I-Statements

I-Statements are probably the best known, most effective and least properly used technique for improving communication, resolving conflict, and setting boundaries. They usually are composed of 3 parts: 1) When you _____, (Report a concrete observation of the other person’s behavior.)2) I feel_________. (Report on how the other person’s behavior makes you feel.)3) In the future, please_________. (Make a request.) Dos Do report the other person’s behavior concretely, without characterization or judgment. Do report how you feel accurately and without judgment. Do make a specific request that is realistic, time-bound, concrete and doable Don’ts Don’t exaggerate, use sarcasm, irony, innuendo,…

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Pre-Wedding Freak-out II: Parents

As I mentioned in a previous post, family and friends will tend to act-out just prior or even during a wedding. It’s important to remember that a wedding doesn’t join two individuals in marriage; it joins two families and two sets of friends too. Let’s examine this in a bit more detail by looking at the issues that parents often have around weddings. Parental Jealousy We like to think of ourselves as rational human beings. However, if I am honest with myself, occasionally I am far from rational. Sometimes this is a good thing. The strong loving bond between a…

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What is Romance?

In the old days, miners carried canaries down into their mine shafts. If the canary lived, the mine was safe. If the canary died, the miners knew they were in trouble because of toxic gases. When it comes to relationships, romance tends to be the canary in the mine. When there are serious relationship problems, romance and mutual fun tends to die. When couples patch their relationships together in therapy, one of the first dilemmas that couples face is how to get the romance back into their lives. They look back nostalgically at the beginning of their relationship, a bit…

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The Problem With The Past- Part II: Couples

As I mentioned in my previous post, our perception of the past can seduce us into believing that our choices are so limited in the present that we are unable to move. Part of what happens in the process of psychotherapy is that we begin seeing the present as just the present. We become freed of our feelings of being trapped by our past. We learn to see our present, not influenced by the lens of past history, but directly and immediately. The same problematic thinking poisons relationships. “Yesterday my partner was a problem. Today my partner did the same…

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When Is It A Good Time To Get Married?

There isn’t a good time. Marriage is an act of faith. An act of faith takes wisdom and courage. Act wisely and courageously. Relationships: Premarital Counseling For more information, see www.jacobspilman.com.

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