Wednesday, March 19, 2014

PREP Seminar - learning to communicate better

Liv-Kristin and I have a really great marriage together! We have two (soon three) beautiful kids, a nice home to live in, two cars, and we both have jobs we enjoy. We also have friends, hobbies and other activities we do together and alone. But even though we have all these things in life, and we are seemingly "successful", life is not without it's struggles. It's tough to get schedules to fit, the kids to behave and giving attention to all the necessary aspects in life. In a month or so we are expecting another child, and I will definitely not get less to do at work (probably quite a lot more). Liv-Kristin and I therefore concluded that we needed to prepare for the upcoming time and challenges, so we signed up for a PREP seminar (Prevention and Relationship Enhancement Program).

In Norway the PREP seminars are provided through Modum Bad, and you can read a bit more about their offers here. More information about the program it is based on is found here.

We were lucky to get babysitters for Matheo and Milla already on Friday, so we used the opportunity to go out and eat dinner with my sister Mariel and her husband Lars Peter. We had a blast, and enjoyed both Tapas (at San Leandros) and awesome milkshakes at Nighthawk Diner in Grünerløkka.

Picture taken from Wikipedia

The seminar started on Saturday Morning in a town called Vikersund, mostly known for it's gigantic(!) ski jump. They started with an introduction of the course, and then slowly went through topic by topic. One thing I really liked about PREP, was that it provided tools one can use to strengthen the communication in your relationship with your spouse. Especially the talking/listening technique was valuable. PREP also tells you about some of the signs of danger for a relationship, important values in a relationship, and to focus on enjoying the nice moments in life.

The instructors were really nice to listen to, professional, and really knew what they were talking about. The program is intense, with almost 8 hours each day, but we got many breaks. Whenever we learned a new technique, or was encouraged to discuss certain issues, we got to do this with our partner. There was plenty of time set aside for 'hands-on' discussion, which was great, because then you got to try the things out immediately. Some times the instructors would sit by and listen, not to be therapists, but to see if you were able to use the techniques properly. This helped us a lot, and really made us try to get it to work. It is important to note that this is a seminar, and not therapy sessions. The focus of the seminar leaders is therefore more on the ways to get better communication, rather than to solve your specific problems.

The venue was nice, the food was truly awesome and the seminar taught us things we needed to know. Just these two days, Liv-Kristin and I were able to resolve issues that had been an annoying part of our relationship and communication the last couple of years. Now we feel more prepared to face the upcoming challenges, and recommend PREP for anyone in a relationship. Your communication can always get better!

No more excuses! Push push push!

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