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Counseling Marital Conflicts Copyright © Melvin Wong, Ph.D. 2001 All Rights Reserved Melvin W. Wong, Ph.D. Licensed Clinical Psychologist www.ChristianMentalHealth.com.

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Presentation on theme: "Counseling Marital Conflicts Copyright © Melvin Wong, Ph.D. 2001 All Rights Reserved Melvin W. Wong, Ph.D. Licensed Clinical Psychologist www.ChristianMentalHealth.com."— Presentation transcript:

1 Counseling Marital Conflicts Copyright © Melvin Wong, Ph.D All Rights Reserved Melvin W. Wong, Ph.D. Licensed Clinical Psychologist Tel (510) Fax (510) Montgomery St., Suite 1098, San Francisco, CA Mowry Ave., Fremont, CA 94538

2 Healthy Marital Relationships Ingredients Ingredients of a Good Relationship –Cohesion –Cohesion and Flexibility

3 Circumplex Family Map Low Cohesion High

4 Circumplex Family Map Low Cohesion High High Low AdaptabilityAdaptabilityAdaptabilityAdaptability

5 Circumplex Family Map Low Cohesion High High Low AdaptabilityAdaptabilityAdaptabilityAdaptability Flexibly Connected

6 Circumplex Family Map Low Cohesion High High Low AdaptabilityAdaptabilityAdaptabilityAdaptability Flexibly Connected Structurally Connected

7 Circumplex Family Map Low Cohesion High High Low AdaptabilityAdaptabilityAdaptabilityAdaptability Flexibly Connected Structurally Connected Flexibly Separated

8 Circumplex Family Map Low Cohesion High High Low AdaptabilityAdaptabilityAdaptabilityAdaptability Flexibly Connected Structurally Connected Flexibly Separated Structurally Separated

9 Circumplex Family Map Low Cohesion High High Low AdaptabilityAdaptabilityAdaptabilityAdaptability Flexibly Connected Structurally Connected Flexibly Separated Structurally Separated Chaotically Connected

10 Circumplex Family Map Low Cohesion High High Low AdaptabilityAdaptabilityAdaptabilityAdaptability Flexibly Connected Structurally Connected Flexibly Separated Structurally Separated Chaotically Connected Flexibly Enmeshed

11 Circumplex Family Map Low Cohesion High High Low AdaptabilityAdaptabilityAdaptabilityAdaptability Flexibly Connected Structurally Connected Flexibly Separated Structurally Separated Chaotically Connected Flexibly Enmeshed Rigidly Connected

12 Circumplex Family Map Low Cohesion High High Low AdaptabilityAdaptabilityAdaptabilityAdaptability Flexibly Connected Structurally Connected Flexibly Separated Structurally Separated Chaotically Connected Flexibly Enmeshed Rigidly Connected Structurally Enmeshed

13 Circumplex Family Map Low Cohesion High High Low AdaptabilityAdaptabilityAdaptabilityAdaptability Flexibly Connected Structurally Connected Flexibly Separated Structurally Separated Chaotically Connected Flexibly Enmeshed Rigidly Connected Structurally Enmeshed Chaotically Separated

14 Circumplex Family Map Low Cohesion High High Low AdaptabilityAdaptabilityAdaptabilityAdaptability Flexibly Connected Structurally Connected Flexibly Separated Structurally Separated Chaotically Connected Flexibly Enmeshed Rigidly Connected Structurally Enmeshed Chaotically Separated Flexibly Disengaged

15 Circumplex Family Map Low Cohesion High High Low AdaptabilityAdaptabilityAdaptabilityAdaptability Flexibly Connected Structurally Connected Flexibly Separated Structurally Separated Chaotically Connected Flexibly Enmeshed Rigidly Connected Structurally Enmeshed Chaotically Separated Flexibly Disengaged Rigidly Separated

16 Circumplex Family Map Low Cohesion High High Low AdaptabilityAdaptabilityAdaptabilityAdaptability Flexibly Connected Structurally Connected Flexibly Separated Structurally Separated Chaotically Connected Flexibly Enmeshed Rigidly Connected Structurally Enmeshed Chaotically Separated Flexibly Disengaged Rigidly Separated Chaotically Enmeshed

17 Circumplex Family Map Low Cohesion High High Low AdaptabilityAdaptabilityAdaptabilityAdaptability Flexibly Connected Structurally Connected Flexibly Separated Structurally Separated Chaotically Connected Flexibly Enmeshed Rigidly Connected Structurally Enmeshed Chaotically Separated Flexibly Disengaged Rigidly Separated Chaotically Enmeshed Rigidly Enmeshed

18 Circumplex Family Map Low Cohesion High High Low AdaptabilityAdaptabilityAdaptabilityAdaptability Flexibly Connected Structurally Connected Flexibly Separated Structurally Separated Chaotically Connected Flexibly Enmeshed Rigidly Connected Structurally Enmeshed Chaotically Separated Flexibly Disengaged Rigidly Separated Chaotically Enmeshed Rigidly Enmeshed Chaotically Disengaged

19 Circumplex Family Map Low Cohesion High High Low AdaptabilityAdaptabilityAdaptabilityAdaptability Flexibly Connected Structurally Connected Flexibly Separated Structurally Separated Chaotically Connected Flexibly Enmeshed Rigidly Connected Structurally Enmeshed Chaotically Separated Flexibly Disengaged Rigidly Separated Chaotically Enmeshed Rigidly Enmeshed Chaotically Disengaged Rigidly Disengaged

20 Circumplex Family Map Low Cohesion High High Low AdaptabilityAdaptabilityAdaptabilityAdaptability Flexibly Connected Structurally Connected Flexibly Separated Structurally Separated Chaotically Connected Flexibly Enmeshed Rigidly Connected Structurally Enmeshed Chaotically Separated Flexibly Disengaged Rigidly Separated Chaotically Enmeshed Rigidly Enmeshed Chaotically Disengaged Rigidly Disengaged Rigidly Engaged

21 Healthy Marital Relationships Ingredients Ingredients of a Good Relationship –Cohesion –Cohesion and Flexibility Effective Effective Communication Skills –Nurturing –Nurturing of “Love” & Intimacy Extended-Family Extended-Family Health –Biblical –Biblical Family Priority over Culture

22 The Five-Hierarchical Harmonious Relationships (The Five-Orders) 五倫 Copyright (C) Melvin W. Wong, Ph.D

23 Biblical Order of Relationships “The New Five-Orders” 新五倫 Copyright © Melvin W.Wong, Ph.D Christ 1. Christ the King and His Children Children (Isaiah (Isaiah 9:6-7) Love and Sacrifice 2. Husband 2. Husband and Wife (Ephesians (Ephesians 5: :21-25 ) Love and Commitment 3. Parents 3. Parents and Children (Ephesians (Ephesians 6:1-2 6:1-2 ) Love and Acceptance 4. Fellowship 4. Fellowship of Believers (1 (1 John 4: :11-12 ) One another love 5. Friends, 5. Friends, Strangers & Enemies (Matthew Enemies (Matthew 22:39 22:39 ) Hospitality and Forgiveness

24 Healthy Marital Relationships Ingredients of a Good Relationship Ingredients of a Good Relationship –Cohesion and Flexibility Effective Communication Skills Effective Communication Skills –Nurturing of “Love” & Intimacy Extended-Family Health Extended-Family Health –Biblical Family Priority over Culture –In-laws Expectations (Imposed & Self)

25 Unhealthy Marital Relationships Poor Poor Communication Skills –Criticism, –Criticism, Defensiveness, Contempt, Stonewalling Poor Poor Conflict Resolution Skills Family Family of Origin Issues »Sibling »Sibling Position & Psychological Dynamics

26 Not a Typical Family

27 Family of Orgin & Marriage Parrallel Parrallel Process: Emotional Transferance –Past –Past infringes on Present (Unresolved conflicts) –Unconscious –Unconscious and/or Subconscious Process »“Generally »“Generally not considered to be controllable” “The “The Present Recapitulates the Past” –Using –Using Present Experience to correct Past Wrongs Susceptibility Susceptibility stronger: Emotional Turmoil Develop Develop Awareness and Insight: Insight: Consciousness Resolve Resolve Unfinished Businesses with family

28 Family Tree Diagram (Genogram) Father Son-1 Son-1 Mother Daughter Son-2

29 Casts of the Dysfunctional Family Addict Enabler Adult-child: Man with problems; Gambling, affairs, rage & irresponsibility Mother who helps hide husband’s serious problems Survival for me

30 Casts of the Dysfunctional Family Addict Enabler Mother who is trying to be the UN Peace- Keeper: Hoping things will not go out of her control Keep the peace: Survival for me

31 Casts of the Dysfunctional Family Addict Enabler Be Perfect: Problems will go away Hero I want to be hero too! I am worthy Win-Lose Rivalry Detach

32 Casts of the Dysfunctional Family Addict Enabler Rebel: Believing I am the problem Scapegoat

33 Casts of the Dysfunctional Family Addict Enabler Withdraws from Relationships: Numb Lost Child

34 Casts of the Dysfunctional Family Addict Enabler Makes laughter admist family tragedy Clown

35 Casts of the Dysfunctional Family Adapted from: Sharon Wegscheider-Cruse, 1985, Health Communications, FL Enabler: Enabler: Tries to control to make things OK Hero: Hero: Be perfect & problems will go away Scapegoat: Scapegoat: Rebel against family problems & then finally believing that s/he is the problem Lost Child: Child: Retreats, withdraws & isolates self from meaningful relationships Mascot (Clown): (Clown): Desperately makes everyone laugh admist the family tragedy. Pampered

36 Unhealthy Marital Relationships Poor Poor Communication Skills –Criticism, –Criticism, Defensiveness, Contempt, Stonewalling Poor Poor Conflict Resolution Skills Family Family of Origin Issues »Sibling »Sibling Position & Psychological Dynamics –Personality –Personality Disorders in Relationships »Self-Centered »Self-Centered Husband & Dependent Wife »Dependent »Dependent Husband & Controlling Wife Mid-Life Mid-Life Crises

37 Prevention is Better than Cure Premarital Premarital Counseling –Pastoral –Professional Dating-Courtship Dating-Courtship Training –Sex –Sex Culture and Sex Education Good Good Parenting Role-Model & Education –Early –Early Teaching: IQ-EQ Issues –Relational –Relational Health as important as Academics

38 When Intervention is Needed Basics: Basics: Gender Matching & Couple Effort Conflict: Conflict: Chronic or Acute? –Chronic: –Chronic: Refer »Case »Case Manager Role, Not Counselor Role –Acute: –Acute: Crisis Intervention »Provide »Provide a “Safe-Place” (Holding Environment) –Never –Never Take Sides »Dual-Relationships »Dual-Relationships destroy all Relationships

39 Not “Throwing the Baby Out with the Bath Water” Children’s Children’s Needs & Happiness –Often –Often Neglected as Parents are Absorbed in their own pain and suffering –Children –Children drawn into Triangulation-Conflict System as Messenger Myth Myth of “Amicable” divorce –Damage –Damage has been done: Divorce or not –Need –Need to care for children of divorce –Needs –Needs of favored First-born daughters & sons

40 Short-term Pastoral Intervention Establish Establish Realities of Pain & Suffering –Believe –Believe the Person with Pain: Victim? »Develop »Develop Empathy: “Beyond my own Pain” –Pain-Pleasure –Pain-Pleasure Polarity: “Recalibration” –Acknowledge –Acknowledge Hopelessness & Helplessness Prayers Prayers and Visitation: Accountability Encourage Encourage Networking with Cell Groups Prevent Prevent Drop-out: Reduce Shame

41 Long-term Professional Counseling After After the Crisis has Resolved but Conflicts continue: Frequency & Intensity –Physical-Sexual –Physical-Sexual Intimacy is reduced/absent When When “The Affair” stays (mental-physical) Personality Personality Disorders are Characteristics Depression Depression & Anxiety are Serious –Suicide –Suicide Prevention, Medication Management “Problem “Problem Child” Issue that persists

42 How to Make a Referral? ChristianMentalHealth.com Thoughtfulness Thoughtfulness makes Referral Succeed –“You –“You are too messed up so I can’t help you” –Problem –Problem is Chronic & You Ran out of Solutions After After the Referral: Your Care Continues –How –How did the week go? –Counseling –Counseling Helpful? Learned Anything? Establish Establish Link with Professional

43 Working with a Professional Issue of Confidentiality: Trust & Disclosure Issue of Confidentiality: Trust & Disclosure Issue of Fees: “Worth & the market place” Issue of Fees: “Worth & the market place” Issue of Dual-Relationships: Destructive Issue of Dual-Relationships: Destructive List of Three Names: What is “Christian”? List of Three Names: What is “Christian”? –Expect Doctor shopping & Blaming Making a Very Good Match: Making a Very Good Match: –Similarities: Spiritual-Cultural-Language –Gender-Matching: Case-by-Case


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