Gratitude Helps Strengthen Relationships

Gratitude Helps Strengthen Relationships

Just in time for Thanksgiving, leading couple therapist Dr. Stan Tatkin, PsyD, MFT, and author of Wired for Love and Wired for Dating, discusses one of the key ingredients to a healthy relationship – cultivating gratitude. Dr. Tatkin encourages partners to use this time of year to embark on a new path toward relationship growth and success.

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Cultivate gratitude

Among Dr. Tatkin’s 10 Commandments to a Secure-Functioning Relationship is: Thou shalt gaze lovingly upon thy partner daily and make frequent and meaningful gestures of appreciation, admiration, and gratitude.

Gratitude is the opposite of misery. That is why miserable people are never grateful. Their glass is always empty. Finding gratitude is inextricably related to reality as we are always getting more than we are giving if we really do an honest daily inventory. The human being is a selfish animal. People are always aware of what they are not getting and become angry, resentful, envious, and deprived. An exercise based on Naikan, a Japanese meditation practice to engender feelings of gratitude, details that if each partner was to do an honest inventory of what they have received from their partner, what they’ve given, and the trouble they’ve caused their partner, a feeling of gratitude would likely emerge.

A Harvard Mental Health Newsletter reported on a study of couples which found that individuals who took time to express gratitude for their partner not only felt more positive toward the other person but also felt more comfortable expressing concerns about their relationship. “Thanksgiving is the perfect time to pause and reflect on what you’re grateful for in your life. You thank others for little courtesies, but do you thank your partner? If not, it’s quite simple to do so. Make daily gestures of appreciation, admiration and gratitude to your partner,” explains Dr. Tatkin.

Dr. Tatkin has a clinical practice in Calabasas, CA and is best-selling author of Wired for Love and Wired for Dating. Dr. Tatkin and his wife, Tracey Boldemann-Tatkin, PhD, are cofounders of the PACT Institute. They travel the world training therapists in their unique approach to couple therapy. The Tatkins also provide Wired for Love and Wired for Relationship retreats for couples and individuals. Learn more about Dr. Tatkin at

About Stan Tatkin, PsyD, MFT
Stan Tatkin, PsyD, MFT, has a clinical practice as a couple therapist in Calabasas, CA, and is an assistant professor at the UCLA David Geffen School of Medicine. He and his wife, Tracey Boldemann-Tatkin, PhD, founded the PACT Institute and lead therapist training programs in cities across the United States and around the world. Tatkin is the author of three well-received books about relationships—Wired for Dating, Wired for Love, and Your Brain on Love—and is coauthor of Love and War in Intimate Relationships.

About the PACT Institute
The PACT Institute is a leading global organization that offers training for clinical professionals in a method designed to help secure-functioning relationships flourish. The Psychobiological Approach to Couple Therapy® (PACT) draws on more than three decades of research on developmental neuroscience, attachment theory, and arousal regulation. Since 2008, the PACT Institute has trained more than 1,000 practitioners across North America, Europe, and Australia and has expanded the training to three levels. PACT has gained a reputation for effectively treating even the most challenging couples. For more information visit


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