Better Your Relationships
- Create a vision of the life you both want.
- Change negative repetitive patterns of behaviour.
- Develop new, direct, empathic ways of interacting.
- Become aware of historically unmet needs that you may be trying to fulfill within your current relationship.
- Work as a team.
- Build a secure emotional connection with your partner.
In Healthy Relationships
- You share your dreams.
- You talk together about what is important to each of you, even if you disagree.
- You hear each other out without feeling threatened.
- You affirm each other’s right to be different and still be together.
- You appreciate how your differences contribute to the richness of your relationship.
The Importance of Communication
The three most important qualities for effective communication are respect, openess and persistence. Good communication is much more difficult than most people want to believe. Effective negotiation is even harder. A couple’s vision emerges from a process of reflection and inquiry. It requires both people to speak from the heart about what really matters to each. We are all responsible for how we express ourselves, no matter how others treat us. Communication is the number one presenting problem in couples counseling.
Effective communication means you need to pay attention to:
- How you are managing unruly emotions, such as anger that is too intense.
- How you are communicating – whining, blaming, being vague, etc.
- What you want from your partner during the discussion.
- What the problem symbolizes to you.
- The outcome you want from the discussion.
- Your partner’s major concerns.
- How you can help your partner become more responsive to you.
- The beliefs and attitudes you have about the problem.
The Couples Developmental Approach:
The Bader-Pearson developmental model integrates attachment theory, differentiation, and neuroscience.
The four stages of
- The Honeymoon
- Emerging Differences
- Together as Two
Conflict is inevitable, especially during the Emerging Differences stage. Avoidance and hostility cycles do not work. Instead, learning skills to tolerate normal anxiety and to be there for one another is essential for a long lasting relationship.
“I would say that differentiation is the fuel that allows normal couples to attain exceptional or uncommon results and helps them become increasingly committed to one another and over time to recognize that their love is irreplaceable.” (Ellyn Bader, 2009)
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