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Happy 2013 from Sonoma Couples Workshops

Sonoma Couples Workshops

I tried to create this entry a few days ago and the forward slash key took on a life of its own. I had to quit the program to stop it. So here we are on New Year's Day and another chance to write. First of all, Happy New Year to everyone (although that seems to be select audience, so I should probably say "our loyal readers" rather than "everyone"). My colleague, Marcia Gomez, and I are in the process of scheduling three couples workshops for 2013. The first, January 26 and 27, is listed on our website The July and October workshops will be posted on the website soon. We also have have scheduled a Level One Training in Gottman Method Couples Therapy for professionals on May 10 and 11. Our plan is to eventually also provide Level Two and Three trainings for therapists. We hope to continue to grow Sonoma Couples Workshops and ask that you spread the word to anyone that may benefit from the work we do.

In closing, one of the hallmarks for Gottman Method Couples Therapy is the focus on partners "listening to and validating each other's subjective reality" (meaning stepping out of one's position, taking in one's partner's viewpoint, and acknowledging what part of it seems understandable). One of the roadblocks to doing this has to do with "the fundamental attribution error", a concept stemming from the work of social psychologist, Dr. Fritz Heider, which suggests that we humans tend to over-value our own ideas and under-value the ideas of others. John Gottman says that it is the fundamental attribution error that causes us to think when we are driving down the freeway that drivers going faster than us are going too fast and that the ones going slower than us are going too slow. Although I do not know if Dr. Heider or Dr. Gottman ever had a conversation with The Dalai Lama, I do think the quote below takes concern regarding the fundamental attribution error to a different level.

Accepting differences and honoring our partner's dreams (especially when these dreams seem to oppose our own dreams) is not easy business. However, it is New Year's Day and anything is possible, John Gottman did groundbreaking research on making relationships work, and who can argue with the Dalai Lama. So Happy New Year, you may want to give this listening thing a try.

Mike Basta