• John Glisson

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Is your marriage or primary relationship secure or insecure?

Marriage & Relationship CounselingI recently had the opportunity to meet and receive training from Dr. Sue Johnson in Chicago. She developed a therapy specifically designed for relationships called Emotionally Focused Couple Therapy. The focus of her approach is to help couples create a strong secure attachment (or bond) between partners. Her belief is that it is less important in what couples fight about and more important in how they fight (the dance). Is there trust and safety in arguments? Do partners withdraw from the other person, or do they attack? When couples become accessible and responsive in the midst of confrontation, it opens the door for healing and safe attachment in the relationship. Her research shows that when couples create a secure and safe attachment with a partner, people can heal from various types of issues or problems like anxiety, depression, trauma, infidelity, and much more. Having a secure relationship with your partner or spouse can help you navigate through all the peaks and valleys of life.

If you are interested in reading a book about creating safety in the relationship with your partner, Google has a free preview of Dr. Sue Johnson’s book called Hold me Tight: Seven Conversations for a Lifetime of Love.

If you and your partner are having relationship issues and would like to seek counseling, call me today for assistance at 208-918-1034. My goal is to help restore relationships through couples, family, and marriage counseling in the Treasure Valley areas including Boise, Meridian, Eagle, Nampa, Caldwell, Kuna, and Star, Idaho.

Communication in the midst of heated arguments

Here are a few tips to think about when engaging in a conflict or heated argument with your partner:

  1. Avoid assuming you know what your partner is thinking (mind reading).
  2. Work toward a win-win solution rather than a win-lose situation.
  3. Reflect how you feel using “I” statements rather than “you” statements. Example: “I feel angry” rather than “You make me angry”.
  4. Avoid name calling or belittling. Lift your partner up instead of tearing him or her down.
  5. Take responsibility for your role in the problem. Avoid blaming.
  6. Stay emotionally engaged in the conflict. Avoid withdrawing or shutting down to escape the problem.
  7. When emotions or tempers begin to escalate, agree to take a time out to cool down. Commit to re-engage at a specific time to continue to work through the problem.
  8. Value your partner by respecting that they may have a different point of view or opinion. At times you can agree to disagree.
  9. Reflect what your partner says in a way that helps him or her to feel understood. Avoid telling them they are wrong for the way they feel.
  10. After acknowledging your feelings, identify your needs and desires for the relationship. Example: “I need to know that you care about me” or “I desire to have a closer relationship with you”.  Avoid the trap of saying “I need you to…”, because it will likely u your partner on the defensive.

 

If you and your partner continuously have escalated arguments without compromise or resolution, you can create lasting damage or instability in your relationship. Call me today for assistance at 208-918-1034. My goal is to help restore relationships through couples, family, and marriage counseling in the Treasure Valley areas including Boise, Meridian, Eagle, Nampa, Caldwell, Kuna, and Star, Idaho.