by LeTonya Hudson, ACS Family Advocacy Program, Clerk Typist III
“A ScreamFree Marriage Can Lead to a ScreamFilled Marriage!” That was the focus for the training and the date night portion of the event that was held on 26-27 October 2016. In the Train-the-Trainer class, taught by ScreamFree Marriage facilitator Daron Dickens, he explained the fundamentals of the professional knowing their role when working with or counseling couples. “The key for couples is to “calm down, grow up, get closer” (also the name of Hal Runkel’s book) to ensure authenticity and that each person has the opportunity to say what they want to say in a calm manner to gain respect and take a ‘pause’ afterwards.” Everyone learned that the ‘pause’ is a time out between what you’re doing or saying; creating the probability of being heard by the other person.
Mr. Dickens spoke on many common entities that make up a relationship and went through each of them in the ScreamFree model. In working the various models, the ones that seemed to capture the trainers attention were: triangles, the fires, and being accountable for “I”. With different scenarios, the trainers gained insight on how to communicate with the individual as a whole instead of the couple as a whole. On day two of the training, the trainers brought in their homework assignment – a genogram – and looked at patterns. Some noted what has passed down to them or in their generation and discussed the good and the bad; what has changed on purpose, what was there without them knowing it existed, and the consequences of choices. They were able to associate their own behaviors with the ones their couples may be portraying.
In the afternoon of day two, Mr. Runkel expanded on the genogram and the fires which brought on a lot of conversation with the trainers. It involved making choices and accepting the consequences that came with them; balancing time apart with time together, even if they are not equal, and know that as an adult, your parents become your extended family. Mr. Runkel
taught that “fires” change us. “You have to let them and embrace them.” Couples have to be intentional with their marriage and learn what intimacy (“in to me u(you) see”) is to them as an individual.
He expanded on this with the third big topic of getting closer with intimacy and love.
These individuals are now ready to implement what they learned with the military community in a form that meets the needs of their customers in their individual fields.
Jose (DES/911) and Maria Del Valle (Nurse Case Manager at DDEAMC) attended the training and stated, “My wife and I have attended and have given marriage conferences to churches and the community. We use many techniques and talk about different topics. This ScreamFree seminar is the best, and most in-depth seminar that we have attended. We learned so much and acquired so much wisdom that it will be our model for future conferences. It really was an amazing seminar.”
After pouring lemonade and tea for many of the couples at the date night portion, Mr. Runkel started the seminar by engaging in the intimacy of both spouses and how the two can still be two when coming together as one. He explained the ‘fires’ of relationships and gave a demonstration of the ‘pause’ in communication. The message was based on “calming down, growing up and getting closer.” He shared antidotes from his own experiences and how he uses the models of communication in order for him to continue to enjoy a ScreamFilled Marriage! (You had to be there!)
The couples who attended date night enjoyed not only gifts received from FAP in a drawing, but eight couples walked away with a tool in the box kit compliments of the ScreamFree Marriage Institute. Every couple in attendance received an introductory CD of the program, a copy of Mr. Hal Runkel’s book and two personal workbooks.