Couples Communication and Conflict Resolution
Communication skills are essential to effective conflict resolution; yet many of us reach adulthood with little or no formal attention to them. For example, many of us escalate—in volume, tone, or language without realizing that escalations invariably evoke in our partner either a “fight” response such as defensiveness, minimizing, or scorn, or a “flight” response such as a shutting down response. Invalidations cause the same outcomes. Couple communication therapy focuses initially on identifying which of the common communication pitfalls are a part of clients’ discourse. Then the focus becomes introducing mindfulness techniques and providing support to help clients interrupt these reactive, maladaptive communication styles, and substitute them with steps for communication repair. I have given workshops and presentations throughout the area on effective couple communication skills; and I integrate these highly effective communication skills in all my couple sessions.