Andrea Rubin
Andrea Rubin, M.A., LMFT38440
conveniently located in Orange County:
2050 West Chapman Ave Suite 225, Orange, CA 92868

Phone/Pager: 714-357-4724

The Three R's

         The most common goal of couples who come in for counseling is "to have better communication". The reason? Good communication leads to a sense of connection and being understood. For couples wanting to get started on their journey to more productive communication, I recommend a simple tool called "The Three R's". I ask couples to keep these "Three R's" in mind as they think about what they would like to say to each other. Are you approaching your conversations in a (R)elaxed manner? Is your communication to the other person (R)espectful? When you get a response, do you (R)espond? Or, do you react?

         When couples feel "stuck", and are not communicating effectively using "three R's", a therapist can help. Although partners wish to understand, be understood, and connect, there can be barriers, even to using the three R's. Counseling can identify and ease the barriers to communicating in a relaxed manner. There may much anxiety or tension when approaching a partner. The words may come out "all wrong". Previous unresolved wounds or resentments may lead to hostility and thus, a lack of respect; also, fear of disapproval (rejection) leads to 'stonewalling'. Finally, couples find themselves spontaneously reacting (shouting, silence, sarcasm) rather than thoughtfully responding (listening, problem-solving, negotiating).

         Use the three R's when you can, and come in for some assistance when you run into trouble! These are good guidelines as well for communicating with children, neighbors, and co-workers.

         Next newsletter: Look for my discussion describing with more detail, the difference between "reacting" and "responding".