Hunting Family Histories Scarier Than Hunting Ghosts at Being Heard's Marriage Retreat, October 26-28 at the Haunted Stanley Hotel

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Ghosts, like those at The Stanley Hotel in Estes Park, CO, sometimes enjoyed life so much their spirits return every now and then. Like F.O. Stanley himself, or his piano-playing wife, Flora. Hunting for the Ghosts of Your Past, Being Heard's marital retreat, teaches couples to improve their relationships by looking into personal histories, especially those from their crucial early years. Early childhood is where each person develops schemas -- maps of themselves, others, and the world in general -- the maps of the world we carry for life. Relationship difficulties arise when partners' schemas, or maps of the way the world should be, collide. Being Heard teaches each partner to identify and explore the mental chatter that constitute thoughts; those beliefs form the feelings and behaviors that impact the relationship. Individuals get trapped by thoughts that once made sense to us when we first formed our beliefs about the world as children. As adults, those rules no longer work; when we don't realize the disconnection between child and adult thinking and behavior, we're said to be on "autopilot". Workshops like the marriage retreat Being Heard is conducting at The Stanley Hotel, are designed to introduce couples to ways they can "grow up" their schemas to work for them in an adult world. When partners get off autopilot they can gain a happier, closer, thriving relationship.

Being Heard's inaugural Destination Retreat for Couples harnesses the power of a haunted location to show couples how to get unstuck.

I coach clients to look backward before looking forward, says Being Heard's owner, Kathe Skinner. Clients are intrigued by their histories. One called it the Rear View Mirror Exercise.

A marriage retreat to be held October 26-28 at The Stanley Hotel in Estes Park, CO will teach couples how their personal histories are responsible for whether their relationships are happy or not.

"I coach clients to look backward before looking forward," says Being Heard's owner, Kathe Skinner. "Clients are impressed by what they learn about themselves. They like the view; one called it the 'Rear View Mirror Exercise'."

It's not often the living identify with the dead, but in both cases the more one knows about their past, the better motivations can be understood. Family experiences are where we put together what we believe about ourselves, the world, and the people around us. These maps of the world -- schemas -- are where negative life patterns form. One example is believing our map of the world is the one and only map. But our map is not always the territory; in fact, the person we're in relationship with has a map, too. Chances are, those map are very different.

Skinner relates an example. "I ask couples to each visualize a vegetable. One may think of lettuce and the other might see green beans. When they reveal their answers, partners understand right away that neither one of them is wrong or right," How we make sense of our world -- the world -- is based on individual experiences as well as how we're hard-wired for starters.    

Most people are on autopilot when it comes to thinking, feeling, and reacting. An automatic reaction happens so quickly that awareness is usually absent. We haven’t chosen to think as we do, we just . . . do. "Combining your schemas and your partner's is a potent brew." Skinner is sure of that; she sees it all the time when coaching couples.

Power plays and animosity over stupid stuff happens when one partner's schemas challenge the other's. That's why couples fight to the brink of divorce about the proper way to cut an orange. "It's nothing to do, per se, with slicing oranges; everything to do with what we have always, without question, believed about slicing oranges. And that comes from our families of origin," Skinner goes on to say.

The marriage retreat, especially because it's at the ghostly Stanley Hotel, can show couples how the power of automatic thinking can keep partners, like ghosts, stuck.

About Being Heard
Formalized in 2004, Being Heard is proud of a twelve-year record of teaching couples communication skills. Products include an expanded Couples Communcation workshop, Destination Retreats for Couples, Relationship Coaching, and Schema Workshops. Products are innovated and developed by Relationship Coach Kathe Skinner, a 16-year veteran Marriage & Family Therapist and Certified Relationship Specialist, and are taught by husband-and-wife relationship educators Kathe and David Skinner.
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Kathe Skinner
Being Heard Now
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