In light of the recent news item around the video of Ray Rice assaulting his wife, I wanted to post a few resources for people seeking help. The first is an online domestic violence assessment for both genders. If you are wondering about your relationship, click here. If you are a women struggling with an abusive partner, the following is a link to a workbook to help you sort out your situation. If you live in the Newark, Fremont, Union City Area, there is a great local resource for you if you are experiencing interpersonal partner violence. It is called SAVE. If you need help, please call them.
I was surfing around the web and came across resources for Nonviolent Communication by Marshall Rosenberg. I was pretty impressed and wanted to pass along these resources.
While watching the videos I realized that what I do in relationship counseling is very similar to what Rosenberg does with tribes and warring groups. I help couples and families get to and communicate what is at the heart of the matter. I do this by facilitating the expression of deep human needs within each person that are not being met in the relationship. This often promotes empathy and connection and dissolves anger.
After thinking about how similar Nonviolent Communication was to Emotionally Focused Therapy for Couples and Families, my mind moved to its application to current events. It made me think of the Zimmerman/Trayvon Martin tragedy and how differently it all may have gone down if this way of thinking and interacting were promoted in our county. I felt sad knowing our country promotes ideas like "standing your ground " over empathic non-judgmental listening. The videos are long but worth a listen and a reflection. YouTube has tons more as well.
Yahoo posted a nice summary of the research on relationship enhancers: The 10 Ways to Improve your Relationship.
1. Solidify your friendship.
2. Appreciate each other.
3. Concentrate on the present to ensure a future.
4. Don't Distort.
5. Share power.
6. Find common goals.
7. Understand anger.
8. Break negative cycles.
9. Focus on what's fixable.
10. Accept the unsolvable.
As the title of this suggests, most of this is based on John Gottman's research. Any of his books on relationships will give you detailed information on how keep on enhancing your relationship. It is good stuff. Common sense but important to be reminded of as we live our lives in this very busy complicated world. We need our partners now more than ever. But for various reasons, creating and maintaining a safe and secure attachment can get blocked. Use these principles to open up the flow between you and your lover.
I decided to write this blog entry because when I was looking at my web site statistics one of the google search phases that pointed to my site was, “afraid of my partner’s anger.” I was alarmed and thought, “Oh no. I hope that person is getting the right help for his or her situation.”
It is impossible to know what the situation is just from a search engine phase. Could it be that the person's partner has an untreated mental illness like irritable depression, bipolar mania, OCD, or even PTSD? For different reasons, all of these can sometimes have as part of the symptom profile anger. On the other hand, is the person living with a batterer? Is there chronic illness or job loss stress? I could go on and on about the possibilities.
The bottom line is that no one should have to feel afraid of his or her partner. The person we love should make us feel safe and secure and visa versa. That is usually why most people get together. The person they love makes them feel good. When a situation has gotten to the point of feeling fear of a loved one it is time to take calm, focused, and planned action. Fear is a message from the body that things could be dangerous. It is time to stand up to the anger and to reach out and get help.
Online Domestic Violence Assessment
I found this resource for women in abusive relationships.
Evelyn Schmechtig Cochran