kregg nance

How is Solutions for Couples Different from Couples Counseling?

Solutions for Couples is forward thinking and works from the perspective of "from now on".  Counseling will often delve into your past before going forward. Counseling is a therapeutic process by which you sit with a trained and certified psychologist or counselor and talk about your feelings as it relates to what is not working with your partner and your relationship. The counselor will help you to deal with those feelings and work through the problems. Counseling tends to go deeper into each person to see what might be underneath the surface that is causing the problems to persist. It will often deal with your past and how it is affecting your life currently. It is a great process and very helpful if that is what you need. 

Solutions for Couples deals more with issues than feelings. We will work on strategic solutions to specific problems. It will be a focused, facilitated session geared toward coming up with here-and-now answers to ongoing friction points. The focus is on agreed upon solutions, not on each other. The idea isn't to face each other and blame the other person for the problem. We will work together and write down solutions to problems. Since you both care about each other and want to stay together, then the brainstorming is about solutions to stay together, not about how the other person is a problem.

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The Transformative Power of Apology

Several years ago, I was still somewhat new to mediation and I had been working with the Nashville Conflict Resolution Center and Sumner Mediation Services doing victim/offender as well as civil mediations. I had noticed several times how often apology can be an impasse breaker no matter the subject.

A transformative moment happened during one particular mediation between a pastor of a church and a former congregant, who had become disaffected with the church and was now disrespecting and disparaging the pastor. The pastor had gone to the police to try to get the young man to stay away and not bother the other congregants as they came to church. We spent an hour or so going through both sides and had been able to address some of the technical issues and turn it into an agreement, including that the young man would not trespass or bother other church goers. I had assumed that we were going to be wrapping it up soon when unexpectedly the pastor turns to me with tears in his eyes and says "I am a third degree black belt, please help me".

Read more: The Transformative Power of Apology