It is my pleasure to host author Tina B. Tessina on my blog today.
Me: Have you always wanted to be a writer?
Tina: Actually, I got into writing by accident. I was teaching a class with my friend and eventual co-author, Riley K. Smith, and we needed a workbook, so we wrote one. A series of serendipitous events led to the publication of How to Be a Couple and Still Be Free, which went on to be a best seller.
Me: What made you pen down your very first book?
Tina: We wrote it out of necessity. We needed a workbook for our class, put one together, and then expanded it into a book.
Me: Money, Sex and Kids: Stop Fighting Over the Three Things that Can Ruin Your Relationship, is your recent release and seems extremely intriguing. Mere discussions as a couple around these topics can get very tricky, explosive and touchy, let alone arguments. What would you comment on that?
Tina: Many couples believe that arguing and fighting are inevitable events in close relationships, but I don’t agree. This book came out of my 40+ years of working with couples and teaching them how to communicate and work together to solve problems rather than fight about them.
Me: Are the suggestions provided situation specific or do we as readers get an overall perspective into our behaviours and an insight into how to regulate them?
Tina: In this book, I didn’t focus on the psychology behind the behaviours as much as what to do to change them. Readers will learn how to identify their destructive relationship patterns and habits, and how to change them into more functional communication.
Me: So does that mean there’s always a way to mend a relationship even if a couple finds themselves at a point where they are always bickering about something or the other?
Tina: Absolutely there’s always a way to mend a relationship and eliminate struggle and bickering. Fighting is completely unnecessary and also a waste of time and energy.
Me: What do you like to do when you are not writing?
Tina: I love my work as a therapist, which is the source of my writing material, and I also love to sing, to swim, and to spend time with my beloved husband of 39 years and our two dogs.
Me: Do you check your book reviews online? If yes, how do they impact you?
Tina: Yes, it’s necessary to keep up with the reviews. If they’re thoughtful and constructive, I try to learn from them. If they’re just angry and hurtful, I send a prayer out to the soul who created them.
Me: Your works not only help readers navigate relationships as a couple but also help them nurture their individuality and differences. How important is that to a relationship according to you?
Tina: It’s difficult to truly love someone else if you don’t understand and care about yourself. I know that the relationship with yourself is the foundation of all other relationships, so I help clients and readers improve their self-connection.
Me: Also, if we are celebrating differences and individuality, where will you exactly place compatibility in all of this?
Tina: The comfort and security in your relationship comes from where you’re similar, and the challenge and excitement is generated by the differences. A good relationship has a balance.
Me: Are there any new projects underway?
Tina: Yes, another book. Not yet ready to talk about it.
Tina B. Tessina, Ph.D. is a licensed psychotherapist in S. California since 1978 with over 40 years’ experience in counseling individuals and couples and author of 14 books in 17 languages, including Dr. Romance’s Guide to Finding Love Today; It Ends With You: Grow Up and Out of Dysfunction; The Ten Smartest Decisions a Woman Can Make After Forty; Love Styles: How to Celebrate Your Differences, The Real 13th Step, How to Be Happy Partners: Working it Out Together and How to Be a Couple and Still Be Free. She writes the “Dr. Romance” blog, and the “Happiness Tips from Tina” email newsletter. Online, she’s known as “Dr. RomanceTM” Dr. Tessina appears frequently on radio, TV, video and podcasts.
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