★★★★★ Couples Counselling Testimonial: "Ghita, thank you so much for what you have done for our family!" Mr & Mrs Lees (36 and 39), (Couples Counselling), Gold Coast.
Heart versus Ego (The Andersen Method) is a method that takes all the best couples counselling methods (Gottman, Narrative Therapy, 5 Love Languages, Heart Visualisations) and combines them in an holistic mix. This mix is designed to help clients in marriage counselling to see their problems in a new light, to know what the norms are for Australian marital relationships, and to assist partners to communicate their emotional needs in a non-competitive way.
Another benefit of Heart versus Ego counselling is that it can be an opportunity to renegotiate marital agreements. Often, it can be difficult for a couple to approach agreements about roles, responsibilities, household chores, finances, etc. Often any assumptions about roles at the beginning of a relationship can change when children come into the equation, and a duo becomes a trio. The parental roles people expect of their partners may not be the same as what the partner thinks is reasonable for a spouse or parent. These ideas and miscommunications can cause a lot of unhappiness.
Although, it may not seem like it, a crisis in a relationship can be a good thing, because it allows partners to reconfigure their relationship and to negotiate something better than before. In counselling, the aim is for both parties to feel equally heard, to work together as a solid ‘team’ and to gather communication skills that build intimacy and understanding.
Working with a relationship coach such as Ghita can help partners to learn to listen to what is being communicated to them, to reflect that message back to their partner and to then carefully proceed to send their own message back to their spouse. This process is called ‘relective listening’ and is one of the most effective communication techniques ever taught to couples. Ghita will teach and encourage you to become a better listeners and to better articulate your needs. This will also help you to gain a greater understanding of each other’s needs and concerns, and so avoid falling into a spiral of negative communication.
Questions for partners:
Am I acting from my heart or from my ego? What does my higher-self say?
How can I reframe what I am saying to get my needs met and yet be fair?
Is my language inclusive or divisive?
How can I meet my partner half way, and not dominate, punish or parent them?
Are my expectations of my partner realistic?
What are my gender role expectations of my partner? Are my expectations too rigid, old fashioned (traditional), or are the standards too high for who they are?
Do I give enough time to working on my marriage?: [It takes time to create a relationship that flourishes and this must be a long-term goal.]
Do I love my partner unconditionally, or do I see love as a business type arrangement? I.e: I do things for you and in return you do things for me.
Am I disappointed in my partner’s performance, or have events changed to the extent where I require more of them?
Am I prepared to work and focus on my part of the equation, rather than focusing on what my partner is doing wrong?
Am I trying to change my partner because I ignored the red flags (value differences, gender role expectations) when we were just dating?
What is my partner’s love language and how can I love them in a way that makes them prosper and blossom?
Does my partner understand my life goals?: My timeline for my adult life? My dreams and aspirations?
Do I see marriage as a separate entity (*narrative therapy) and something to be worked on?
Are we working as a ‘team’ [Example: Team Andersen] or are we two independent people living together?
Heart versus Ego Exercises:
Heart activation exercise – no talking – only feeling into each others hearts and activating the compassion within.
Eye gazing and hand holding
Reframing communication: Reflective listening
Love languages Quiz: Asking the questions of how my partner wants to be loved and responds to my idea of love
Dreams and Goals exercise: Each person to write down their inner-most dreams and lifespan goals
The overall goals of the Heart versus Ego Method is to assist couples in achieving a balance of male and female elements in the union (without one dominating), an awareness and empathy towards each other and a good understanding and respect for the other partner's contributions to the relationship. In practicing this method, couples experience an increase in intimacy, affection and interpersonal growth.