Three Techniques to Grow Your Relationship
This is part of a series of posts on relationship repair (see below for link) Many clients that we meet come to see us with their marriage or relationship in crisis and part of the process of repair often involves sharing with your partner that you really understand them. This is where these three simple techniques come in. Initially they do feel rather odd to use but we are told by couples that they are really useful.
This could be considered the basic step in creating positives between you as this allows you to feel understood. So you say in response to them:
I heard you say… or
If I am hearing you right, you said…
You then follow up with checking:
Did I get that?
Is there more?
Validating is important as it allows you to express that you understand where your partner is coming from. It does not mean that you are agreeing! You are simply saying that you see how your partner sees it. (“I can see how YOU can see it that way. I see that it makes sense from your perspective”)
I can understand that.
That makes sense to me because … (Keep this short.)
Walking in someone else’s shoes but with your socks on…
I can imagine that makes you feel …
Ken McLeish is Principal Therapist at Reflexions Counselling and Therapy in Newcastle upon Tyne, England. Reflexions provides counselling and therapy for a range of issues including addictions. He can be contacted through the website: https://counselling-newcastle.co.uk .
Information contained in this blog is not a substitute for face-to-face therapy. It can only every be one view of a situation and may not be applicable to your situation. You are advised to seek specialist support for treatment for addictions. The work here is a personal view which may change over time and should not be taken as representative of Reflexions Counselling and Psychotherapy.
Private Lies:Infidelity and Betrayal of Intimacy; Pittman, F.; (1990), Norton.
This is a classic book on infidelity. Very useful.
Counseling Today has some interesting articles including a classic by Frank Pittman
More resources can be found on Reflexions Counselling and Psychotherapy Couples page:Couples Counselling Resources