There are two paths that couples can take when conflict happens. When couples are in distress and in pain they will usually travel down the well-trodden path called the Power Struggle. There is another path called healing and growth but most couples have not received the tools or skills needed to travel down this road.
The Path to the Power Struggle
The Path Towards Healing and Growth
There is another way/path we can take when conflict arises; a healing path that leads to understanding, love, growth and connection!
I use Imago Relationship Therapy to help couple's transform their relationship; teaching them how to:
- Become a safe, healing and loving presence for each other
- Connect through empathy and compassion instead ofcontempt and anger
- Take responsibility for their own feelings
- Understand how they each contribute to the conflict
- Approach conflict in a different way so that they learn more about each other and develop deeper intimacy, passion and joy
The next time conflict arises and try using the following steps:
Become aware of the physical, emotional and mental cues that signal you are feeling wounded and are preparing to lash out or run away:
- PICTURE A STOP SIGN
- Take as many breaths as you need to in order to soothe yourself
- Become aware of the story you are telling yourself and buying into.
- If you are still reactive call a time out.
- During the time out look at your own actions (How did I contribute to the conflict? What is my wound that is being touched by my partner?)
- Come back, invite your partner to visit your world only bringing their heart, eyes and ears
- Share what you have discovered about yourself, your triggers, your reactions with your partner.
- Share how you would like to be different, what needs healing, what in you needs to grow.
- Thank your partner for listening as this is truly a gift.-Acknowledge and appreciate each others effort.