Bob Stahn

Bob Stahn

Bob Stahn has a general counseling practice. He specializes in relationship counseling and most recently PTSD and trauma.

  • What’s A “SHMILY?”

    Apr 20, 2010
    SHMILY has been a part of our marriage from as far back as I can remember. Early on my wife and I read a short article from a couple who regularly enjoyed showing each other acts of love. Each kind gesture was accompanied by a five-letter acronym “SHMILY.” The acronym stood for “See How Much I Love You?” It stuck with us.
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  • Loving Things

    Mar 26, 2010
    When I was going to college over 25 years ago, I heard a wonderful idea on how to strengthen a marital relationship. The activity is called “Loving Things.” The concept is simple—find out how your spouse wants to be shown love and then do it. It is normal to show love the way we want to be shown love. For example, if I want to be shown love by a meaningful touch, then I will give love to others through a sincere physical gesture, thinking of course that others would like to receive love just the same way I do. The problem is that it may not be true. I could be very affectionate with my wife and it could do very little for her emotionally. I could expend a great deal of effort but have it convey very little love. The end result from that activity would be confusion and frustration for us both.
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  • A Relationship is Like a Plant

    Mar 17, 2010
    When couples come to me wanting help for their relationship I often offer them this simple analogy: a relationship is like a plant. It is dynamic, living and growing and there are two basic principles that, if followed, will make it flourish. First there must be the absence of negative. For the plant it means that there cannot be anyone allowed to mangle the leaves, freeze it, starve it, subject it to harmful chemicals or bugs, or let it dry out. But, just protecting the plant from the negative will not make it flourish—we also must follow the second principle: there must be the presence of positive. For the plant it means that it must receive adequate nutrition, ample water and sunlight, and be kept at a warm temperature.
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  • “Cha-ching!” (There’s Another Deposit Into the Relationship Account!)

    Mar 15, 2010
    My wife and I refer to actions that add or detract from the quality of our relationship as deposits into or withdrawals out of our relationship account. We want to regularly make deposits and make as few withdrawals as possible. We want to keep the balance very high to keep our happiness in our marriage very high.
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  • $100.00 Decisions

    Mar 05, 2010
    Adolescent clients often have a hard time making good decisions, so I developed a little something that has helped me help them. I call it my “$100.00 Decisions” exercise. I’ll walk you through how I present it to a young man. I ask him to picture someone he knows who is two or three years old. If I were to ask the child to choose between having a handful of candy (like “M & M” candies) that the child could have right now or having a two-pound bag of the same candy after waiting fifteen minutes, which would the child pick? The teenager would accurately say, “The handful now.” I respond, “Yes. Every single time.” Then I ask, “Why? There is so much more in the two-pound bag.” The response is usually, “Because the child can’t wait.”
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