Mary Cipriani-Price, M.S., LMFT, an adjucnt professor in Azusa Pacific’s Department of Marriage and Family Therapy, is a guest on “John and Tammy in the Morning,” airing on San Diego’s country music station KSON 103.7 FM, where she shares practical advice for listeners on how to maintain healthy relationships during the stay-at-home order. Cipriani-Price teaches classes at APU’s San Diego Regional Campus and runs her own private practice at the San Diego Institute for Couples and Families.
In her first segment, Cipriani-Price shared tips on how to keep your relationship strong during quarantine. “Even for the happiest, most stable marriages, social distancing and being confined to the same house 24/7 has been difficult,” she said. Cipriani-Price affirmed that the cliché about communication being key to a successful marriage rings true. “People in healthy relationships need to turn toward each other and communicate how they feel in a vulnerable, nonreactive way.”
She suggested couples utilize a tool she teaches in her marriage counseling class at APU called A-R-E. “Think of the word ‘are.’ Are you accessible? Are you responsive to me? Are you emotionally engaged? Healthy couples have this as their foundation, so they feel they can turn to each other and know their partner has their back,” she said. According to Cipriani-Price, couples who don’t know their partner has their back have a higher risk of immune diseases and deficiencies, depression, anxiety, heart attacks, and strokes.
Her second segment focused on a calming corner. Cipriani-Price suggested people create a space around their house, anywhere from their closet to their car, to sit and calm down when they feel flustered. Students in APU’s child development class learn how to use fidget spinners, sensory rings, slime, and putty to soothe themselves. “It’s not just a child thing anymore,” she said. “Adults can benefit from these tactics, too.”
In her third segment, Cipriani-Price discussed how to survive quarantine with a teenager. She said it’s imperative for parents to recognize that teenagers’ brains are still developing and they don’t have the decision-making abilities of older people yet. “Teens and young adults are not immune to the fears, anxieties, and disappointments that all of us are going through. They’re faced with a canceled athletics season, school year, and graduation which is very difficult for a lot of them. Even the teens who don’t like school are suffering,” she said. “Just check in with them and see how they’re doing. One of the best things we can do is to simply spend time with them. As you do that, listen to them. Remember, they might not verbalize all their feelings, but investing that time provides a positive influence.”
Capriani-Price’s podcasts are featured on the KSON website.
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