Recovery 4 Life

Hazelden Publications a valued resource has just recently posted an interesting article about “tips” for having healthy relationships. I have adapted it somewhat, and want to share these tips with you. I totally support these simple and effective keys to having healthier relationships whether it is with an intimate partner, a loved one, or family member, a child, or those you interact with at work or in social settings. We can recover our relationships and work at making them better continuously. All relationships take work, and the investment is well worth our efforts and persistence. We won’t always do it right, but corrections can be made as we make progress. Teaching our children these techniques will help them greatly in their relationships.

1. Stand Still in the Moment –This is about thinking before we speak. Intervene with those impulsive thoughts that we all have, and think before speaking. Our words or tone of voice may hurt the other person.
2. Back Up The Train – when you say something impulsive that causes pain, guilt or shame, back up, own your part, apologize, and start over. It takes an assertive person to own the inappropriate behavior, apologize sincerely, and begin again.
3. Do Not Assume Intention – Ask what someone is thinking or feeling rather than trying to read their mind and predict the worst, or an outcome that is not intended. Truly, we cannot read the other person’s mind and only by asking and clarifying can we discern their real intention.
4. Dig Deeper into Conflict – Find out what is beneath the surface when you disagree. Look deeper for common ground, resolution or insight.  Perpetual conflicts are part of a relationship; some are deal-breakers.
5. Put Down Your Dukes – Do not automatically assume someone is attacking you and you feel the need to defend yourself. Listen first to what they are really trying to tell you. Ask questions objectively…do not lead with your feelings. If you are in fight/fight/freeze physiology, a time out is necessary.

Working at all relationships take time and energy. Do not assume there is no work involved. Both parties need to be willing to work on the common goal of building or rebuilding the relationship. Making your relationship healthier helps heal past hurts, sustains them today, and builds on a healthy future.

Thank you Hazelden Publications

Many various tools and strategies are implemented as each couple presents uniquely what is getting in the way of their relationship.  Addictions or hidden addictions can often be what brings couples into therapy.

Today Megan works with John Gottman’s techniques and strategies for relationships; highly researched and highly effective if both couples are willing to do the work and stop the 4 Horsemen from destroying your relationship.  She utilizes these skills for individuals too so they can benefit in their relationships outside of therapy.