Archive for April, 2010

One of these things is not like the other!

April 28, 2010

Flickr / bazylek100

Consider 2 words…Discussion and Dialogue

Most of us think these two words have similar meanings. In fact, this could not be further from the truth.

Dialogue comes from the Greek word dialogus which loosely translates to “the meaning” and “through”, which could be understood as the meaning through… Think about this, the “meaning through”…listening…understanding…even loving.

Discussion comes from the same root as percussion and concussion which means to break things up, to throw things and to shatter. Hmmmmm – Interesting isn’t it?

When we ask our partner for a dialogue we are inviting them to engage in a process of understanding and sharing with them. It is meant to be a time when we actually cross over to each other’s world to reach a new understanding through creating a new meaning. Cool!

Discussion is quite different…. When we enter into a discussion we are in a ping-pong match of back and forth trying to win. We employ the “reload and shoot” technique, desperate to be right and upping the ante at every turn.

Flickr / shadowgate

I recently was working with a couple who reported they had a terrible week.

“What happened?” I asked.

They told me they fought all week and hadn’t spoken for 3 days.

“That sounds awful,” I said. “Did you ask for a dialogue, did you try to mirror each other?”

“No” they said. “We talked about it but we thought it would take too long. So we just started to discuss the issue. Then we started to fight and then we kept arguing until finally we stopped talking.”

At this point, we all laughed at the ridiculousness of what they did. But, we’ve all done it and we will all do it!  We need to be right. To win. To convince and discuss. Even if it doesn’t work, we still do it!

Lots of times we would rather be right than be in a relationship!

Here’s a ditty I just came up with:

Have a fight,
Have a dialogue,
Show your might,
And why you’re right.

Know you’re not and make yourself stop.
If you do I promise you, life will rock and maybe even feel hot.
In fact you’ll stop feeling numb and maybe even get some…. tonight!

Dare ya –

Write a love poem to your love that’s better than mine! Ok, some dares are harder than others!!



April 13, 2010
Flickr / D Sharon Pruitt

Flickr / D Sharon Pruitt

A client who recently attended a Getting the Love You Want workshop with her husband shared something enlightening with me last week. She has given me permission to write about it since I found it so fascinating.

Since they attended the workshop and started learning the Imago communication skills, she has begun talking to her husband about many things she wouldn’t have previously.

“Tell me more” I said curiously!

She told me that when she and her husband came to the workshop their relationship was, as Maureen would say, in bad, bad, shape. There was little communication between them and they weren’t even sleeping in the same bed. Because she is a very social person, with lots of friends, she tended to tell her friends her deepest thoughts, daily anxieties and general news of the day. Over the past few months her husband was the last person to hear about anything she had to say.

This is all changing now and she is finding this completely weird!

Flickr / D Sharon Pruitt

She started to notice things were different when she told her friends about the weekend workshop itself. She and her husband, like most couples, found it to be completely transformative and inspiring. Her friends were anxious to hear about it, as they had been hearing about many of her marital difficulties for some time. Her biggest take away from the workshop was learning about herself and how she had been contributing to the state of her relationship. This was a new language to her friends. Up until this point they had only been hearing about the complaints she had about her husband and never about her own role.

So, she had a conversation about this with her husband. They actually dialogued and they continued to have an even better week! A new language was being practiced.

She began to have epiphanies almost daily; about dialogues and new “sender” topics; visiting her husband’s world and learning his language; stretching to meet each other’s needs; seeing frustrations as offering golden opportunities for learning and growth; healing past and present ruptures and the list kept going.

The only problem was when her friends couldn’t decipher this new lingo and had no idea what she was talking about.  The only one who did was guess who? Her beloved of over 25 years!

He was interested in what she had to say. He was even thinking about some of these things on his own. He wanted to talk to her as well. She became more aware of how her friends had become her “exit” (more lingo).

So there you have it: new language and new world and same old relationship.  How amazing is that?

Flickr / sharad 2007

By the way, just an aside, you may wonder why in last weeks post there is a beautiful shot of the North Shore Mountains…It’s because I forgot to mention that is the view from our new office. That’s amazing too!

Dare ya –

Just go to your partner, look them straight in the eye and say, ”You are amazing”… Then see what happens!

Yours truly,


Epic Move

April 7, 2010

quinet / Flickr

Maureen and I have just completed an epic move. After much talk and searching we have found and moved into shared office space for the first time. Now we all know when the real power struggle happens… after two folks make a commitment! We will keep you posted on this! Joining us will be Marianne Gareau, a Registered Psychologist (also an Imago therapist) and part-time will be Sara Menzel, MA, RCC (in training to be an Imago therapist) and Pam Hirakata, Registered Psychologist (trauma specialist). Our new space is still on the West Broadway corridor but closer to Cambie St. Needless to say I haven’t been able to focus on a blog entry for 2 weeks, but I will be posting on Sunday April 11th.

For now I want to announce that Jill Fein Baker, Imago Therapist and comedian extraordinaire is coming to Vancouver from Chicago to do a public lecture titled “Love in the 21st Century” and a two day “Keeping the Love You Find” workshop for individuals. You may remember from the workshop the four journeys and how, while growing up, we all lose parts of our selves (parts that remain under-developed while other parts are over-developed) and how we all develop our favourite defensive strategies. This is the focus of the two day workshop. It is open to all, single or in relationship. Don’t miss this opportunity!

Friday, April 23rd 7:00 – 9:00pm “Love in the 21st Century”
YWCA 535 Hornby Street
Tickets $20.00
Register at

Saturday – Sunday, April 24-25, “Keeping the Love You Find”
Vancouver School of Theology at UBC
9:00am – 6:30pm
Pre-register at
$325.00 per person

Til next week then…

Dare ya –

I am going to have a hot bath how ‘bout you?

Yours truly tired!