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Whats Love Got To Do With It? Joanna Refvem, LPC NCSCA Annual Conference 2009.

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Presentation on theme: "Whats Love Got To Do With It? Joanna Refvem, LPC NCSCA Annual Conference 2009."— Presentation transcript:

1 Whats Love Got To Do With It? Joanna Refvem, LPC NCSCA Annual Conference 2009

2 Why This Topic? Communication is the heart of relationships Effective communication improves relationships Understanding how other people give and receive love improves communication

3 What Will We Cover? A Theoretical Foundation Description of The Five Love Languages Self Assessment Speaking the Love Languages How to use the information in your school counseling practice

4 Building the Base Love is a Choice: Love doesnt erase the past but it makes the future different. (Chapman, The Five Love Languages, page 143)

5 Building the Base (contd) Love is something you do for someone else, not something you do for yourself. (Chapman, The Five Love Languages, page 150)

6 Building the Base (contd) Children develop their primary love language through interaction with parents and peers Adults enter love relationships with this specific love language developed early in life Everyone has a love tank from which they act and interact with their world Isolation is devastating yet loving and feeling loved can be elusive

7 Love is a choice: Choice Theory Developed by William Glasser, M.D. who also developed Reality Therapy Every person has control over themselves, but often spend much energy trying to control others Our thoughts and actions determine our emotions and physical well-being Five needs drive human behavior: survival, love and belonging, power, freedom, fun

8 Choice Theory (contd) Each person creates a picture in their mind of how life is, could be, or should be – called by Glasser the Quality World Our Quality World is developed from life experiences, values, and expectations When we perceive that our expectations (based on one of our needs) are not met, we respond or react Our responses or reactions affect our level of effective communication

9 Total Behavior (Glasser contd) All behavior can be described by activity, thinking, feeling and physiology What you do and what you think direct how you feel (emotionally and physically) Key question: Will what I am doing or about to do bring me closer to the important people in my life?

10 Habits of Communication Seven Deadly Habits Criticizing Blaming Complaining Nagging Threatening Punishing Bribing/rewarding to control Seven Caring Habits Supporting Encouraging Listening Accepting Trusting Respecting Negotiating differences

11 The Key Concepts The need for love and belonging is the key to meeting the other basic needs We all need loving supportive people in our quality worlds Critical or caring habits can be learned or unlearned Children who are surrounded by loving supportive people can then develop the right balance of freedom and responsibility

12 Why The Five Love Languages? By understanding how others receive communication (especially love), our relationships in our quality world improve Seeking understanding rather than agreement promotes stronger relationships

13 What Are The Five Love Languages? Words of Affirmation Acts of Service Quality Time Receiving Gifts Physical Touch

14 Keep in mind… There are different dialects or ways of communicating these love languages All five love languages are important and exist to varying extents in all relationships While we may be multi-lingual one language will stand out over the others

15 Words of Affirmation Encouraging words: inspire courage Kind words: watch the tone Humble words: requests rather than demands Remember to: Be sincere Praise specifics Praise efforts and/or results

16 Acts of Service Internally motivated desire to give ones energy to others as a gift, not a necessity Influenced by the model of our parents; our own personality; our perceptions of love; our emotions, needs, desires Acts of love are a choice; choice cannot be coerced Parents model and guide their children by doing for them what they cannot do for themselves

17 Quality Time Hearing, listening, focusing on another to draw them out, granting freedom to express desires, dreams, concerns (especially important between parents and teens) Many hours together may produce a few hours of quality time (cannot be forced) Defined by what the other considers quality

18 Receiving Gifts Knowing the other person well enough to know what he/she considers a gift Removing our sense of what another needs and focusing on the interests and desires of others Involves creativity, not necessarily expense Size is not critical; intent and frequency is important

19 Physical Touch Appropriate time: especially for teenagers but also with adults, sensitivity to mood is crucial Appropriate place: some is appropriate for public; some only in private; also depends on whether it is adult to adult, or parent to child Appropriate manner: ask questions; as parents dont avoid physical touch but have boundaries

20 How To Determine Which Love Language Ask Questions Make Observations Experiment

21 YOUR TURN!! Assessments available in back of each book Quick assessments available at Chapmans website (

22 Speaking The Love Languages Words of Affirmation Put a note on bathroom mirror or cereal box or in lunch Send a text message or leave a voicemail during the day offering encouraging words or praise or support Send a card – yes snail mail still exists!!!

23 Speaking The Love Languages Acts of Service Make favorite meal or snack; wake up early and make a cooked breakfast on a work/school day Offer to help with chores/tasks/ homework Ask your spouse/partner/child to make a list of ten things you could do for them (list in priority order)

24 Speaking The Love Languages Quality Time Togetherness: physical proximity; being available Quality conversation: maintain eye contact, stop other activity, listen for feelings, observe body language, refuse to interrupt Quality activities: as defined by the other person – what do they most enjoy doing with you? For teens: recognize their need to be with friends; consult with them rather than assuming you know their schedule

25 Speaking The Love Languages Receiving Gifts Observe what the other person says they most want; need not always be expensive or store bought; write it down Send flowers or candy For teenagers: keep a gift box they can draw from (iTunes gift certificates; candy; offer of preparing favorite meals)

26 Speaking The Love Languages Physical Touch Allowing for varying moods and needs, offer a hug or kiss or playful wrestle When together doing something else (e.g. watching t.v.) sit close Announce group hug at home and/or hold hands during blessing a meal Offer a shoulder massage for a partner/child under stress Note: This is the most misunderstood and misused of the love languages. Boundaries are important, but beware of barriers to effective communication. Teenage girls need affirmation from their fathers that they are o.k. – hugs are great, and can be appropriate.

27 CASE STUDIES Case #1: Husband complains: I never see her anymore; she spends more time with friends than with me. Case #2: Teenage girl states: My father never hugs me – its almost like he doesnt like me. Case #3: Mother wonders: How can I teach my child to do what is right; especially when it comes to chores around the house. Case #4: Wife laments: He complains or criticizes or often says nothing. The silent treatment is torture. Case #5: Teenage boy confesses: Its like my parents dont know me; come on, a flannel shirt for my birthday?!?

28 Answers Case #1: Quality Time Case #2: Physical Touch Case #3: Acts of Service Case #4: Words of Affirmation Case #5: Receiving Gifts

29 Focus on Teens Teens are searching for identity and independence… However: Deep within the soul of the teenager is the desire to feel connected, accepted, nurtured by parents. (Chapman, The Five Love Languages of Teenagers, page 31) Teenagers need to hear that you accept them, even when you dont approve of their behavior (Ibid, page 35)

30 Love and Anger Teenagers need to learn how to love and how to process anger Anger can be explosive or implosive: either makes the teenager hard to love Listen to explosive words/behavior w/o losing your cool; process where they are coming from; whats under the anger Silence can be directed at self or a passive/aggressive tool Patience and understanding will improve the expression of love in both directions

31 Love and Independence Teenagers demonstrate the need/desire for: Personal space Emotional space Social independence: friends, music, clothing Intellectual independence: values, moral, religious beliefs Accomplish all the above and keep the love tank full: excruciatingly tough!!

32 Love and Responsibility Boundaries and rules are crucial Some rules about rules: Less is more Clarity is crucial Fairness is key Rules about consequences: Defined ahead of time Administered with love Consistently applied

33 Using The Five Love Languages in the schools Explore the basic needs of teenagers who come to your office for a variety of reasons (academic advice, anxiety or worry, anger or other discipline issues); in what ways is their love tank empty? Help parents understand that rebellion is a combination of seeking identity and independence while needing still to feel connected and loved Use your understanding of The Five Love Languages to understand the needs and motivations of your co- workers and administrators Offer workshops using the information offered here specifically focusing on how understanding the love language can help in the areas of anger, independence, and responsibility

34 If you have questions….

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