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couples counseling

Top 5 Couples Therapy Techniques You Can Use at Home

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Blog on 29th January, 2019 By Raffi Bilek

There are many couples therapy techniques you can try out on your own. Here are a few you can start with today!

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4 Steps to Surviving Infidelity – What You Need to Know

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Blog on 29th October, 2018 By Raffi Bilek

Crushed. Devastated. Hopeless. These are some of the emotions you may be experiencing if you have recently discovered that your partner has been having an affair.

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The Escape Room: A Message for Couples and Families

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Blog on 8th October, 2018 By Raffi Bilek

Recently I had the great pleasure of going to an escape room for a bit of family fun. If you’re not familiar,

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The Single Most Important Trait You Need to Develop to Save, Repair, and Maintain a Relationship

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Blog on 5th September, 2018 By Raffi Bilek

Can it really be so simple? Is there really a Single Most Important key to relationships?  Yes and no.  Obviously there is no magic spell for fixing relationship problems or keep relationships vibrant and connected over the long term. There is certainly a lot of work involved.  But I believe that there is one trait, […]

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Your First Therapy Session

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Blog on 19th July, 2018 By Raffi Bilek

Most people have never been to therapy before and are understandably a bit nervous about what it’s going to be like.  If you’ve gotten up the courage to make that first appointment, you may now be wondering how you’ll even know if it’s going to work?  How long do you have to go for to […]

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What Do You Do in Couples Counseling?

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Blog on 6th June, 2018 By Raffi Bilek

If you’ve never been to relationship counseling before, the whole thing might seem mysterious, confusing, and downright frightening. The truth is it’s really not as bad as you think it is. The representations of therapy you’ve seen on TV are almost certainly inaccurate – maybe you’ve seen people bopping each other with foam bats, engaging […]

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Making Your Marriage a Priority

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Blog on 8th May, 2018 By Raffi Bilek

Recently I was interviewed on the radio to discuss the question of how to prioritize your relationship with your spouse vs. your kids. You can listen to the 20-minute segment here. Here’s the spoiler: I come down firmly on the side of keeping your spouse #1 on your list. This of course doesn’t mean that […]

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How to Save Your Marriage

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Blog on 14th March, 2018 By Raffi Bilek

Are you trying to save a marriage that’s on the rocks?  Hoping to turn things around from anger and resentment to happiness and love?  It can be done.  Most marriages can be repaired if both parties really want it – but that doesn’t mean it will be easy.  You will likely have to have some […]

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Is Texting Good or Bad for Your Relationship?

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Blog on 20th February, 2018 By Raffi Bilek

Texting is a very wonderful thing.  It allows us to send quick ideas and comments to our friends and families without having to catch each other at the right time.  It’s great for adding to the shopping list at the last minute or reminding each other of an appointment.  It can add all kinds of […]

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Is It Okay for Married People to Watch Porn?

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Blog on 30th January, 2018 By Raffi Bilek

No. Okay, that was a little harsh.  But hear me out.  This is not a moral discourse on the propriety of pornography in general but rather a consideration of what it does to your marriage (or other committed relationship). While some writers have waxed enthusiastic about the benefits of porn watching, common sense – to […]

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Don’t Start Couples Counseling Before You Read This!

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Blog on 10th January, 2018 By Raffi Bilek

If you are considering seeing a couples counselor/marriage therapist to address a problem in your relationship, there are a few things it’s vital for you to know before you jump in. 1. Be prepared to change Many people come in to couples therapy feeling like their spouse or partner is causing the problem.  They ask […]

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How do you make a long-distance relationship work?

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Blog on 27th December, 2017 By Raffi Bilek

In these days of constant change and mobility, long-distance relationships are increasingly common and necessary as people take jobs and pursue life goals that move them about the globe. There’s no question that a long-distance relationship poses challenges that typical relationships, where people live with or near each other, do not.  That does not mean […]

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Are You in An Abusive Relationship?

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Blog on 11th December, 2017 By Raffi Bilek

All relationships have ups and downs. Some seem to have more downs than others. A relationship that’s on the rocks can often be fixed with commitment on the part of both partners and with professional counseling.  However, some relationships are abusive, and these cannot be repaired until the abusive partner decides to change his or […]

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Anger in Relationships

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Blog on 18th September, 2017 By Raffi Bilek

Anger is one of the major destroyers of relationships. People can say and do things when they are angry that are offensive, hurtful, even downright mean. But anger is a normal part of the human emotional makeup, and it’s only natural to feel angry sometimes. How can you deal with angry feelings without harming your […]

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How to Have a Fair Fight

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Blog on 10th August, 2017 By Raffi Bilek

Arguments are a natural part of any relationship. No two people will agree on everything all the time. Disagreements are bound to happen. Slight offenses are inevitable.  But how do you deal with them in a way that is productive and not destructive? What does a fair fight look like? Talk about yourself, not your […]

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Can an Affair Help the Relationship?

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Blog on 13th July, 2017 By Raffi Bilek

Many people believe that infidelity unavoidably spells the end of a relationship.  However, the truth is that many relationships survive the injury of an affair, and in fact many get much better in the aftermath.  If you find yourself in this unfortunate situation, you don’t need to despair of your relationship; it can certainly be […]

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Baltimore’s Best Couples Counselor: Inside Business Weekly

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Blog on 29th June, 2017 By Raffi Bilek

Check out this review of our practice picked up by Inside Business Weekly!  You’ll see why we’re considered the place for the best couples therapy and how we can help you achieve the relationship you’re looking for. Contact us today to get started!  

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Couples Counseling: Not a Last Resort

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Blog on 8th May, 2017 By Raffi Bilek

All too frequently, the couples I see in my office for marriage counseling/couples therapy are at the end of their rope.  There has been trouble in the relationship for a long time; months, years, or even decades of fighting, harsh words, and distance have seriously worn away at their bonds of love and commitment.  They […]

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The Five Love Languages: Finding Your Language

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Blog on 24th April, 2017 By Raffi Bilek

Okay, so, we’ve talked a lot about the different Love Languages. But how do you know which is yours? Below we’ll discuss a couple of ways you can try to determine which language fits you best. You and your partner can both try to figure out for yourselves, and for each other, what your love […]

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The Five Love Languages: Physical Touch

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Blog on 20th March, 2017 By Raffi Bilek

The last of the Five Love Languages is Physical Touch.  This one is in some ways very easy and in some ways very hard. It’s very easy because it’s pretty clear what we’re referring to when we say “physical touch.”  But it can also be very hard because for many people, it’s simply not natural. […]

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The Five Love Languages: Acts of Service

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Blog on 6th March, 2017 By Raffi Bilek

The fourth of the Five Love Languages® is called Acts of Service.  For some people, actions indeed speak louder than words. Of course, just as with Words of Affirmation you can’t speak nicely while neglecting the other aspects of your relationship and expect to come out on top, so too it should be noted that […]

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The Five Love Languages: Receiving Gifts

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Blog on 21st February, 2017 By Raffi Bilek

The third Love Language is Receiving Gifts.  This one is easy to grasp, but it sometimes gets a bad rap because to some people it smacks of materialism.  In fact, a person whose Love Language is Receiving Gifts may or may not be materialistic, just the same as anyone else. There is a big difference […]

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The Five Love Languages: Quality Time

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Blog on 9th February, 2017 By Raffi Bilek

In the last post I described the love language of Words of Affirmation.  The second language is called Quality Time, and you probably have a fair idea what that’s about without needing much a definition.  As you would expect, it means that some people primarily feel loved by spending time with you.  There are various […]

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The Five Love Languages: Words of Affirmation

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Blog on 24th January, 2017 By Raffi Bilek

Words of Affirmation is the first of the love languages described in Gary Chapman’s Five Love Languages system. For people whose primary love language is Words of Affirmation, it’s what you say that counts.  This of course does not mean that you can act like a slob, forget your wife’s birthday gift or cheat on […]

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The Five Love Languages

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Blog on 9th January, 2017 By Raffi Bilek

The Five Love Languages® is a great tool for improving relationships, whether you’re at the beginning of a new relationship or you’ve been married for decades.  It is a very simple and understandable method of connecting with your significant other – as well as your children, parents, siblings, friends, and anyone else you are in […]

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Four Ways to Identify a Bad Therapist

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Blog on 7th December, 2016 By Raffi Bilek

Following up on our last post, let’s talk a bit about what possible red flags to look out for when searching for a therapist in Baltimore or anywhere else.  Unfortunately, as we mentioned last time, it’s not that hard for a nasty person to get a master’s degree and a counseling license, provided that s/he […]

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How Do I Find a Therapist?

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Blog on 15th November, 2016 By Raffi Bilek

So you’re looking for a therapist in Baltimore.  Maybe you typed “Baltimore therapist” into Google and it sent you here.  But how do you find the right “Baltimore therapist” for you?  What goes in to choosing a good therapist – and not just a good therapist, but a good therapist for you? That’s an important […]

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How Long Does Couples Counseling Take?

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Blog on 3rd November, 2016 By Raffi Bilek

This is a question I get asked all the time. How long will it take?  How many sessions do people usually need?  People rightly want to know how much time and money they will be investing into this process.  Unfortunately, there is really no way to give any useful answer to this question.  Let me […]

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Couples Counseling – What’s It All About?

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Blog on 10th October, 2016 By Raffi Bilek

What is couples counseling? Couples counseling goes by various names: couples therapy, marriage counseling, marital therapy, relationship counseling, and more. These are all ways of framing the same process, namely, trying to help a couple (whether married or not) achieve a better level of functioning. What this means is that when one or both parties […]

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Stop a Fight Before it Starts

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Blog on 5th October, 2016 By Raffi Bilek

Ever find yourself in a situation where a fight is brewing and you know it’s coming but don’t know how to avoid it?  Check out this link for a post explaining just that. http://www.goodtherapy.org/blog/how-to-stop-fight-with-your-partner-before-it-starts-1004164

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Is Your Relationship Worth It?

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Blog on 15th August, 2016 By Caitlin Chana Hill

Ever wonder whether the relationship you’re in is worth the trouble?  Worth the fights, the arguments, the crying?  On one hand, you love your significant other. On the other hand, when things get rough, they get really rough.  What do you do?  How do you know? Check out this latest article at http://www.blogher.com/your-relationship-worth-it to read […]

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“I Caught My Husband Watching Porn”

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Blog on 27th July, 2016 By Raffi Bilek

If you’ve just discovered your boyfriend or husband watching porn online – perhaps extensively – you may be feeling shock, anger, disappointment, betrayal, and more.  You also may be confused about what this means for your marriage. Or, you might be very clear about whether you want to fix it or end it.  Many women […]

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Call for a Free Counseling Consultation!

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Blog on 19th July, 2016 By Raffi Bilek

Call today : 443-598-2821 (you can text us too!) Getting started on the process of therapy isn’t easy.  Especially if you’ve never done it before, you might be a little bit confused or nervous about what to expect (but see here for some information on that).  If you’re thinking about coming for counseling on your […]

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Millennial Love

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Blog on 12th July, 2016 By Raffi Bilek

Check out this recent article for which I was interviewed by ABC staff: http://www.abc2news.com/bachelor/millennial-love-one-right-swipe-at-a-time It discusses modern dating and how technology has made a significant change in the dating landscape.  There’s no question that Tinder, OKcupid and the like have altered the way people meet and date.  If you’ve ever read an Archie comic, you’ll […]

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Save My Marriage!

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Blog on 27th June, 2016 By Raffi Bilek

I’ve noticed that a lot of requests for help that come through e-mail, text, or sites like Thumbtack.com list “save my marriage” as the reason for seeking help. So I thought I’d let you know in advance – I can’t do that. A lifeguard can save someone’s life often even in the face of their […]

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After the Affair: The Importance of Coming Clean Entirely

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Blog on 31st May, 2016 By Raffi Bilek

When someone has an affair and is discovered or comes clean on their own, their instinct is often to soften the blow and/or minimize the damage, especially if they still care about their partner and want to cause the least pain possible. As a result, they will reveal only a part of the information, or […]

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New therapist – Shira Feldman

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Blog on 11th April, 2016 By Raffi Bilek

We are proud to welcome Shira Feldman as our newest staff member at the Baltimore Therapy Center!  Shira is a licensed marriage and family therapist (LGMFT) from Philadelphia and has been doing in-home therapy for some of Baltimore’s neediest clients. Her training and passion is in working with family systems, including marriage, parent-child relationships, and […]

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Counseling, Time, and Change

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Blog on 14th March, 2016 By Raffi Bilek

Every now and then I hear about a “great new therapy” that promises fast results and lasting change (often after a single session or treatment). I am highly skeptical of such approaches and I encourage you to do some due diligence before signing up for one. The process of human change is not nearly as […]

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Making Marriage Last

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Blog on 22nd February, 2016 By Raffi Bilek

I have a new catchphrase: To make your marriage last, make your marriage first. I’m pretty sure I invented it, and Google seems to agree. (So does Bing!) So you heard it here first, folks. Although the line is new, the idea is certainly not. We therapists and marriage counselors have been saying it for […]

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Single on Valentine’s Day?

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Blog on 13th February, 2016 By Raffi Bilek

Many people seek out counseling to help them answer the nagging question: “Why can’t I find the right person for me?” Being single can be a real drag, especially as you get older and watch your friends date, marry, and build families. If this is your situation, let me first recognize your pain and frustration. […]

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A Novel Way to Fix Your Marriage

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Blog on 4th February, 2016 By Raffi Bilek

Check out our latest article about getting your marriage back into shape, on Marriage.com!  This article highlights a positive-psychology based approach to making changes for the better in your marriage. A Novel Way to Fix Your Marriage   Learn more about our couples counseling services here.

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The Best Gift You Can Give Your Children – Part 4

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Blog on 27th January, 2016 By Raffi Bilek

The last piece I’m going to post on the topic of why a good marriage is the best gift we can give to ours kids is probably the simplest: 4. It’s just nicer to live in a happy household than an unhappy one. Can anyone disagree with that? Who wants to live in a home […]

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The Best Gift You Can Give Your Children – Part 3

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Blog on 11th January, 2016 By Raffi Bilek

Continuing on in our exploration of why a good marriage is so vital to your childrearing endeavors, here is reason #3: 3. They’ll do as you do. Jimmy’s parents were called into school, where Jimmy was waiting apprehensively in the principal’s office. The principal sat down with the three of them, looking very sternly at […]

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The Best Gift You Can Give Your Children – Part 2

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Blog on 28th December, 2015 By Raffi Bilek

In the last post, I opened up the topic of why a good marriage is good parenting and discussed the issue of household stability. Here is reason #2 that the best gift you can give your children is a good marriage. 2. Kids run on emotion. As noted in the previous post, kids are consumed […]

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The Best Gift You Can Give Your Children

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Blog on 20th December, 2015 By Raffi Bilek

When I get a call from parents seeking help with problems with their children, it is not uncommon that a large portion of the work actually needs to happen with the parents themselves. Unrealistic expectations, misguided parenting approaches, personal problems, and other factors play into this a lot. One important element that needs to be […]

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Rebuilding Relationships

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Blog on 10th December, 2015 By Raffi Bilek

A common dynamic that I encounter in doing marriage counseling is that one partner will want to convince the other of some aspect of him/herself and get frustrated/angry/hopeless when they can’t seem to do so. Let’s take trust for an example, in a relationship between hypothetical clients Martin and Tia. Let’s say that there has […]

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The Science of Trust in Relationships

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Blog on 19th October, 2015 By Raffi Bilek

In the short video below, renowned relationships researcher John Gottman discusses recent findings on the science of trust.  Significantly, he explains that betrayal is not the opposite of trust, and that one of the key ingredients of trust is commitment.  The great destroyer of a person’s ability to build trust in their relationship is the […]

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Couples Counseling Success Story

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Blog on 8th October, 2015 By Raffi Bilek

I recently worked with a couple that came in with a serious break in their relationship.  They were pretty despairing and didn’t know how to handle the problem.  I give them a lot of credit for the honest look they both took at themselves and the hard work they put into this.  In only two […]

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Infidelity Now and Then

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Blog on 24th September, 2015 By Raffi Bilek

In the wake of the Ashley Madison leak, I got a lot of questions from friends and colleagues about the extent of the infidelity problem in America (at least, for those who consider it a problem). I don’t know that I’m really the best person to answer that question given that people usually don’t come […]

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#1 Marriage and Family Counselor in Baltimore!

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Blog on 1st September, 2015 By Raffi Bilek

Hooray! We’re listed as the #1 marriage and family counselor in Baltimore on Thumbtack.com! https://www.thumbtack.com/md/baltimore/marriage-and-family-counselors/ Contact us today for help with all kinds of relationship issues, including: dating marriage infidelity/cheating breakups trust communication conflict resolution …and more. Learn more about our counseling services for couples and families here.    

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The Deal with Insurance and Marriage Counseling

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Blog on 23rd August, 2015 By Raffi Bilek

At the Baltimore Therapy Center we frequently get calls that begin like this: “Hi, I’m looking for marriage counseling. Do you take Blue Cross Blue Shield?” While the short answer is yes, there’s unfortunately a lot more that needs to be said on this topic. The reality is that almost no insurance company will pay […]

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Boundaries: Inside and Out

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Blog on 6th August, 2015 By Raffi Bilek

Check out our latest article on the Maryland Addiction Recovery Center‘s guest blog! http://www.marylandaddictionrecovery.com/boundaries-inside-and-out

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What to Expect in Couples Counseling

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Blog on 31st July, 2015 By Raffi Bilek

Many clients call up for the first time wanting to know what couples counseling will be like. No doubt there is a nervousness there about starting a process that you don’t know much about. In this post I want to give some basic information about what you can expect from couples counseling and hopefully make […]

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Communication

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Blog on 24th July, 2015 By Raffi Bilek

This is a great relationship buzzword that gets thrown around a lot.  What does it do for us?  Check out this short video to see why we think helping couples develop their communication skills is so important.    

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Assertiveness in Relationships

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Blog on 1st July, 2015 By Raffi Bilek

Everyone has things they want and need out of the relationships they are in. Most people recognize that aggressive behavior is not a good way to get those things while maintaining the relationship at the same time – you might get what you want, but you might also find yourself with one less friend thereafter. […]

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Why Couples Remember Differently

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Blog on 11th May, 2015 By Raffi Bilek

Do you ever argue with your significant other about who said what and when in which place?  Yes, of course you do. We all do. People are imperfect and our memories are imperfect. They are imperfect not only in ways that make us forget things that happened, they are also imperfect in ways that make […]

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Mother Trouble

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Blog on 22nd April, 2015 By Raffi Bilek

Check out our new video about one of our unique specialties – helping adults manage their relationships with their own parents!  We hear a lot of complaints about this kind of issue out in the community and just chatting with friends, but not a lot of people think to get professional help with it.  Sometimes, […]

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How to Be a Better Spouse

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Blog on 29th March, 2015 By Raffi Bilek

Here’s a helpful, if not entirely novel, article published by Scientific American on bettering one’s marriage.  I guess there’s a science to it after all! http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/how-to-be-a-better-spouse/     Learn more about our online and in-person marriage counseling services here.

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6 Reasons Marriage Counseling is NOT BS

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Blog on 19th March, 2015 By Raffi Bilek

I recently came across this article by Laura Doyle entitled “6 Reasons Marriage Counseling is BS.”  While I actually found myself agreeing with many of the author’s comments on marriage, I obviously disagree strongly with her contention that marriage counseling is baloney.  She says: 1. It starts with calling your spouse a loser Doyle contends […]

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The Truth About Married Sex

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Blog on 11th March, 2015 By Raffi Bilek

I thought that this article about sex in marriage was really worth sharing.  The basic premise is that sex in marriage is something you have to work at (like marriage itself, of course).  When you were 18 and dating you probably had to hold yourself back from sexual activity most of the time; unfortunately, that […]

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The Importance of Listening

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Blog on 8th February, 2015 By Raffi Bilek

Another guest post I wrote on a friend’s blog has generated some interesting conversation.  See the article and subsequent comments at https://incensefromthealtar.wordpress.com/2015/02/05/the-importance-of-listening.       Learn more about our couples counseling services here.

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The Impact of Family on Weight Loss

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Blog on 2nd February, 2015 By Raffi Bilek

A guest post of mine on a friend’s weight loss blog: http://weightlosscounterrevolution.com/2015/01/30/the-impact-of-family-on-weight-loss/ Learn more about our family therapy services here.

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How to Recover from an Affair – When You’re the Cheater

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Blog on 23rd January, 2015 By Raffi Bilek

Here’s another article I wrote on managing a relationship after an affair – this one directed at the cheater: https://www.wellness.com/blog/13274483/how-to-recover-from-an-affair-when-you-re-the-cheater/raffi-bilek Learn more about our work with couples and infidelity here.

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When Is Couples Counseling a Bad Idea?

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Blog on 11th January, 2015 By Raffi Bilek

As you may have guessed, I am a big believer in marital therapy/couples counseling. I think it is helpful for a lot of people, and I think many folks would be much happier if they sought it out. However, there is an important exception to this claim, a situation in which couples counseling is not […]

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Recovering from an Affair

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Blog on 15th December, 2014 By Raffi Bilek

An affair is often thought of as a death blow to a marriage –the worst thing that could possibly happen to the relationship, from which there can be no recovery. The truth is that a couple can still save their marriage . . .     https://www.wellness.com/blog/13270625/how-to-recover-from-an-affair/raffi-bilek   Learn more about our couples counseling services […]

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Do You Need Couples Counseling?

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Blog on 1st December, 2014 By Raffi Bilek

Are you in need of couples counseling?  How would you even know whether you are or not?  Here are some questions you can ask yourself to determine whether you are a candidate for marriage counseling: Is your marriage/relationship more often negative than positive? Do you feel indifferent towards your spouse/significant other, or sense that s/he […]

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How to Argue with Your Spouse without Solving Anything

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Blog on 19th November, 2014 By Raffi Bilek

An article I wrote about spousal disagreements has been posted on wellness.com: Arguments among dating and married couples have gotten a bad name. Sure, they cause anger, frustration, tears, breakups, and divorces, but apart from that, who doesn’t enjoy a good yell at their partner from time to time? https://www.wellness.com/blog/13270621/how-to-argue-with-your-spouse-without-solving-anything/raffi-bilek   Learn more about our […]

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How to Be Married to a Woman

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Blog on 9th November, 2014 By Raffi Bilek

The sequel to my highly popular “How to Be Married to a Man:”   How to Be Married to a Woman   My article, “How to Be Married to a Man,” recently published in the Where What When, earned me a lot of head nods and a couple of high-fives from male readers. It also […]

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Love after Adultery

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Blog on 8th October, 2014 By Raffi Bilek

It is commonly thought that adultery is a certain death blow to a marriage. After all, what could possibly do more injury to a relationship than an affair? It strikes us as the worst thing someone could do. Heck, it even made it into the Ten Commandments! I once heard a counselor say to me, […]

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How to be Married to a Man

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Blog on 6th September, 2014 By Raffi Bilek

A local Baltimore magazine published an article I submitted this week, entitled “How to be Married to a Man.”  I highly recommend it for all people married to men.  I know there’s an awful lot of you out there.  Even if you don’t need couples counseling, I am hopeful these tips will help you out!  […]

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Does Sexting Count as Cheating?

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Blog on 3rd September, 2014 By Raffi Bilek

Many people aren’t sure how to answer this question. When a married man is sending inappropriate text messages to another woman (or vice versa), does that “count” as an affair? The answer is really a subjective one. When a man cheats on his wife, or a woman on her husband, the problem is not so […]

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