The War to Love - Simple Communication Tips for All Couples provides an in-depth exploration of the sensory triggers that we have adopted from our childhood and past relationships that are negatively affecting our current partnership. An interactive course, it helps both partners create new communication techniques while identifying the attitudes and behaviors that thwart collective efforts for harmony within the union. This is an excellent resource course that can be used for the following:
This course is comprised of videos, articles, and worksheets that requires the participation of both partners to learn more about the destructive habits that create disharmony. Although many participants will complete this course within a week, some may take longer to view the materials and complete the exercises together (the participation of both partners is most effective to the success of the adoption of new communication skills).
Each section has an associated lecture and is structured using the following format:
Thanks for your interest and participation.
Introducing the topics that affect communication using sensory triggers from childhood, past relationships, other influences
Thanks for enrolling in the course!
In order to identify the value associated with both partners commitment to the course, I have created a partnership agreement for review and signature. Though many couples hope to increase and enhance their communication techniques, they are often not committed to the in-depth exercises that expose individual behaviors that may negatively affect their relationships.
Each partner is expected to use an open and honest heart to complete the exercises. Very often the problems of communication are past issues tucked deeply hidden in our subconscious that began before the current relationship.
This course hopes to help you begin to become familiar with the sensory triggers that encourage conflict and disagreements.
The partnership agreement is located at: www.cre8tvesolutions.com/w2l-agreement.
Lisa R. Smith, PhD, is a therapist with more than 15 years experience working with at-risk youths and their families, couples, veterans, those suffering from abuse (sexual, physical, emotional), & other mental health issues.
She specializes in hypnotherapeutic practices and is an associate professor at a south Florida university teaching courses in psychology, sociology, & statistics.
Additionally, she is the author of Overcoming Trauma: Using the Breath of Life.
For many people, their communication techniques need adjustment. Please review the attached guidelines (under resources) to help each person understand the tips that help improve future communication. Each member must commit to the usage of these new techniques. Remember, that no one is solely to blame for the current communication issues and practice makes perfect.
These guidelines are intended to be the rules associated with all future forms of communication. It is most important, that both partners agree to the guidelines listed in order to move forward and around the barriers that make communication difficult.
Each partner should fill out the attached form (under resources).
When reviewing the goal sheet, don't be afraid to list your most important and vulnerable goals. Be open and honest about your needs and deep desires for the future of the relationship.
Once each person has completed the goal sheet, exchange papers so that both partners can review the thoughts of the other.
***Remember to avoid judging, shaming, or becoming angry at what you read. Your partner does not want to hurt you but help you better understand his/her needs.***
There are five types of conflict styles exhibited during a relationship. These include:
Each partner has adopted one or more of these styles and use them during a disagreement. Which one do you prefer and use most often? After viewing the videos complete the exercise found in the resource section and compare the conflict styles used by you and your partner.
It is not uncommon for more than one conflict or relationship style to be used during a conflict or problematic issue. Consider the following questions for discussion and create new steps to use certain styles more productively:
When using the competing style, one person wins while the other loses or needs are completely ignored. In order to win, one partner will attempt to win by any means necessary, which include:
It can cause deep rifts in the relationship and threaten the foundation of the relationship.
In order to use accommodation, one partner's needs will often be ignored. This partner:
However, many people that use this approach are often rarely given the respect he/she deserves by their partner and children.
When using the avoidance style, decisions are hardly made. In this case, your partner may pretend that the issue does not exist or can be solved at a later date. All concerns (both partners) are not addressed because the issue is will not be discussed. If the issues are not important, then it is okay if a decision is delayed. However, with important decisions, avoidance won't solve the problem and consequences for non-action may be more detrimental to the relationship.
Many people select compromise as a win-win resolution when disagreements arise. But, truthfully, this is not a win-win situation. It produces agreement, but each person has to lose something of value. This may create ill-will or cause emotional discord and dissatisfaction that can create future disagreements and conflicts.
In truth, this is a win for both partners. The collaborating style is setup so that all are satisfied and needs are met. All concerns, issues, and solutions are openly discussed so that inclusion is the only collaborative option. If this is conducted without arguments and threats, both partners can win.
Complete the attached form regarding past relationships in order to explore the way your parents' relationship can influence the current habits and behaviors in your current relationship:
Uncovering the behaviors that you saw in childhood can be similar to peeling an onion. There are many layers that have influenced your problem solving abilities. Additionally, you may have unconsciously picked up behaviors from grandparents, siblings, aunts/uncles, cousins, and your friend's parents.
Many people repeat the same mistakes from their past relationships in the hopes that the new relationship will succeed. This is counterproductive. Very often, people are unable to receive adequate closure because the past relationship ended abruptly, there was little communication between the partners, or the hurt was too painful to explore our individual contribution to the failed union.
Let's be clear -
Complete the exercise and swap papers!
Some of the following are unconscious usage of techniques that block listening:
This exercise will help you identify your favored techniques used to prevent communication.
Attached is a basic list of needs for each couple to use in order to assess the current relationship. This list can be edited. If some of the ideas included in the list do not apply to your relationship, simply add the most important ideas for discussion. Once completed, exchange papers with your partner and discuss ways to include the important needs daily.
Our relationships are filled with endless compromising. We want harmony within our daily interactions with our partners but are often unsuccessful. Some of our best intentions for each day is to reduce the level of conflict with our significant others. But...with every compromise, one of our needs/wants/desires is ignored. Over time, we feel neglected, unimportant, and insignificant.
This exercise will help you and your partner discuss the needs that are most important in your current relationship. Once you have completed the attached form, exchange the forms and discuss ways to acknowledge and include each other needs in the future.
When partner's disagree, it is difficult to find neutral places to hold discussions. One reason is because of the intensity of our emotions displayed that may get in the way of a fruitful discussion. When our home and car are often places we have disagreements, it may be important to change the environment. Public spaces can be useful places that can aid respectful discussions. Some places include:
These spaces ensure that our voices, pitch, tone and intensity of emotions will be kept under control and at an acceptable level for discussion. Couples can use the places to review completed exercises that require each partner to swap papers. Remember that this course's intention is to create more harmony within the partnership while exploring the sensory triggers we all possess. Please complete the exercise in order to determine a neutral space for future discussions.
Understanding sensory triggers is important in order to improve communication in the relationship. There are five senses that help us move outside experiences into our internal world. See, taste, touch, hear, and smell are the codes that help create the memories that we all rely on. Identifying the senses that house our perceptions is essential because we are often affected on the subconscious level and are not aware of its strong effect on our behavioral and emotional responses.
How does what we saw throughout our life affect our everyday experiences? We explore the gift of sight and discuss, its importance.
Our words can uplift or destroy! How are you using your words to gain power and control? We often like to use words we heard in our childhood and we continue to use them because they remind of us what we you used to know. Today, you can make a new decision to use your words to empower, praise and provide value.
Many disagreements can be affected by smell. Frequent morning arguments are easily affected by the common smells from the kitchen or breakfast (coffee, eggs & bacon). Your favorite kitchen cleaner can also affect you negatively if your Saturday morning ritual also includes arguing with your partner to clean up. This lesson will explore how smell stimulates us in various ways to react.
Touch is profound and memorable. It can be used lovingly or in all types of abuse. In this lesson, we explore how touch can be used in negative and positive ways.
Food is used for celebrations and traditions. It is part of our cultural identity but often associated with disagreements and conflicts. Major conflicts happen around the dinner table and during the holidays. It can subconsciously make us tense, anxious, and depressed without our awareness. Additionally, it can inspire, motivate, and uplift us because of our traditions and customs. In this lesson, we explore its usefulness.
This video will help you prepare for the hypnotherapy exercise. There are several requirements to create a comfortable space and use the 1-2 breath effectively in order to identify the sensory triggers.
Using guided imagery (similar to the daydream state), we prime the senses in order to access the memories associated with important perceptions. In this exercise, we will explore past and present memories. Using the 1 - 2 breath, each sense will be linked with an experience and the attached exercise will be used to identify the information obtained.
During conflict or confrontation, many of us experience triggers. They are called sensory triggers because they are associated with the five senses (see, taste, touch, smell, hear). Sensory triggers are extremely important to interactions because they are linked with various behaviors that block listening or cause us to either shut down, retreat, or become combative. They are unconscious triggers that may cause us to feel threatened or fearful. Very often, we are unaware that we have adopted similar traits used by our parents or other family members during conflict. Using simple breathing techniques, this exercise will help you identify the sensory triggers that have been used positively and negatively in the past.
The previous lecture helped explain how sensory triggers affect you, however the attached exercise will help you identify the triggers. It will use primers to access sensory memories that you have coded as acceptable ways to interact. Once the exercise is completed, use the attached list to write down the identified triggers from the exercise. Most people are not aware of their contribution to the conflict unless their triggers are identified.
As a psychology professor, I have taught a myriad of courses in the south Florida area. With 15 years experience in post-secondary education, I love helping my students find the best path in the pursuit of their ideal career. With a Ph.D in general psychology, I have used my knowledge and expertise inside and outside the classroom. As the owner of CRE8TVE Solutions, a hypnotherapeutic practice, I have helped the following populations overcome their mental health traumas:
It is my quest to help my clients remove blocks that limit their growth potential and well-being.