Peter Pearson

 

It is impossible for me to even estimate the number of times I hear couples in my office say their partner doesn't listen or understand. Often both people will say it. As my practice is in Silicon Valley, home of some of the brightest people on the planet, one would think understanding would come easier. Maybe it has to do with the ability to listen and concentrate.

So I'll give you a test to check your powers of concentration.

This simple little test comprising of four questions will determine your thinking ability. Your replies must be spontaneous and immediate, with no deliberating or wasting time.

GO!

1) Imagine you are competing in a race, and you overtake the runner who is in second place. In which position are you now?

Answer: If you answered that you're now coming first then you're wrong. You overtook the second runner and took their place; therefore you're coming second. Better luck next time..

2) If you overtake the last runner, what position are you now in?

Answer: If you answered second-last, once again you're completely wrong. Think about it…How can you over take the person coming last? If you're behind them then they can't be last. It's impossible – a trick question.

Anyway, here's another one. Don't take any notes or use a calculator, and remember your replies must be quick.

3) Take 1000. Add 40. Add another 1000. Add 30. 1000 again. Plus 20. Plus 1000. And plus 10. What is the total?

Answer: 5000? Wrong ! The correct answer is 4100. Try again with a calculator. Today is clearly not your day!! Although you should manage to get the last question right…

4) Marie's father has five daughters: 1. Chacha 2. Cheche 3. Chichi 4. Chocho 5. ????

What is the fifth daughter's name? Think quickly…you'll find the answer below…

Answer: Chuchu?

WRONG! It's Marie. Read the question carefully.

Cute, huh? How did you do?

So why am I joking around with all these puzzling questions?

They're kind of fun, but my point is to illustrate how easy it is to think we know what's coming when we don't. And considering how many people come into my office complaining that their spouse doesn't listen to them, I know it's important.

When we've been with our partner a while, we no longer hang on every word they utter. In fact, we often “listen” with our mind elsewhere. Try really paying attention during your next conversation.

Till next time,

Pete

 

About 

Peter Pearson, Ph.D., Relationship & Teamwork Expert for Entrepreneur Couples

Pete has been training and coaching couples to become a strong team since 1984 when he co-founded The Couples Institute with his psychologist wife, Ellyn Bader.

Their popular book, “Tell Me No Lies,” is about being honest with compassion and growing stronger as a couple.

Pete has been featured on over 50 radio and television programs including “The Today Show,” "Good Morning America,” and "CBS Early Morning News,” and quoted in major publications including “The New York Times,” “Oprah Magazine,” “Redbook,” “Cosmopolitan,” and “Business Insider.”


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A Glossary of Terms that are sometimes Confusing

Couples Therapy is a counseling procedure that seeks to improve the adjustment of two people who have created an interdependent relationship. There are no standard procedures to help two people improve their adjustments to each other. Generally, a more experienced therapist will offer more perspectives and tools to a couple. Length of treatment will depend on severity of problems, motivation and skills of the therapist. A couple can be dating, living together, married or separating and may be gay, lesbian or heterosexual.

Marriage Therapy is a term often used interchangeably with marriage counseling. The term marriage implies two people have created a union sanctioned by a government or religious institution. The methods used in marriage counseling, marriage therapy and couples therapy are interchangeable and depend more on the specific challenges of each unique couple.

Psychotherapy is one or more processes to help improve psychological and emotional functioning. Examples are psychoanalysis, cognitive therapy, behavior therapy, Gestalt therapy, Transactional Analysis, Rational-Emotive therapy, or group therapy. Many forms of psychotherapy are blends of different approaches. For example, newer forms of psychotherapy called energy psychology draw upon recent advances in brain and neuroscience. These approaches often build on cognitive behavioral methods.

Clinical Psychologist. After graduating from college, it usually takes about five years of graduate school to get a Ph.D. in Psycholgy. It then requires an additional two years of supervision and passing a written (and often) an oral exam. There are a few states that allow psychologists to prescribe medications (with additional training) but that is uncommon.

Psychiatrist. After graduation from medical school, there is a generally a 4-year psychiatric residency. After the completion of this training, psychiatrists must pass an exam issued by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology to obtain certification and legally practice in the field. Psychiatrists can prescribe medications.

Clinical Social Worker. This profession usually requires two years of study after obtaining an undergraduate degree. While specific licensure requirements vary by state, most require clinical social workers to obtain 3,000 hours or 2 years of supervised clinical experience, after obtaining a Masters degree. Social workers can also specialize in diverse fields such as human services management, social welfare analysis, community organizing, social and community development, and social and political research.

Marriage and Family Therapist. Obtaining this license requires a Masters degree which takes approximately two years of post graduate study. The license also requires 3000 hours of supervised work and passing written exams.

The Couples Institute. We have assembled a group of top notch therapists at The Couples Institute. Whatever marriage help or marriage advice you are looking for, we are here to serve you. While most other therapists see only a few couples a week, we specialize in marriage and couples relationships, working to develop and bring you the most current and effective approaches to couples therapy. For more information about couples therapy or marriage counseling, see our couples therapy section.