The Dating and Relationship Group: 
Women Who "Maternalize" Their Lover: Causes, Dynamics, and Consequences 
So strong is the maternal instinct that it is largely inevitable a woman will treat her male lover from this instinct.  However, in his psyche the man typically struggles with resolving the transition from the woman as "erotic object" to "nurturing caretaker."   In the worst case scenario, some couples devolve into the woman literally becoming a surrogate mother in relation to her male lover/child.  As you might imagine, when this occurs sexual intimacy erodes quickly, the partners become highly polarized, and break-up ensues.  The erotic/maternal dilemma leaves most women confused as to what their male partner actually wants and, specifically, when and how to be nurturing and loving while remaining mysterious, seductive, sexual and attractive to the man who she does not want "to baby" but, instead, wants to love and be loved by in an emotionally and physically intimate adult relationship.  In the next meeting of the Dating and Relationship Group on Saturday, September 17, 2016, 12:00 to 1:15 PM, I will explore the dynamics of maternalizing in couples, which is in my opinion a surging crisis that in this day and age negatively impacts many couples.  I will also provide recommendations for how men and women can avoid these dynamics and simultaneously remain erotic and caring in the relationship while avoiding mother/child roles.  

The Men's Group:  Why Chivalry Is Dead and Should Be Revived
It is an unfortunate truth that many men, perhaps most men, do not appreciate nor know how to be "chivalrous" in romantic relationships with women, either in the dating phase or over the years in long-term committed relationships.  While there are many reasons for this, some of which have to do with the subversion of traditional gender roles and the valuing of "equality" in all its forms, my view is that the dismantlement of the male roles of "gentleman" and "suitor" is a travesty.  Not only does it propel contemporary couples into emotional and practical realms of confusion, but it also robs the man's opportunity to find himself and his own masculinity.  In the next meeting of the Men's Group on Saturday, September 17, 2016, 10:45 AM to 12:00 PM, I will explain how the psychological and emotional "surrendering" of the man to the woman he loves paradoxically empowers the man, enhances his capacity for intimacy, and actually works to diminish and resolve shame and other wounds the man may retain from his developmental history.  In addition, we will contemplate these ideas in the context of the "No More Mr. Nice Guy" and other popular prescriptive mottoes that advise men on "how to be" with women.    

Parenting in the 21st Century: An Educational Support Group for Parents:  "Mentalization" and Its Role in Parenting
Mentalization is a psychological construct that centers on the human need not only to be understood and sympathetically responded to, but, even further, to be "contextualized."  Literally hundreds of books have been written that provide a myriad of recommendations for parents on how to better communicate with their children, but to my knowledge none describe the child's need to be mentalized by his or her parental figures and how parents can do this.  In the next meeting of the "Parenting in the 21st Century: An Educational Support Group for Parents" on Saturday, September 17, 2016, 9:30 to 10:45 AM, I will explain what "mentalization" is and provide parents with recommendations on how to recognize and seize opportunities to employ this highly impactful communication strategy with their children.  There will be ample time for group discussion and consideration of how to "mentalize" in the context of the unique circumstances and challenges raised by attendees. 

The Silent Epidemic of "Self-Estrangement" Among Today's Adolescents and Young Adults
This article evolved from my work with teens and families over the last year, and I intend to explore the issues and ideas I raise in more detail in future writings.  Any reactions or comments on this article would be greatly appreciated. 

To register for the September 17th meetings of the Educational Support Group for Parents, the Men's Group, and/or the Dating and Relationship Group: 
If you would like to attend the Educational Support Group for Parents (9:30 to 10:45 AM), the Men's Group (10:45 AM to 12:00 PM noon), or the Dating and Relationship Group (12:00 to 1:15 PM) on Saturday, September 17, 2016, 
please RSVP ASAP to Dr. Tobin at 949-338-4388 or There is a limit of 14 attendees for 
each of these groups and 
registrants will be accommodated on a first-come/first-serve basis.  The fee is $25.00 for each group and the location is The Water Garden Business Center, 23421 South Pointe Drive, Suite 130, Laguna Hills, CA, 92653.  Please note that these groups are educational in purpose, not therapeutic, and do not constitute psychotherapy or counseling.

James Tobin, Ph.D., PSY 22074 | 949-338-4388 |