Most couples need education to keep quality in their relationships. Marriages often have difficulties not because the individuals are unhealthy but because they are uninformed or unskilled.
Every year we learn more about how to help couples be romantic best friends. Best friends communicate freely and completely. Romantic partners enjoy affection, intimacy and flirting.
Some structures I use with couples:
· Genogram: Drawing your family tree with the relationship dynamics that illustrate your early models for relationships and interaction.
· Parental Portrait: Relationship aspects that construct the patterns you may consciously or unconsciously find attractive.
· Enneagram Personality Style: Creating a composite of your two personalities and determining the strengths and stressors in your relationship.
· Communication and Understanding: Learning respectful verbal interaction that is usually affected by gender and personality and is necessary to be best friends.
· Disagreement instead of Conflict: Learning to stay emotionally ‘clean’ through “Airing Your Grievances Safely.”
· Reviving Romance: Enriching the art and intimacy of a passionate marriage through affection, sexuality and individuation.
Here’s my Relationship Model (left). There are 15 elements to help you create a checklist or determine your goals for the next steps you want to take to enrich what I believe is the foundation of happiness and success…your marriage or intimate relationship!
When people contact me, I send the following list of my General Methods to give them a sense of what they can expect. I Invite you to give me a call. I’m happy to chat with you and answer any questions you have.
I love my work and I am always interested in learning about people and how I can contribute to improving quality of life.
A Counseling Approach for Successful Change and Growth
My basic view is using my own methods for SFBT or Solution Focused Brief Therapy in the mode of CBT Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. I don’t assume that our work will continue longer than 3 to 6 months unless there is significant family-of-origin patterning for immature beliefs and lifestyle choices which need to be adjusted or changed.
When you come for your first session, I have four goals:
1) Welcome you and complete your registration form,
2) Hear your stories about how you want me to help you,
3) If you did your Enneagram quiz, I want to see the results and introduce you to the larger dynamics of your personality and
4) I want you to receive value from our work together which means, with your agreement, I will select methods to use during the session and homework method(s) for your growth or healing.
People are generally looking for or needing more in three general areas
I. Knowledge and/or
II. Internal Skills and/or
III. Behavioral Skills.
Information, assessments, learning, experience, growth, improvement, belonging, respect, methods, communication.
II. INTERNAL SKILLS Emotional intelligence, confidence, self-esteem, good character, willing, relationships, planning, self-control, meaning.
III. BEHAVIORAL SKILLS lifestyle changes, health, sex, fitness, money, work, purposefulness, success, social, activities, community service.
I. KNOWLEDGE: PERSONALITY, ROLES AND LIFESPAN DIMENSIONS
The goals of counseling are to solve your internal, lifestyle and relationship problems. Here is an introduction to what you might expect. The type and amount of work depends on your current goals and abilities. You may want knowledge, skills, growth or healing. The first step is learning through the kinds of information which gives you knowledge and insights. Just being informed may be enough to help you make the changes you want.
Knowledge and Insight Methods
· Personality, Identity, Gender, Needs, Values
· Roles and Stages of Life
· Sense of Purpose, Passions and Goals
· Character Refinement through Virtue
WHEN KNOWING DOESN’T DO IT: But, if unhealthy internal coping mechanisms and/or defensiveness such as wounds or immaturity cause stubborn resentment, neediness, blaming, acting out or avoidance continue, then knowledge and insight aren’t enough. The next step is building new personal abilities.
II. INTERNAL SKILLS
PSYCHOLOGICAL ABILITY, AGILITY OR HEALING:
The previous generations didn’t know how to develop all of your natural abilities. In counseling, you can assess which ones are undeveloped or off track and choose methods to school yourself in a new skill-set. You can learn better emotional intelligence, confidence, good character and self-control. You will probably need to focus on one of three categories of internal or psychological healing, ability and agility:
For Worry Types: Anxiety and Safety or Trust Problems
For Self- Doubt Types: Identity, Self-Esteem and Emotional Problems
For Control Types: Power, Aggression, Passivity and Anger Problems.
- Cognitive Restructuring for a Positive Attitude (new viewpoints, thoughts and beliefs)
- Emotional Intelligence and Good Humor (the 20 abilities which make up EQ or emotional Intelligence)
- Communication and Relationships (listening and expressing, dialogue vs monologue, love languages, problem solving)
WHEN SELF-MASTERY DOESN’T DO IT: If you continue to have problems with behavioral coping mechanisms such as bad habits, compulsiveness, conflict, anger, over-work or passivity, you need to develop external or behavioral changes.
III. BEHAVIORAL SKILLS: PEOPLE, PURPOSE AND LIFESTYLE
Lifestyle evolves through the lifespan. What is healthy for a child, an adolescent, a young adult, an adult and an elder usually call for differing priorities. You may be ready for creating the next level of a good life through lifestyle changes, through purposefulness or through community.
Relationship & Lifestyle Methods
- Relationships (friends, children, family, step-families, co-workers, employer)
- Marriage & Intimacy (intimate relationships, communication, conflict resolution)
- Mission and Service (how I like to make a difference in the world)
- Physical Health and Sexuality (strength, body weight, flexibility, sexual intimacy with a partner)
- Self-Regulation and Success (ability to plan and reach goals without being too loose or too tight)
- Social Intelligence and Community (successful friends, happy social life, meaningful organizational ties).
You may also watch my over 90 one-hour teaching videos on my YouTube Channel: