I’ve been working with people to help them to change their behaviour when it no longer serves them for decades now.
First I did a life coaching course and helped people to identify and achieve their personal goals for themselves.
Then I spent several years learning about neuro-linguistic programming and the fact that we do have the ability to rewire and reprogram our own beliefs, values and habits if they are no longer working for us.
As a NLP Master Practitioner I often worked with people who had experienced trauma and were trying to apply strategies that they had developed in one situation in others where they just were not working for them. Often they believed they were powerless to change until they realised they were not.
Changing your mind is pretty much like choosing what track you are going to take when you go for a drive. I’m from the country where to make a road you just start to drive somewhere and as long as you repeat enough you have a road. Sometimes the road gets boggy and mucked up and you need to do a new one.
You decide where you want to go, the best way to get there and then remember to take the new road instead of the old one.
Behaviour Change Client Example
I came across a client task from some behaviour change today from a number of years ago. No names but this gives you the idea.
This is what the client put in his worksheet.
When I think my is lying to me or accuses me of lying I get angry. I shout and push her around to show her who’s boss.
Clearly there are lots of other things we could explore such as why he thinks he’s got a right to be the boss in his marriage but that is another conversation.
Desired Future Situation
The next thing to work out was what did he want instead when something comes up where he and his wife have a trust issue. He knows that shouting and pushing her around is not a good strategy.
When he first started coaching with me he thought that pushing his wife around wasn’t a big deal. His own dad used to get stuck into his mother and him with his fists or sometimes boots. He thought “just pushing her around” was ok relatively. It wasn’t giving him the relationship he or his wife wanted though.
His goal was:
I want to keep my temper under control and talk through misunderstandings with my wife without losing it.
A SMART Goal is a great way to gather your thoughts about where you are heading and check that you are actually clear and it is a destination you can be bothered to put the effort in to achieve.
In this case his goal was:
From now on I will not let my anger get out of control when I distrust my wife or she seems to distrust me and will instead will find a way to understand what’s really the problem.
While it isn’t perfect in terms of a goal it was pretty clear that he wanted to work on this specific problem in their relationship.
A goal without a plan is simply a dream. Unless you actually have steps that you can take to make things be different you’re not really serious.
They say that if you keep doing the same thing and you’ll keep getting the same results. In reality if what you are doing is upsetting someone else keep doing it and eventually they will reach their breaking point. They will leave, get a family violence order and make you leave or perhaps just start checking out of the relationship until what you had is gone.
His plan had 4 simple to follow action steps he was going to use.
- I will pay attention to my thoughts and use coping thoughts rather than letting things wind me up.
- If I feel my anger escalating I will tell her and then take some time out to calm down.
- I will use “I” language to talk about how what she’s saying makes me feel
- I will ask her to work with me to overcome the issue that is making us feel like we can’t trust each other
They were pretty good strategies that will help him to use the 4 big skills in his relationship with his wife and have a much more healthy and mutually supportive way of dealing with issues and triggered behaviour.
This client work is from an Anger Management course I used to run but the New Ways for Families is based on the same cognitive behaviour change model.
We help you to understand what is going on in a way that is respectful and empowering. Armed with new awareness and the knowledge you need you can make the changes you need to improve your co-parenting and overcome interpersonal issues.
What does New Ways for Families Cost?
The course costs $198 for 12 hours of self-paced online learning with a comprehensive Parents Manual.
Individual Coaching is also available from $132 per hour.
If you need this course or coaching and don’t have enough money to afford the fees we have hardship options available.
Spread the word
This post shares three good reasons for why to say yes to family dispute resolution with Interact Support especially when there has been family violence in the past.