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How PAIRS Changed our Lives
Ellen Purcell, Master Teacher

Chuck and I both had a "BP" life -- Before PAIRS.

Even though we were accomplished professionals in the business world, when it came to relationships, we were Unconsciously Incompetent -- unskilled in understanding the dynamics of close relationships, and without even an awareness that we lacked communication and conflict resolution skills. Before taking PAIRS, we didn't know what we didn't know.

We both experienced a full range of relationship struggles, including divorce, step-parenting and being widowed. We've experienced times of single parenthood, the death of parents, raising children in a complex time, and the stresses of trying to keep relationships nurtured in a 24/7 world. When we met many years ago, we were both wounded and healing from these challenges.

As PAIRS instructors, in teaching the class together, we are able to be truly empathetic with the struggles of class participants. Having learned how to live on a day-to-day basis using the skills we teach, we model them in a genuine and relatable way that brings the amazing skills and concepts of PAIRS to life for the class.

PAIRS is presented in a very experiential way -- participants get to experience the skills, not just read about them or hear about them in some dry lecture. We can describe the uses for a particular communication or conflict resolution skill -- then we demonstrate it, and then students get to try it out right there in class, where we can answer questions, and keep the process positive and on-track.  This constant use of the skills is not only clear to participants, but keeps us "honest" -- we keep the skills front and center in our lives on a steady basis.  So, teaching PAIRS is also a gift to continue to nurture our wonderful relationship.

Before PAIRS, we knew we wanted to handle stresses better. We wanted to be positive, and not hurt those we love. We just didn't know how to do it. Having PAIRS in our lives keeps us closer and more joyful in all our relationships -- with each other, with family, friends, and co-workers.

We realized that love was not enough. We needed the skills, too.

PAIRS in Virginia is an effective marriage counseling alternative to help couples restore clear communication, avoid fighting, diffuse anger, solve problems together and reenergize intimacy.   Our classes teach you the skills you need to sustain a happy relationship!  Call 703-476-5644.

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