Marriage counseling divorce is something I have heard a great deal about in my domestic violence education classes, whether the perpatrator was male or female.
I have heard the stories of hundreds of men and women who have acted out of pain, or hurt, or betrayal, without any relationship skills, or access to relationship skills training, and it seems to them that the only way to not feel the anger, hurt, and fear is to divorce or separate.
Unfortunately, the pain may continue to follow them after the split, so we do our part to help folks understand that their thoughts create their feelings, and that they can change those two things, along with how they behave.
I have seen some tremendous life turnarounds in the addiction field, so I know change can happen.
If folks had access to tools like those illustrated in the following videos, we might see a reduciton in marriage counseling and divorce.
The first video speaks to the importance of remembering what you appreciate about your partner, and the video suggests a particular tool, called the emWave from the Heartmath folks to use to get to an appreciation physiology.
The second video is of John Gottman, Ph.D., whose work in both the domestic violence field, and in the marriage field, I really appreciate.
John and Julie Schwartze Gottman have put together a program that is based on their observations of the Masters of Marriage, and in the second video below, Dr. Gottman speaks to how the masters repair angry outbursts quickly. Not apologize but repair.
I have used the Gottman model to teach domestic violence participants some of the basic skills necessary to connect with each other in a cooperative, affiliative Heartmath kind of way.
The Gottman's start with some exercises designed to facilitate an increased awareness of your partners inner preferences, called Building a Love Map.
Next comes building fondness and admiration, recognizing opportunities to turn toward each other, how to have a stress reducing conversation, teaching the difference between a solvable and a gridlocked pattern, flooding and self-soothing, regulation of conflict with a softened start-up, no fault discussions and accepting influence, changing gridlocked problems to perpetual dialoges, relaxing and soothing one another, processing a fight, creating shared meaning, and the magic five hours per week.
Even couples who are experiencing the most difficult of times can find some tender memories to share as they go through the Gottman's exercises.
I have also used Heartmath with couples to help them actually master controlling an unconscious physiological process, their heart rate variability, first individually and then as a couple.
As clients get a sense of how fast the inside of their body changes, depending on what they are thinking about, and how fast their feelings follow and how easy it is to sustain the good feelings that come with HeartMath coherence, and how easy it is to do the Gottman tasks of turning toward and building fondness and admiration from a place of Heartmath affiliation and cooperation, they open to the idea of relationship moving and flexing in a healthy way.
Then I often have clients hooked up to separate computers to do individual Heartmath, and then hold hands to get a sense of creating a shared heart beat, or a relationship heart beat, and how quickly a change in one person's thoughts and feelings impact that shared relationship heart beat.
Marriage counseling divorce can be very seriously impacted by the Heartmath process, I believe.
My heart has a brain of its own, which sends a great deal of data up to the other brain, more data than comes down to the heart from above.
That heart brain is affiliative and cooperative usually, and if you operate from that place, conversations happen rather than power and control conflagrations.
For more information on the Heartmath tool to use yourself, please click the Heartmath link in the right column.
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