Ghosts to Teach Relationship Skills at Colorado Couples Retreat

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Relationship Specialist and Coach Kathe Skinner of Being Heard likens relationship partners to ghosts: both are stuck. The comparison is demonstrated by holding "Hunting for the Ghosts in Your Past", her company's upcoming Halloween Couples Retreat, at the haunted Stanley Hotel. Ghosts will be recruited by Being Heard to teach couples to update their relationship skills by changing unhealthy, old behaviors that no longer work.

Partners can learn useful tools from ghosts, like disappearing , being emotionally present, or rattling chains.

Most middle schoolers will tell you that zombies are dead people who are alive or maybe it's vampires, they're not quite sure which. Kathe Skinner of Being Heard, a Colorado company that helps couples create healthier relationships, disagrees.

She should know. Skinner has earned designation with the American Psychotherapy Association as a Certified Relationship Specialist and is a 16-year veteran Marriage & Family therapist. She'll tell you that intimate relationships bear the most resemblance to ghosts -- they're both stuck.

Being stuck happens early when we form beliefs about the 'who' and 'what' of ourselves, called schemas. Those beliefs might not lead adults to actions that work well. For example, when a child learns early not to confront a drunk parent, instead saying nothing and disappearing as soon as possible, that's adaptive behavior.

Skinner lays it out this way. "When that same person perceives confrontation, at home or work or socially, whether directed their way or not, the thought that it's dangerous to speak or stick around calls up an immediate reaction. The other party reacts just as quickly (based on their schemas). Because both are on automatic, predictable behaviors lead to predictable responses. on and on so that predictiable interpersonal problems result."

"It's all so, well, predictable," she finishes.

"Being actively aware and understanding of our own, and others' experiences let's people choose to act rather than react. A loving relationship where both partners practice awareness and choice leads to a more intimate, respectful, and happier relationship," says Skinner, who's seen it happen before.

The living can learn a thing or two from the dead: Rattling chains says "pay attention to me!" and evp's (electronic voice phenomena, ghostly voices captured electronically) remind us to ask for what we need. Ghosts are very good at disappearing, while keeping a sense of humor is similar to a spirit playing harmless tricks.

The subject doesn't fall on deaf ears. Fully two thirds of Americans believe in the paranormal, according to a 2005 Gallup poll.

"Nobody wants to eternally wander the halls of some hotel," asserts Skinner. "Good reason to get some things right before it's too late."


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Kathe Skinner
Being Heard Now
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