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10 Communication Strategies from One Counseling Session

September 18, 2017

Not all communication difficulties in relationships are due to attitude or bad will. Sometimes one of both partners may actually have some biologically determined issues.

Such was the case with regard to a couple I met with recently.

Apart from whatever else was going on, the one partner did have a significant bilateral hearing loss (both ears), as well as what sounded like an auditory processing problem. The person also advised that going back to elementary school, a comprehension problem was detected.

What some couples don’t realize is that those biologically determined issues on top of some family or emotional issues create the conditions for complex communication challenges. That is also why the counselor or treating clinician is best to have considerable training and experience in a number of related areas.

On the basis of meeting with the couple, I advised how the biologically determined issues were co-mingling with other family and emotional issues and we discussed strategies for therefore communicating more effectively. When I asked what this person will do differently on the basis of our discussion, the person came up with a great list:

  1. Be more involved mentally;
  2. Know when to step back and think;
  3. Admit to shortcomings;
  4. If taking a break to think things through, come back prepared to share what you thought;
  5. Read words of encouragement to learn them and then use them;
  6. Acknowledge what was heard;
  7. Ask someone to rephrase if something is not well understood;
  8. Ask to affirm my understanding;
  9. Recognize my own sensitivity versus just going to a defensive place.
  10. Write down what I want to remember to say.

I asked the person’s permission to share their strategies and permission was granted. The person said, my providing them on the blog would serve as their reminder to follow through with the strategies.

Maybe some of their strategies can be of service to you in your relationship.

I am Gary Direnfeld and I am a social worker. Check out all my services and then call me if you need help with a personal issue, mental health concern, child behavior or relationship, divorce or separation issue or even help growing your practice. I am available in person and by Skype.

Gary Direnfeld, MSW, RSW

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Gary Direnfeld is a social worker. Courts in Ontario, Canada, consider him an expert in social work, marital and family therapy, child development, parent-child relations and custody and access matters. Gary is the host of the TV reality show, Newlywed, Nearly Dead, parenting columnist for the Hamilton Spectator and author of Marriage Rescue: Overcoming the ten deadly sins in failing relationships. Gary maintains a private practice in Dundas and Georgina Ontario, providing a range of services for people in distress. He speaks at conferences and workshops throughout North America. He consults to mental health professionals as well as to mediators and collaborative law professionals about good practice as well as building their practice.



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