(An excerpt from Cultivating Love: Enhancing Communication by Dr Ken McGill)

A few tips to help you and your spouse create effective communication

Speaking occurs when…

1. …I remember that the person that I am speaking to is not the enemy.

2. …I remember the reason I am speaking is to make things better.

3. …I ask the Listener “is this a good time to talk?”

4. …I ask myself “Is what I am about to say going to lead me closer to, or further away from my goal?”

5. …I share My Reality (my side of the coin) by finishing the following sentence stems:

· As We Talk(ed) about…

· What I Think Is (Thought)…

· What I Feel Is (Felt)… (Joy, Anger, Pain, Fear, Love, Shame, Guilt, Hope…)

· Going Forward, what I’d like to do is… (or Going Forward what I’d like for you to consider is)…

6. …I take full responsibility for my thoughts and feelings without blame. I also increase my chances of being listened to by limiting myself to 2 sentences in each of the above-mentioned areas.

7. …I empower the Listener by letting him/her know exactly what I am requesting.

8. …I ask for specific, clear and achievable behaviors that would help me to feel better right now.

9. …I appreciate what I get, and let go of what I don’t get.

10. …I remember to respect, honor, esteem, accept and thank the Listener for giving me their undivided attention.

11. …I relinquish my need to be right, relinquish my need to control the Listener (and the outcome of the conversation), and I relinquish my need to “spew the truth as I see it” onto the Listener.

12. …I exercise patience with the Listener, by responsibly holding, containing, and effectively delivering my heated emotions, as one holds and hands to another hot coffee in a container. To do otherwise is to wound them with my words, effectively throwing my heated emotions on them irresponsibly, in an uncontained way, sabotaging my ability to be heard by the Listener.

13. …I AM UNDERSTOOD, due to my engagement in a process of speaking, describing, comprehending and informing the Listener of my viewpoint(s). Together, we “collect and assemble” all of the pieces of the issues(s), seeing how they fit together, like two people collecting pieces of a puzzle and putting them together. This is the “word picture” of the word Understanding.

14. …I have “drilled down” with my thoughts, due to thinking, observing, considering and contemplating the issue(s) before me. I increase the possibility of being heard as I exercise discernment, perception, and comprehension, with myself and with the Listener. Wisdom (becoming skilled at living) is attained by engaging in this learning (and communication) process.

15. …I understand that maturity is a reflection and an outcome of the Listener and I identifying and accurately assembling the pieces of our life puzzle together. As we “step back” and observe, we understand, as we both see the larger, greater and more complex purpose, implication and opportunities beyond ourselves.

TeleHealth/Video counseling sessions are available for those who prefer to meet online – Dr. McGill

Businesswoman presses button psychological counseling online on virtual screens. technology, internet and networking concept.

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About Dr Ken McGill

Dr. Ken McGill is an ordained minister and has been involved in counseling for more than 25 years. Dr. McGill holds a Bachelor's degree in Religion from Pacific Christian College (now Hope International University), a Certificate of Completion in the Alcohol and Drug Studies/Counseling Program from the University of California at Los Angeles and a Masters degree in Clinical Psychology from Antioch University. Dr. McGill received his Doctorate in Clinical Psychology with an emphasis in Family Psychology from Azusa Pacific University in May, 2003. Dr. McGill's dissertation focused on the development of an integrated treatment program for the sexually addicted homeless population, and Ken was "personally mentored" by dissertation committee member Dr. Patrick Carnes, a pioneer in the field of sex addiction work. Dr. McGill authored a chapter in the text The Clinical Management of Sex Addiction, with his chapter addressing the homeless and sex addiction. Dr. McGill is also a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist in the States of Texas and California and Mississippi, and is a Certified Sex Addiction Therapist, through the International Institute for Trauma and Addictive Professionals (IITAP). Dr. McGill had a private practice in Glendora, CA (Aspen Counseling Center), Inglewood, CA (Faithful Central Bible Church), and Hattiesburg, MS (River of Life Church), specializing in the following areas with individuals, couples, families, groups and psychoeducational training: addictions and recovery, pre-marital, marital and family counseling, issues related to traumatization and abuse, as well as depression, grief, loss, anger management and men's and women's issues. Dr. McGill also provided psychotherapeutic treatment with Student-Athletes on the University of Southern Mississippi Football and Men's Basketball teams. Dr. McGill served as the Director of the Gentle Path Program, which is a seven-week residential program, for people who are challenged with sexual addiction, sexual anorexia, and relationship issues. Dr. McGill also supervised Doctoral students in the Southern Mississippi Psychology Internship Consortium with the University of Southern Mississippi. Dr. McGill was inducted into the Azusa Pacific University Academic Hall of Honor, School of Behavioral and Applied Sciences, in October, 2010. Dr. McGill currently works as a Private practice clinician with an office in Plano, Texas, providing treatment with people who are challenged in the areas mentioned above.


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