Thursday, August 18, 2011

Summer Relationship Help

Emotionally Focused Couples Therapy: Seven Steps to De-escalate a Fight

1. Stop the Circular Dance (The Game): It is typical for each party of the couple to want to prove their point but the only outcome of that is exhaustion. So, stop the game.

2. Claim Your Own Moves: Once each person has stopped, examine your individual contribution to this game. Own your steps. Define what you do to keep it going. Begin to acknowledge your pattern in the dance. Share your patterns with your partner and listen to his/her patterns of ownership.

3. Claim Your Own Feelings: Own how you feel whether it is angry, sad, regret, rejection, disappointment, or ___________________________.

4. Owning How You Shape Your Partner’s Feelings: “We need to recognize how our usual ways of dealing with our emotions pull our partner off balance and to on deeper attachment fears.” (Johnson, pg,93) In order to be a part of the solution and be willing to comfort our partner’s raw spots we must own how our actions upset our partner.

5. Ask about Your Partner’s Deeper Emotions: Stop and look at the bigger picture. Slow down and check in with what is really going beneath your partner’s reactions and deeper emotional experience.

6. Share Your Own Deeper, Softer Emotions: If you take the risk to let your partner know what is really at stake, (hurting) in your arguments you might be pleasantly surprised at the connection that develops between the two of you.

7. Standing Together: By taking the above steps, the two of you can develop common ground and mutual connection, no longer adversaries but now allies.

Taken from:

Johnston, S. (2008) Hold Me Tight: Seven Conversations for a Lifetime of Love.

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