August 21, 2017
Choosing War or Peace: Couples Counseling
Choosing War or Peace: How Your Relationship May Benefit From Couples Counseling
We all get stuck in negative communication patterns. If we perceive someone as attacking us, being negative or not being there for us, we get hurt and afraid.
In this moment of vulnerability, we have two choices:
We can reach out and check in, “Hey did you mean to hurt me, or did I just hear that wrong?”
OR we can assume the worst.
If we assume the worst, that our partner did just attack, see us poorly or ignore us,
then we will lift up our shields and put our defensive armor on. These are defensive
strategies and the moment we choose to engage these strategies instead of risking
and reaching, we choose war over peace.
If naturally assuming the worst or putting up those walls is a habit for you (as it is for most of us!) here are a few game changing ideas to help change the situations:
1. Catch your negative cycle and label it as it occurs
As you notice yourself putting up your armor, defending yourself, notice that
your partner is probably doing the same thing. See who can call it out first:
“Oh boy, here we go again” or “Uh-Oh, we’re in the war zone”.
2. Try to check in one time this week
Ask your partner – I saw you roll your eyes, was that meant for me? I heard anger in your voice, are you upset with me? I see you walking away, are you trying to get away from me? Usually the case is that your partner has no idea what cues they are giving off. This gets the conversation going in a way that will directly address any issues you two may be having, and will better aid in a solution and easier communication in the future.
3. Need more help? Sign up for Couples Counseling at our Hold Me Tight Workshop- in San Diego this Fall
Myself and Kimberly Sandstrom Therapy are teaching another Hold Me Tight couples therapy workshop this Fall! A two day event that will give you more amazing tools to stop negative relational patterns with your partner and instead move forward to where you both want to be. Join other couples in the journey to a firm foundation and reconciliation. Not sure what Emotionally Focused Therapy is or want to know more about Hold Me Tight workshops? Check out our other article about the foundations of EFT and HMT.
Couple image from: http://www.cbnsp.com.br/artigos/a-dificil-arte-de-perdoar/