Human Rights Violations in Personal Relationships

The imposition of conventional attitudes and stereotypic views restrict people’s thinking, increase their hostility, and negatively influence their behavior toward one another.


Panic Attacks: What You Need to Know

There is a clear path that we can walk together in therapy, that can lead a person toward greater freedom, peace, and wellbeing.


How to Be Vulnerable to Love

It’s not easy to drop our defenses and open ourselves up to another person.


You Don’t Really Know Yourself

My life’s work has focused on understanding resistance in psychotherapy and more specifically, on people’s fundamental resistance to the formation of a better, more positive image of themselves.  For the most part, they are unaware that their lives are controlled and regulated by negative images and attitudes toward themselves that represent a basic aspect of their identity. This provisional identity is made up of three essential parts: (1) the way that they were verbally defined as children; (2) the overall emotional impact of the child’s early environment; and (3) the defenses that they formed to protect themselves from destructive influences.

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Getting Over Relationship Insecurity

“She isn’t attracted to me anymore. She never acts as excited to see me when I come home. Why can’t it just be like it was in the beginning?” My friend has just entered into the first of two common


Overcoming Two of Parenting’s Greatest Challenges

By Dr. Lisa Firestone and Joyce Catlett Raising children can be one of the most challenging jobs in life; it certainly is one of the most important. Renowned British pediatrician/ psychoanalyst, Donald Winnicott once told a group of parents


Why Are So Many Parents Limited in Loving Their Children?

In order to place the title of this blog in context, I would define parental love as behavior that enhances the well-being and development of children. As such, “love” would be all that is nurturing and supportive of the evolution


CE Credit Info

Continuing Education Information:

The Glendon Association and offer CE credits through R. Cassidy Seminars (cosponsor).  


Purchasing CE Credits: 

Once you purchase a Webinar, a link to purchase CE credits will be provided in the email containing all of your Webinar resources.  After you have watched the presentation and completed the attached supplementary reading, you may purchase your CE credits for $15.  Upon purchase, you will be asked to complete your post test and evaluation, and then you can print your CE certificate.


Satisfactory Completion

Participants must have paid tuition fee, watched the entire seminar, completed an evaluation in order to receive a certificate. Failure to sign in or out will result in forfeiture of credit for the entire course. No exceptions will be made. Partial credit is not available.



Cassidy Seminars is approved by the American Psychological Association (APA) to offer continuing education for psychologists. R. Cassidy Seminars maintains responsibility for this program. (#) CE hours.


Social Workers

Cassidy Seminars, ACE provider #1082, is approved as a provider for social work continuing education by the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB), through the Approved Continuing Education (ACE) Program. R. Cassidy Seminars maintains responsibility for the program. Approval Period: April 15, 2015-April 15, 2018. Social workers should contact their regulatory board to determine course approval. Social workers participating in this course will receive (#) continuing education clock hours.

CA: The Board of Behavioral Sciences has deferred CE course approvals to APA and ASWB for its licensees. See those approvals under Psychologists and Social Workers

NY: R. Cassidy Seminars is recognized by the New York State Education Department’s State Board for Social Work as an approved provider (#0006) of continuing education for licensed social workers. This program is approved for (#) contact hours.

OH: Provider approved by the Ohio Counselor, Social Worker and Marriage and Family Therapist Board for (#) clock hours, #RCST110701


Counselors/Marriage and Family Therapists

CA: The Board of Behavioral Sciences has deferred CE course approvals to APA and ASWB for its licensees. See those approvals under Psychologists and Social Workers.

Other States: If your state is not specifically listed, nearly all state Counselor and MFT boards accept either APA or ASWB approval, or are reciprocal with other state licensing board approvals, such as those listed below. Check with your board to be sure. The Ohio Board includes Counselors.

IL: Illinois Dept of Professional Regulation, Approved Continuing Education Sponsor, #168-000141.  (#) hours.

OH: Provider approved by the Ohio Counselor, Social Worker and Marriage and Family Therapist Board for (#) clock hours, #RCST110701

TX: Approved CE Sponsor through the Texas State Board of Examiners of Marriage & Family Therapists. Provider #151


Chemical Dependency Counselors

CA: Provider approved by CFAAP/CAADAC, Provider #4N-00-434-0212 for (#) CEHs. CAADAC is an ICRC member which has reciprocity with most ICRC member states

TX: Provider approved by the TCBAP Standards Committee, Provider No. 1749-06, (#) hours general. Expires 3/31/2016.  Complaints about provider or workshop content may be directed to the TCBAP Standards Committee, 1005 Congress Avenue, Ste. 460, Austin, Texas 78701, Fax Number (512) 476-7297.



IL: Provider approved by the Illinois State Board of Certification #080304164719171. (#) CE Hours.

TX: R. Cassidy Seminars is an approved provider with the Texas Education Agency CPE# 501456. This course is (#) CE Hours.



CA: Provider approved by the CA Board of Registered Nursing, Provider #CeP12224, for (#) contact hours. Many state Nursing Boards are reciprocal with other states. Check your licensing board to be sure.


Disability Access – If you require ADA accommodations please contact our office 10 days or more before the event. We cannot ensure accommodations without adequate prior notification.


Please Note: Licensing Boards change regulations often and while we attempt to stay abreast of their most recent changes, if you have questions or concerns about this course meeting your specific board’s approval, we recommend you contact your board directly to obtain a ruling.




Privacy Policy

Website Privacy Policy and Terms of Use

By using this website you agree that you understand, accept and agree to this privacy policy and the terms of use for the Glendon Association.

All materials posted on this site are subject to copyrights owned by the Glendon Association or other individuals or entities. Any reproduction, retransmission, or republication of all or part of any document found on this site is expressly prohibited, unless the Glendon Association or the copyright owner of the material has granted its prior written consent to reproduce or republish the material. All other rights are reserved.

The names, trademarks, and logos of the Glendon Association appearing on this site may not be used in any advertising or publicity, or otherwise to indicate the Glendon Association’s sponsorship or affiliation, without the Glendon Association’s prior express written permission.

Although the Glendon Association’s website includes links providing direct access to other Internet sites, the Glendon Association takes no responsibility for the content or information contained on those other sites.

The Glendon Association is providing information and services on the Internet as a benefit and service in furtherance of the Glendon Association’s nonprofit and tax-exempt status. The Glendon Association makes no representations about the suitability or accuracy of this information and these services for any purpose.

The Glendon Association Website Privacy Policies

The Glendon Association respects the privacy of the individuals who visit our website, respond to our electronic communications and send us email. This Privacy Statement outlines what information the Glendon Association will collect and how it will be used.

The Glendon Association will not collect any personally identifiable information about you (name, address, telephone number, email address) unless you provide it voluntarily.  In some cases the Glendon Association may require that you provide such information, such as when you order a product, service or event online, or if you request information about membership, products, services or events.

When you do provide us with personally identifiable information, we may use it in the following ways, unless stated otherwise.

  • We may store and process the information to better understand and respond to member and prospective member interests, needs and preferences and to determine how we can improve
  • We may use the information to contact you with new announcements and information we believe may be of interest to

Changes to these Terms and Policies

The Glendon Association reserves the right to update or change these terms of use and the privacy policy at any time. Such changes will be posted without notice on this Web page.

You may contact The Glendon Association with any questions about these policies:  [email protected]


Are You Giving Up on Love?

It’s hard to really wrap our heads around this. Yet, I find—over and over again—that it’s true. Love doesn’t always just slip away; we push it away… actively. This may sound accusatory and dooming, but to my mind, it is one of the most optimistic realities about relationships. To the degree that we ourselves control the amount of love we will tolerate, we control our romantic destiny. While we may not realize it, in countless, quiet ways, we may be giving up on love.

Our tolerance for love is established early in our lives and is based on our unique childhood experiences. The specific ways we were hurt influence us and come to shape our capacity for closeness. As we grow older, we gravitate to what’s familiar. We may choose partners who hurt us in the same ways we’ve always felt hurt. Or, if we do find ourselves in a healthy and rewarding relationship, we may reach a level of intimacy that exceeds our internal limits, and at that point, we recoil.

Most of us enter a good relationship in a good place. Early on, we feel great, because we feel valued and seen. We find what we always said we wanted. Yet, this blissful process of caring so deeply for someone else is also an invitation to care more deeply about our lives, which is scary. At this point, as in so many moments in life, we face a choice without being even fully aware of it. Do we side with life and invest in love, or do we choose the path of a more self-protective and defended part of ourselves? This is the part of us that resists feeling. It avoids risks. It gravitates toward numbness, eludes connection, commitment, and, ultimately, love itself.

In my 30 years as a researcher and clinical psychologist, I often reference the Fear of Intimacy, a book by my father, Dr. Robert Firestone, that aims to explain people’s resistance to love. When I introduce the theory surrounding fear of intimacy to people, they often say, “That sounds exactly like my husband!” or “My girlfriend totally has that issue.” It’s a concept people have trouble recognizing in themselves at first, because most people think they want love and don’t consciously feel afraid. Instead, they go along happily in their relationships for a time, then slowly, without awareness, they start to pull back. Ultimately, they diminish their feelings of real love and replace it with anything from routine to petty arguments to complete deadness between themselves and their partner.

Ironically, what sparks this fear can be the reality of getting exactly what we want. So many positive things can set us in motion to pull back from love and intimacy. We may receive a certain acknowledgment from our partner, something that is unknown or uncomfortable, because it contradicts feelings we’ve long had about ourselves.

Each of us harbors an inner critic that never quite believes in our value or our happiness. Milestones like falling in love, getting married, or having a baby can symbolically go against these long-held negative feelings we have about ourselves or our lives. In addition, these life events can remind us of time passing. They can arouse existential fears or a sense that we are growing up and divorcing from familiarities of our past. Negative events can further perpetuate this fear. Anything from an actual loss to a painful movie can strike a chord in us and remind us of life’s fragility.

So, what happens when we get scared? In what ways do we pull back from our relationship? Naturally, these behaviors manifest themselves differently in each individual, and they’re usually based on a person’s particular past. We all have our own specific set of defenses. We may become withholding toward our partner. We may start to feel easily trapped or intruded on. We may become controlling, overly critical, or destructively jealous. Or we may simply become…distracted.

It is all too easy to let practical aspects of life take over, especially with so many to choose from. Careers and kids tend to be big justifications we offer up when we realize we’ve lost touch with our partner. These, of course, are important priorities, but we can use them to divert us from our own desires to love and be loved. Think about ways we use technology, our phones, or even our food as substitutes for real contact. We can even use healthy-seeming activities like work, sleep, or exercise in the service of our defenses. When we work so hard, we miss time with our partner. What about when sleep takes priority over sex or affection? Someone I know went as far as to refuse to schedule any trip with his wife for years because it interfered with his daily routine of biking 20 miles.

We turn to our defenses for distraction or to “unwind,” in other words, to disconnect and burrow into our own self-sustaining world. Our lives take on an inward focus and, on a certain level, become more about taking care of ourselves than about the give and take of a relationship. This is not to say we are being selfish. In fact, on a practical level, we may be filling our days meeting the needs of others. Yet, on a personal level, we may be withdrawing from close and loving interactions.

Maintaining an outward focus is part of living a vital life. When both partners withdraw, the relationship becomes a “fantasy bond,” where both people remain together, imagining they are in love, while there is little to no actual relating. Couples may morph into societal roles of husband, wife, mother, or father and give up vital parts of themselves in the process. While the experiences involved in being a spouse or parent can be the most fulfilling parts of life, we get into trouble when we focus on form over substance. For instance, we can get wrapped up in schedules, arrangements, and functions, allowing them to take up more energy than acts of real relating, affection, humor, openness, or attraction.

We can use our endless “to-do’s” to cut off from deeper emotions that connect us to feelings of love and liveliness. Think about how good we feel on vacation. It isn’t just because there is less to do. It’s because we allot ourselves a period of time to just be, to connect, to take advantage of being with the people we love most. We don’t need weeks off on a faraway island to forge these connections. We can do it on a daily basis in those quiet, little moments we often miss because we have our guard up: that precious half hour in bed with our partner before we fall asleep, that commute we make every day sitting in silence or on a device.

If we stop being open and available to our partner, we are likely to wake up one day feeling as if we are living with a stranger. Those feelings of love that haven’t been allowed to flourish may seem to have withered away. Resisting a fantasy bond means not giving in to our fears. It means going out on a limb and living out our own ideas of what makes up a happy and fulfilling life. It means staying vulnerable despite the inside and outside forces that harden us to the world.

It can feel difficult, or even painful, to really do this in the moment, to stick in there and remain patient and loving with our partner. Yet, if we don’t, the outcome is much more desolate. We can miss out on our own life. When her parents had reached their 70s, a friend of mine asked them if they were still in love. They looked at each other and one responded, “We may not love each other, but we are loyal.” The truth is, we don’t have to settle for loyalty. What good is loyalty when two people decide to spend their lives miserable, but together?

Many couples don’t give up on each other, but they give up on what drew them to each other in the first place: love. Yet, studies in neuroscience show that people can maintain the exhilarating feelings of romantic love for decades. That is why I encourage almost every couple I meet who ever felt they were once in love to stick in there. Take actions toward your partner that he or she would perceive as loving. Make eye contact. Be affectionate—even after 30 years, even in line at the airport. Slow down. Be present. Practice mindfulness, as it may help you reconnect to your most authentic self, your real feelings and desires, and to be attuned to your partner. Offer acts of kindness, large and small. Take part in activities you and your partner used to share and enjoy together. Be open to new activities, something we tend to resist as we get older, more self-protective, or further into routine.

In short, do a lot of the things you did when you first met and started to form deep feelings for your partner, even if you don’t feel like it! Studies show that engaging in loving acts heightens our feelings of being in love. So, be free in flaunting your romantic feelings. Connect with them on a daily basis. No matter what our inner critic tells us, there is nothing foolish about allowing ourselves to be lovesick. There may be more to lose, but there is also much more to live for.