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Couples can make love last, says psychotherapist and clinical social worker Marcia Naomi Berger. They just need to learn how. Her prescription is deceptively simple: have an interruption-free thirty-minute (or even shorter) meeting each week and follow an agenda that includes the kind of appreciation and planning for fun that foster intimacy and pave the way for collaborative conflict resolution. With this book, you’ll learn how to effectively communicate and connect with your spouse each week, and for a lifetime, with step-by-step guidelines that walk you through the four parts of a marriage meeting: expressing appreciation, coordinating chores, planning for good times, and resolving problems. Inspiring real-life stories demonstrate how transformative these brief meetings can be. The communication tips and techniques Berger has gleaned from helping hundreds of couples will guide you toward a deeper, more lasting love.
Marcia Naomi Berger, MSW, LCSW, works with adults, families, couples, and groups as a clinical social worker in her private psychotherapy practice in Northern California. She has more than 25 years of clinical experience in institutions and private practice, ten years of teaching Marriage Meeting Program classes and workshops to diverse audiences, and a happy marriage of her own of 24 years. Skilled in both cognitive behavioral and psychodynamic approaches, she leads marriage and communication workshops locally and nationally and provides consultation and coaching services to business executives. In addition, she teaches classes for therapists at the University of California Berkeley Extension and the San Francisco campus of Alliant International University. She speaks regularly at conferences and other events, including the California State NASW (National Organization of Social Workers) conference. She lives in San Rafael, CA.
Table of Contents
Dedication Acknowledgments Introduction
Part I: Instructions for Marriage Meetings
Chapter 1: Marriage Meeting Basics: Overview and Techniques Chapter 2: Debunking Marriage Myths Chapter 3: Appreciation is #1 on Agenda Chapter 4: Chores is #2 on Agenda Chapter 5: Plan for Good Times is #3 on Agenda Chapter 6: Problems and Challenges is # 4 on Agenda
Part II: Communication Skills for Effective Meetings
Chapter 7: I-statements Chapter 8: More Communication Skills for Marriage Meetings
Part III: Transforming Relationships with Marriage Meetings
Chapter 9: Opposites Attract, and Then What? Ken and Lauren Chapter 10: Resolving an In-law Issue Ned and Amy Chapter 11: Handling a Money Conflict: Sally and Michael : Chapter 12: Transform a Relationship with Marriage Meeting Techniques -- Kate and Zack Chapter 13: Restoring Trust: Oliver and Robin
Conclusion Appendices Annotated Marriage Meeting Agenda Feelings and Needs Inventories Bibliography Index About the Author