Jim Byrne has helped dozens of couples to overcome their emotional, behavioural and relationship difficulties, and to
learn to communicate more effectively with each other. In the process they got very much better lives than they had
had previously. A recent example was the woman who wrote to say:
"Thanks for all your help,
Jim. Things are now going very much better for us. When conflicts and tensions do arise, we are now able to deal
with them quickly and effectively. After a recent setback, we emerged very strong and are feeling much more secure in
our relationship. We still practice what we learned from you.
Couples Therapy and
counselling help for emotional, behavioural and relationship problems or communications breakdowns
By Dr Jim Byrne, Doctor of Counselling, in Hebden Bridge and Halifax; London, Leeds and Manchester;
and Edinburgh, York and Wilmslow; and by telephone all over the world.
"Loving relationships are a result of a commitment to being loving, and a rejection of anger, hatred, selfishness,
and other negative emotions".
Doctor of Counselling, September 2011.
only known to those who love". Anonymous
is short and we have not too much time for gladdening the hearts of those who are travelling the dark way with us. Oh,
be swift to love! Make haste to be kind". Henri Frederic Amiel
"The moment I start arguing (with you) I can be sure I am not sure of myself".
K. Bradford Brown
(Learn to fight fair; to be assertive, and not aggressive
the need to avoid the negative emotions of anger, hatred, unhealthy jealousy, and so on, it is argued by Dr Erich Fromm, a
famous psychoanalyst, that the art of loving is based upon four key principles, which include: Care,
respect and responsibility. Based on this definition, you could train yourself to remember to ask yourself:
# Do I care for my partner? Do I show by my words and actions that I care
for my partner? Does my partner clearly feel cared for by me (as revealed by their words and actions)?
# Do I respect my partner? Do I show by my words and actions that I respect
my partner? Does my partner clearly feel respected by me (as shown by their words and actions)?
# Do I take responsibility for my side of my sex-love relationship? Do I
show by my words and actions that I am an actively responsible (rather than passively irresponsible)
partner? Does my partner clearly feel/believe that I am taking an equal, joint responsibility
for our relationship (as shown by their words and actions)?
This is a popular introduction to the theory and practice
of Cognitive Emotive Narrative Therapy (CENT), which is a highly effective new philosophy of life, and psychological system
This book was designed to answer the most common questions asked by
counsellors, psychologists, psychotherapists, counselling and therapy students, counselling and therapy clients, and self-help
enthusiasts, about the nature of CENT: how to learn it; and how to apply it in practice, to individual counselling, couple's
therapy, and self management.
The main aim is to demonstrate CENT counselling
in practice; and in the process you will learn something about how to integrate and apply CBT/REBT, Transactional Analysis
(TA), Attachment Theory, Object Relations and Zen philosophy and Moral philosophy.
The reason love is so important to us all is that it is closely related to our happiness level:
"Love is closely connected with our vision of happiness; yet there is no one
we are more likely to hurt, or be hurt by, than the person we love. If love is something we want, why is it so
hard to find and harder to keep?"
John Armstrong, Conditions
of Love: The philosophy of intimacy. 2003.
you are feeling distressed or despondent about the current state of your marriage or couple relationship, then do not despair.
I can help you. Contact me today to discuss your problem.
If You Love Your Mate but Your Marriage Seems to Be Off Track, Then
This Book Is for You
Psychologist John Gottman has spent 20 years studying what
makes a marriage last. Now you can use his tested methods to evaluate, strengthen, and maintain your own long-term relationship.
This breakthrough book guides you through a series of self-tests designed to help you determine what kind of marriage you
have, where your strengths and weaknesses are, and what specific actions you can take to help your marriage.
You'll also learn:
* More sex doesn't necessarily improve
* Frequent arguing will not (necessarily) lead to divorce
* Financial problems do not always spell trouble in a relationship
Wives who make sour facial expressions when their husbands talk are likely to be separated within four years
* There is a reason husbands withdraw from arguments -- and there's a way around it
Dr. Gottman tells you how to recognize attitudes that doom a marriage -- contempt, criticism, defensiveness,
and stonewalling -- and provides practical exercises, quizzes, tips, and techniques that will help you understand and make
the most of your relationship. You can avoid patterns that lead to divorce, and -- Why Marriages Succeed or Fail will show
you are for me as much as you are for yourself,
And I am for
you as much as I am for myself,
We will start to understand the
meaning of our relationship". K. Bradford Brown
We humans seem to have a particularly screwy idea of what love is, and our widespread attraction to the madness of
'romantic/passionate love' may date from soon after 1774, or at least to have been first described then, when Goethe published
his first novel, which described The Sorrows of Young Werther; a young man who was madly in love
with a young woman (Charlotte) with whom love was never consummated (because he killed himself!).
According to Goethe's view of love:
"Werther is engulfed by a longing
to be continually with Charlotte"...
"He is enraptured by contact with her"...
"He is tormented by doubt: Does she love me? Is my love returned?
"Charlotte is always on his mind; everything else seems trivial. His beloved is the only important
thing in his life - love is the origin of all value and beauty, without it his world is barren"
"These four kinds of intense experience: longing, rapture, doubt and the sense that one is in touch with the
source of all value, define the romantic vision of love". Page 1-3 of Conditions of Love, 2003.
The reason this kind of romantic/passionate love is crazy is that it cannot survive beyond the heady days of the
flowering of passionate attraction. It cannot survive the need to have conversations about who will buy the bread,
and who will cook the fish!
"That you gifted me with love once does not mean you owe it to me today".
K. Bradford Brown
"If you want to give love, first love yourself.
it is possible to sustain a more grounded form of romantic love - sensitive, caring, and tender.
We do not have to become hard-boiled and avoidant because love sometimes lets us down. Nor do we have to cling and feel
needy. The middle way involves giving and receiving love in the context of friendship and shared interests and values.
In his book on ‘The Art of Loving', Dr Erich Fromm, a world-famous psychoanalyst, argues that love is difficult, and
doomed to failure, unless individuals set about learning the theory and practice of how to love
one's neighbour, and how to develop true humility, courage, faith and discipline. (And, of course, he does not use the
word 'love' in the crazy way that Goethe did).
Fromm's perspective is very different from the
old 1960s love song which claimed that "Love is easy; like taking candy from a baby". If love was as simple
and easy as taking some sweets from a child, then how could we have got to the point where about 50% of mariages end
in divorce, and perhaps it would be no exaggeration to speculate that at least 50% of those who do not divorce lead lives
of quiet desperation, because of sex-love difficulties?
"It is not good news to hear
that the secret of life is love.
"It is good news only when
you learn how". K. Bradford Brown
Love is not easy. If you want to have a successful marriage, or sex-love relationship, then
you will have to take seriously the study of how to become a loving person.
people expect to have to pay for their driving lessons - a very low level skill - and their vocational and/or professional
education and training; and to put in the time and effort required to learn the theory and practice required for success in
those fields of activity. But almost nobody works on how to become a ‘productive person' - a fully developed personality
- who is capable of loving others.
are facts. If you don't take account of them, they will account for themselves". K. Bradford Brown.
(Talk about your feelings! Together!)
think that the main problem is to find the right partner. That is not so. The main problem is how
to love them - actively love them - when you find them. It would be a huge mistake to think that,
when they turn up, or when they find you, they will love you like your mother did, and you can go
back to sleep!
That's not how it works, and that is why so many relationships fail. You have to know how to manage your side
of the relationship, as a thinking-feeling being, and an equal partner, with integrity, autonomy, responsibility, and
an egalitarian commitment to the flowering of your partner within the relationship.
is not easy, and near the end of this page I have listed ten reasons why relationships sometimes fail. There
are, of course, many more besides those.
I have also presented my 18 principles of couples therapy
- or 18 things you can do to improve your chances of having a happy and fulfilling sex-love relationship,
in which both partners flourish.
"Loving someone does
not relieve us of the difficult decisions regarding how to relate to them". K. Bradford Brown.
In addition I have presented video clips and quotations which you might find inspiring
I wish you a happy relationship, but don't forget to study the theory
and practice of love, otherwise you are likely to crash the car of your relationship into several walls before you both walk
away from the relationship feeling miserably unhappy, and considerably scarred by the experience.
Dr Jim Byrne, Doctor of Counselling and Fellow
of the International Society of Professional Counsellors, at ABC Coaching and Counselling Services
The desire to have an affair could be motivated by one of several urges or misunderstandings:
The urge to indirectly hurt your partner, because of something they did to you, about which you are unwilling to communicate
assertively with them;
2. The urge to experience the excitement of doing something illicit, strictly illegal according
to the rules of marriage and co-habitation;
3. A childish greed for more; for everything. The "I want it all!"
bullshit of emotionally infantile individuals!
4. A failure to understand that, once the honeymoon period of your relationship
is over (that is, the first couple of years) you than have to WORK at making your relationship function properly. It
will not run itself!
5. And fifthly, because you have allowed communication to break down within your relationship,
and failed to repair the damage done over time, you might feel you have "no choice" if you are to have a sex life
than to turn to another person. (That's not true. You have the choice of working
on your relationship; working to improve communication with your partner; working to spiral your relationship
upwards, instead of leaving it stuck in the doldrums).
Having an affair is an expression of moral
degeneracy; of moral weakness; of cowardice and dishonesty; and a willingness to cheat and steal.
Have the courage and
character to work on your relationship until you save it or end it. Then, if you find yourself single again, you will
be free to turn to another person with something to offer them. Until that time, work
on your existing relationship.
The price (or penalty) for getting involved in having an affair is that you
will ‘reap the whirlwind' just up ahead. You will experience a great deal of recrimination from your partner,
and a great deal of personal misery and unhappiness.
The reward (or lure) of the affair is delusory. It
is the vain hope that it is possible to have your cake and eat it too. It is the self-deception that "nobody will
ever know". Bullshit! They will know, and you will end up in a bigger mess than you are in at the moment.
not cheat. Do not lie. Do not be unfaithful to your partner. Be honest and courageous. Work on your
relationship. Clean up the problems. Learn how to spiral your relationship upwards, instead of trying to find
ways to ‘cheat life'.
I am not being 'holier than thou' here. I have made my own fair share of mistakes
in relationships. I am trying to warn you that infidelity is not a solution to anything! It is a further
complication of the problem!
"Nothing between us is going to get better automatically.
"The only thing that happens automatically is that we become more automatic".
K. Bradford Brown
(You have got to make sense of what went wrong,
and when, and how. And especially, how to fix it, so it works for both of you!)
If you want to know where and when we
could work together, please check out these information pages:
"Communication is to relationships as breath is to life". Virginia
"...real love is motivated by the urge to give and to share rather than by a
desire to fulfil one's own needs or to compensate for one's inadequacies". Kathleen O'Dwyer, Philosophy
Now, July/August 2011, Page 7.
"Our collective understanding of love is beguiled by love's first moments (as
in Werther's love for Charlotte, above; or Romeo and Juliet); and yet it is continuing, long-term love that we all want.
Real love is love that lasts and withstands the difficulties which a prolonged relationship inevitably brings..."
Page 6, Conditions of Love.
Modern western culture tends to emphasize the passionate excitement
of "falling in love" to the exclusion of considering how couples are to maintain their
romantic relationships in the long term.
This makes for exciting literature and theatre - as in Romeo and Juliet
(who make a suicide pact following their single session of love making), and the Sorrows of Young Werther (who kills
himself because he can't get to ‘first base' with the ‘love of his life').
But this does not tell anybody
how to handle their first disagreement about where to go, when, or with whom.
It does not
teach anything about how to negotiate, or how to think about the needs
of the other person.
In other words, this approach completely overlooks the long term process of"standing in love";and puts the focus on the heady excitement of the first few hours,
or days or weeks, of "falling in love".
Is it any wonder that we now experience a divorce rate of about 50%,
and that there is so much misery in long-term sex-love relationships. As John Armstrong, a philosopher of love, writes:
love is always going to be difficult - the evolutionary account (of the different urges and motivations of men and women -
JB) reveals that. But the difficulties are also the product of how we think; and how we think
is something over which we can at least hope to exercise some benevolent control". (Page
John Armstrong (2003) Conditions of Love: The philosophy of intimacy. London:
On this web-page we hope to provide you with some helpful
guidelines for thinking about your marriage or couple relationship. To begin that process, let
me emphasize that the romantic literature is misleading: marriage and couple relationships are not sustainable on the basis
of passion alone - they also need comfort. And to provide a relationship which is comfortable for your partner,
you must learn how to care! Ask yourself this: From the viewpoint of my partner, how caring
would my actions and attitudes appear to be?
"One of the ordinary tragedies
of love occurs when one person is well intentioned and well disposed towards another, but has no adequate idea
of how to make the other person happy. It is one thing to feel loving towards someone, another
to translate this feeling into words and actions which make the other person feel loved. Love
needs to be realized, made substantial, in conduct if it is to be
communicated. Although this fact gives rise to many of the problems of love it is also an avenue of hope. For
the ways we realize our intentions, the ways we turn them into behaviour, are more open to change than the underlying intentions
and dispositions themselves". Page 29, Conditions of Love, 2003.
(How can you show
that you care about your partner? How can you show that you respect them? How
can you learn to share, equally, the costs as well as the benefits of the realtionship? How can you create
the experience of a shared form of active loving?)
PARADOX: "I don't always
give; love; share; or tell the truth. But - I expect you to!" K. Bradford Brown
New Video Clip: Part 2, How to Build a Successful Marriage or Sex-Love Relationship
definition of love is wrong, how are you going to love successfully? If your definition of relationship is inaccurate, how
well is that going to work? Did you know that love is about care, respect, responsibility and sharing knowledge about each
other? If not, how can you judge how well you are doing in your love relationships? Dr Jim Byrne continues his series on how
to become more successful in building and managing your most important relationship. Click the link below to watch this
A marriage, or marriage-like relationship, is one of the most wonderful bonds that can be forged
between two human beings. It is a source of friendship, companionship, mutual support, loving-kindness, and romantic and sexual
fulfilment. However, it does not come for free! It requires the kind of commitment that mountain climbing requires. Two people,
roped together on the side of the mountain of life, perhaps with one or more offspring in tow, working their way towards the
summit of their agreed goals, requires a great deal of self-sacrifice and compromise, organization and dedication. But the
rewards are enormous also.
Three quotes about love:
Love is the sweetest gift of all, whether we give it or receive
The way to love anything is to realize that it may be lost.
Love is as fragile as a sparrow’s wing.#David #Baird
The Highway Code for Married
Couples, and Marriage-like Relationships, by Renata Taylor-Byrne
1. Treat your partner with respect, at all times. Learn to manage
those situations where they don't do the same to you. Protect yourself psychologically, and if they don't treat
you with respect - move on!
Here is a little video clip that I (Jim) produced as a form of First Aid
for couples who are in crisis. This might help to get you back on track, but you would be well advised to see a Couple
Counsellor if your problems persist.
It follows from this description of pair bonds/ marriages/
co-habiting relationships that they are for "grown-ups". It is impossible to sustain this level of commitment and
cooperation from a position of being a "needy child". And the relationship is destroyed by petulance, controlling
behaviour, criticality, sarcasm, lack of commitment, exploitative or non-egalitarian attitudes, physical or emotional absence,
verbal or physical aggression, coldness, and an unwillingness to put logs on the fire of love before you
get any heat!
covers anger. Anger disguises rage. Rage denies hurt. Hurt is the door to the heart's true feelings.
"No wonder we constantly ponder what's real between
K. Bradford Brown
Some people are 'productive' in their relationships, and some people are parasitic (or vampire-like).
"...a productive character is more concerned with giving than receiving.
'For the productive character, giving... is the highest expression of potency. In the very act of giving, I experience
my strength, my wealth, my power. This experience of heightened vitality and potency fills me with joy. I experience
myself as overflowing, spending, alive, hence as joyous. Giving is more joyous than receiving, not because it is a deprivation,
but because in the act of giving lies the expression of my aliveness'."
A quotation from Erich Fromm's The Art of Loving; quoted in 'Is love an art?'
- an article in Philosophy Now, July/August 2011, page 6.
we look back on our lives, we find that those things we did in the spirit of love represent the moments we were truly
alive. David Baird
To support the public educational role of this web site, please make a small donation:
If you like the content of this webpage, then please
post a link to your favourite social networking site by clicking the link that follows:
Here is a video clip that was specifically designed to answer the question, 'What is Couples Counselling/Therapy?'
I hope it helps to answer your questions about what might happen if you decide to come and see me:
If you would like help with your relationship, then phone Jim Byrne today,
on 44 1422 843 629 (from outside the UK);
or: 01422 843 629 (from inside the UK).
"Love doesn't just sit there,
like a stone; it has to be made, like bread; remade all the time, made new". Ursula Le Guin.
is a house that is built every day!" Jules Renard
me your bulltish about love and being in love. A little common decency would go a long way". Kurt
Vonnegut Jr., *Mother Night*.
"Joy which we cannot share with others is only half enjoyed. Neither gold nor grandeur
can render us happy". Duc de la Rochefoucauld.
is a video clip that shows a couple of excerpts from a solution focused marriage counselling session, which should give you
some idea of the kinds of conversations that might go on in a session if you were to bring your marriage or couple conflict
problems to me:
To support the public educational role of this web site, please make a small donation:
If you like the
content of this webpage, then please post a link to your favourite social networking site by clicking the link that follows:
EINSTEIN WAS UNSUCCESSFUL IN LOVE
Being successful in sex-love relationships should not
be taken for granted. It is not a perfectly effortless activity. In fact it is very skillful and very much an art form. Even
Einstein did not master it:
fifteenth of March 1955, Albert Einstein wrote a note of condolence to the family of his friend Michele Besso, who had died
a week earlier. The letter begins with an excruciating confession about his own life: 'What I admired most about Michele was
the fact that he was able to live so many years with one woman, not only in peace but in constant unity, something I (Einstein)
have failed at twice'." (c) Josh Baran, 2003.
this I conclude that, to succeed at science or technology, and to receive a Nobel Prize, means very little (to most people)
if they cannot hold a happy relationship together. Or, more topically, to be a great business-person, but
to neglect and lose one's family, is a great self-inflicted misfortune. Successful relating is part of the essence of the
definition of Success, according to Dr Robert Montgomery: (‘The Truth About Success and Motivation’).
And Paul Getty, who at one time was the richest man in the world, said on his deathbed that he would give up
all his millions of dollars for one experience of happy marriage!
Or, as Relate would advise: "If you are about to be married,
it's time to seek relationship help. The latest advice from marriage guidance experts is that we need to take 'preventive'
action to escape divorce".
"Love is not about find the perfect person, but finding the imperfect person perfect".
mentioned elsewhere on this website, I went through marriage guidance counselling, using Transactional Analysis (TA) - plus
communications training - in 1984-85. I then studied the system of couples therapy developed by Albert Ellis and Janet Wolfe;
and added in learning from John Gottman, the marriage guidance expert at the University of Washington, and various other wise
individuals (including Dr Robert Bolton's 'People Skills'; and Helen Clinard's 'Winning Ways to Succeed with people'). As
a result, I have had a remarkably happy and fulfilled marriage since that time. I have also had considerable success in helping
couples to work through their marital and other relationship difficulties, and to forge stronger and better pair bonds. See
in particular the article from Spirit
and Destiny here.
is of central importance to the management of a good, loving relationship, most couples do not work on their communications
skills. As Werner Erhard said: "People cannot communicate because what they call communication is not communication".
People talk at each other, and assume that that is communication. They have no inkling of the role of *interpretation*
in communication. They have no idea how to *actively listen* to each other.
"Most talking is just moving the air around". K Bradford Brown
For help with your communication skills problems, please contact
Some young people get involved in romantic, couple relationships because they feel alone,
isolated or unconnected to others - different; an outsider. As such, they are getting involved in relationships - "falling
in love" - as a way to solve their psychological problems, and not as a way to share something positive they have to
give to their partner. This is a big problem. It results in a kind of symbiosis, in which both parties to the
relationship give up their autonomy, and try to function as one person. This 'deal' lacks integrity. And within
that symbiosis (two pretending to be one), sometimes one of them is the 'top dog' and sometimes the other is dominant, oppressive
and exploitative. They switch roles from time to time, but there is no real satisfaction, since they do not know how
to relate as "equal dog to equal dog" - and they are not aware that they can operate from having something
to give - from being "productive". They do not know how to experience themselves as being "a
cause" in the world - they always feel like "an effect" of other people's actions.
'For (Erich) Fromm, mature love is an act of giving
which recognizes the freedom and autonomy of the self and the other (person), and in this sense, it differs radically from
the passive, involuntary phenomenon suggested by the phrase 'falling in love'. To Fromm there is a 'confusion between
the initial experience of "falling" in love, and the permanent state of being in love, or as we might better say,
"standing in love".' Kathleen O'Dwyer, page 7.
You don’t have to be an Einstein to know that unhappy couples most often drift
apart over time, or (worse!) stay together and punish each other for far too long. You don’t have to be an Einstein
to recognize when you are out of your depth! If you don’t know how to build a relationship, then it’s about 100%
certain that you will fail. You would not try to drive a car without some lessons – unless you are totally off your
chump – so why assume you can figure out for yourself how to have a successful relationship, especially if
you come from a family in which mum and dad were not good role models of happy coupling? (Our core definition of "relationship"
is what we saw and heard mum and dad do, and fail to do, when we were too young to critically evaluate what was happening.
So, in our guts, relationship means "what mom and dad did". Or, which is just as bad: "the opposite of
what mum and dad did!".
One solution would be to sign up for some personalized coaching and counselling,
with Jim Byrne, in how to resolve the problems in your most important relationship?
Jim says: I am in my fifteenth year
in private practice in Hebden Bridge and Halifax, and all over the world via the telephone system and by email. Over
that time I have helped almost 650 individuals, including dozens of couples. Here are a few testimonials from that work:
"Dear Jim. ...
Around session three, the anger just drained out of me. Sessions four and five gave me some great insights and skills. I'm
much better with my wife and my kids, and we all enjoy each other's company so much more. I just feel so much more laid back.
I cannot imagine getting angry about the things that used to send me insane!" H.T., Dewsbury, West Yorkshire. (Five sessions
of face-to-face anger management coaching).
Jim, ... Great news! Michelle and I have been getting on really well for at least the past three months, for which we largely
have you and Albert Ellis to thank! I still keep working on my thinking. It is amazing that I still find a lot of unhelpful
ideas, and screwy ideas, washing around in my mind. You will be pleased to know that I persist with identifying and challenging
them, and replacing them with more helpful ideas, just like you taught me". C.G., Paris, France. (Eight sessions of telephone
counselling, including some couples counselling by telephone; plus a few email exchanges).
"Hi Jim, ... I have learned so much from you over the past six months. There are now so
many things I can do to make myself feel better that I just didn't see before. ... Thank you so much again for all your help
over the months. Your advice was great and you had the perfect blend of wisdom, suggestion and gentle nudging! I loved it
that you used humour and allowed me to work away at things at my own pace (...). You really suited me perfectly and I'm glad
I found you". C.C, Edinburgh, Scotland. (Six sessions of telephone counselling, plus four exchanges of coaching emails).
"Thank you for your input, which was invaluable
and helped me along on my journey. I have got some really good stuff out of our work; 'How I deal with the problem with my
wife’, was cracking coaching. Helping me recognise how I pile on secondary anxiety atop of the first problem, was a
real breakthrough too". K.M.G., Glasgow. (Three sessions of telephone counselling, combined with email exchanges).
To support the public educational
role of this web site, please make a small donation:
If you like the content of this
webpage, then please post a link to your favourite social networking site by clicking the link that follows:
to Kathleen O'Dwyer:
"(Erich) Fromm declares
that the art of loving is based on the practice of four essential elements: 'care, responsibility, respect and knowledge'
(from The Art of Loving, page 21). These evoke a radically different response than that more commonly associated with romantic
or sentimental love".
From page 7, Philosophy Now,
July /August 2011 - Kathleen O'Dwyer, 'Is Love an Art?'
you up to in your relationship with each of the following elements?
How much care and attention do you show to your partner? Without being told, would your partner guess from your
attitudes and behaviours that you care deeply about them? According to Erich Fromm: "That love implies care
is most evident in a mother's love for her child. No assurance of her love would strike us as sincere if we saw her
lacking in care for the infant, if she neglected to feed it, to bathe it, to give it physical comfort; and we are impressed
by her love if we see her caring for the child. It is not difficult even with the love for animals or flowers.
If a person told us that they they loved flowers, and we saw them forget to water them, we could not believe in their 'love'
for flowers. Love is the active concern for the life and growth of that which we love. Where this active
concern is lacking, there is no love". Page 21, The Art of Loving.
Responsibility: How much responsibility do you display in your relationship? Are you ready to respond
to your partners needs? Do you take 50% of the responsibility for the relationship overall? And do you accept 100% of
the responsibility for your side of the relationship? "Today responsibility is often meant to denote duty,
something imposed upon a person from the outside. But responsibility, in its true sense, is an entirely voluntary act;
it is my response to the needs, expressed or unexpressed, of another human being. To be 'responsible' means to be able
and ready to 'respond'. ... The loving person responds. The life of his/her brother/sister/fellow human is not their
business alone, but (also) his own. He feels responsible for his fellow men/women, as he feels responsible for him (or her)self.
This responsibility, in the case of the mother and her infant, refers mainly to the care for physical needs. In the
love between adults it refers mainly to the psychic needs of the other person". Page 22, The Art of Loving.
3. Respect: Do you always show respect for your partner as an
equal human being? Do you respect their autonomy as an individual? Do you respect their rights?
4. Knowledge: Do you demonstrate knowledge of your partner's personal history and
current goals? Do you demonstrate knowledge of where you have been as a couple and where you are trying to get to?
Do you seem to care about developing a knowledge of how to relate well to your partner?
OF HAPPY PEOPLE:
ENGAGEMENT IN MEANINGFUL
humans are by nature problem-solvers. We are generally happier when actively engaged in some reasonably challenging task,
rather than passively witnessing other people's experiences on a TV screen. Happy people spend at least some of the time engaged
in meaningful and satisfying activities. Happy children socialise, play games and learn in the classroom; happy adults throw
themselves into their jobs, hobbies, sports or voluntary work. The precise nature of the activity seems to be unimportant,
provided it is reasonably demanding and worthwhile. Bored people with nothing much to do are seldom very happy". Paul
Martin (2005): Making Happy People, page 53.
ON COUPLES THERAPY
Couples therapy is an opportunity
for both of you to review your life together, to see if you are working in the same general direction, are both managing to
find time to achieve your goals, and are enjoying the pleasures of being coupled. Communications breakdowns are a common area
of difficulty, and can be rectified by retraining.
With couple disturbance,
there is normally some degree of upset on both sides, though one partner may think they are uniquely
affected in a negative way by their partner. Again these disturbances can be overcome by rethinking
your attitudes towards each other.
However, in the worst case scenario,
emerging incompatibilities may put a question-mark over the long-term continuation of the relationship.
Byrne's 18 Principles of Couples Therapy - Principles 13 to 15...
You can experience couples therapy with me in face to face meetings in Hebden Bridge or Halifax; or in London, Leeds or Manchester; or by telephone contact. The face-to-face option is STRONGLY PREFERABLE, and (normally) involves double sessions,
so that each client gets their own 45 minutes of session time - so the fee is double that which applies to
individual counselling sessions, coaching and therapy. (See the *Information Pack* for information on my sliding scale of
fees for face-to-face work in Hebden Bridge and Halifax, or see the individual pages for other locations, where the fees are
somewhat higher. Telephone counseling costs a standard fee of $50 USD). Please use the telephone and email contact details
below to discuss or book face to face counselling for couples. Or send an email to ABC Coaching and Counselling Services.
Byrne's 18 Principles of Couples Therapy - Principles 16 to 18...
If you like the content of this webpage,
then please post a link to your favourite social networking site by clicking the link that follows:
help with problems of anger, anxiety, depression, guilt, shame, hurt, relationship problems, confidence problems, and stress
AND HIGH FRUSTRATION TOLERANCE
down by life a million times, I stand up once more, bruised and battered, tired and demoralized. But I stand up! The secret
of success is to stand up one more time than life knocks you down".Jim Byrne
"Be like the headland on which the waves continually
break, but it stands firm and about it the boiling waters sink to sleep. 'Unlucky am I, because this has befallen me'. Nay,
rather: 'Lucky am I, because, though this befell me, I continue free from sorrow, neither crushed by the present, nor fearing
what is to come'."Marcus Aurelius, Meditations.
Couple conflict can arise for all kinds of reasons, including these:
One or other partner may tend to "awfulize" and "catastrophize"
when the slightest thing goes wrong in their relationship, and thus tend to cause pain and struggle in the relationship.
Either or both partners may tend to operate from "Critical Parent ego state"
- in which they condemn and damn, and shout at, their partner, and/or try to control them, just like some parent figure from
their past used to do with them or with some other person(s) in their family.
partner may tend to go into "Child ego state" and whine about the inconsiderate
nature of their partner.
Either or both partners may tend to demand
that their partner must behave in this way; and should not behave in that way; and has to
do this but not that; which is very oppressive, and tends to hook "Rebellious Child ego state"
in their partner.
One or both partners may come from a family in which negative
or destructive relationships were modelled for them, by their parents.
partner may have a 'male brain' (which has a preference for processing information in terms of systems and
patterns), while the other may have a 'female brain' (which has a preference for processing information in
terms of empathy and emotion): according to Professor Simon Baron-Cohen. This can result in 'talking at cross purposes'.
Either or both partners may have an "insecure attachment style", arising out of their unsatisfactory
childhood relationship with their mother (and/or father), and so they may tend to cling or withdraw
in unhelpful ways when relating to their partner.
One partner may
have an introverted/thinking temperament while the other has an extroverted/feeling temperament;
resulting in a failure to understand each other's judgements and values.
Nature may be 'finished with you', (because you have had plenty of time to reproduce - say two or
three years of relationship) even if you have not yet reproduced, and now you have to find an Adult-to-Adult way to make your
relationship work, without any assistance from nature's desire for reproduction.
may be too lazy, or ignorant, to work at creating a 5:1 ratio of positive to negative
moments in your relationship, and thus the relationship spirals down into excessive negativity, and towards
Or one or both partners may lack the integrity
to be faithful; or the commitment to cope with the fact that relationships require hard labour to maintain.
on and on.
To set up an appointment with
Dr Jim Byrne, or to ask for further information, call me today on:
To support the public educational role of this web
site, please make a small donation:
If you like the content of
this webpage, then please post a link to your favourite social networking site by clicking the link that follows:
"Finish every day and be done with it. You have done what you could.
Some blunders and absurdities no doubt crept in; forget them as soon as you can. This day is all that is good and fair.
It is too dear, with its hopes and invitations, to waste a moment on yesterday". Ralph Waldo Emerson.
"Every day is a
new life to a wise (wo)man". Bertrand Russell.
ABC Coaching and
Counselling Services - Hebden Bridge - West Yorkshire - UK
27 Wood End, Keighley Road, Hebden Bridge, West Yorkshire, HX7 8HJ, UK
Telephone 01422 843 629 (or 44 1422 843 629 from outside the UK)
Services available by telephone and email all over the world. "Helping individuals to overcome
their emotional, behavioural and relationship problems; and to be more effective in their public performance roles".
Promoting happiness and personal effectiveness.
Unless otherwise stated on these pages, all material appearing on this website is copyright (c) Jim Byrne
and/or Renata Taylor-Byrne, 2003-2012
this site you will find lots of information about coaching, counselling and psychotherapy services to help with all kinds
of emotional, behavioural and relationship difficulties and problems; and public performance difficulties. Counselling,
coaching and psychotherapy in Hebden Bridge, West Yorkshire, UK; and all over the world via the telephone system and by
ABC Coaching and Counselling services is the home of Cognitive
Emotive Narrative Therapy (CENT) - which is an integration of Rational Emotive Behaviour Therapy (REBT), Transactional Analysis
(TA), Narrative therapy, Attachment theory, Zen Buddhist philosophy, Stoic philosophy, Moral philosophy, and several other