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“Understanding the three stages of relationship so you don’t get stuck”

[Note – This is the transcript of the facebook live video shown above].

Three stages of relationship

Relationships move through three predictable stages. If you, like most people, are not aware of this, you are bound to end up confused and disheartened. Honestly, you will probably be confused and disheartened at some point regardless, but if you understand that relationships naturally move through these three stages, and if you understand the nature of each stage, and what it asks of you, you will be far better equipped to deal with what is coming.

Each stage of the relationship journey presents you with certain developmental tasks, and you can’t effectively move to the next stage until you’ve accomplished the tasks at the previous. People get “stuck” at a certain stage of relationship because they don’t recognize what the relationship is asking of them, and they resist moving forward into the unknown and intimidating territory ahead, pining instead for the easy love and good times that came previously. The bad news is that there’s no going back to easier and sweeter times. The good news is that if you successfully navigate the next stage, you will be poised to make a kind of “homecoming” or a return to what you enjoyed previously, but with more maturity, more depth, and more richness. You’re likely to have some emotional scars and war-wounds, but they will take on a special significance and will be worn proudly.

Backward or forward?

In the introduction to my book, The Re-Connection Handbook for Couples, I state – “The search for re-connection might have us gazing wistfully backward whence we came, looking for something familiar, something we believe we lost when we took a wrong turn somewhere. But true re-connection is not sentimental, nor is it necessarily repair or reclaiming (although it might include elements of both). We re-connect at a new point on the path, at a place we’ve not been before. Real re-connection is less about getting something back, and more about finding our way forward. Perhaps most accurately it has flavors of both; we arrive at a place that feels familiar and is yet unknown.”

As we look at the three stages of relationship this statement will become even more clear and meaningful.

The first stage: Falling in Love

The first stage of relationship is Falling in Love, also called the honeymoon stage, or the age of innocence. At the Falling in Love stage, differences between partners are ignored, invisible, glorified, or minimized. Compatibility is emphasized. Connection and bonding is the theme at this stage.

The voice of the Falling in Love stage says things like –
“I need you.”
“We’re perfect together.”
“We are one.”
“We’re meant for each other.”
“You complete me.”
“You’re my soul mate.”
“Our differences make us better.”
“We get along so well.”
“We have so much in common.”
“We’re so lucky.”

Each stage presents us with tasks. These tasks are crucial for our continued development and growth, and they’re a prerequisite for effectively moving to the next stage.

Developmental tasks at the first stage

Developmental tasks at the Falling in Love stage include –

  • Opening your heart to another
  • Joining
  • Loving
  • Caring
  • Feeling
  • Connecting
  • Trusting
  • Celebrating
  • Giving
  • Merging
  • Bonding
  • Vulnerability

…and generally yielding to love and attraction.

Many potent hormones and neuro-chemicals help us accomplish these tasks at this stage. It’s called “Falling in Love” for a reason: If we are able to let ourselves go, gravity takes care of the rest. This letting go, opening up, connecting, and loving comes easily for many, but not for everyone. Some people have to make an effort to “fall”!

Most adults, not all but most, have some experience with the Falling in Love stage because it happens more or less automatically. As attachment theory advocates rightly say, “We’re wired for connection”.

Some couples therapy and marriage counselling attempts to keep you at this first stage and tries to shepherd you back to blissful communion. But from my point of view, the Falling in Love stage never lasts forever, nor is it designed to. Difficulty must follow. Everyone who’s read a fairy tale knows this.

The second stage: Disillusionment and Trouble

I call the second stage of relationship Disillusionment and Trouble. This is where many relationships end, sometimes for good reasons, but very often simply because we are unable to successfully complete the tasks that are required, and we waste our energy trying to return to better days. This stage is when most couples call me for counselling.

The Disillusionment and Trouble stage is when the differences between us show up and become a problem. You’re a night owl and your partner is a morning person. You discover that you have different sexual styles or appetites. In-laws become unbearable. There’s an affair or infidelity. Differences in parenting philosophies, in money management, work ethic, communication styles, attachment styles, preferences, desires, and needs all become glaringly apparent.

Maybe you discover deceit or manipulation at this point. Maybe your partner pretended to be someone they aren’t (maybe you did).

Confronting your illusions in love

Disillusionment is a double edged sword. On the one hand, the illusions of the Falling in Love stage are very beautiful, and the bonds that are formed there are real and will be an important resource for you both as you navigate this next difficult chapter. On the other hand, illusions mask the truth, and when they crumble, the truth, not always pretty, floods in. I encourage you to treat your own illusions with tenderness. They have been necessary; not an error, not a mistake. But now, it’s time to reconcile your disillusionment and attend to the tasks at hand.

One of the primary tasks that the Disillusionment and Trouble stage requires of us is discernment. Will we carry on with this relationship or will we end it? This is when we confront our non-negotiables, and discover the real meaning of the popular word “boundaries”. Ending a relationship that was previously a delight is painful, but it is sometimes the only way we can keep our self-respect and our integrity. Sometimes ending the relationship is the right option at this stage. Some people gain clarity about this quickly; others struggle for a long time.

The voice of the Disillusionment and Trouble stage says things like –
“I don’t know if I can do this.”
“I feel so much doubt and hopelessness.”
“We used to be so good together.”
“My heart aches.”
“I’m angry. I’m hurt. I’m disappointed.”
“I’m broken.”
“The trust is gone.”
“I don’t know who my partner is anymore.”
“Is it me or is it them?”
Is this a healthy relationship?
“Are we good together?”
I’ve lost myself in this relationship.

Developmental tasks at the second stage

Tasks at this stage include –

  • Discernment
  • Confronting, tolerating, and managing differences
  • Negotiation
  • Constructive conflict
  • Facing hard truths
  • Standing up for yourself
  • Emotional differentiation (There’s a chapter on emotional differentiation in The Re-Connection Handbook for Couples. You can download a free sample on my website.)

This stage is necessarily marked by confrontation. To do what this stage asks, you will find yourself confronting your partner. This is difficult for many people; not so difficult for others. You’ll also need to confront yourself: your own blind spots, manipulations, and deceptions. Your own decision making, and responsibility, your own integrity.

Developing independence in relationship

The earlier Falling in Love stage is about strength in togetherness, in merging. It’s about dependence. The Disillusionment and Trouble stage reminds you that you are indeed two distinct individuals. It’s about claiming independence. This is a tricky stage, because claiming independence within a relationship usually threatens the relationship, at least in its former version where dependence was implicitly or explicitly celebrated.

If we decide to stay in the relationship, we must keep sight of the emotional commitment and the radical acceptance we practiced in the earlier Falling in Love days, but we must also now acknowledge the space between us, the unbridgeable gap, and the need to be a sovereign and integrous individual in the relationship, not just a “partner” or one half of a whole. This is where co-dependent tendencies really come to the forefront and will need to be addressed.

To make things even more difficult, partners don’t always enter this stage together. In fact it is very common for one partner to begin advocating for independence and autonomy while the other is still in the highly enmeshed, dependent stage. Moving from dependence to independence in a relationship feels disorienting and even painful for some people. For others, it can be a relief.

The key to getting through the Disillusionment and Trouble stage is to recognize it as a stage and to keep going. If you can accomplish the tasks associated with this – differentiating from your partner, navigating conflict, standing up for yourself, pursuing personal interests – while maintaining emotional commitment, you might then proceed to the “Homecoming” stage that follows. But if you continually resist the Disillusionment and Trouble stage, if you fail to recognize that it is a necessary stage of development for people and for relationships, and you dig your heals in and insist on the blind love of the Falling in Love stage, you might remain stuck here for a very long time. It’s not uncommon for people to be stuck here for years. If your relationship ends at this stage, and you never successfully recognize it and navigate through it, you will likely repeat it with new partners.

Recognizing and respecting differences in relationship

Moving through the Disillusionment and Trouble stage means either resolving or managing, and ideally coming to honour and respect differences between you and your partner. It means coming through disappointment and doubt, and sometimes mistakes or wrongdoing, with a much fuller understanding of who your partner really is, and maybe of who you really are. It may also mean a period of grieving what has been lost.

Once you’ve been through it successfully you look back on the process and you feel the pain of it, but you recognize that it was worth it, and maybe even that it was unavoidable and necessary. Many clients have described this experience to me after a few months or maybe a year of couples therapy.

Here’s an example of a couple entering the Disillusionment and Trouble stage –

Two ways of crossing the street

I was working with a new client couple by telephone. We’ll call them Joshua and Samantha. I had asked them for a specific example of a recurring conflict in their relationship. They rather sheepishly told me that they argue about how to cross the street. I assured them that even petty sounding conflicts hold the seed to greater understanding and even reconciliation, which is true; there is some wisdom in the saying “How we do something is how we do everything”.

Joshua wants to cross the street at the intersection, in accordance with the pedestrian signal. Samantha prefers to look both ways, then jaywalk mid-block rather than go to the intersection and wait for a light. Joshua felt that Samantha was putting his safety at risk by jaywalking, and this made him indignant and superior feeling. Samantha felt controlled by Joshua, and this made her angry and defiant. I could tell we’d hit a goldmine of personal and interpersonal issues and I wanted to help them find the value in it. I asked both of them to brainstorm as many possible solutions to this problem as they could, to really press their imagination. They came up with a few, but there was one, very obvious to me, that did not occur to either of them.

“How about Joshua goes to the crosswalk as per his preference, Samantha jaywalks as per her preference, and you meet up on the other side of the street in a minute or so?”

Neither Joshua nor Samantha, out of all the possible solutions, had imagined this possibility. Why not? Joshua was in the stage one relationship mode of believing that all decisions needed to be made together. Any autonomous move by either partner was seen as a threat to the partnership. Samantha too had not imagined that they could exercise their autonomy without terrible consequence. Even though she felt controlled by Joshua, she resorted to anger and defiance rather than imagining the two of them crossing the street (or presumably doing many other things) as individuals according to their own needs and preferences. This is the epitome of being stuck at the first stage of relationship, and it’s a great example of the sort of everyday circumstances that push us toward entering stage two.

As we continued to work together over a few months of weekly calls it was fascinating to see how this one example revealed so many core beliefs, so many unexamined dynamics, and, appropriately, so much disillusionment and trouble. I felt a lot of satisfaction helping this particular couple move from stage one into stage two. That’s what was happening here: a grinding progress from the falling in love stage where everything is about “togetherness”, into the Disillusionment and Trouble stage where things inevitably break down. Remember, Joshua and Samantha, when asked to brainstorm, couldn’t even imagine crossing the street on their own, in their own ways, and meeting on the other side. That illustrates just how all-encompassing that first stage of relationship can be, and how difficult, and in a way how counter-intuitive the move forward into stage two is.

What worked in stage one no longer works in stage two. That’s why my clients often describe a feeling of “banging their head against the wall”. You need the bond that you formed in stage one to help get you through stage two, but stage one skills won’t reconcile the troubles at stage two. This move nearly always includes serious self-confrontation and soul-searching, as well as new ideas, new understandings, new behaviours, and ultimately new breakthroughs.

And then you come home.

Stage three: Homecoming

The Homecoming stage is equal parts coming home to yourself and coming home to your partner. A love and respect for your partner co-exists with a love and respect for yourself. You’ve been through an initiation together, and now you are more mature. You bear wounds and scars from the journey, but they have mostly healed and you are simultaneously more strong and more tender than ever.

The Homecoming stage happens more or less spontaneously when you have sufficiently attended to the tasks of the Disillusionment and Trouble stage. Some people are pleasantly blind-sided by the Homecoming stage, even bewildered. It’s a hard thing to imagine when you’re up to your neck in disillusionment and trouble, but it is there somewhere around the corner.

The Homecoming stage marks a kind of “coming full circle”. Former versions of dependence and independence now reconcile to become interdependence. There’s a lot of talk in popular culture about interdependence in relationship and why it is a good thing, but you don’t just decide one day to become interdependent. You enter the stage of interdependence in relationship only after you have successfully fulfilled the tasks of both dependence and independence.

The Homecoming stage is loving, like the Falling in Love stage, but it is a more mature kind of love, based upon a fuller recognition and reconciliation of the reality of your relationship, including its limits. Illusions have been exposed and resolved, so this stage is more resilient and more sustainable than either of the former.

Homecoming is marked especially by a deep respect; for yourself, for your partner, and for the difficult process you have successfully navigated. From the Homecomimg perspective, the early stage of Falling in Love couldn’t embody much real respect because you hadn’t yet seen the worst of yourself and your partner show up in the relationship. If there was respect before, it was based more on surfaces or fantasies than on real lived experience.

Moving into the Homecoming stage is the reward for all your hard work and perseverance at recognizing, reconciling, tolerating, or managing differences. But not all differences are reconcilable, tolerable, or manageable… and that’s OK; it has to be. If you choose not to accept certain differences (and that’s absolutely the right choice sometimes) or if you are unable to do so, this stage will not be attainable in this particular relationship, and that’s a difficult but necessary fact to come to terms with. Not all relationships get a homecoming.

The story of Eros and Psyche

Here I want to briefly touch upon the classic Greek myth of Psyche and Eros. Psyche is a woman whom the Gods demand be sacrificed. She’s taken to a cliff where she falls. It turns out to be a fall into love. The wind carries her to Eros, the god of sexual/erotic love. Psyche becomes Eros’s lover, and she lives blissfully for a time. But the love affair has a catch: She mustn’t ever actually SEE Eros. He comes to her at night, in the dark. She can never know him fully. Eventually she becomes dissatisfied with this arrangement. She wants to know her lover. So she tricks him and lights a lamp. Here is where the Disillusionment and Trouble stage begins.

Psyche is banished from her lover, and she must accomplish a series of seemingly impossible tasks. Each time, just as all hope is lost, help comes from some unimaginable source. Eventually she beats all odds, accomplishes her tasks, and is whisked to Mount Olympus where she is rejoined with her lover Eros, but now in the form of a god herself. She has been transformed.

The symbolic relevance in this story to the three stages of relationship is uncanny. In fact, the relationship journey, in the stages I’ve laid out, bears clear resemblance to the Hero’s Journey as told in many forms: An innocent and naive protagonist leaves their familiar home, finds trouble, miraculously accomplishes seemingly impossible tasks, and then returns home initiated, transformed, matured, often scarred or wounded, and ultimately, now a gift to others in their community.

I’ve sketched out this three-stage model of relationships to give you a map for identifying where you are on this journey, where you are going, and some insights on what you might need to do to get there. But the map is not the terrain. If you want help navigating the real challenges of this terrain in your relationship, request a client information package and see if my services might be a good fit for you.

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Please feel free to add your comments and questions, and to share this video with your friends who might need it.

You can also join my private facebook discussion group to dig deeper into these topics.

All My Best,
Justice Schanfarber

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Campbell River Marriage Counselling Justice Schanfarber

Trying to grow, fix, change, understand or save your marriage? I provide couples therapy, marriage counselling, coaching and mentoring to individuals and couples on the issues that make or break relationships – Sessions by telephone/skype worldwide. Email justice@justiceschanfarber.com to request a client info package. www.JusticeSchanfarber.com

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Healing misunderstanding in relationships (Workshop)

When: March 3, 1-4pm
Where: Flow Yoga – 58 Adams Rd. Campbell River
Cost: $69 + GST/person
To register: Email flowyogacr@gmail.com or call 250 204-3301

*** Register early to reserve your place. Space is limited. ***

Healing Misunderstanding in Relationships

The longing to feel understood runs deep in every marriage or relationship, and most of us know firsthand the frustration, pain, and conflict that feeling misunderstood can cause.

In this first instalment of the Relationship Skills Workshop Series, we’ll explore what it means to feel “understood.” We’ll learn tools for cultivating the kind of understanding that helps relationships thrive, and also tools for healing the misunderstandings that cause resentment. Join me and learn –

~ Why feeling understood is so important (and why misunderstandings hurt so badly)

~ How to untangle two distinct types of understanding (and work with both successfully)

~ Communication tools for creating understanding (and healing misunderstandings)

~ How to get to the real issue hiding within most misunderstandings (and make it better)

This workshop is for couples who want to actively nurture, deepen, and improve their marriage or relationship.

When: March 3, 1-4pm
Where: Flow Yoga – 58 Adams Rd. Campbell River
Cost: $69 + GST/person
To register: Email flowyogacr@gmail.com or call 250 204-3301

*** Register early to reserve your place. Space is limited. ***

Justice Schanfarber is an internationally renowned marriage counsellor and author of The Re-Connection Handbook for Couples. The Relationship Skills Workshop Series is an ongoing exploration of the most pressing relationship themes and issues of our time. The format combines lecture, discussion, live demonstrations, and practical skills building exercises.

Follow me on social media for sex and relationship tips, tools, and insights – Facebook | Instagram | Twitter

Like what you’re reading here?
You’ll love my new book.
Read the first 10 pages free.

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8-week Relationship Intensive - Justice Schanfarber

Campbell River Marriage Counselling Justice Schanfarber Trying to grow, fix, change, understand or save your marriage? I provide couples therapy, marriage counselling, coaching and mentoring to individuals and couples on the issues that make or break relationships – Sessions by telephone/skype worldwide. Email justice@justiceschanfarber.com to request a client info package. www.JusticeSchanfarber.com

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What I learned at the couples retreat – 7 key takeaways from “Sharing the Path” with Judith Ansara and Robert Gass at Hollyhock retreat centre

What I learned at the couples retreatThis summer I was hired to assist at the Sharing the Path couples retreat designed and facilitated by Robert Gass and Judith Ansara at Hollyhock centre on Cortes Island. I hadn’t met Judith and Robert before the retreat, though I knew of them by their solid reputation. I showed up ready to be of service, and was happy to discover that my skills and expertise fit like a glove. It was great to be part of such a talented and attuned teaching team, and to support and witness all the courageous participants as they navigated their particular relationship terrains.

Over the five-day intensive there were many reminders and much learning. I thought I would share 7 key takeaways here with you –

1. Simple is good

It’s easy to get lost down the rabbit hole of complicated relationship theories. Models and maps like attachment theory, Imago therapy, family systems, personality typing etc can all be interesting, illuminating, and valuable, but I was reminded it’s possible to go plenty deep with basic ideas and simple practices.

Speaking from the heart, telling the truth, taking responsibility, listening deeply… these are understandable ideas and doable practices for most people; simple, yet infinitely challenging and infinitely rewarding.

2. Sex matters

Almost every participant at the retreat included sex in their list of troubles. I’ve found this to be true for the couples in my couples counselling practice as well. And yet the presenters at the retreat confessed that it was not until they had been doing couples workshops for some years that they began including sexual dynamics in the curriculum. I appreciated their willingness to address sexuality head-on. Too often sex slips through the cracks in this sort of relationship work.

I think there are two main reasons that sex routinely gets excluded or marginalized in much conventional marriage counselling and couples therapy:

First, there’s a cultural prejudice against addressing and valuing sex on its own merits. The assumption – partly a moralistic holdover from puritanism ideals I believe – is that if “the relationship” is good, then the sex should automatically follow. It should be obvious by now that this is often not the case.

Second, sex is a difficult topic fraught with unconsciousness and shadow, complicated meanings, tender feelings, trauma, taboo, frustration. It’s a dangerous and awkward box to open. Even skilled professional facilitators and therapists can feel uncomfortable speaking explicitly about sex.

3. Relationship trouble is universal

Many people are not in the habit of sharing their relationship troubles and pain with anyone outside their own relationship, at least not in any constructive way. The result is that we tend to internalize an erroneous idea that our relationship problems are completely unique to us. This creates feelings of isolation and even defectiveness. The false fronts presented through social media exacerbates feelings of incongruence; shiny happy personas on the outside, tenderness, hurt, and desperation on the inside.

At this retreat carefully designed exercises allowed participants to switch off and provide coaching support for one another, always in ways that honoured safety and privacy. After these exercises, individuals and couples sometimes chose to share their insights and gleanings with the group; of course this was always optional.

4. The work is never finished

Relationship work comes with built-in traps, especially the assumption that we will somehow master this thing called relationship and one day be free from the difficulties it causes. What actually happens is that as we become more skillful we can’t help but raise the bar, and so we are continually called to navigate new and more sophisticated challenges.

Robert and Judith modelled this wonderfully by weaving in stories of their own significant trials and tribulations over their fifty years of relationship together, including sharing one challenge that arose between them in “real-time” during the course of the retreat.

5. A sense of humour helps

Relationships by nature have a bittersweet element. This bittersweetness is beautifully expressed through humour (etymologically related to humility) and laughing at and with ourselves. Judith and Robert exemplified this throughout. (Note – Humour can also be unconsciously used to escape uncomfortable but necessary tension. This is a self-defeating strategy to watch for.)

6. Move your body

It’s easy for many of us to get stuck in our head trying to figure things out. The presenters wisely had us getting up and moving, often through dance, at regular intervals. The change in energy and perspective this created was palpable.

7. It’s called practice for a reason

Finally, if we want to get better at relationship, including sex, we need to practice. There’s always that moment when it dawns on a person that their life is completely full and that they have no time to add “relationship practice” to the mix. Something will have to give.

If you want to play the violin or become a good skier it’s not nearly enough to gather information; you must practice. Relationships are no different in this regard. Learn tools (there are many – see my book The Re-connection Handbook for Couples), then practice them, preferably daily. Learning tools without practicing them is maybe worse than useless because it amplifies disappointment. One way or another, you will have to make room in your life for doing relationship practices.

Relationship practice tips: Practice implies imperfection – give yourself and your partner permission to fail. Be curious and non-attached to practice outcomes. Practice in low-stakes situations; don’t wait until your biggest triggers are activated before you pull out your relationship toolbox! Get help if you need it, even if just to get started.

To learn more about Judith and Robert’s work visit www.sacredunion.com.

Like what you’re reading here?
You’ll love my new book.
Read the first 10 pages free.

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Campbell River Marriage Counselling Justice Schanfarber Trying to grow, fix, change, understand or save your marriage? I provide couples therapy, marriage counselling, coaching and mentoring to individuals and couples on the issues that make or break relationships – Sessions by telephone/skype worldwide. Email justice@justiceschanfarber.com to request a client info package. www.JusticeSchanfarber.com

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Conflict Resolution for Couples – Campbell River Workshop

Conflict Resolution for Couples - Campbell River Workshop

When: September 17, 1-4pm.
Where: Ocean Mountain Yoga Studio1121 Cedar Street (Above Healthy Way Foods, Campbell River, BC)
Cost: $49/person.

To register: https://clients.mindbodyonline.com/classic/home?studioid=43100.
Or call Ocean Mountain Yoga at (250) 914-5435.

Relationship conflict is frustrating and painful, but it can also hold the key to its own transformation if we recognize what it is asking of us.

In this 3-hour workshop we will explore refreshing new perspectives on couples’ conflict and the growth opportunities it holds.

Join us and discover –

~ Why relationship conflict persists despite our best efforts
~ How to identify and effectively address the two primary types of conflict
~ The invisible underlying conditions that feed conflict
~ Tools for getting out of our conflict “loops” or patterns

About the presenter –
Justice Schanfarber is a Certified Hakomi Therapist and educator specializing in marriage, sex, and relationships. Author of The Re-connection Handbook for Couples, Justice’s writing has been read in over two hundred countries and translated into six languages. For this workshop Justice distills insights from his clinical experience helping client couples all over the world navigate marriage difficulties and relationship conflict. www.JusticeSchanfarber.com

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Poetry writing workshop with Justice Schanfarber in Campbell River

I’m happy to be partnering with the Campbell River Arts Council to present this poetry writing workshop –

“Beauty and trouble find you – A simple poetry writing workshop for complex people”

When: Saturday, April 16, Noon-4pm
Where: Sybil Andrews Cottage, 2131 South Island Highway in Willow Point (click for map)
Cost: $40
Registration: Call the Arts Council at 250-923-0213 to register.

Poetry penetrates surfaces and engages a deeper part of us. We each have a poetic voice, and if we are called to use it we will find ourselves gazing into the essential nature of experiences, people and things. The writing of poems is a kind of reporting on what we find. It is a gift to the writer and to the reader, and it is something we can all do.

The focus of this workshop will be less on form, and more about uncovering the essence of what we see or feel, and giving it a voice. This workshop is especially for beginner poets, but all are welcome.

Justice Schanfarber is a mindfulness based therapist, writer, educator and poet who believes that the poetic mind is a source of wisdom, humour and healing. He has self-published two poetry chapbooks since 2012. Read his work at www.wonderstruckpoems.com.

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Mindful Marriage – Self awareness tools for happier relationships (Workshop)

Mindful Marriage workshop Justice Schanfarber OMY Jan 16, 2016

Mindful Marriage –
Self awareness tools for happier relationships

Where: Ocean Mountain Yoga
1121 Cedar Street (Second floor)
Campbell River, BC

When: January 16, 2016
1pm – 4pm

Cost: $69

To register: Call 250 914-5435 or email tamaratutt@gmail.com

Marriage and relationships can be full of contradiction and confusion even as they offer hopefulness and joy. Being fully present through all these experiences is perhaps both our hardest task and our greatest reward on the journey.

In this 3-hour workshop we will explore –

~ Supporting your partner without betraying yourself
~ How to communicate for connection and clarity
~ Finding your way through patterns of conflict
~ Paths to intimacy, pleasure and desire

This workshop is for individuals and couples of all genders and orientations.

About the presenter –
Justice Schanfarber is a mindfulness based counsellor and Certified Hakomi Therapist helping individuals and couples in Campbell River BC, and worldwide by telephone and skype. www.JusticeSchanfarber.com

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Campbell River Counselling Justice Schanfarber HakomiI provide individual counselling, marriage counselling, coaching and mentoring to individuals and couples. Sessions in-person or by telephone/skype worldwide. Email justice@justiceschanfarber.com to request a client info package. www.JusticeSchanfarber.comLike Justice Schanfarber on Facebook

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Speak up! Dirty Talk for Sexy Fun (Free seminar at Art of Loving – Vancouver)

Art of loving dirty talk seminarWHAT: Speak up! Dirty Talk for Sexy Fun (Free seminar)
WHEN: 7:30 pm March 19, 2015
WHERE: Art of Loving  1819 West Fifth Ave, Vancouver, BC
COST: FREE (but you need to register)
INFO: 604 742-9988 (Art of Loving) 778 996-3821 (Presenter) or go to the registration link > http://www.artofloving.ca/seminars/seminar-topics/speak-dirty-talk-sexy-fun-0

 

Dirty talk deepens our sexual experience. It increases erotic pleasure and builds connection and intimacy between partners. There’s a dirty talk style for all personality types and sexual occasions. This seminar is for everyone who wants to find their dirty voice and start speaking up during sex. You’ll learn different types of dirty talk, explore some of the benefits (you might be surprised), and get an opportunity to experiment and practice in a healthy, supportive, fun environment. Sexually explicit language guaranteed! For singles, couples etc.

It’s free, but you need to register here > http://www.artofloving.ca/seminars/seminar-topics/speak-dirty-talk-sexy-fun-0

View the facebook event page here > https://www.facebook.com/events/1411996389101768/

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Hakomi Workshop at Ocean Mountain Yoga Feb 28, 2015

Campbell River Hakomi counselling workshop Feb 28 2015What: Hakomi Workshop
When: 12 noon – 2pm, February 28, 2015
Where: Ocean Mountain Yoga, Campbell River
REGISTER HERE: Hakomi Workshop at Ocean Mountain Yoga – Registration Page

Assisted Self Inquiry:
An introduction to the Hakomi Method

Hakomi is a mindfulness based, body centred modality favoured by counsellors and therapists who value a holistic approach to healing. Rooted in principles of non-violence, organicity and mind-body integration, a Hakomi session has the therapist acting as a collaborator and guide, gently helping the client deepen into their present-moment experience where insights and resources can naturally emerge.

This is a rare opportunity to witness a full length one-on-one Hakomi session. A volunteer will be selected in advance to be in the client role. Participant observers will get an introduction to the method before the session and will have an opportunity to debrief and get their questions answered afterward.

This event will be especially valuable for those facing life challenges of their own, for wellness professionals interested in the method, and for anyone curious about using mindfulness therapeutically or for their own insight, healing and growth.

Note – If you’re interested in being in the client role for the demonstration please contact the presenter using the contact information below. Many people have the found the experience of doing a session in front of a supportive group to be very gratifying. There’s no cost to the client volunteer.

Justice Schanfarber, CHT
Phone 778 996-3821
Email justice@justiceschanfarber.com

REGISTER HERE: Hakomi Workshop at Ocean Mountain Yoga – Registration Page

To view the workshop handout click here or on the image below – Justice Schanfarber Counselling – Ocean Mountain Yoga Hakomi workshop handout (.pdf)

Justice Schanfarber Counselling - Campbell River Hakomi handout

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