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THE TRUTH ABOUT GOING FOR COUPLE’S COUNSELING

Bill White Interview for Anger and Argument Solutions


UNDERSTANDING THE POTENTIAL FOR QUICK AND DEEP RESULTS FOR COUPLES WORKING WITH BILL WHITE

I am masterful at navigating love relationship challenges—particularly anger and arguments, but also broken trust, and emotional distancing. Those who work with me typically get relatively quick and deep results. Relationships sometimes turn around in one session. However, that one session is usually 3-5 hours. A larger percentage of couples require 8-10 hours to turn around. A smaller percentage require 15-20 hours. 

Sometimes the turnaround is discovering 1) that you’re not meant to be together, or 2) that one/both individuals are not willing or able to do what is required to have a healthy relationship. My hope and intention is that once we clear everything that has been getting in the way of feeling good with each other, a natural feeling of love and affinity shows up. 

In contrast to the mental health system, my initial sessions are open-ended. Once we get started, we take whatever time you feel you need to get to the heart of things. No matter how quick your results may or may not be, people generally know they’re in the right place working with me after just one session. If you’re not getting quick results, I usually can tell you what you’re doing that’s getting in the way (unless you’re not open to hearing). 

SELF-ASSESSMENT FOR THOSE WHO MAY HAVE CHALLENGES GETTING QUICK RESULTS

Although I know how to help you get results, you are a key component in those results being generated. 

So that you may assess your potential for quick and dramatic results, I have compiled a list of common reasons why a couple may not get those quick results. Many get relatively quick results despite these scenarios, but these scenarios can lengthen the time to get to a turnaround. These scenarios can also completely block the possibility of any significant results. A few of you may realize after reading over this list that I am not the right professional to work with you.

***In my estimation, almost all the reasons I list for the lack of quick results are symptoms of deep childhood pain that is often times hidden from one’s view.***
There are two common styles that block any good results, much less quick and deep results. I point out these two here in the beginning because many people don’t really see how destructive they are.

  1. You or the other is locked into blaming the other person. (Although it ABSOLUTELY looks as if the other person is the source of your problems, the real truth is that you play a key role in the difficulties. Until you consider this possibility, things will likely never get better for you.)
  2. You or the other continues with verbal and attitude attacks (anger and resentment). No significant results will occur when there is actual or a threat of verbal and attitude attacks. As with blame, you think you’re justified in your anger, but there is rarely a benefit in attacking another. Of course, I will provide options to attacking.

I am very adept at helping people get past their blame and anger attacks, but ONLY if that person is willing to adjust the attitudes and actions that are not working. Someday I may find a way to inspire people to want to give up their blame and anger attacks. Until that time, no useful results will occur in session until these 2 arenas are addressed. So, my message to the person who is stuck in anger and blame: I can’t help you until you are hungry for an alternative to blaming and attacking. When you’re hungry for something new, I can show you how to resolve the hidden need to blame and attack with anger.

Here is a list of common reasons why a couple may not get quick and dramatic results:

  1. Your childhood pain is so great that you are unwilling to have that come up and be addressed. Sometimes with severe abuse—especially sexual, but also any other form—a person is just not willing to bring that up.
  2. Being blocked to the idea of looking at, and admitting, their part in the challenges. (This includes being locked in blaming the other person.)
  3. Continuing to treat your partner with unkindness and disrespect. (You must have a commitment to treat one another with kindness and respect at all times. I can show you how to do that no matter how angry or resentful you’re feeling.)
  4. Getting revenge, acting out of spite to hurt the other.
  5. You have done, or are doing, things behind the other’s back (flirting, cheating, spending money, gambling, other clearly addictive actions), AND you are unwilling to humbly put that on the table in session when appropriate. (We can have a private session to discuss how/when/if to put certain secrets on the table.)
  6. In the relationship, there has been severe or harsh verbal and/or emotional abuse (or mistreatment), including threats, OR there have been physical abuse or attacks. If any of the above has scared and terrorized the other, the person mistreated is often like a wounded animal and may need to see dramatic changes in you over time in order to trust you again. 
  7. Not committed to equality--an equal voice for both partners. One person having power over the other is a dictatorship, no matter how benevolent the dictator is. This is not the foundation for a healthy love relationship.
  8. Not willing to face the challenges of a love relationship. Healthy relationships require personal growth. Being willing to face the emotional challenges that come up in relationships will result in all the good things you wish for in a relationship.
  9. You have long-term resentments with this person and/or you have shut down and disconnected emotionally. These scenarios could turn around quickly, but often take some meticulous unraveling. It often includes ferreting out where you have been covertly getting the other person back.
  10. You aren’t willing to draw the line when your partner is treating you unkindly or disrespectfully. You try to change your partner, or put up with their unhealthy ways, rather than calling an end to the relationship when your partner isn’t willing or committed to doing what it takes to have a healthy relationship. (I can help you see the need to draw the line and guide you in how to do that.)
  11. You come into the session highly skeptical of the value of using a third party vs being open-minded and looking for something helpful.

To those of you who are new to all this self-processing and 1) who may be initially reluctant or skeptical, 2) may have secrets that have broken trust, 3) may have been physically or verbally violent with their partner, or 4) are stuck in blame: If you’re committed to a new way of relating, you also can get quick and dramatic results. Sometimes people are not doing what promotes a healthy relationship simply because they have never been introduced to an alternative that works.

SELF-ASSESSMENT FOR THOSE WHO CAN EXPECT QUICK RESULTS 

(Having one or more of these will enhance your ability to get quick and lasting results. You don’t need all of them.)

  1. You’re open and/or willing to look at yourself and see your part in the problem.
  2. You understand that an empowered place to view life is to consider that you are the creator of all your life situations and your experiences—even if you don’t realize how you’ve done that.
  3. You realize that both of you are playing a part in the problem, and you really want to know that your part is.
  4. You’ve done a lot of personal growth and healing prior to our work (such as, therapy/coaching, books, workshops, education in the field, spiritual and religious explorations).
  5. You still think highly of your partner most of the time.
  6. You have come in prior to the unworkable patterns becoming entrenched.
  7. You’re willing to look for the childhood themes that are at play.
  8. You commit to kindness and respect at all times, and are a stand that your partner treats you with kindness and respect.
  9. You are committed to learning how to dissolve anger and untangle arguments. 
  10. You know that addressing and clearing emotional upsets will strengthen the relationship and have each person grow to be more of who they want to become.
  11. You know that if you leave this relationship before figuring out how you played a part in creating the problems, you will take the patterns that created your problems with you into your next relationship.
  12. You know that the people you attract are a reflection of your inner world, and there are no accidents that you are with the person you’re with. There is always something important to learn from the situation you find yourself in.

BILL WHITE, HEALTHY COUPLES 
  520-319-9132     www.TheHealthyCouple.com

The 3 Commitments Required If You Are To Have A Chance At a Healthy Love Relationship

1. A commitment to address and resolve all significant emotional upsets
    (or emotional distancing).

  • Upsets are almost always tied to childhood pain 
  • If you don’t resolve the upset, you are then unconsciously living out of childhood beliefs and feelings—as well as re-creating new and similar experiences of the past.

2. A commitment to relate with kindness and respect...at all times....no
    matter how you feel.

  • Unkindness is a fight/flight brain response. There is no value in being unkind. Plus, being unkind triggers the other person’s childhood pain.
  •  A commitment to kindness forces you to explore inside oneself to resolve your reactions.
  • Since you are human, when you slip up, apologize and make agreements on how to handle a similar future situation.
  • This also includes a commitment to honesty and truthfulness.

3. A commitment to utilizing a skilled 3rd party when you can't resolve
    conflict or be kind on your own.

  • It’s all but guaranteed you will occasionally need a skilled 3rd party for your blind spots.
  • You weren’t born knowing how to drive a car or use a computer, and you weren’t born knowing how to have a relationship.

***
I’m serious here. You must stick to these. If things are off in your relationship, you probably aren’t sticking to these commitments.
Don’t expect this to be easy, but it’s a happier path. 

BILL WHITE, HEALTHY COUPLES 
  520-319-9132  www.TheHealthyCouple.com
Copyright 2010, revised 5-13-15

Our Fear Of Anger And How It Shows Up In Relationships

I think the fear (actually, terror) of another’s anger can be very strong in people who had childhood trauma from 1) witnessing anger expressed towards others we loved or 2) from being attacked by anger ourselves. This fear is especially pronounced in family and love relationships where we can become lax with the typical social norms of being relatively cordial.

I strongly recommend that when you notice you are fearing the other’s anger, sink into the body sensations and then trace the emotional/body experiences to the past. You might even ask, “When was the first time I experienced this?” Then bring compassion for what the child experienced. You might even imagine someone coming to stand with you as you say or do whatever you wished you had been able to do towards the person who traumatized you. (This person you imagine could be a person in your life, Jesus, Superman, or your adult self). You might even start that imaginary expression with letting yourself tie them up and attacking them—to express the rage you may have never expressed. Teal Swan, a spiritual teacher, has written a book that goes into detail about how to do this. It’s called ‘The Completion Process’. She also has trained compassionate practitioners to walk people through the healing process. I recommend working with me or someone who does the Completion Process. Some traumas are difficult or impossible to navigate well on your own. When you have a compassionate, validating person walk you through the process, you will often have a much deeper healing, and an easier healing.

We also have a fear of our own anger:

Because we so despise ‘anger being expressed’ like we received or witnessed as a child, we despise anger in ourselves and have a hard time accepting it or forgiving it.

It can be healing to do some self-forgiveness processing around the times when we have been the one reacting in anger towards another, or when we have harmed others by suppressing and denying our anger (or their anger). 

Because we are afraid of anger, we have intricate coping mechanisms to prevent anger and arguments. Here are the common ones:
  • chronically avoid dealing with anger and conflict
  • Fanatically attempt to control circumstances and people so that there is no conflict and emotional upset
  • Blame others for causing you to feel upset
  • When actually addressing an upsetting situation, the focus is on fixing the situation with solutions as fast as possible, while not realizing you’re not addressing the emotions at all
  • Ignore anything that is upsetting or is potentially upsetting
  • Ignore or minimize the upsets of others
  • Often unconsciously deny that you are even upset when you obviously are 
  • Completely freeze up when someone gets angry.

All these mechanisms actually create and sustain the very anger and arguing that we are so intent on avoiding. All these mechanisms are fight/flight responses that we are strongly pulled to employ—even when they don’t work. 

Some processes I recommend studying and practicing are Marshall Rosenberg’s Compassionate Non-Violet Communication and Byron Katie’s The Work. Since neither of these address the influence of emotional trauma from childhood, I recommend methods such as Harville Hendrix’s Imago Therapy, Margaret Paul’s Inner Bonding, and Teal Swan’s Completion Process.

Copywrite 2016
Bill White, MA, is a love relationship coach for singles and couples in Tucson. Bill offers coaching by phone, email, or in person. He can be reached at 520-319-9132 and at contact@thehealthycouple.com.

DEALING WITH RAGE AND BLIND ANGER

Taken from the book in progress…
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
ADVANCED ANGER AND ARGUMENT SOLUTIONS: 
How to Eliminate Arguing and Fighting in Relationships and Restore Love, Play, and Partnership

--These are guidelines for approaching—and healing—anger, emotional upsets, and arguments that are resistant to our common attempts at resolution
______________________________________________________________________

GENERAL

NOTE 1: If you are presently in a rage, beside yourself with anger, you may skip this general section for now and go to the next section. 

NOTE 2: These are condensed guidelines. There are a number of other useful techniques available, but to list them here would complicate things.

___________

  • These steps will likely not resolve your anger if you have secrets you are keeping from the person you’re upset with and you continue to keep the secret. 

  • These steps will likely not resolve your anger if you are in an abusive or otherwise unacceptable situation and YOU are not taking steps to end what is unacceptable.

  • Do not give in to the innate drive to react by attacking. It feels like the natural thing to do, but it is driven by innate animal instincts and it will only make things worse.

  • One key part of dealing with rage and out of control anger is that there must be a commitment to kind and respectful interactions. Hurting another only makes things worse. So, we’re looking to avoid hurting another and we’re looking to help you dispel the intense energy of the anger.

  • Remember that you have been triggered into memories of childhood pain, even if you don’t yet see a connection (and you probably won’t at the moment of upset).

  • Your goal is to eventually find a place of vulnerability and step out of any protection mode. Remember, you are not in physical danger, but it feels like something you desperately need is not being given or is being taken away. [NOTE: If you are in physical danger, see section at end of these bullets.] 

  • Remember that the other person is also in emotional pain and is responding in the only way they know how to respond at the moment. They are protecting themselves from hurt—real or imagined hurt. [NOTE: Sometimes “protection” looks like someone who isn’t emotionally upset, who appears to be unmoved by your upset.]

  •  Remember that when you’re in emotional upset, you instinctually respond from the non-thinking survival brain (blindly reacting with fight, flight, or freeze). Start your recovery process by deep slow breathing through the nose. This tells the body and brain that there is no real danger. [A later section of the book will describe brain psychology in greater detail.]

  •  If at all possible, do not vent to someone who 1) doesn’t know that the resolution of your anger will come by first looking within, and 2) who also knows that you have played a hidden part in the difficulty. Otherwise, you will 1) solidify your negative viewpoint of the other person you’re upset with, and 2) even if you eventually resolve your problem, your confidant (friend, family member) may never recover their positive feelings for the person you’re upset with.

  • Unless you have some skill at resolving emotional upsets, as a general rule, don’t attempt communication until you have softened or dissolved your anger and have dropped your negative judgments against the other. The reason for this rule is that attitudes are contagious and are transmitted automatically to the other. Your judgmental attitude will usually drive the person into a protection mode. The emotional upset will escalate. 

********


If you believe you are in physical danger: 

Get away to safety. But also beware that the most dangerous time in a relationship is when you are taking actions to leave.

If you can’t leave, don’t provoke the person by responding with indignant attitudes. You are dealing with an animal, not a thinking person. Let them express without interruption, be compliant (non-resisting), acknowledge your “fault” in the situation.

When the danger has blown over, and you don’t value yourself enough to leave an abusive situation, ask yourself this question: “If a close friend of mine, or family member came to me asking for advice for the situation I find myself in, what would my advice be?”



STEPS FOR WHEN YOU ARE FEELING RAGE (OVERWHELMING ANGER)

If you are fuming, in a rage, beside yourself with anger:

  • Get out of the fire. Get out of the physical space of the other so you don’t continue to get more irritated by the present situation. [When you walk away you are walking away to deal with yourself, rather than walking away to leave and punish the other.]

  • Slow deep breaths tell your brain that you aren’t in danger. It also brings you more into the present moment vs past or future imaginations. 

  • Use up the immense energy of your fight/flight emotions by doing something physical to dispel the adrenalin. Run, lift weights, walk fast, pound something, Get in your car—don’t drive, but scream and yell and curse. Don’t do these things in presence or within earshot of the person you’re angry with.  

  • If you begin to feel grief, you are hitting paydirt. Grief is a freeing, cleansing emotion. As humans, this is one of those innate avenues for dissolving loss and trauma. Let yourself cry. Nurture your grief expressions. 

  • If you’ve established a working relationship with me, call if you continue to suffer and aren’t resolving your upset. (If we haven’t established a working relationship, you may also call for a session.)

  • When you have spent the adrenal energy in your body, the next phase is to use my document of guidelines for self-processing (not interacting yet).


GUIDELINES TO ESTABLISH WITH THE OTHER BEFORE YOU FIND YOURSELF IN A RAGE

  • Make an agreement with yourself and the other person to stop interacting when you know your emotional upset is only going to escalate.

  • If you are in an interaction that is only going to escalate, stop interacting and get calmed down before resuming interactions.

  • This often involves not being in the same room, or building.

  • Recognize that leaving the presence of one another when you’re upset does NOT mean you’re leaving the relationship. It is not about leaving to scare, hurt, or manipulate the other. It is about taking care of yourselves so you don’t continue to wound yourself or the other.


Bill White, MA, is a love relationship coach for singles and couples in Tucson. Bill offers coaching by phone, email, or in person. He can be reached at 520-319-9132 and at contact@thehealthycouple.com.

Copyrights Bill White 1987, with ongoing revisions 
April 13, 2017 edition
[This is copyrighted material. You are welcome to share this information with others as long as my name and the copyright information are included. You are asked to not reproduce or repackage this work for your business or organized program without written permission.]


THE OUTCOMES AND BENEFITS OF LEARNING TO ADDRESS AND CLEAR UNPLEASANT RELATING

Bill White 12-5-07 520-319-9132 www.thehealthycouple.com

--Gentleness, kindness, feeling safe with one another 
--Trusting each other to treat each other with kindness and respect, and to 
   resolve emotional upsets in healthy ways
--Laughter, humor, playfulness
--Compassion for your and the other’s fallible humanity
--Greater capacity to listen and allow the experience of the other
--Being able to forgive yourself and to forgive your partner
--Being adept--and even masterful--at supporting each other out of  
  distressful emotional reactions (either emotional reactions within the
  relationship or those from outside the relationship)
--Being partners in healing childhood wounds
--Loving and liking yourself
--Loving and liking your partner
--Connection to your spiritual self
--Having connecting moments to one another’s spiritual selves
--Renewed sexual desire and pleasure
--Experiencing being deeply connected
--Deep self-awareness (knowing the many parts of yourself)
--Being deeply known by your partner and deeply knowing them
--Significant reduction of mental, emotional, and physical distress
--People in your life are inspired by your relationship, the health of your 
  relationship contributes to them, and you are a greater contribution because 
  you aren’t so wrapped up in your own drama.

THE BENEFITS TO YOUR CHILDREN, if you have children:

  • Feel safer, more secure
  • Are happier
  • Feel more loved and valued
  • Model healthy relating and communication, which can transfer to all their present and future relationships. 
  • Learn how to resolve conflict and how to be compassionate with difficult emotions.
  • Experience being treated with kindness, respect, and honor (since how you are with your partner will be how you are with your children).
  • Get more of their parent’s love and support
  • They can be about focusing on what their lives are about and who they will become, instead of being burdened with drama

Pre-Dating Strategies for a Lifelong Partner 

You may see “happy lifelong relationships” as a desirable but very unpredictable goal. You've had great relationships fail. You've seen it happen to most of them you know. Is it possible to generate a relationship that provides you with a high level of certainty that it will last? I say it is.

First, let's get clear on one thing. Your chances of generating a lifelong relationship from the approach most people use will leave you with maybe a 5% chance of having success. You might ask, "Which approach is that?" It's the one we see in the movies and on TV: You meet someone you're attracted to you, you enjoy spending time together, and presto, soon you're happily married and get along famously.

One might call this approach "following your heart and passions, and ignoring your head." This approach usually produces less than happy results. And, by the way, have you noticed that the celebrities who portray those types of relationships don’t seem to do well with this approach either?

The approach I’ve developed is about doing some planning and strategizing to get your thinking self and your spiritual self up to level with your heart and passions. The first priority in this approach is to identify what you require in a partner and not settle for less.

Step 1: Make an extensive list of the qualities and characteristics you want in a partner. When you've run out of wants, ask yourself some questions in order to tease out other hidden wants, such as "What do I NOT want in a partner.” With each "I don't want" you've listed, turn it into a "do want." For example, if your last partner was not a social person and you hated that, put on your list that you want someone who enjoys being social.

Step 2: Separate the list into two categories - preferences and requirements. There are some experts who suggest simply making one combined list of wants. The downside of this approach is that, in the beginning of a relationship, it is too easy to focus on the person’s great qualities and forget about your requirements for a lifelong partner. “I can’t believe it! He likes my favorite thing. Opera!” At this stage, the fact that he’s a devout Christian and you aren’t into religion doesn’t often register on your radar.

On the other hand, dividing your want list into “preferences” and “requirements” makes it much easier for you to stay clear on what is truly important as you’re meeting new potential partners. Instead of taking 2 months or 2 years to find out whether Any one person is right for you, with this approach, it can take as little as 2 weeks.

What types of qualities go on the requirement list? Consider areas of compatibility around family and children, religious / spiritual views, sexuality / attraction, level of open mindedness, and interest in health and fitness. I emphatically recommend a commitment to honesty and living by the Golden Rule. Also essential is a commitment to communicate to resolve differences, along with a willingness to use a third party when you can’t untangle a conflict by yourself.

Keep your list of "requirements" up to 10 - 15 items. Your "preferences" and "it would be nice to have" list can be longer. Focus on the most important stuff, and let the "universe" fill in the gaps. In fact, you will probably find that the partner you chose has many lovely qualities that you had not put on the list.

Step 3: Use an expert to guide you in the process of finding and keeping a partner. Be aware that you need the guidance of an expert most when you think you don't - when you've first met someone and things are going great. You only have to look at your and others’ past relationships to tell you that being in love and having a great time is a poor predictor of a good, lasting relationship.

Our culture hasn’t embraced the idea of getting support for relationships - except maybe when things start to go bad. Yet, we don’t think twice about using an expert to maintain our car or computer. Isn’t your relationship at least as important?

“People often spend up to 500 hours planning the wedding, and almost no time figuring out how to make a marriage … and the most elegant wedding in the world would become a useless ornament if the couple is not truly prepared for what they’re going to face. The event is nice and it’s memorable, but it has no impact on what’s ahead.”
Robert and Bobbie Woglemuth, 

In conclusion, a lifelong partnership can bring a richness that beautifully enhances the quality of all aspects of your life, and blesses and inspires those it touches. Putting some thought into your future partnership and getting a mentor can vastly improve your chances of generating a match made in heaven.

Bill White, MA, is a love relationship coach for singles and couples in Tucson. Bill offers coaching by phone, email, or in person. He can be reached at 520-319-9132 and at contact@thehealthycouple.com.

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