigrant families. I will start by discussing my personal evaluation process and go on to the details of each cultural minority.

Continue reading “[Working with Immigrants]Assessment (Part I)”

Pre-Marital Couple Education

Introduction Video

I started posting information about pre-marital couple’s education because of the high engagement rate on the Valentine’s Day (in 2017). After sharing the information for few weeks, I started to think:
“If we have to go through driver’s education to get the driver’s license, why are we getting the marriage license without going through pre-marital education?”
The pre-marital education is offered in a lot of religious-affiliated organization, such as a church. In some churches, you have to go through the pre-marital education to get married there. However, if you are not affiliated with any religious-affiliated organization and/or do not want to go to the curriculum that is religious affiliated, where do you go?
PREPARE/ENRICH is an evidence-based marriage curriculum that has been around for 35 years. It has found very effective in preparing the engaged couples for the marriage life. As a certified PREPARE/ENRICH facilitator, I can’t believe that I haven’t thought about offering this service!
Even more, wouldn’t it be nice to share your experiences with other couples who are walking into their milestones together?

This video explains the reasons why I want to start this group and the brief description of our workshop.





going home 2017

[Going Home 2017] Grow Together

IMG_3292.JPGThis is the picture with my friend, colleague, and previous supervisor. Lu-Sheng. We always got together when I went back to Taiwan. She was my supervisor when I was in my 20s for 3 years until I left Taiwan to come to the US. When I was under her supervision, my work was primary with the female survivors of childhood sexual abuse. Her supervision was primary Transactional Analysis and Gestalt Therapy model. During those three years, with her help, I got very comfortable doing therapy, getting very familiar with the above two therapy models. During that period of the time, I also sought out a lot of training in the Psychodrama, Object-Relation Therapy, Satir Model and Structural Family Therapy model.

We never lost touch throughout the years even though we didn’t talk to each other on the daily basis. For a while, I didn’t talk to her for about 2 years. However, every single time, when I visited her, I always felt that I learned something from her again.

Why? Throughout the years, we both have changed and evolved. Even though we didn’t see our changes together, we changed in the same direction and our relationship continued to stay intact. Continue reading “[Going Home 2017] Grow Together”