How Brain Science Can Teach Couples Emotional Literacy

By Brent AtkinsonHere we go again, I thought.Loretta and Jack were back in my office, dispirited and fed up. "I don't think I love him anymore," Loretta began, and what caught my attention was not what she said but the way she said it: quietly, flatly, as though she was beyond caring.During our first round of couples therapy, one year earlier, 31-year-old Loretta hadn't said anything quietly. She'd been chronically pissed off at Jack and had let him know via frequent, name-calling outbursts. Jack, 33, prided himself on his levelheadedness…

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The Clear Communication Model

Emotions and Communication The pie graph to the side shows the components of communication from Albert Mehrabian's studies. When communicating with another person, we do not just communicate using words. We also use tone and body language. The studies showed that the actual words we use are less significant than the tone and body language (including facial expression) in order to get the full message from the speaker. Our emotions (emotional brain states) show in our body language and tone and we may end up communicating more through these than…

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Actively Listening using the Listening Cycle

This explanation follows in line after the Awareness Wheel.Before we explain the Listening Cycle, here are some simple ground rules for communication in general:Rules for the both of you:The speaker has the floor. Don't cut off the speaker or finish his or her sentences.Share the floor (take turns)No problem solvingSpeaker:Say "I" statements, Speak for selfShare your feelings without putting down your friendBe specific and brief about your perceptions and feelings (2 - 3 sentences)Stop and allow your listener to paraphrase (if the paraphrase is not accurate, politely restate what was not…

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Speaking Clearly using the Awareness Wheel

Psychologists have studied what effective communication looks like for married couples for decades. After uncovering what factors contribute to effective communication, some clever people have combined these ideas into a simple model that we share here. This model is known as the Awareness Wheel and Listening Cycle. Communication skills can improve all kinds of relationships. We hope you find this short tutorial useful and even purchase the book if you would like to learn more.Before we explain Awareness Wheel and Listening Cycle communication, here are some simple ground rules for…

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Does Somatic Experiencing (SE) Work? SE practices for healing

https://youtu.be/UU7eSxcBhpM Trauma is an epidemic, contributing to problems in countless homes and workplaces worldwide. People who have experienced trauma are 15 times more likely to commit suicide, three times more likely to experience depression or use antidepressant medication, four times more likely to become an alcoholic, develop an STD, or inject drugs, and three times more likely to have serious job problems or be absent from work. While experts disagree on the single best modality to treat trauma, there is general agreement that it won't be one thing that does…

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RAIN: A Practice of Radical Compassion

The acronym RAIN – Recognize, Allow, Investigate, Nurture – guides us in bringing mindfulness and compassion to difficult emotions. With practice, we can find our way home to open-hearted presence in the midst of whatever arises. Allow yourself to be with your feelings and see what they have to tell you. The video below is Tara Brach leading you through a meditation using the practice of RAIN. For more information and a printout of these steps, you can visit Tara Brach's website at https://www.tarabrach.com/rain-practice-radical-compassion/.

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Emotional Mastery: The Gifted Wisdom of Unpleasant Feelings

https://youtu.be/EKy19WzkPxE What often blocks people from feeling capable in life and from having greater success with finances, health or relationships is how they handle unpleasant feelings. Psychologist Joan Rosenberg unveils the innovative strategy and surprising keys for experiencing the challenging emotions that lie at the heart of confidence, emotional strength, and resilience.

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