Book Cover

REWRITING LOVE STORIES: Brief Marital Therapy

Acknowledgments

Introduction 1

Chapter 1
CLARITY BEGINS AT HOME: Escape from Blame and Invalidation 5
Beyond Blame, Invalidation and Explanations 6
Blaming Does Not Invite Change and Cooperation 7
Labels Can Disempower and Stick Like Crazy Glue 7
Having a Good Explanation Does Not Necessarily Produce Change 8
Psychological/Genetic/Historical/Sociological Determinism 9
Acknowledgment and Validation 10
The Distinction Between Facts, Stories, and Experience 12
Just the Facts, Ma'am 12
Videotalk 13
X=X 14
Including the Opposite Possibility 14
Lost in Storyland 15
Stories are Not All Bad 20
Acknowledgment and Challenge 21

Chapter 2
FROM BLAME TO COLLABORATION: Complaints, Requests, and Praise 23
Action Complaints:
From Kvetching to Effecting Change 26
Action Requests 29
Negotiating requests 31
Meaningful praise 33
Videotalk:
Antidote to relationship poison 35

Chapter 3
CHANGING THE "VIEWING" OF THE COUPLE'S SITUATION: In-Session Interviewing Interventions 36
Acknowledging Without Agreeing or Closing Down Possibilities 36
Benevolent Skepticism 39
Articulating and Channeling:
Putting Words in Clients' Mouths 41
Points of Agreements and Common Goals 44
Filtering out Blaming 46
Identifying Strengths
What's Worked? 48
Metaphors 51

Chapter 4
CHANGING THE "DOING" OF THE COUPLES' SITUATION: Pattern Intervention 56
Pattern Intervention:
The Butterfly Effect 58
Identifying and Changing Any Regularities 59
Challenging Stereotypes 62
One Person Can Make a Difference in the Pattern 65

Chapter 5
TASK ASSIGNMENTS: Between-Session Change 70
General Guidelines for Making Task Assignments 70
Task Assignments are Co-created and Emerge from the Conversation 71
Invite Objections and Ask About Barriers 74
The Experiment Frame 76
Use Expectancy Language 76
Types of Task Assignments 78
Pattern Intervention 78
Skill-Building Tasks 79
Perception-Shifting Tasks 81

Chapter 6
UNFINISHED BUSINESS: Using Rituals and Symbols to Resolve Tragedies 86
Types of Symbols 86
Linked Objects 87
Created Symbols 88
Icons 89
Types of Rituals. 89
Rituals of Continuity 90
Rites of Passage 92
Rituals of Inclusion/Exclusion 93
Rituals of Mourning/Leaving Behind 94
Reversal Rituals 97
Preparing For and Carrying Out Rituals 99
Introducing/Co-Creating 99
Preparation 99
Performance 99
Cleansing/Bathing 100
Celebration/Social Recognition 100
Rituals and Symbols:
The Meeting of Meanings, Feelings and Actions 103

Chapter 7
DEGRIMMING: Humor in Couples Therapy 105
What's So Funny? 106
Jumping to Conclusions 106
Exaggerations of Speech 108
Puns 109
Stories and Jokes 110
Shock and Surprise 111
Amusing Confessions 112

Chapter 8
BOUNDARIES, ACCOUNTABILITY AND CONSEQUENCES: Dealing with Destructive Behaviors 114
Soap Operas 114
Making Sure Requests are Clear 115
Changing Patterns 116
Setting the Boundaries 117
Personal Power 120
Consequences, not Punishment 121
Making Amends 124
Individual versus Joint Sessions 125

Chapter 9
CIRCLE THE WAGONS AND BEWARE THE TRIANGLE: Kids, Family and Divorce 128
Beware the Triangle 128
Keep the Marital Relationship Separate from the Family/Parental Relationship 129
Parenting and Partnering 130
Stepparenting and Blended Families. 133
Problems with Families of Origin 137
Avoiding a Bloody Divorce 137
Unabashed Marriage Savers 138

Chapter 10
WHY SHOULD YOUR VAGINA BE ANY DIFFERENT FROM YOUR EAR?: Intimacy and Sex 141
Creating Intimacy 141
The Martian's Guide to Intimacy 142
Sexual Issues 145
Sexual Complaints, Requests and Praise 145
The Pleasure Teaching Session 146
Mix 'n' Match Sexual Menu 147
Dysfunctions 148
The Tyranny of the Big O and Intercourse 151
Sexual Identity Issues 152
Normalizing 155
Dealing with Sexual Boredom 157
Model Openness in Communicating About Sex 157

Chapter 11
RELATIONSHIP GLUE: Eliciting Love and Commitment 160
Maps of Loveland 161
Transcending Maps of Love 163
Losing Sight of the Big Picture 165
Relationship Wimp 166
How Big Is Your Bowl? 169
Pat Hudson's Four Relationship Principles 170

Text References

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