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About Jim Walkup LMFT
I feel a certain degree of pride in sharing that many years later the editors included several anonymous stories of couples that I had seen in my marriage counseling and how I worked with them to have a better life together.
My wife, Betsy, and I married almost 50 years ago. I must admit quite a bit of what I have learned about relationships has come from this training ground. We have attended workshops and have used marriage counselors to help us grow in our love. I am happy to report that our bond has evolved over the years and given us many years of happiness and joy.
I have particularly enjoyed working with couples who come just after getting engaged. Sometimes they know they have a bit of a problem on their hands that they want to work on before walking down the aisle.
At other times they want to make sure they are starting on the right foot. They are seeking to do due diligence to gain the tools and skills needed to make their relationship work.
I find a particular pleasure in providing them with the keys to communicate so that each partner can listen and not become defensive. I know that problem-solving skills will help avoid a multitude of woes. In a similar vein, agreeing to get out of intense confrontations until each can think a little more clearly, often saves the day.
Learning your partner's love language and how to speak accordingly will serve you well. Begin to discern whether your partner will enjoy words of affirmation, deeds of service, listening, gifts, or touch. When you communicate in this way, you will find your partner almost purrs.
I have a daily practice of spiritual meditation which I encourage my clients to do as well if interested. I find that this increases my compassion and ability to stay in the moment with my wife. I see some of my most creative ideas come while in a deep state. Clients who practice it become less reactive and more open to hearing their partner without defensiveness.
I took classical piano lessons through much of college. Recently I have begun playing more blues and favorite songs. As I work with couples, I teach them how to listen to the music that comes from the soul of their partner.
I grew up in the Bible belt (North and South Carolina). Since I come from a family of ministers and missionaries, I never thought about not being a minister. That was until in seminary I decided I did not was to preach sermons every Sunday. Instead, I wanted a hands-on way of spending time with people to help them grow emotionally, psychologically and spiritually.
So right after completing seminary in Princeton, I studied for three years in a full-time training program for individual psychotherapy and marriage counseling. I enjoyed the in-depth interaction. I loved helping couples build a bond of love and care.
I enjoy helping clients find resources in their spiritual life to deal with their crises of depression, anxiety, or relationship concerns. Many times they struggle with a rigid sense of what their scriptures demand.
Some times the people I work with, project onto God some of the leftover fallout from the punitive attitudes they experienced with their parents. As they become aware of this, they find more freedom in their spiritual life.
For clients, for whom religion does not play a significant part in their lives, I help them find meaning and a sense of purpose as they sort their relationship issues.
I have served as the President of the New York State Association of Marriage, and Family Therapy, which means my fellow professionals recognize my leadership in this field. I have challenged marriage and family therapists to grow as competent healers.
I hope you find this book will inspire you to build a marriage that will give you a sense of joy and meaning. May you savor your relationship as long as you both shall live.
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Strengthen Your Bond, Strengthen Your Marriage
Planning a meaningful wedding is important. Planning for a happy and satisfying marriage is critical. Through in-depth, thought-provoking exercises, I Do! A Marriage Workbook for Engaged Couples helps prospective partners grow their love and solidify their partnership as they prepare to walk down the aisle together.
From money to intimacy, this marriage workbook helps you dig deep into your relationship over the course of 7 chapters—each focusing on a different part of married life. Gain insight into each other and discover ways to feel closer before you finally and happily say, “I do!”
I Do! A Marriage Workbook for Engaged Couples includes:
- LOVE, SEX, AND MONEY—Prepare for married life by exploring and sharing your feelings on communication, money, intimacy, children, beliefs and values, family and friends, and work.
- IN-DEPTH EXERCISES—Learn more about your partner through various exercises, including writing prompts, true/false questionnaires, worksheets, partner discussions, and more.
- TOOLS TO TAKE IT TO THE NEXT LEVEL—Use this marriage workbook’s exercises as springboards for a deeper exploration into your relationship.
Deepen your connection and prepare for your marriage with I Do! A Marriage Workbook for Engaged Couples.