Rising Hope Counseling, LLC - Individual & Family Counseling

Tools for Couples:

Communication Skills:

Speaker (Gently speaks):
I Feel __________
I want / need _________

Listener: Put aside your own agenda and beliefs.  Truly listen to your partner and feel what they feel.  Ask questions related to their perspective.  Then switch roles.

Dead Stop Contract By Terrence Real - The New Rules of Marriage

This is an agreement that interrupts vicious cycles of communication and conflict.  
If you ever feel, rightly or wrongly, that your partner is triggering horrible feelings - then you will signal a "dead-stop" (i.e. physical signal, a special phrase or work, etc.)."  Your partner needs to agree before that whenever this signal is presented that they come to a "dead stop. - whether the partner agrees with the perception or not."  Therefore, whenever the signal is presented, your partner will "stop on a dime."  Instead of continuing, the partner will turn to you and say a version of, "I am sorry.  I don't' mean to ________.  Forgive me.  Is there anything I can say or do right now that might help you feel better? Each of you will promise not to give each other a hard time but rather appreciate your effort and move on as quickly as possible."