Recently, My husband and I have been attending classes with our Twin Boys to help them improve Brain Organization and Function at a higher level. See, as it turns out, Both of my children border on the Autism Spectrum of disorders. They have been labeled high energy, lack of ability to focus and even disruptive. What I have learned about development Neurologically from Physical Therapy School and what I have seen my children do or not do told me something more was going on. I started doing some research and came across Brain Highways. (you can check out there onsite and distance Learning programs here: https://brainhighways.com/about-brain-highways )
The most important thing I learned in my research is that every brain has the potential to keep developing and Every Person, Not just Children, Can gain from simple 35 minutes/daily patterning that mimics what babies should naturally do as they move from in-utero to 1 year of age.
The other thing I learned is that my husband and I also could benefit from further development and that our communication during the process is far more important. Warning:PERSONAL INFORMATION OF SENSITIVE NATURE ABOUT TO DROP
after almost 16 years of marriage we had our very FIRST FIGHT. it was like we as a team forgot to actually look at the other with respect and one of us became accusatory instead of knowledge seeking. The following steps are the way we tried to come back to our normal even Keeled selves and COMMUNICATE
The Intentional Dialogue Process
I'm not an expert on this process, but here's how we've been practicing it:
Have one person be the "sender" and the other be the "receiver." If one of you has a frustration, you ask the other person to have an Intentional Dialogue. By agreement, the other person can ask to do it later when they're not busy, but they have to pick a time within the next 24 hours. Commit to doing this process when the other person needs you. It's good to separate the roles like this, because usually when we have relationship talks, it is both people trying to be heard and understood, and neither is trying to do the hearing and understanding.
Prepare for your role. The sender should give some thought to how they might concisely state their frustration in the beginning. The receiver should do their best to show up ready to listen and empathize, and to put aside their own story about whatever the issue is so they can hear the other person's side. This can be difficult.
The sender shares and the receiver listens. When the dialogue starts, the sender shares what they're frustrated or hurt about, by saying something like, "When you did this, I felt this way." And then continues to try to share their experience and perspective. The receiver just listens, trying to really understand their partner with an open heart, without trying to explain themselves. The receiver should try to notice when their own story is getting in the way of listening (for example, "Hey, I was only trying to __!") and put their story aside for now. Just try to understand.
The receiver mirrors and confirms. When the sender is done talking, the receiver should try to mirror back what the sender said, in the sender's words. Yes, that can mean just repeating what they said, without putting it into your own words or interpreting it. Try to be true to what they said. It helps them feel heard, and can help them show you where you mis-heard them. If the sender has a lot to say, they might do it in chunks, allowing the receiver to mirror the first part of what they have to say before going on to the next part. When the receiver mirrors the sender's message back to them, they should end by saying, "Did I get that?" (sender: "yes") and then "Is there more?" Then the sender can say, "Yes, there's more..." or "No, that's all."
The magic words are: "That makes sense." When the sender is done talking, and the receiver has mirrored their words and gotten confirmation that they got it right... that's when the magic happens. That's when the receiver simply says, "That makes sense." Those three words are what the sender really wants to hear. Now, the receiverdoesn't have to agree with the receiver, he or she just has to see that it's understandable that they feel this way, given their perspective. That's all. If you're really trying to understand the other person's perspective, you can see that they're not crazy, that how they feel makes sense.
The receiver then does empathy. Next, the receiver will try to give empathy to the sender, after saying, "That makes sense." For example, "It does makes sense that you'd feel that way... I imagine you felt hurt when I did that, maybe you were hoping I'd be more supportive, and you felt abandoned, rejected by me, frustrated that I wasn't listening to you. And when I didn't want to hear your side and just accused you of complaining again, that probably felt like I didn't want to understand you, and felt like I was judging and criticizing you for feeling the way you do." This is just a quick example, but the main idea is that the receiver is trying to get into the sender's shoes, and really show the sender he or she can understand what they're going through. At the end of this step, the receiver says, "Did I get that right? Is there anything else you wish I had said?" And the sender can then fill in any holes or correct the receiver's perceptions. That's it!
You can switch roles if needed. At this point, if the sender feels heard and understood, the receiver might want to share their side of the story. And so he or she can ask to switch roles, and then start the process from the beginning.
This is all better explained by John Wineland and his co-teacher Guru Jagat in this great video (http://www.johnwineland.com/blog-main/2016/4/28/intentional-dialouge-video).
Watch it and you'll understand the process, I think.