Therapist Training – July 11th in Mission Viejo

Hello All,

Kay and I are teaching our six hour therapist workshop in two weeks in Mission Viejo, CA and we wanted you to know about it! Here is what it’s all about:
• This course equips Psychologists, MFTs, LCSWs, interns and Pastoral Counselors to use attachment theory as a framework for couple’s therapy. Presenting issues that bring couples into therapy can frequently be dissected to reveal how attachment injuries give rise to the presenting symptoms.
• A review of attachment theory and research contrasts five common injurious attachment styles that block intimacy and further an insecure attachment. By teaching participants the interplay of the couples’ attachment styles and the common core pattern of interaction they produce, the therapist is equipped to target root issues rather than focusing on the surface symptoms.
• Specific therapeutic interventions are demonstrated, giving therapists the tools required to achieve treatment goals. This course teaches current peer reviewed research in the field of adult attachment and then goes beyond theory to practical application that creates a structure and map for effective couples’ therapy.

Register at www.relationship180.com on the “events” page. You can also call the offices of Relationship 180 at (949)830-2846 for further information.

Psychologists, therapists and interns will earn 6 C.E. credits that meet the requirements of the American Psychological Association and the California Board of Behavioral Science Examiners.

If you or anyone you know might find this workshop beneficial to their counseling practice or ministry, please pass this information along.

Thanks and blessings,
Milan Yerkovich

Prices increase on July 1st, 2015 so please register before then!!!

“The Safety Pyramid.” – Part 8

“The Safety Pyramid.” – Part 8

This topic has prompted several of you come up with some really great questions. Additionally, I can be confusing and quite unclear at times prompting more questions. When this happens I play the “nut loose behind the keyboard” card. Me! Either way, it’s fun to hear from you and have a dialogue.

Question #1: In response to Part 6, “can you distinguish between someone who chronically over shares information (TMI) and a secure connector who is open and honest?” Great question! The secure connector is attuned to his audience and is appropriately open and honest, usually in response to an inquiry within the dialogue. The secure person is attentive to the listener and is aware of body language that would indicate disinterest. They will easily take note when the person next to them is yawning and staring out the airplane window. Additionally, information sharing and gathering will be a gradual process of getting to know one another and it will be quite reciprocal versus unilateral disclosure.

The TMI folk on the other hand just start talking whether or not they are invited to do so and will often reveal information that is inappropriate to the amount of time they’ve known you. They are neither attuned nor attentive to verbal and non- verbal cues indicating disinterest on the part of the listener. Enraptured by their own story and the perception that they have a listening ear, they drone on and on.

Question #2: “I thought that taking issue with a significant other’s injury was a sign of loyalty. I don’t like hearing that perhaps feeling as I do means I’m relationally immature.” Here is an example of me not being clear … i.e. the nut loose behind the keyboard. When I was talking about unquestioning loyalty being an insecure trait, I was thinking of the following case. A husband had an argument with his brother and told his wife he wasn’t talking to him anymore. Because of his choice he told her that she was to cut off her relationship with their sister-in-law (SIL). Wow! As it turns out, she was close to her SIL and the two were planning to take the kids to the beach the very next day. Should the wife blindly take up the husband’s offense? Some would knuckle under the pressure but I don’t think that’s healthy. Frankly if I were her, I’d empathize with him and politely remind him that his persistent sibling rivalry which created constant ups and downs in the relationship would not be the roller coaster I’d be willing to ride.

To your point, certainly it makes sense that someone who hurts a significant other is a person of whom I will take notice. Clarification and possible repair will be my goal. If that’s not possible protection and care for my significant other will become my priority.

Thanks for your questions as they help all of us grow and learn.

Thanks for listening.
Blessings,
Milan for Milan & Kay

“The Safety Pyramid.” – Part 7

Having experienced a severe Gall Bladder attack on April 1st, I was told by the ER Doctor that it should be removed ASAP due to the discovery of multiple gall stones which could dislodge at any time. I said “Gall Darn!” and followed their instruction. I’m two weeks post op and feel great.

An internal organ once “safe” within my safety pyramid of life, over time became a liability which needed to be removed so it could not harm me again. A dislodged gall stone would be a real bummer at 35,000 feet over the Atlantic Ocean and potentially life threatening during my trip to Rwanda next month where third world medical care would most likely be insufficient.

This can also be true with friends and family as well. A person who once was a friend and ally may over time become increasingly hurtful and unsafe. If constructive conversations do not seem to have any positive impact on improving their negative behavior, it might be prudent to demote them a category within the pyramid or perhaps remove them altogether from your pyramid as a means of self-protection.

I’ll never forget a cute young couple who came into my office for counseling some years ago. On their wedding day, they were both as happy and excited as they could possibly be. Over time, as he would travel for work he began to “party” more and more with his business partners and clients. This wild lifestyle eventually led to more dangerous drugs and multiple encounters with prostitutes and call girls. Eventually he was found out by his wife and confronted. He was remorseful and, for a season, tried to face his demons and take greater responsibility to control his choices and lifestyle.

For quite a few months, it appeared that progress was being made and their marriage was being restored. And then it happened again… and again. Finally, he admitted that he would rather have the excitement of his reckless lifestyle than remain faithful to his wedding vows. It became clear to the wife that she needed to have this man out of her world in order to experience sanity, safety and peace.

While sad, this kind of a story is all too common. Each of us has to examine the people in our lives and ask the following question. While no one is perfect, generally is this person trending toward being an asset or a liability? Sometimes we just have to say “gall darn” and hit the eject button.

Thanks for listening.
Blessings,
Milan for Milan & Kay

Announcements

The next local event for Milan and Kay is the Therapist Training in July. Please check our website under Events for details and registration information. howwelove.com

We hope you are enjoying the new How To Turn Stress into Opportunities for Emotional Connection series. Just a reminder that this is the last week that it will be offered at the introductory prices.

We are also about to introduce the new and improved How We Love Sex..or Don’t series. Milan and Kay worked very hard on updating the content and then rerecorded the series in January. It is almost finished being edited and will be available in the store shortly.

How We Love Workshop – This weekend in Mission Viejo, CA

How We Love Workshop – This weekend in Mission Viejo, CA

Are you tired of arguing with your spouse over the same old issues? Do you dream of a marriage with less conflict and more intimacy? Are there relationships in your life that you would love to improve? Are you struggling under a load of resentment? Let us help you! We have been helping people just like you for over 25 years! Our most common reaction to this six hour workshop is, “Why haven’t I ever heard this before?” We help individuals discover their love style (Attachment Style) and explain the predictable core patterns that occur when each partner’s love styles collide. Once a couple has a clear explanation for their predictable dance that causes the same problems to arise again and again, we then give a road map for growth and tools to end harmful patterns and create deeper intimacy in your marriage. This material all comes together at the end of the day when Milan and Kay work with a volunteer couple live on stage.

Hosted by Relationship 180. To register, please go to: www.relationship180.com
Times:
Friday: 6:30 pm – 9:00 pm
Saturday: 9:00 am -12:30 pm

Cost: $59.00 per person Scholarships available in cases of need.

Location: Mission Hills Church 24162 Alicia Parkway Mission Viejo, CA 92691

Please register online by clicking here.

How We Love Product Information

We hope you are enjoying the new Series: Turning Stress in Opportunities for Emotional Connection! The introductory price will last through May and then return to normal pricing.

Blessings from all of us at How We Love!!

“The Safety Pyramid.” – Part 6

“The Safety Pyramid.” – Part 6

Adults from the enmeshed home will often find themselves in unhealthy and often dangerous relationships. They are lacking the navigational skills necessary to protect themselves (and others) because they dive in too deep and too fast. When she was young, Joni Erickson Tada dove into shallow water, thinking it was deep. She fractured her neck and became a paraplegic. Though she was able to turn her tragedy into a powerful ministry, it is tragic nonetheless.

We too can become injured when we fail to test the waters in relationships. The characteristics which make us vulnerable to injury and relational trauma are as follows.
• Becoming your BFF overnight and over trusting another person. Assuming that a smile and attentiveness is a sign of safety.
• TMI: Divulging too much information indiscriminately. If you or others tell too much too quickly, view that as a danger sign and back off. It shows that a person has no filters and is relationally immature. While they may be nice to have as an acquaintance or occasional friend, they are not safe.
• Wanting to know more information that is appropriate. When I hear of people sharing intimate details about their personal sex lives with others I know that this person is not be safe because they do not have any boundaries. All lines are blurred and there is no respect for allowing there to be a private world of love between a husband and wife.
• Gossip! When I hear people talking about others and sharing information that has no business being shared, I walk in the other direction.
• Offering opinions without being asked. The other day, a fairly famous person said to me, “ You know what you need to do?” I sighed and out of curiosity said “What?” They went on for five minutes before I said, “I’ve gotta go now.” As I walked away I thought to myself, “You don’t know me and you never asked me one question. How can you tell me what I ‘need’ to do?”
• Forming judgments prematurely without knowing all of the facts. When a person starts asserting final conclusions and judgments too quickly in a conversation, I am immediately suspect as to how much I can trust this person.
• Taking sides in relational dynamics where taking sides is not even necessary. I frequently hear people say, “I broke off relationship with these people because they hurt my best friend.” Really? When an individual takes up other’s offenses because of relational skirmishes, I know I’m not dealing with a person with much depth. Will I view them as safe? No.
• Talking incessantly without asking any questions. There is a great scene from the movie Beaches where Bet Midler says, “I’m tired of talking about me, why don’t you talk about me?” I’m out the door.

Here are some areas to work on so you may become more mature and relationally successful.

Thanks for listening.
Blessings,
Milan for Milan & Kay

Upcoming Events:

Relationship 180 is hosting a How We Love Workshop on May 15-16 at Mission Hills Church in Mission Viejo, Ca. We would love to see you there. For more information or to register for this event please click here!

Our new series: Turning Stress into Opportunities for Emotional Connection is now available in our store. For a limited time, it is on sale at an introductory price. We hope you enjoy it begin to ease your stress in relationally healthy ways!

NEW SERIES! – Turning Stress into Opportunities for Emotional Connection

How do you respond when family members, friends or co-workers are stressed? How do others react to you when you are stressed?

Learning to manage difficult emotions is crucial to maintaining healthy relationships. In this three hour workshop, Milan and Kay discuss how we can better identify stress responses in ourselves, and others, and recognize how these moments provide opportunities for emotional connection. We often don’t feel very loving when we are stressed. Stress signals a need for connection to help deal with challenging emotions but each attachment love style manages stress in ways that result in disconnection. In addition, we often attempt to get relief from stress in non-relational ways, like eating, drinking, shopping, online gaming and many others. In fact, all addictions are attempts to get relief from unwanted feelings.

Milan and Kay teach us how relationships can offer relief and discuss ways to connect rather than react. On this DVD, a volunteer couple from the audience practices the comfort circle. Amber identifies what is currently most stressful to her and Dave listens using a listener guide available in the syllabus. This practical demonstration will teach you how to listen rather than react.

This DVD can be used in a five week small group study. It can also be used as training for businesses or church staffs. A syllabus and discussion questions for each of the five segments are included in the purchase price.

This series can be purchased in DVD, CD or audio download format. For a limited time, all three products are offered at an introductory price.
To purchase this product please visit our store at: howwelove.com

Thank you for your support and we wish you many blessings on your growth journey!

“The Safety Pyramid.” – Part 5

“The Safety Pyramid.” – Part 5

This week, let’s talk about how someone from a background like MaryH can choose to grow and become more mature and relationally successful. Recall that she describes her family of origin as a place where she was “taught to protect and wall in.” Inherently she knows: “it’s wrong but I don’t know what to do?” Let’s review some of the adult characteristics of a person from that type of upbringing. They may tend toward:
• Relational avoidance,
• Few if any close friends,
• Isolation in pain,
• Loneliness,
• Social awkwardness and anxiety,
• Insecurity,
• Superficial relationships.
These characteristics render the adult weak and disoriented within the world of adult relationships. What steps do they need to take as adults to make up for the emotional and relational deficit from their childhood?
1. Decide to become something different. The emotionally avoidant person must become convinced that their attachment style is inadequate to sustain successful relationships.
2. With a feeling words list in front of you, daily find new words that describe and match your inner emotional and cognitive mood. Post it as a journal entry, tell God about it and risk telling someone whom you trust.
3. Daily ask those around you what they are feeling and what caused that feeling. Don’t try to talk them out of it or rescue them from the feeling. Just empathize (“Wow, that must hurt!”; “That’s exciting!” , “I’d be worried too!”)
4. The next time you see that person, ask them how they are doing since the last time you saw them. By reviewing your journal frequently, you will remind yourself of past conversations. (For me my journal is also my prayer diary which helps me remember important matters.)
5. Keep track of those who remember past discussions and ask you about how things have progressed. Those who do, are worthy of being promoted to a higher level in the Safety Pyramid and over time they will become your trusted confidants.
By repeating this process over and over, relational avoidance, few if any close friends, isolation, loneliness, social awkwardness and anxiety, insecurity and superficial relationships will begin to melt away and a new person will begin to emerge. A person that is more relationally secure and emotionally intelligent. A person who can successfully navigate the safety pyramid.
Happy growing!
Thanks for listening.
Blessings,
Milan for Milan & Kay

Our new DVD series: Turning Stress into Opportunities for Emotional Connection should be in the store by next week! We are very excited about it and hope you are too!

“The Safety Pyramid.” – Part 4

“The Safety Pyramid.” – Part 4

Last week we received a two part question from MaryH, and we addressed the first part in last week’s post. This week, let’s look at the part of the question where she asks “I was raised in a family where we were taught to protect and wall in. I know that’s wrong but I don’t know what to do?” I’m impressed with Mary’s self-awareness and self-reflection skills. She’s able to observe herself and reflect back upon how she was trained in her family of origin. In so doing, she is capable of seeing areas within relationships that have the potential of jeopardizing or sabotaging God’s intentions for relationships.

All of us were emotionally and relationally trained by our family systems. For a child, more is caught than taught. By hearing words and phrases, the child learns to speak. The same is true emotionally and relationally whereby we simply observe and absorb the family’s way of connecting or protecting itself from others. In Mary’s case, her parents constructed a fortress that kept people at arm’s length.

The problems then arise when we enter into the adult world of connection with other human beings. Those of us with healthy modeling will do much better overall than those of us who came from a “walled off” protectionist model of relating to others. Or, from the opposite side of the spectrum where people were enmeshed and fused. When everybody is in everybody’s business , there is no separation or individuality allowed and marriage and parenting will be tough.

Adults from a home like Mary’s may tend toward:
• Relational avoidance
• Few if any close friends
• Isolation in pain
• Loneliness
• Social awkwardness and anxiety
• Insecurity
• Superficial relationships

Adults from the enmeshed home may tend toward:
• Becoming your BFF overnight
• TMI: Divulging too much information indiscriminately
• Wanting to know more information that is appropriate
• Gossip
• Offering opinions without being asked
• Forming judgments prematurely without knowing all of the facts
• Taking sides in relational dynamics where taking sides is not even necessary
• Talking incessantly without asking any questions

People from both extremes will struggle as they attempt to perilously navigate the uncharted waters of the safety pyramid. Next week, we’ll talk about how each of these camps can become more mature and relationally successful.

Thanks for listening.
Blessings,
Milan for Milan & Kay

Upcoming Events
This coming weekend on March 20-21: Relationship 180 will host a How We Love Sexually Event in Orange County. Please click on the Events tab for more information. We would love to see you there!

Announcements
We have several new products in the works that we are very excited about. The first should be available very soon and is a new DVD series titled: Turning Stress in Opportunities for Emotional Connection. Milan and Kay explore how each Love Style deals with stress and then teach us how to bring our stressful feelings into relationship, thus developing emotional connection and intimacy instead of isolation and loneliness.

“The Safety Pyramid.” – Part 3

“The Safety Pyramid.” – Part 3

MaryH asked the question: “How does one move from the lower third into a friend? And what makes a friend different from an acquaintance? I was raised in a family where we were taught to protect and wall in. I know that’s wrong but I don’t know what to do?” Fabulous question Mary… you were reading my mind. That’s precisely what I’m going to talk about this week. Thank you!

I hate shopping for clothes. Pick stuff out, go to the changing room, try something on, look in the mirror, ask opinions, take it off, start over. As I look at this process, picking friends is much the same except for the fact that I don’t hate it like I do clothes shopping. Everybody you know and who is a part of your life is an acquaintance. This is the department store for shopping around and looking for people whom you want to bring in closer… a friend. Here are a few thoughts about the process… random… not in any order but sound principles learned over time.
1. Do I enjoy the person? Do I find myself amused and laughing? Most of my friends make me smile. If you don’t make me smile, you might just stay an acquaintance. Don’t get me wrong, they can be serious also… but if always morose, somber, and never in a lighter mood, I might be kind to them, care for them and love them… but they’ll probably stay at arm’s length at the bottom of the pyramid.
2. Are they emotionally predictable, or is spending time with them kind of a waiting game? Are they like “Old Faithful” where something hot and dangerous bubbles up on a regular basis? Again, I can be nice to them, but bringing them too close might result in me getting scalded… repeatedly. No thanks.
3. Do they call me and seek me out or am I the only one pursuing? When someone calls and asks “How are you doing? We haven’t talked in a while!” I take notice. Wow… they remembered me and their call wasn’t about asking me for something.
4. How do they handle the word “no”? I remember a friend telling me something unkind about another friend and I told them I didn’t appreciate hearing their negative opinion (a form of saying “no”). They became dark and I could instantaneously feel a chill in the air. Definitely not close friend material. A friend can accept boundaries, see the good and bad in me and give me grace. They don’t hold a grudge and can mend fences easily.
5. I have a meal with them and see if they ask me any questions about myself and my family. Are they emotionally intelligent or shallow? Do they remember what I said the next time we meet and bring it up or do I have to bring it up? A person that cares enough to remember what you talked about the last time you met, means they care. Now that’s a friend.
More next week! Thanks for listening.
Blessings,
Milan for Milan & Kay

Upcoming Events
March 20-21: Relationship 180 will host a How We Love Sexually Event in Orange County. Please click on the Events tab for more information. We would love to see you there!

Announcements
We have several new products in the works that we are very excited about. The first should be available very soon and is a new DVD series titled: Turning Stress in Opportunities for Emotional Connection. Milan and Kay explore how each Love Style deals with stress and then teach us how to bring our stressful feelings into relationship, thus developing emotional connection and intimacy instead of isolation and loneliness.

“The Safety Pyramid.” – Part 2

“The Safety Pyramid.” – Part 2

An Apology:
I am so sorry that it’s been a whole month since my last post. As some of you know, I had my mitral valve repaired at UCLA in 2008. I just went through a battery of tests to evaluate heart health which took away from my office time. Everything checked out OK and we’re grateful. Now I can get back on track with writing and managing a very busy life.

In part 1, we drew a triangle, divided it into thirds, with the bottom section labeled “acquaintances”, the middle third “friends” and the top section “safe people.” All of your friends and family fit into one of these categories and depending upon your experience with them, they will begin to fit into a classification that will end up defining the nature of your relationship with them. As I said last time, Rule #1 is that all people start at the bottom. Friends, parents, siblings, extended family, business partners, spouses and grown children.

Rule #2 is that people can only move up one category at a time and they cannot jump over the friend category and be thought of as safe without gradually earning their way to the top over a period of two years. We received a call at New Life Radio (www.newlife.com) recently from a woman who complained that her husband was a spiritual dud. He made convincing promises to her that he would be a great spiritual leader. Six months after their marriage, he was a couch potato. I asked her how long they had dated and if anyone had done any pre-marital counseling where hard questions were asked? She said they dated nine months and had no pre-marital counseling.

In retrospect, she could see that she had married him thinking he was a safe and loving man. Boy was she mistaken and all because she violated Rules #1 and 2. She immediately placed him into the high friend category and concluded he was safe with very little time invested into relational discovery and investigation. The well-known saying, “let the buyer beware” is really true. Without tenacious research, exploration and testing, she erroneously concluded he was safe when she said “I do!”
How about you? Have you promoted someone too quickly only to discover that you are hurt over and over by them? Perhaps they need to be demoted to a lower category and less time spent with them?

More next week!
Thanks for listening,
Milan & Kay

Upcoming Events

Friday, March 6th in Omaha, NE Milan and Kay will speak at the Married Life Event for Brookside Church.

March 20-21: Relationship 180 will host a How We Love Sexually Event in Orange County. Please click on the Events tab for more information. We would love to see you there!

Announcements
We have several new products in the works that we are very excited about.
The first should be available very soon and is a new DVD series titled: Turning Stress in Opportunities for Emotional Connection.
Milan and Kay explore how each Love Style deals with stress and then teach us how to bring our stressful feelings into relationship, thus developing emotional connection and intimacy instead of isolation and loneliness.