Compassionate Listening

Dr. Marshall B. Rosenberg, founder of The Center for Nonviolent Communication, talks about the need to offer compassion and attention when listening and responding to your partner. His approach to compassionate response suggest that, when communicating with your significant other that you: Be fully present Listen for feelings and needs Paraphrase¬† Feel and sustain empathy Many of the issues I address in working with couples stem from their inability to truly communicate with their partner. Much of the progress we make in resolving those conflicts comes as their ability to truly and fully communicate - both giving and receiving - develops. This is not an easy task and too few of us are able to draw upon our upbringing as a source for modeling good communications. In other words, our parents, teachers and peers practiced poor communication with us and that’s how we learned! Couples Can Learn to Communicate Better Don’t be discouraged. Good communication isn’t a genetic trait, it’s a skill and, with desire and effort, you and your partner can learn to master this skill enriching your relationship and your lives in the process. If you’d like to learn more about how you and your mate can learn to communicate effectively and compassionately as a couple, feel free to call or email...

Causes of Anxiety Disorders

This is Part 2 of a multi-part series on Anxiety, its causes and what to do about it. This article describes the genetic and environmental factors that contribute to anxiety disorders.

Facing and Overcoming Fear

I’ve been reading an excellent book called Feel the Fear …And Do It Anyway by Susan Jeffers, PhD. Dr. Jeffers’ premise is that there are multiple levels of fear. Fear is a normal part of life but if it paralyzes us from taking action or prevents us from enjoying life then we need to take steps to manage and reduce our fears. It seems like right now there is an undercurrent of fear with the economy tanking, continual layoffs, companies going under, and a growing sense of uncertainty that any of this will get better any time soon. And what Jeffers states about fear in her book was so helpful that I wanted to comment on it. The 3 Levels of Fear Jeffers says that there are 3 levels to fear. The first level includes all those fears we are able to easily articulate and they fall into two categories; those fears that just happen and those which require action. Examples she gives of those that “just happen” include: Aging Loss of financial security (sound familiar?) Illness, and so on… Examples she gives of those which require action include: Making decisions Ending (or beginning) a relationship Public speaking The second level of fear includes the feelings or emotional state that lie underneath the Level 1 fears. Level 2 includes fears like rejection, helplessness, loss of image, or failure. Jeffers states ‘that these fears’ “reflect your sense of self and ability to handle this world.” For example, if you have a fear of helplessness, you may fear aging or losing your financial security, or you may develop a fear of...