Safe conversations for couples

Safe conversations for couples

DALLAS (Ivanhoe Newswire/WTVM) -- Four out of 10 American couples still wind up getting divorced, but that percentage is starting to drop. Harville Hendrix frequently brought relationship advice to The Oprah Winfrey Show years ago, and today, he and his wife are bringing relationship education to couples around the world.

No, the love bug hasn't infected the people of Dallas. This public display of affection is all part of a plan to improve their relationships.

Harville Hendrix, PhD, Co-Founder of Safe Conversations says, "Your relationship should become safe, and then wonderful things can happen, but if the relationship is not safe, but dangerous, nothing except defenses can happen."

Hendrix and his wife Helen LaKelly Hunt are giving their couples therapy called 'Safe Conversations' to people for free. It's a consumer version of their imago therapy, now practiced in 37 countries.

Helen LaKelly Hunt, PhD, Co-Founder of Safe Conversations says, "There's a science to having a good relationship. Most people think, if my partner and I are fighting, I'm married to the wrong person. I just picked a jerk, I didn't realize it, but the fact is every couple has problems."

Couples make an appointment to talk things over, one person talks at a time, and the other repeats back what they hear.

Hendrix explains, "The patience of the rigor of the process pays off in giving you not only your life back, but a qualitative part of your life back."

Harville and Hunt are teaching others to spread this "safe" approach to good communication, where a hug just might save a marriage.

Couples are encouraged to come up with their own code word like "ouch" or "bing" when it's time for a time out and return to a safe conversation. Takes a lot of patience, but that's where the workshops come in.

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