The Intentional or Couple’s Dialogue

As a couples therapist here in Portland, I've found that using questionnaires and structured exercises helps maximize communication and information sharing with couples.
Harville Hendrix, author of "Getting the Love You Want" has developed a communication technique for couples called intentional dialogue. Harville Hendrix has numerous best sellers and has appeard on the Oprah Show. At her website intentional dialogue is explained this way: There are three basic steps to achieving healthy communication, and an extra "gift" that will really strengthen your dialogue. This is the crucial communication technique that helps couples move beyond painful arguments and power struggles.
  • Step One — Mirroring: Learn to listen to your partner without judgment or distorting their thoughts and if you are a flat mirror.
  • Step Two — Validating: It's not enough just to listen. You must learn to pay close attention and listen deep enough to "understand their truth."
  • Step Three — Empathizing: Once the feeling is expressed, it's time to put yourself in their shoes.
  • "The Gift": Learn how to transform something painful into a "gift."
The Intentional or Couple’s Dialogue is a printable summary of the three elements of intentional dialogue, mirroring, validating, and empathizing.

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My name is Dave Ebaugh. I've been helping people distressed couples, gay and straight, in the Portland, Oregon area reconnect and recommit for over 20 years. If you've tried couples counseling and it didn't help, or if you don't think counseling can help you, I encourage you to call me or use the form below. I can answer your questions or set up a free consultation. I can set the appointment for my office, or in your home. Let me know how I can help you.