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© 2009 Dr John Barletta Rectifying Relationships: Masters of Marriage (Dr John Gottman); Couples Therapy + Relationship Education Dr. JOHN BARLETTA, Ph.D., M.A.P.S. Counselling, Consulting, & Clinical Psychologist Grange, Brisbane
© 2009 Dr John Barletta Accepted Truths: In relationship work, traditionally accepted truths are not supported by Gottman’s research: Active Listening is not the be-all/end-all to accomplish empathy; Romance and hopes should not be cast aside as merely wishful thinking.
© 2009 Dr John Barletta Views on Marriage & Relationships: Corporate structure of 60hrs per week is not conducive to a good marriage. With single mothers, the confidantes are sometimes not useful…also, the men coming in & out of the single mother’s life is issue.
© 2009 Dr John Barletta Masters of Marriage: “…people who stay married and kind of like each other…”
© 2009 Dr John Barletta Masters of Marriage: Have access to a sense of humour even in conflict - (Sense of humour is key to interest & shared affection) 5:1 Positive to Negative Moments - High Prediction of Happiness/Divorce. Happy couples do more happy things together. Events-of-the-day conversations are important.
© 2009 Dr John Barletta Styles of Marriage: Validating (support/negotiate) Volatile (passionate) Avoidant (minimise)
© 2009 Dr John Barletta Styles of Marriage: Lack of compatibility doesn’t predict divorce, but how couples handle inevitable incompatibilities…& the way they resolve conflicts & their overall quality of emotional interactions that does….
© 2009 Dr John Barletta What Makes a Happy Marriage? 1. Personality (enduring qualities) that people bring, accounts for 30%. 2. The “fit” between two people. (Ackerman: Two neurotics can have a good marriage if they don’t push each other’s buttons) 3. Couples who don’t trample on each other’s enduring vulnerabilities. (sensitivity)
© 2009 Dr John Barletta Facts about Marriage: Fighting is healthy – airs grievances. Relationship grows as differences are reconciled. Problems often develop during times of transition. A happy marriage is good for your health.
© 2009 Dr John Barletta 4 Horseman of the Apocalypse: The Warning Signs! Criticism Contempt Defensiveness Stonewalling
© 2009 Dr John Barletta Bimodal Distribution of Time People Divorce: 1.Early Divorce - first 7 years: Attack & Defend/Stonewall. 2Later Divorce: Suppression & Avoidance emotional disengagement.
© 2009 Dr John Barletta Impact of Children on Couples: Couples are more likely to stay together in the first 7 years if they have children, but there is little difference from couples without children after that time. 40%-70% of couples have a drop in satisfaction after children, within 1yr. (sleep deprivation; ignored husband)
© 2009 Dr John Barletta Relationship Education: Education should occur for couples at pregnancy classes…to preempt problems.
© 2009 Dr John Barletta Conflict: Is conflict the conversation the couple never had, but should have? Couples argue about money, for example, but the issue is really about power, freedom, love, connection, life dreams (existential issues).
© 2009 Dr John Barletta Fundamental Attribution Error: “I’m okay, you are defective!” In Counselling it presents as: “Fix him/her & our marriage will be fine.”
© 2009 Dr John Barletta Marriage & Relationship: Quality of Friendship is critical: Knowledge of partner, Respect & admiration, Bids & Turning.
© 2009 Dr John Barletta Fundamental Unit of Intimacy: The “BID” & the “TURN.” Turning: Toward, Away, Against (i.e., Positive, Avoid, Attack) Playful bids & enthusiastic turning are useful as they help access sense of humour, & repair following conflict. 96% of bids are responded to by positive couples.
© 2009 Dr John Barletta Fundamental Unit of Intimacy: Bids & turning are the basis of good sex, romance, & passion in the marriage. “From the mundane moments, come the profound connection.”
© 2009 Dr John Barletta Relationship Education: Couples need to become mindful of “bids” & “turns.”
© 2009 Dr John Barletta Conflict Resolution: 69% of conflicts are never resolved, even years later….people argue about the same stuff! You will always have a set of unresolved issues with whomever you marry! The issue is the affect around the issues you don’t resolve.
© 2009 Dr John Barletta Sal Minuchin wisdom: All marriages are mistakes…some couples are more successful than others in repairing them. We only know 2 marriages well…our own, & our parents.
© 2009 Dr John Barletta Conflict Resolution: 31% of problems can be repaired. Emotional Bank Account impacts “sentiment override” which controls repair threshold, & effectiveness.
© 2009 Dr John Barletta Ogden Nash (poet - paraphrased) To keep brimming the marital cup, When wrong admit it, When right shut up! (this is about respect & honour, the idea of giving in, & of saying sorry… honors both people)
© 2009 Dr John Barletta Relationship Education: The Issues in Fighting: Prevention of fights (when possible). How to argue when you do fight. How to recover when it gets away from you.
© 2009 Dr John Barletta Relationship Education: Rather than saying: “Yes dear” or “Anything you say” or “I’m not buying any of this” The Masters of Marriage say: “I can see some points in what you are saying & they make sense. And there’s some stuff you’re saying I just don’t agree with. Let’s talk about it.”
© 2009 Dr John Barletta Keys to Improving Marriage: Calm down - recognise feelings; deliberate effort to calm down…reversing distress. Speak Nondefensively - nondefensive listening and attitude…then speak nondefensively. Validation – see things from partner’s perspective. Let partner know you understand them…antidote to the 4 horsemen. Overlearning – try & try again! Practice the skills of “fighting smart” often…
© 2009 Dr John Barletta Relationship Education: Compromise is sometimes a solution that becomes a new problem. Giving up of ideals, romance, passion, their selves… People may have a philosophical ideal that they have & it’s essential to who they are as a person.
© 2009 Dr John Barletta Relationship Education: People who have idealistic standards, who really want to be treated well & want romance & passion, they get that… people who have low standards, they get that… It’s better to ask for what you want in a relationship & try to be treated that way.
© 2009 Dr John Barletta Seven Principles for Making a Marriage Work: (Gottman & Silver) Maintain a Love Map Foster Fondness & Admiration Turn Toward (instead of away) Accept your Partner’s Influence Solve Solvable Conflicts Cope with Unresolved Conflicts Create Shared Meaning
© 2009 Dr John Barletta Negotiating a Marital Style: Togetherness Vs Separateness Romance & Companionship Honesty Persuasion Expressing Emotion Traditional Roles Philosophy & Beliefs
© 2009 Dr John Barletta Couple Counselling: Be Flexible & Speak the Couple’s Language Systems: Spouses impact each other. Existential: Look underneath at life dream. Psychodynamic: Dreams from childhood, symbolic meanings about past trauma in other situations. Narrative: Examine the story of the dream. Behavioural: To effect change, change behaviours & perceptions will follow.
© 2009 Dr John Barletta Couple Counselling: Individual Counselling can be counter- productive to Couple Counselling. With co-morbid issues, medication or individual counselling is useful…but often couple counselling is simultaneously good for Depression.
© 2009 Dr John Barletta Couple Counselling: FOCUS: Have the skills to solve the solvable problems. Cope with the unsolvable problems. Build successful bids. Dialogue not gridlock. Successful repairs. Honouring one another’s dreams. Build a dream or meaning system (find the dream, appreciate views/values, build a shared dream).
© 2009 Dr John Barletta Relationship Education: To Honour a Dream: You talk about it, You understand it, You support it (You financially assist it).
© 2009 Dr John Barletta Couple Counselling: Rather than labelling couples, acknowledge existential issues of power, freedom, love, connection. Encourage rituals of connection. Open the attack/defend mode…use a video to get to “admitting mode.” Get to “collaborative mode.”
© 2009 Dr John Barletta Couple Counselling: Process a “fight-recovery conversation” (good marriages have these). Examine the anatomy of attack/defend (internal working models). Have the conversation the couple never had, but should have.
© 2009 Dr John Barletta Couple Counselling: EFFECTIVE TREATMENT: Reduce negativity during conflict, Increase positivity during conflict, Increase positivity during non-conflict contexts.
© 2009 Dr John Barletta Assessment in Counselling: JOINT INTERVENTIONS: Friendship Profile Conflict Profile Meanings Profile 30% - 50% have co-morbid issues (e.g., alcohol, depression).
© 2009 Dr John Barletta When is a Marriage Over & Recovery Impossible? When fondness, respect, and admiration are gone, and contempt is present… You need some embers to fan into a fire!
© 2009 Dr John Barletta Resources: “Evolution of Psychotherapy” conference, Anaheim CA, May (The Gottman Institute) (an interview) ple.php?person_id=73http://web.psych.washington.edu/directory/peo ple.php?person_id=73 (Univ home-page)
© 2009 Dr John Barletta “Dear John: That's a GREAT slide show. Thanks for taking the time to capture what I am saying accurately.” John Gottman John Gottman James Mifflin Professor University of Washington Box Department of Psychology Seattle, WA , 2002
© 2009 Dr John Barletta Contact CLINICAL COUNSELLING CENTRE Cnr Thomas + Carberry St, Grange 4051
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