winter 2010
In This Issue
Creating Friendship & Love
Seventh-day Adventists Live Longer
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Feeling gratitude and not expressing it is like wrapping a present

and not giving it.


Whenever you're in conflict with someone, there is one factor that can make a difference between damaging your relationship and deepening it.

That factor is attitude.


When we hold on to negative judgmental thoughts it's like putting toxins into our minds.


"Hands-down the most effective couples therapy we've experienced. I can't believe we wasted all that time and money on the "refereed argument" method!!"


"This workshop will not only improve my marriage, but help me better understand and become more comfortable with myself, my family, and my friends."


"It's one of the best investments my partner and I have made -- not just for the sake of our relationship, but for our individual selves."


"I feel this workshop will really be beneficial to our relationship now and long term. The serious work was well blended with fun that promoted intimacy."


"Very helpful in providing tools for problem solving. Excellent. Worth the cost. One-to-one assistance outstanding."


"I was able to see myself and my partner with new eyes. That's a miracle!"


"This workshop has more tools for truly transforming a couple's interactions than 20 self-help manuals or years of traditional therapy. The skills taught are a basis for life-long growth and understanding of one another."


"This weekend was a great way to focus on getting our relationship on track. It's nice to make our relationship such a priority and have the time, emotional energy, and support to work on us."

Upcoming Events...

To Raise Happy Kids, Put Your Marriage/Partnership First

Sunday, Feb. 28      2 - 4:30 pm     FREE
Crazy Wisdom Bookstore

114 S. Main Street in Ann Arbor

Everyone welcome!

All parents want their kids to be happy and well-adjusted. But many couples today go too far, letting everything revolve around their kids. This hurts the children and the partnership/marriage. In this workshop, you will be introduced to many of the ideas presented by author David Code in his book, To Raise Happy Kids, Put Your Marriage First. He states that you don't have to choose between your spouse and your kids. This workshop will help you understand the challenges in families in a new way and will provide helpful advice to common family problems that can help solidify your marriage and improve your parenting. Carole will also demonstrate a way of talking and listening called the intentional dialogue that helps people really hear and understand each other.

Discover a New Way to Love
A Couples Weekend Workshop

March 19 - 21       Ann Arbor area

Fri. 7pm-10:30 pm, Sat. 8:30 am-8pm, Sun. 8:30 am-7pm

                         Everyone welcome!

Whether you've been together 6 months, 5, 10, or 30 years, this weekend will offer you new tools and understanding that can help you co-create a closer, stronger coupleship. This workshop is based on the best selling book, Getting the Love You Want, by Dr. Harville Hendrix, founder of Imago relationship therapy. Call to register or to find out more information. Carole Kirby  734-424-2797.


Embracing Your Inner Family
Voice Dialogue, Psychology of the Aware Ego

April 18      2 - 4:30 pm     FREE
Crazy Wisdom Bookstore 114 S. Main Street in Ann Arbor

Everyone welcome!

We think of ourselves as being one self, one unitary being. We identify with certain ways of being in the world, primarily the ways of being that we developed to protect us in childhood.  Voice Dialogue is a way of discovering and working with a myriad of autonomous selves operating within us. By separating from and understanding these "selves," we can begin to make informed, conscious decisions about our ways of being, ways of interacting.


Come discover your primary and disowned selves and begin to understand the importance of developing an aware ego, a consciousness and ability to have choice about your ways of being and functioning in the world. Call to register or find out more information. Carole Kirby, lmsw 734-424-2797
Creating Friendship and Love
by Carole Kirby, LMSW

What happened to the friendship and love you once experienced in your relationship? Is it possible to have that again?


John Gottman, Ph.D., psychologist at the University of Washington in Seattle and founder of the Seattle Marital and Family Institute, believes there are definite things a couple can do to create and maintain friendship and love in a committed relationship. He developed statistical predictions based on his 25 years of studying couples.


His well-researched  findings are helpful in two regards:


He has a 90% success rate in predicting which couples will make it over the long haul and which will not. He found that couples who demonstrate certain observable behaviors have a higher success rate. As a result of the research data, he has developed a method and practice of helping couples re-create the friendship and love that was once present in their relationship.


While Gottman's theory and approach to committed love relationships is somewhat different from Harville Hendrix', his ideas about strengthening relationships are complimentary to Imagorelationship therapy.


Here is some solid advice coming out of Dr. Gottman's research about partners maintaining a good connection:


Seek help early. Half of all marriages that end do so in the first seven years. The average couple lives with unhappiness for far too long,
Edit yourself. Gottman's studies show that couples who avoid saying every angry thought when discussing tough topics are consistently the happiest.


Be careful how you "start up" a discussion. Wives have a crucial role in keeping arguments from getting out of hand. One partner, and it is usually the wife, escalates conflict from the get-go by making a dramatic, angry or upsetting remark in a confrontational tone. A marriage succeeds to the extent that a husband can accept influence from his wife. A husband's ability to be persuaded by his wife is so critical because (research shows) women are already well practiced at accepting influence from men, and a true partnership only occurs when a husband is able to do so as well.


Learn to self-soothe and to soothe each other as a way of ensuring connection and intimacy. Successful couples know how to exit an argument. Happy couples know how to repair the situation before an argument gets completely out of control. Successful repair attempts include: throwing in some humor; lowering the intensity by knowing when not to proceed, even backing down at times; stroking your partner with a caring remark; making it clear you see the problem as "our" problem; changing the topic to something completely unrelated for a brief period of time; waiting for a more opportune time to deal with the issue; moving to compromise quickly.


Focus on the bright side. In good relationships, couples make five times as many positive statements to and about each other and their relationship than negative ones. For example, "We laugh a lot." as opposed to, "We never have fun."


Make deposits in your emotional bank account. It's not how you fight that makes a difference in marital happiness, but rather how the two of you move through time together when you're not fighting that determines the mood of your marriage and what your fights will be like. Gottman calls this the art of "turning towards the other". He has found that if you can get people to practice "turning towards each other" in the little ways day in and day out - reading things out loud to each other, acknowledging whatever the other person has to say, etc. - the terrible arguments just don't happen.


Gottman has many ideas that can be helpful to couples in keeping friendship and love alive, if practiced regularly. Note: The research reported above was done with heterosexual couples; however, most of the advice is applicable for Lesbian and Gay couples as well. Source: Clinical Manual for Marital Therapy, A Scientifically-Based Marital Therapy, Dr. John Gottman, Revised 1998.


Feeling gratitude and not expressing it is like wrapping a present and not giving it.


Whenever you're in conflict with someone, there is one factor that can make a difference between damaging your relationship and deepening it. That factor is attitude.

Seventh-day Adventists Live Longer 

Writers from National Geographic and US News and World Report lend their voices to the new documentary film The ADVENTISTS. The film explores Seventh-day Adventists and how their unique approach to health and healing gives them a longer life expectancy than others. Both Dan Beuttner (National Geo) and Deborah Kotz (US News) are featured in a YouTube clip that offers some insight into the hows and whys of the Adventist lifestyle.


Adventists live on average nearly ten years longer than their neighbors; the film investigates some of the reasons why.
Check your public television for a showing of THE ADVENTISTS. It will be aired on Detroit Public Television, Channel 56, March 4th at 6 PM.


Note: I am not endorsing the Seventh-Adventists religion; however, I did want you to know about this documentary. It should be interesting to learn about their approach to health and healing.

Carole Kirby. LMSW