I’m Not A Mind Reader: Using The Power Of Three-Dimensional Communication For A Better Relationship
New York, NY, April 28, 2015 – Every couple confronts issues of communication and too often, because they lack a good foundation, they are communicating in a way that places blame and ultimately damages trust. If addressed in time, effective lines of communication can be opened and the relationship can be saved. In I’m Not a Mind Reader: Using the Power of Three-Dimensional Communication for a Better Relationship (HCI Books — $15.95- ISBN: 9780757318337- May 2015), relationship therapist Marty Babits provides couples with the necessary tools to effectively communicate, which he calls “three-dimensional communication.” Babits’ emphasis on the triad of dimensional communication helps to get couples back on track and develop a more efficient way of communicating with one another.
Babits breaks down the different levels of communication starting with dimension one, which is the literal meaning of what is being communicated. The second dimension is the emotional undertone of the message. The third dimension is the most important because it allows the couple to reflect on what has been said, and consider the meaning behind the other two dimensions in a healthy way. There are many benefits of an activated third dimension such as: mitigating stress, toning down anger, keeping small problems in perspective, and preventing small mishaps from causing ruptures in trust.
Before the concept of three dimensional communication is explained, Babits provides a pre-quiz so that couples can discover what their “three-dimensionality” quotient is. This helps couples to understand where they are communication-wise and how their levels match up with those of their partners. At the end of each chapter he provides a key point that summarizes the chapter and illustrates how the information can be applied in a relationship. These tips are realistic and will allow couples to learn about who they are both outside and inside of their relationship.
Marty Babits, a couples therapist, draws from his practice and provides examples of good and bad communication from two couples and takes the reader through their journey of bitterness and misunderstanding to resolve and understanding so that couples can gain a new perspective. Babits also shows how communication can become stagnant in longer term relationships. I’m Not a Mind Reader is full of honesty and realizations that will cause couples to learn how to better communicate with each other on a full range of issues from a myriad of vantage points.
About the Author
Marty Babits is the Co-Director of FACTS (Family and Couples Treatment Service), a division of the Institute for Contemporary Psychotherapy, one of the oldest and most respected training and treatment resources in Manhattan, chartered by the NYS Board of Regents. He teaches and supervises at the Institute for Contemporary Psychotherapy and at Hunter School of Social Work and in the Hunter Graduate Program in Mental Health Counseling. As a therapist, he has worked with hundreds of families and couples over the past twenty-five years. His first book, The Power of the Middle Ground: A Couples Guide to Renewing Your Relationship (Prometheus, 2009) was well-reviewed, including a recommendation from Library Journal. He has also published numerous articles in professional journals and writes “Middle Ground,” a blog on the Psychology Today website. Babits is in private practice in New York City.
Available online and at bookstores everywhere or to order directly from the publisher, contact: www.hcibooks.com or (800) 441- 5569
I’m Not A Mind Reader: Using the Power of Three- Dimensional Communication For a Better Relationship
ISBN: 9780757318337- $15.95 -May 2015
Author Interview Q & A’s from HCI BOOKS
1. Of all the problems in relationships that people have, why single out communication as your focus in this book?
When people come in for couples therapy, or when they search self-help literature, their number one focus is on improving communication. The three-dimensional approach lays bare how the structure of communication can heal connection between partners. Couples can learn the approach and use it immediately in their life situations. Partners are able to personalize the ideas and experience quick, consistent and lasting results.
2. What does the three in ‘three-dimensional’ communication refer to?
Simply put, the first dimension of communication is the most superficial, the surface level. It is comprised of the words and gestures that partners say to one another. A misunderstanding about what someone said would be a difficulty in the first dimension of communication. The second dimension is deeper; it refers to the emotional subtext of any message, verbal or non-verbal. The second dimension refers to the message embedded within or underneath the words or gesture. For example, if the words, “I care about you” are delivered in a tone that indicates sincerity the message can carry tenderness. If the same words are spoken with a sneer, if they are understood as intended sarcastically, the same words can have the opposite meaning and impact. Being able to think about separating the content of a message—its literal meaning—from the emotional subtext can help clarify many difficulties in communication. The third dimension is the deepest, the furthest below the surface. It refers to processing the other two dimensions with the intention of understanding whether their impact makes emotional safety more or less likely. In other words, in the third dimension, we turn on our reflective capacity—sometimes called mindfulness—and we determine whether or not the interaction of the moment is taking our relationship in the direction we need to go in order to create closeness.
3. How easy is it to learn and practice three-dimensional communication?
Three-dimensional communication is easy to learn. It is not hard to practice either. However, it does involve breaking patterns (or habits) of communication that have proven to be damaging. This is the part of the process that people struggle with sometimes. Breaking habits is not easy. For this reason, practicing this method takes commitment and resolve. The more you use it the easier it gets to use it. Successes breed successes. The method is guaranteed to help you clarify the true potential of your relationship and to bring out what is most positive. Many couples have used it to make their relationship better.
4. Is there scientific evidence supporting the ideas upon which three-dimensional communication is based?
In recent years, two bodies of important research have caused leaders in the psychology field to rethink and reconfigure their understanding of emotion, communication, attachment, and self- regulation Three-dimensional communication is pillared on these breakthroughs. How it is based on current understandings is explained in clear, jargon-free language and accompanied by suggestions for maximizing our inherent abilities to create emotional safety and empathic connection with our partners.
5. Has this method helped you personally in your own life?
Yes. The method helps me every day. Using it has helped me to improve many personal relationships, most especially with my partner. It also helps me to understand myself better and maintain, to the extent possible, a consistently positive and resilient mindset.
6. Is this method worth learning if your partner is not willing to join you in implementing it?
Relationships, like good communication, require mutuality. But improvements have to start somewhere. If your partner is not ready, or is unwilling, to work on making your relationship better, this method will help you initiate the move towards improving connection. At some point, however, if the relationship is to improve, your partner will have to respond in a loving or cooperative way to the momentum that your efforts will create. Your three-dimensional practice maximizes possibilities for positive change in your relationship.
7. Is there any relationship between mindfulness and three-dimensional communication?
Three-dimensional communication reinforces mindful understandings. The third dimension helps partners maintain awareness of the direction their relationship is going. Your ability to make use of what you are aware of, to reap the benefit of your awareness, is nurtured. This is the essence of a three-dimensional, and of a mindful, perspective. It enhances your ability to evaluate and make best use of possible options.
8. Many people associate communication with social media. Is there any benefit for those seeking to improve communication in their relationship with regard to social media?
Text and email messages are poor mediums in which to clarify, negotiate or explore issues. They lack nuance and often aggravate misunderstandings, rather than clarify confusion. Of course, every intimate relationship has a social aspect but intimacy requires personal, and often private, attention. Intimate relationships are to social media relationships as a kiss is to an image of a kiss. Social media is no substitute for working things out face to face.