Lessons For Love Relationship Advice Blog


As most of you know I am a Marriage and Family Therapist and I have completed Levels 1, 2 & 3 in Gottman Couples Training. Gottman, of course, is the expert on relationships and is backed with 40 years of research. I absolutely love this method. After trying many different methods in working with couples, I have found this to be practical and effective. A lot of people ask me if I see other clients in my practice, and my response is yes. I also work with individuals, whether they are dealing with depression, anxiety or the loss of a relationship. I have found that people tend to repeat the same patterns in life and often don't understand why. Maybe, they have a low self-esteem, fear being alone or had a difficult childhood. Maybe, they feel they have always been the underdog and can never get a break in life.

Are the root of their problems that they fear rejection, have to be right or they just can't relax? The reality is, it could be all three of these reasons. People have many reasons for acting the way they do. I have found that it is best to go easy on yourself. Yes, it's alright to think of yourself and how to simplify your life. After counseling people for 13 years, I have found…

Read more: How To Make Your "No" Stick

Bids For Connection: The Building Blocks Of Emotional Connection

Take The Bids For Connection Quiz
In Dr. John Gottman's apartment lab at the University of Washington, he studies how people interact with one another under everyday circumstances. He has discovered that "bids for connection" happen at a very high rate between partners. For example, happy couples "bid" 100 times in ten minutes. What makes the bids so important? How those bids are made and responded to influences how well that relationship is going to fare over time.

What is a bid for connection? As Dr. Gottman explains in
his new book, The Relationship Cure, bids can be verbal or non-verbal. They can be highly physical or come totally from the intellect. They can be sexual or non-sexual. The key is that a bid for connection is an attempt to create connection between two people. Its function is to keep the relationship going forward and in a positive direction.
Bids are the fundamental element of emotional connection. The brief quiz below helps you to assess your style of bidding. More in depth tests are available in The Relationship Cure. To take this test, think of a person who is important to you. Complete each item by indicating how much you agree or disagree with the statement.
1. I sometimes get ignored when I need attention the most.
strongly disagree
strongly agree
2. This person usually doesn't have a clue as to what…

Read more: Bids For Connection: The Building Blocks Of Emotional Connection



Three steps to help you redefine your world when "Plan A" fails.

"Life is all about how you handle Plan B.
Plan A is always my first choice.
You know, the one where
Everything works out to be
Happily ever-after.
But, more often than not.
I find myself dealing with
The upside-down, inside-out-version -
Where nothing goes as it should.
It's at this point that the real
Test of my character comes in .. 
Do I sink, or do I swim? 
Do I wallow in self pity and play the victim
Or simply shift gears
And make the best of the situation?
The choice is all mine...
Life is all about how you handle Plan B."
by Suzy Toronto
Get real. Are you living your dream or are you living someone Else's dream? So, your life isn't perfect, do you know any one's that is? Stop comparing yourself to other's. There is always someone with more and always someone with less. Start to want the life you have.
Stay away from negative people. That's right, stay away from the drama queens that make everything about themselves - even your problems. A negative attitude is contagious; it will only bring you down in the long-run. On the upside, a positive attitude is contagious, keep the positive people close in your life.
Don't be afraid to ask for help. You are not alone. There are many people that aren't living the life they dreamed as a child, but that doesn't mean they have a bad life. If you feel like you keep going through the same thing over and over again, then it is time to ask for help.
Help is just a phone call away. You can reach me at (650) 892-0357 to set up a consultation.

Read more: Finding the Silver Lining in Loss


As a Marriage & Family Therapist, a lot of people ask me if they should give their partner a second chance? They say they will change, but I'm just not sure, should I give them another chance? People also ask me, why do people go back only to get their heart broken, again and again. As human beings we are born desiring the closeness of another. If a baby is left alone they will eventually die. It's natural to desire a relationship to not want to be alone. This is why I say hang on to your dreams, just make sure the person you are with loves and respects you for who you are.

Here are three questions to ask yourself - Should I Stay or Should I Go?

  1. Is your relationship good enough? This is a subjective, but effective measurement that always seems to work. Relationships are never perfect and at times can be somewhat difficult. But, in the good ones you should feel the trade-offs are worth it. He always leaves the toothpaste cap off, but he makes you laugh like no one ever has. He is messy, but he has never forgotten your birthday or anniversary. And so on. Trouble starts when the list of what is wrong outweighs the list of what is right.
  2. How much joy do you experience…

Read more: Should I give my partner a second chance?


How to Break Out of a Bad Mood:

Believe it or not, how you feel can affect how your partner feels. When you wake up in the morning are you excited for the day, or are you thinking here we go again? When you come home at the end of the day do you know your partner is excited to see you, or do they ignore you? While you are away from your partner do you know they are thinking fondly of you, or do you wonder if they are thinking negatively about you? If you answered yes to one or more of these questions, then this is the article for you. 

Here are 10 cognitive distortions that could be causing your partner to turn away from you:

  1. All-or-nothing thinking: You look at things in absolute, black-and-white categories.
  2. Overgeneralization: You view a negative event as a never-ending pattern of defeat.
  3. Mental filter: You dwell on the negatives and ignore the positives.
  4. Discounting the positives: You insist that your accomplishments or positive qualities "don't count."
  5. Jumping to conclusions: (A) Mind reading - you assume that people are reacting negatively to you when there's no definite evidence for this; (B) Fortune-telling - you arbitrarily predict that things will turn out badly.
  6. Magnification or minimization: You blow things way up out of proportion or you shrink their…

Read more: Are We Feeling Good?

Contact Information

Office Location 
Lianne Avila, MFT
1510 Fashion Island Blvd.
Suite 110
San Mateo, CA 94404

Phone Number
(650) 892-0357

Map & Directions

Address: 1510 Fashion Island Blvd. Suite 110 San Mateo, CA 94404

Contact Us  Get Directions