Sarah: June 6, 2014

Sarah Hughes

Sarah Hughes

To carry on the conversation about working with couples is very exciting to me and I hope people keep posting and others join in. I am lapping up this conversation and ideas like a thirsty dog on a hot summer day! I am working with many couples and haven’t found a lot of good conversations like this to satisfy my thirst for new ideas for pushing my thinking forward.

Larry – I went to Johnella’s web page and did not find yet the talk I was looking for… you can tell how dated it is as I mentioned it as a tape – not a DVD – no, an old style cassette tape. Remember those??? Anyway, I think I will never find that tape but there is something important in the remembering of listening to that tape that grounds me in my understanding of a relational stance. Johnella talks about it in other places and I am excited to revisit those. But I still hold the memory of this as kind of a feeling that I like to take with me into my session. Does that make sense?

This morning I watched a new (2014) free online video on her site It is called Finding Solutions Beyond Either/Or. She explains her idea of creating a continuous present. Her thoughts around how adding ING to an expression to create a verb can open space to move out of the stuckness of a binary. I really found this a useful talk. I find Johnella’s writing beautiful but hard to grasp for me at a practical level. I find when she talks and gives examples I can take it in and make sense of it. This talk really helped me…

I am connecting to the ideas of a relationship being built – a continual process of building. I am thinking about a couple who I will see later today who are a bit stuck on an idea that something that happened in the past, a choice of where to live that did not work out, has left scars and mistrust that are hard for them to shed the legacy of – in fact the choice has been blamed for many things. I am now thinking about how to move this out of a sense of good choice, bad choice – how to thicken the story of the choice making, connect it as an ongoing relational process rather than a fact from the past that is unmoveable.

Lots to think about…. thanks and I look forward to watching more Johnella videos! I hope others watch this one and we can talk about the ideas more.

How do you think this ideas fit with your thinking? How do you move out of binary postions with couples?
What do you think of the idea that Johnella mentions of in reflecting back she is not really wanting them to hear her shifts to a relational stance but feel it? Does that resonate with anyone? It sure did with me.