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The Key to Healthy and Effective Communication From A San Diego Marriage Counselor

By October 5, 2022October 28th, 2022Couples/Marriage
Image of a couple looking at each other so they can communicate effectively. This is a key tip of healthy and effective communication suggested by our San Diego marriage counselor. Learn other tips like this in marriage counseling with a San Diego couples therapist.

       With couples and intimate relationships, we all know that healthy and effective communication is a cornerstone. It can be helpful to know that we don’t only communicate when we speak. We also communicate with our body language: what we don’t say, the sounds we make, and so on. Unfortunately, communication can have more to do with venting, achieving our agenda, or ‘fixing’ issues than it does with actually communing, which is the root word of communication. 

       To commune means to have “a state of intimate, heightened sensitivity and receptivity” to another. It means we listen, show respect, and take responsibility for the energetic or heart space between us and another WHILE addressing difficult issues. It is not easy to do, especially when we feel hurt, angry, or overwhelmed. However, it is a worthwhile skill that improves our communication, connection, and state of being when addressing the issues that matter most.

How to Know When You are Ready to Talk with Healthy & Effective Communication

       What might true communing look like, when we are communicating, especially if the content is hard or we are personally challenged? Brene Brown is a bestselling author, speaker, and professor at Houston University. Her research over the past 15 years – analyzing over 11,000 pieces of data within relationships – has revealed mind-blowing conclusions. She has much to share with us about how to communicate effectively. Including how to know when we are ready to truly commune so our communication goes well. Her research revealed 10 clear behaviors that participants who knew how to communicate engaged in, and as a result had healthy relationships, careers, and sense of self. She suggests we know we are truly ready to communicate when … 

Image of wife comforting her husband who seems upset. If you struggle to fully commune with your partner meeting with a San Diego marriage and family therapist can help. In couples therapy a marriage counselor will help you find a healthy way to communicate with each other.


1. I’m ready to sit NEXT to you rather than across from you. 

Seeing another fundamentally as an ally, instead of an adversary or enemy, conveys and receives very different energy.  It’s an energy that is kind, friendly, respectful, and pivotal in producing desired outcomes.

2. I’m willing to put the problem in front of us rather than between us (or sliding it toward you). 

This is a sense of partnership: facing the problem together and cultivating teamwork. Rather than blaming or deferring responsibility, it strengthens the relationship while still communicating about tough issues.

3. I’m ready to listen, ask questions, and accept that I may not fully understand the issue.

Bringing a level of centeredness, curiosity, spaciousness, and humility allows us to be present.  It also accurately assesses what is happening as well as what needs to be done. Layers of reactivity, rigidity, being ‘right,’ knowing it all, or emotional overlay doesn’t really help.

4. I’m ready to acknowledge what you do well instead of picking apart your mistakes. 

Seeing another’s positive qualities, as well as our own, amplifies them. This is a supportive foundation for addressing any type of issue, which helps us grow. Few of us respond and communicate well when our mistakes are picked apart or focused on.

5. I recognize your strengths and how you can use them to address your challenges. 

Image of a man and woman dancing together in the water. If you want to have a healthy relationship like this a San Diego marriage counselor and couples therapist can help. Couples therapy in San Diego California can help you develop effective communication.

The truth is, we all have strengths. Often, the strengths our partners have are the very ones we are lacking in. Being able to recognize another’s gifts and strengths advances us all together. It is important not to allow this to be squeezed out.

6. I can hold you accountable without shaming or blaming. 

Being able to address the tough things clearly and kindly is critical to relationship success…in fact inevitable. Blaming, judging, and shaming, however, are not. They actually add difficulty and negativity to communication, which can both polarize and paralyze relationships.

7. I am open to owning my part. 

Because every interaction we are involved in includes our participation, it is always important to own our contribution, no matter how small. Taking responsibility positively impacts others and invites ownership as well. This is akin to being able to ‘bring’ something to the relationship rather than always seeking to ‘get’ something from it.     

8. I can genuinely thank someone for their efforts rather than criticize them for their failings. 

We know that communicating gratitude is incredibly powerful in relationships, causing us to feel seen, appreciated, and valued. Being able to appreciate another supports them in being appreciative in return and brings uplifting energy to solve problems.           

9. I can talk about how resolving these challenges will lead to growth and opportunity. 

In the middle of conflict or hardship, it can be quite difficult to hold or have a vision for how the conflict may benefit us and make us stronger. Being able to address and communicate about challenges with a ‘hope or growth mindset’ helps us to successfully move through conflict.

10. I can model the vulnerability and openness that I expect to see from you.

Staying centered, open and accessible, when we are going through stressful communication, has a stabilizing and alchemizing effect. By not being taken over by reactivity or emotion, we stay present, reduce tension, and demonstrate that which we desire in return. 

We’re Here To Help You With Communication In Couples Therapy & Marriage Counseling in San Diego

Image of a man and woman holding hands while speaking with a San Diego marriage counselor. There are many things that a couples therapist can help you with in marriage counseling. This includes developing healthy and effective communication.Relationships of all kinds can be challenging and they take effort to sustain. But if you’re ready to create a happier couple relationship through healthy and effective communication, our San Diego couples therapists can help. In couples therapy and marriage counseling we can help you explore new ways of being together, communicating clearly, and developing lasting relationships!

Get support in our relationship from the Family Connections Therapy team by following these steps. 

  1. Book an appointment online or call our office today at (858) 776-8804.
  2. Start meeting with a San Diego marriage counselor
  3. Develop healthy and effective communication in your partnership

Other Therapy Services We offer in San Diego, CA

At our San Diego, CA-based therapy practice we also help children, teens, adults, and families. With support for anxietydepression, and more! We also offer a social skills group for kids, a high conflict parenting course, and reunification therapy.