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Dr. Donna Gilman of Couples Center of the Pioneer Valley to be Featured on CUTV News Radio

NORTHAMPTON, MASSACHUSETTS, UNITED STATES, July 8, 2019 / -- From a very young age, we inherit a strong narrative around love and how blissful it's going to be. The truth is that nobody truly understands what it takes to create and sustain intimacy.

Dr. Donna Gilman Psy.D is a clinical psychologist and the founder of the Couples Center of the Pioneer Valley, a specialized center devoted to working primarily with couples.

“I look at couples counseling as doing very deep individual work that is witnessed by the partners,” says Dr. Gilman. “From my perspective, we're helping each individual grow deeper roots into healthy adulthood, and through that process, teaching them to be of support and service to their partner doing the same.”

As intimacy deepens, we enjoy the wonderful feelings of falling in love, but our insecurities can also arise. Our ability to create and sustain intimacy is very much a developmental process.

“Partners think they're asking for behavioral change, when what we're often asking for is developmental change,” says Dr. Gilman. “That entails learning and practicing developmental skills within the context of the relationship.”

Dr. Gilman says her clients are typically meeting with her because they're in crisis. Perhaps an affair has been revealed or the gridlock in their relationship has become unsustainable.

“For me it's the ability to know how to stabilize the system as quickly as possible,” says Dr. Gilman. “From there we can begin to delineate how each person may have contributed to the crisis. Much of our vulnerability and deeper self-inquiry is obscured by well-honed coping strategies. Couples counseling offers an opportunity to heal.”

Dr. Gilman says her work is ultimately about getting the couple to a place where they are consciously and fully choosing one another in the most informed way.

“I don't see myself as a superhero out to save every relationship,” says Dr. Gilman. “It’s more about helping each person to more deeply understand the complexities of what they think and feel and need, which really is about understanding that most of us have opposing tensions or opposing values, inner conflicts.”

There's never a good time to be vulnerable when you're feeling your most insecure, but these skills can be practiced over time in our most intimate relationships.

“One of the things that makes for a master couple are folks who have actually been to hell and back. Because life throws a lot at you. How do we navigate it? What choices do we make? So often the real question is: Do you have it in you to work on yourself? Which is different than saying, ‘Is the relationship going to make it?’ Is healing possible for you in the context of this relationship? And what kind of scaffolding do we need to put in place for each person so healing can take place?”

CUTV News Radio will feature Dr. Donna Gilman Psy.D in an interview with Jim Masters on July 10th at 1pm EDT.

Listen to the show on BlogTalkRadio

If you have any questions for our guest, please call (347) 996-3389.

For more information, visit

Lou Ceparano
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