Spiritual Psychology
Home  |  Books  |  Articles  |  Q & A  |  Credentials

Radio-TV Interview Report
August 1999

August is Romance Awareness Month

Whether your listeners are dating, newly engaged, or long married, Marilyn C. Barrick, Ph.D., has the advice to keep their relationships humming. Having helped thousands of patients in her 35-year career as a clinical psychologist and relationship counselor, Dr. Barrick has learned what separates happy couples from those who fight too much or grow restless and bored.

Great call-in show!

In time for Romance Awareness Month, have Dr. Barrick reveal the 10 secrets happy couples know. Open up the phone lines and she'll provide invaluable on-air advice to callers about their relationships as she discusses:

  Why you should never pretend to be someone your're not to please
      the other person (many people do this).

  Surprising ways unresolved power struggles from adolescence often
      resurface to damage a relationship.

  8 body language signs that your partner may not be telling you the
      truth—look for them in yourself, too, and your'll be surprised.

  Why the flaws that bother us most about our dates and mates are
      often traits that we share too.

  How to initiate making up when you feel like you're ready to break

  Why learning how to enjoy life without a partner is perhaps the most
      important factor for a relationship.

  9 ground rules for handling conflict harmlessly.

  Down-to-earth, fun ways for partners to cooperate with each other.

CREDENTIALS: Dr: Marilyn Barrick's unique approach to psychotherapy includes inner child work, relationship counseling, dream analysis, Gestalt techniques, spiritual practices, meditation, and trauma release therapy. She has worked in the Peace Corps, was an Assistant Professor at the University of Colorado, and has also been a minister for over 20 years. She writes a monthly column on spiritual psychology for Heart to Heart and is author of Sacred Psychology of Love.

AVAILABILITY: Chicago, Los Angeles, New York, nationwide by arrangement, and via telephone

CONTACT: Dr. Marilyn Barrick, (406) 848-9887 (MT)


Marilyn C. Barrick, Ph.D.

10 Secrets Happy Couples Know

  1. Both men and women want to be loved and respected, but women really want to be loved and men really want to be respected.

  2. Heart-to-heart discussion of what each partner really wants establishes an authentic relationship, heads off misunderstandings and opens the way to a lifelong friendship.

  3. What we don't like in our partner is a mirror reflection of something we need to heal in ourselves—it's a "wake-up" call for our own personal growth.

  4. Golden rule for handling differences: Love, honor and negotiate!

  5. It's more important to "connect" with each other than to keep a safe distance from being hurt.

  6. When we open the doors of our hearts and the windows of our souls to each other, the loneliness of disconnection begins to subside.

  7. Giving one another the benefit of the doubt eases the tension, promotes constructive dialogue and helps resolve sensitive issues.

  8. Loving forgiveness opens the heart, soothes the soul and heals the rifts.

  9. A gentle touch, a little appreciation and honest communication go a long way to reviving love and trust.

  10. When you are out of touch with your loving feelings, prime the pump by behaving lovingly.

Why You Should Never Pretend to be Someone You're Not to Please the Other Person
  1. If you pretend to be someone you're not to please another person, you never know if the other person loves and appreciates who you really are.

  2. You will not feel loved or lovable because you know you're putting on a false front-and besides, it gets very tiring to keep up the pretense.

  3. Of course, this doesn't mean that you go out of your way to be your worst self just because that's who you momentarily think you are.

  4. Instead, practice being true to the best in yourself when you relate to other people. Replace the worst self and the pretense self with behavior that reflects the "real you."

  5. Emphasize the best in yourself in relationships at the same time that you are honest and straightforward about the "not-so-good" parts of yourself when they come up.

  6. Cultivate a sense of humor about the whole drama! We're all in it together, you know.

Surprising Ways Unresolved Power Struggles from Adolescence Often Resurface to Damage a Relationship

  1. If, as an adolescent, you rebelled against your parents, particularly your opposite-sex parent, that habit of rebelling will likely transfer into your adult love relationships. Thus, your partner asks you to do something seemingly innocuous that you do not want to do, and you become adversarial, argumentative or angry. In turn, your partner feels hurt by your reaction and withdraws. What happened? Your old adolescent habit pattern came into play and blocked your ability to talk things through with your partner in a balanced way. How do you fix it? First, you need to understand what is happening. Second, you need to talk it over with your partner. Third, figure out a strategy that will build a new habit to take the place of the old one. It might be as simple as: Stop. Center in your heart. Communicate lovingly.

  2. If your parents were dictatorial or oppressive and you always had to give in to them, you may have developed a pattern of being the resentful victim. This may also carry over into your adult relationships, e.g. whenever your partner has a firm conviction or takes a strong stand, you seemingly go along with it but harbor underlying feelings of hurt and resentment. How about trading in the victim for the "real you?" Stand up for what you believe in a positive, diplomatic way at the same time that you seek to understand and appreciate your partner's point of view.

  3. If you argued with your parents, you will likely argue with your spouse. If you were squelched, you may either let your partner walk all over you or go to the other extreme of having "to be right" at all costs. If you absented yourself from home or tried to ignore your parents' directives, you'll tend to do the same thing with your partner. What to do? Instead of arguing, present your position, be willing to negotiate a "win-win" solution with your partner or to simply agree to disagree. When you feel squelched, firmly but diplomatically hold your own. Instead of insisting on being right, shutting down or running away, share your feelings and talk it through together until the two of you find a point of agreement.

  4. Remember, you do not have to be at the mercy of old habit patterns. You can be the loving person you really are—it just takes practice!

8 Body Language Signs That Your Partner May Not Be Telling You the Truth—Look for Them in Yourself, Too, And You'll Be Surprised

  1. Shifting the eyes or avoiding eye contact

  2. Staring the other person down while trying to turn the tables in an aggressive or menacing manner, e.g. "Why are you accusing me when you…?"

  3. Nervously drumming the fingers on the table or pacing up and down.

  4. Angry, vehement denial accompanied by shaking a clenched fist.

  5. Breaking out into a sweat and/or rapid breathing.

  6. Serious fidgeting.

  7. Taut body tension and prolonged silence followed by an exaggerated or stammering explanation.

  8. Crossing the fingers behind the back.

Why the Flaws That Bother Us Most About Our Dates and Mates Are Often Traits That We Share Too

  1. There's a universal law, "Like attracts like."

  2. Applying this to relationships, we attract to ourselves people who have similar vibes and similar strengths and weaknesses.

  3. We may draw partners who have the same flaws that we do because at some level of consciousness we want to understand ourselves better.

  4. We may attract partners with similar strengths and weaknesses because we want to accent our strengths and master our weaknesses-we get lots of practice as we face those same strengths and weaknesses in a partner.

  5. At the level of the soul, I believe we magnetize to ourselves situations that help us to increase our self-mastery and spiritual growth.

  6. Two people with similar weaknesses may actually help one another overcome or outwit them and do wonderful, creative work together. One outstanding example: Two psychiatrists, Edward Hallowell and John Ratey, co-authored the excellent book Driven to Distraction, a scientific and down-to earth guide for coping with attention-deficit disorder through childhood and adulthood. Amazingly, Both Dr. Hallowell and Dr. Ratey have attention-deficit disorder. They shared experiences, pooled their "know-how," supported each other and wrote the most knowledgeable, interesting and practical book I've seen on the subject.

  7. So why are we bothered by negative traits in our dates and mates that match our own? Because what we see in our friends or loved ones mirrors back to us what we need to face and resolve. Our subconscious more or less forces the issue upon us-"Ready or not, here it comes!" If we are consciously ready to e-lim-in-ate the neg-a-tive and accent-uate- the positive, it's a fun challenge. If we are not ready to do that, the ricocheting back and forth of negative traits between ourselves and our dates and mates can escalate into big problems.

  8. Remember, real gems have flaws—only synthetic jewels are "perfect." So don't fault yourself for the flaws in the diamond of your being."

How to Initiate Making Up
When You Feel Like You're Ready to Break Up

  1. Be willing to swallow your pride and let bygones be bygones.

  2. Center in your heart, ask your angels to help you and reach out to your partner with sincerity and loving-kindness.

  3. Try to really hear, understand and appreciate the depth of what your partner is feeling and trying to tell you.

  4. Talk to your partner about what is hurting you without blaming.

  5. If you are at fault or have done something hurtful, admit your mistake, say, "I'm sorry"-and really mean it.

  6. Make amends in a way that is meaningful to your partner.

  7. Express verbal and non-verbal appreciation of your partner, e.g. words, hugs, a special treat, going out of your way to do a kindness.

  8. If your partner apologizes, be gracious in accepting it and quick to extend understanding and forgiveness.

  9. "Love, honor and negotiate" your differences as they come up.

  10. On a daily basis, pray for each other, support one another and choose to be kind.

Why Learning How to Enjoy Life Without a Partner Is Perhaps the Most Important Success Factor for a Relationship

  1. When you have learned to enjoy life without a partner it means you have come to appreciate your own company—that you love and accept yourself.

  2. When you love and accept yourself, you feel lovable and therefore are ready to accept someone else loving you.

  3. When you obviously enjoy life and are "upbeat" and vibrant, you are magnetic to others-you attract positive people and healthy relationships.

  4. You might say that when you look at your glass of life as "half-full," you draw to yourself people who enjoy helping you fill it up!

  5. When you enjoy life, it rubs off on others and people enjoy being with you.

  6. Once you learn to be happy without a partner, you have a certain sense of inner wholeness that tends to draw to you others who are developing their own wholeness—personal wholeness is the major foundation necessary to create truly fulfilling relationships.

  7. When you are happy with your life, you send good vibes out over the airwaves, which magnetize to you friends, dates and mates who also have good vibes.

  8. When you feel happy and whole, whether you continue to enjoy life without a partner or you draw to yourself new friends, dates or a mate, all of your relationships—with self, friends and loved ones—are set for success and happiness!

  9. The bottom line: Happiness in relationships is sparked from the light of happiness within our self.

9 Ground Rules for Handling Conflict Harmlessly

      When we greet conflict in a spirit of love and harmlessness, we generate creative solutions beyond any simple sum of our separate points of view—and bring peace to our relationships. Here are 9 ground-rules:
  1. Choose your words carefully so that they express your convictions in a positive way that encourages communication and resolution.

  2. Allow interactive sharing to take you "out of the box" of your original position so that you are open to new ideas and concepts that neither of you may have ever thought of before.

  3. Keep your emotional balance by staying heart-centered and remaining true to your higher principles and values.

  4. If you get stuck, feel hurt or draw a blank, take three slow deep breaths, focus on your heart and speak your truth with gentleness and firmness.

  5. Be a good listener. Listen with your heart as well as your mind. Appreciate the effort and courage it takes to be authentic, especially when you have different points of view.

  6. Seek to understand the other person in the same way that you want to be understood.

  7. Try to bring to the surface the deeper message of the soul that may be hidden in words that seem inadequate or clumsy.

  8. When you do not understand, ask questions and listen carefully to the other person's answers. Repeat back until you've "got it."

  9. Keep trying for a "win-win" resolution that allows both of you to be true to the best in yourself.

Down-To-Earth, Fun Ways for Partners to Cooperate with Each Other

  1. Plan activities and projects that you both enjoy or are committed to accomplishing.

  2. Be clear and positive about what you are asking of one another.

  3. Give each other space to be yourselves.

  4. Avoid negative comments or telling your partner how to do his or her part of the project.

  5. Trust your heart's intuition as well as your practical "know-how."

  6. Compliment each other on an activity or project well done.

  7. Instead of competing with each other, compete with yourself to do the very best you can—and give yourself a pat on the back for a job well done.

  8. Share your victories and celebrate together!

      Dr. Marilyn Barrick specializes in spiritual-transformational work for the healing of soul and spirit. Her illumining books, Sacred Psychology of Love, Sacred Psychology of Change, DREAMS: Exploring the Secrets of Your Soul, EMOTIONS: Transforming Anger, Fear and Pain, SOUL REFLECTIONS: Many Lives, Many Journeys, A Spiritual Approach to Parenting: Secrets of Raising the 21st Century Child, and Everything Is Energy: New Ways to Heal Your Body, Mind & Spirit are available in fine bookstores. To order direct, call 1-800-245-5445 or 406-848-9500 outside the U.S.A.

Home  |  Books  |  Articles  |  Q & A  |  Credentials

Copyright © 1999-2014 Marilyn C. Barrick. All Rights Reserved.