What to expect.

The question I get asked the most is: ” What can we expect during the 2 days of an exclusive session with you?”

There is a long answer to this, but the short answer is : a whole new way of listening to each other.  Dr. Gary Chapman—longtime relationship expert and author of the #1 New York Times bestseller The 5 Love Languages, puts it this way:

Have you ever wondered if you’re a good listener? How can you improve in this area? Here are eight steps, adapted from my book The 5 Love Languages® Singles Edition, to becoming a sympathetic listener.

  1. Maintain eye contact when you are listening to someone. This keeps your mind from wandering and communicates that the person has your full attention. Refrain from rolling your eyes in disgust, closing your eyes when they seem passive aggressive, looking over their head, or staring at their shoes while they are talking.
  2. Don’t engage in other activities while you are listening to another individual. Remember, quality time is giving someone your undivided attention.
  3. Listen for feelings. Ask yourself: “What is this person’s emotions right now?” When you think you have the answer, confirm it. For example, “It sounds like you are feeling disappointed because I forgot . . .” That gives the person a chance to clarify his/her feelings. It also communicates that you are listening intently to what they are saying.
  4. Observe body language. Clenched fists, trembling hands, tears, furrowed brows, and eye movement may give you clues as to what the person is feeling. Sometimes body language speaks one message while the words speak another. Ask for clarification to make sure you know what the person is really thinking and feeling.
  5. Refuse to interrupt.
  6. Ask reflective questions.
  7. Express understanding. The person needs to know that he/she has been heard and understood.
  8. Ask if there is anything you might do that would be helpful. Notice you are asking—not telling—the person what he/she ought to do. Never give advice until you are sure the other person wants it.

Work on one or several of these suggestions at a time, and you’ll connect better with others and find your conversations more engaging.

Do you want to learn a New Way of Staying Present for each other? Enquire today.

Breaking Old Habits

Read this latest blog by Harville and Helen Hendrix: Every couple meets, falls madly in love, falls out of love, fights and makes up, goes through crises and periods of smooth sailing. We can’t eliminate periods of difficulty from our lives any more than we can eliminate rain from the cycle of the seasons. Nor would we want to, for both rain and difficulties bring new growth.

Our only choice is how we RESPOND to our experience. We can remain ignorant of the forces that shaped us as children. We can refuse to learn new behaviors and change the outcome of our unhappy lives. Or we can open our eyes to the truth about ourselves and our past, and, with our partner’s support and compassion, learn new and effective ways of coping with our experience. This is what adults choose to do in a conscious relationship.

Today, think about a common pattern or occurrence in your relationship, perhaps a recurring core argument to which you have a knee-jerk response – to complain, to withdraw, to blow up in anger, to sabotage. Try to recall where you first encountered this behavior and when you first started to use this tactic. What one thing can you do differently today that might get a different response from your partner and might break this old pattern of stimulus and response?

Source: Harville and Helen Hendrix

There is more to Love than the mere pursuit of happiness.

Insightful article written by Magdaleen Scott , published in  all4Women, August 1st,2017.

Once an encounter occurs, a relationship can form and from this assembly point proverbial magic happens. It all starts with a single point of contact and this contact enables a relationship…The basic assumption of Imago (Latin word for Image pronounced Im-ah-go) is that committed partnerships have a higher calling/mission than simply the pursuit of happiness. It’s therefore clear that there is more to relationships than mere happiness and the pursuit thereof.

Imago Teachings
Most people are not fulfilled with just happiness, so how does one reach this place beyond happiness? How does one reach peace? The purpose is to help each other heal the childhood ‘wounds’ that have resulted from imperfect parenting. Often people incorrectly assume that it is only in homes of abuse and profound neglect that “wounding occurs”. However as Freud said, “children are creatures that are never satiated, (therefore) there is no parent in the world who can react perfectly to the changing needs of the children”.

The premise of Imago is that we are called into relationship in order to heal these relational wounds. Because we are born in relationship, and we are wounded in relationship (by imperfect parents), healing needs to occur within a relationship.

The heart of Imago is to create safe, loving, conscious relationships and to discover the roots of conflict

A blueprint of love
Imago proposes that we each carry an internalised blueprint of love which is made up of a combination of the positive and negative characteristics of significant childhood figures, our experiences of them and their attitudes toward us. This image is called the ‘Imago’. Continue reading

Re-Wire you brain for Love

I found this very insightful article in the Mindful Magazine. It is written by Cheryl Fraser, a clinical psychologist and sex therapist.  She is a writer, speaker and meditation teacher. She is the relationship columnist for Mindful.

 Rewire Your Brain for Love

Don’t let deep-seated fears of not being loved hijack a relationship.


 George was missing. The Disneyland hotel bed was crisply made but my sister’s security bear, loved and nuzzled into a sheepskin sphere with one weird glass eye, had vanished. A frantic call later, the smiling concierge appeared and placed a freshly laundered koala blob back into the waiting arms, and heart, of a tiny blonde girl. She slept, content, wrapped around her fuzzy friend.          It’s endearing, isn’t it, when a child needs a stuffed toy to feel safe. Until the tantrums start and the kid can’t calm themselves without it.

We adults are no different. Hey, we all want to feel safe and secure. That’s why we fall in love. Except sometimes falling in love makes us feel scared, not safe, and we act like a nutcase—wracked with insecurity and fears. Why? Well, our first real safe place was not with our bear, it was with our parent, and that early relationship exerts a giant influence on how we connect as grown-ups.

Research says the kind of attention we receive from our caretaking adult(s) in our first two years determines whether we feel predominantly safe with closeness—in psychology speak, securely attached—or not. Secure attachment, which about half of people have, has been shown to increase the ability to feel comfortable with vulnerability and to regulate emotional reactions when there are bumps on the romantic road. Successful adult relationships take more than kissing George until leather shows through his wool. They require the ability to manage stress, be aware of feelings, calm down, and engage meaningfully.

Continue reading