Neurocove Behavioral Health, LLC

 Specialists in psychological assessment, therapy, and counseling for 

anxiety, depression, and trauma throughout Florida. 

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10 Awesome Fair Fighting Rules

What are “fair fighting rules”, and how can they help us? At some point, most people who are in relationships will find themselves in conflict with a spouse, partner, or family member. The intensity of these arguments can range from mild to fiery eruptions of vitriol and anger. Knowing how to keep disagreements focused and fair is critical. Here are ten tips that might help your next argument go better!

1. Reflect on why you are upset before you start talking.

Are you upset because your partner left the shirt on the bed? Or are you upset because you feel like they do not contribute to household chores, like laundry? Understanding the actual root of your frustration, irritability, or anger is critical to effectively communicating with others and problem-solving the real issue.

2. Limit your argument to a single issue. Pick one, and stick to it.

Arguments can quickly devolve into a mass of unrelated complaints or allegations that are not related. “You don’t spend enough time with me” can quickly shift into “You hate my family”, which while related, cannot be effectively addressed at the same time without the potential of becoming either emotionally or mentally overwhelming. Limiting arguments to one issue or problem helps us engage in fair fighting.

3. Separate your thoughts and your emotions.

At some point in our life, we have probably heard someone say “I feel like you don’t care” or “I feel like this is not important to you”. While we understand the sentiment behind these statements from a conversational perspective, “You don’t care” and “This is not important” are not things you feel. These are thoughts, which likely result in feelings, such as anger, frustration, sadness, or hurt. Discriminating our thoughts and feelings help us more effectively communicate because ideas are more negotiable during a debate, whereas challenging someone’s feelings will likely be ineffective, if not inflammatory.

4. Discuss the problem, not the person.

“You left the toilet seat up again!” is a very different statement than “You’re such a slob!” Personal put-downs, swearing, or name-calling only serves to heighten the intensity of our emotions during disagreements and detracts from the real issues at hand.

5. Take Turns. 

Everything you learned as a kid still applies when arguing as an adult. Despite the difficulty, waiting for the other party to finish (and clarifying when you are not sure if they tend to be long-winded!) is critical to allow both parties to express themselves. Can’t agree on a limit? Set a timer, and actively listen while they are talking.

6. Listen to understand. Not to respond.

If it is not your turn to talk, listen so you actually understand where the other person is coming from and what their point of view is. It can be remarkably satisfying to respond with a savage comeback but provides little value towards actually resolving the conflict.

7. Stop Stonewalling

Crawling into your shell and refusing to engage helps no-one. While it might feel better in the short term, you are only creating larger problems down the road as issues continue to grow in magnitude.

8. Don’t Yell.

I don’t think this needs further explanation, does it?

9. Compromise

There is rarely a perfect answer or solution when disagreeing. Life is imperfect, and we have to deal with that. Do your best to compromise. Both sides are going to have to give a little. In the event a compromise is not possible, improved understanding is better than nothing at all.
 

10. When all else fails, take a break.

If disagreements or fights become too intense or too personal, ask to take a 5-minute break or time-out. When everyone has had some time to collect their thoughts and cool down, return to solve the problem.

Are you struggling with fair fighting rules or communicating with others?

Routine use of fair fighting rules takes time, energy, and practice. If you’d like to learn more, there’s a video by ThriveUnion you might like. If you’d like to talk more about problems communicating or expressing yourself, let’s talk!

About the Author:

Dr. Benson Munyan is a Clinical Psychologist licensed in both Florida and Arizona. He is the Director of Neurocove Behavioral Health and specializes in the assessment and treatment of anxiety, depression, and trauma-related disorders. Dr. Munyan earned his Doctorate in Clinical Psychology from the University of Central Florida. He currently holds clinical privileges at both Neurocove Behavioral Health and the Orlando Veteran’s Affairs Healthcare System. He has also previously published clinical research and articles in peer-reviewed journals including PLoS One and Clinical Case Studies.

Dr. Benson Munyan is a Clinical Psychologist licensed in both Florida and Arizona. He is an Assistant Professor of Psychology at the University of Central Florida's College of Medicine and the Director of Neurocove Behavioral Health, LLC. He specializes in the assessment and treatment of anxiety, depression, and trauma-related disorders. Dr. Munyan earned his Doctorate in Clinical Psychology from the University of Central Florida. He currently holds clinical privileges at both Neurocove Behavioral Health and the Orlando Veteran’s Affairs Healthcare System. He has also previously published clinical research and articles in peer-reviewed journals including PLoS One and Clinical Case Studies.
Benson Munyan, Ph.D.
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Nicholas James Psychologist Orlando Florida

Nicholas James, Ph.D.

LICENSED CLINICAL PSYCHOLOGIST

ABOUT ME

My name is Nicholas James, Ph.D. I have experience working with individuals facing anxiety, depression, stress, trauma, insomnia, and caregiver strain. I focus on matching evidence-based therapies to the needs of my clients to meet their personal goals of recovery and growth.

OUR FIRST SESSION

I believe that change occurs through personal reflection, cultivating strengths and resources, and incorporating growth into everyday life. It is my goal that each session is collaborative and integrates needs, beliefs, and your background into a person-centered treatment plan.

MY APPROACH

I try to bring a genuine, humanistic atmosphere to every session. My therapeutic approach is centered in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) and incorporates additional evidence-based practices to address unique needs that arise during therapy.

INTERVENTIONS

Trauma Focused

Exposure Response Prevention

Acceptance & Commitment (ACT)

Behavior Modification 

Humanistic

Motivational Interviewing Mindfulness-Based (MBCT)

Cognitive Processing (CPT)

Cognitive Behavioral (CBT)

Benson Munyan Psychologist Orlando Florida

Benson Munyan, Ph.D.

LICENSED CLINICAL PSYCHOLOGIST

ABOUT ME

My name is Dr. Benson Munyan. I specialize in working with those experiencing symptoms of anxiety, depression, and trauma. If you are reading this, there’s a good chance you’re looking for something. Whatever the origin of your story, you are here. There is no time like the present to change our tomorrow.

OUR FIRST SESSION

From our very first session, skills are introduced, demonstrated, and assigned as practice assignments between meetings. I collaboratively set each session agenda with my clients, ensuring we have time for following up since the last session, troubleshooting any problems with skills or homework, and working on new problems or material.

MY APPROACH

Let’s be honest. Sometimes, life is hard. And sometimes, it downright sucks. There, I said it. I believe we should be able to use everyday language in therapy, and that participating in therapy as our most genuine selves empowers us to better understand the challenges we’re facing as well as potential solutions.

INTERVENTIONS

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

Cognitive Processing Therapy

Trauma-Focused Therapy

Dialectical Behavioral Therapy

Acceptance and Commitment Therapy

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