It's always been my way or their way, but now the Diocese of Bismarck Office of Family Ministry is offering The Third Option.
The Third Option helps people discouraged about their marriage or other relationships (dating, parent/child, siblings, friends, etc.), learn to handle anger more constructively, resolve conflicts and communicate more effectively. The Third Option not only provides a support group, but also teaches new ways to handle old problems through a brief teaching and the sharing of mentors who have struggled but made it through. The Third Option is free to all interested people ready to build a better relationship.
Winter 2016 dates:
February 11: Building a Climate of Respect
Fall/Winter 2015-16 dates:
Sept. 15: Building a Climate of Respect
February 18: Expectations
February 25: Learning to Fight Fair
March 3: Appreciating Personality Differences
March 10: Practicing Forgiveness and Repair
March17: Rebuilding Trust
All session listed above will be held 7-9 p.m. at St. Mary's Church, Bismarck.
Sept. 29: Ending the Blame Game
Oct. 13: Understanding Expectations
Oct. 27: Redefining the Power Struggle
Nov. 10: Coping with Control Issues
Nov. 24: Listening Beyond the Words
Jan. 5: Appreciating Personality Differences
Jan. 19: Recognizing Childhood and Emotional Baggage
Feb. 2: Handling Anger Constructively
Feb. 16: Speaking the Truth in Love
March 1: Learning to Fight Fair
March 15: Breaking the Hurt Cycle
March 29: Practicing Forgiveness and Repair
April 12: Rebuilding Trust
All session listed above will be held 7-9 p.m. at Queen of Peace Church.
Why a Third Option?
Many of us manage marriages and other relationships (dating, parent/child, siblings, friends, etc.) as a series of choices between my desires and their desires, my wants/needs and their wants/needs, between “peace at any price” and “letting it all hang out.” Because they tend to move us to extremes, these options don’t bring us together. With The Third Option, you can learn how to break through the clutter of past baggage and misunderstandings and build an effective, loving relationship. The Third Option is a skills-based group program that helps participants build stronger, more fulfilling relationships. The sessions cover a comprehensive set of tools that people can use to develop better understanding, sensitivity and trust while learning more effective speaking and listening skills.
What if I have a good relationship?
The skills we develop in The Third Option are helpful for any relationship, and those attending our program range from on the brink of divorce to those yearning to make a good relationship even better. Few situations are too good, or too bad, for The Third Option. Many assume that their relationship is strong and effective, and don’t invest the time to ensure that it grows better over time. Then, all it takes is a new stress – problems with jobs, kids, parents, or health – and even the best relationship becomes frayed or unraveled. Developing the right skills and sensitivity is the best way to ensure that a good relationship grows even better.
Do both parties have to come?
No. If the other member of your relationship is not ready to make a commitment to attending The Third Option, you are welcome to attend alone. By yourself, you can learn more effective ways to handle conflict and communicate.
Can this help us if we’re separated or not communicating?
Yes, but the more serious and protracted the problems in your relationship, the harder you will have to work - individually and as a team – to overcome those issues. In The Third Option, you’ll learn how to rebuild trust and what you can do to rekindle the love and friendship that you once shared.
Is this counseling?
No. The Third Option is not counseling. It is an educational group where we learn and encourage and support each other. When appropriate, we‘ll recommend that group participants seek counseling or other assistance. It is often helpful to do both.
Do I need to attend every session?
Each session stands alone, so anyone can attend any topics that peak their interest, but we do encourage the attendence of every session.
Is there a fee for The Third Option?
No. Even if you attend all sessions, it is free for anyone to attend.
Why attend The Third Option?
- For Yourself: By developing new skills and understanding, people can break down the barriers and ineffective habits that prevent their relationships from being all they can and should be.
- For Others in Your Life: Even in a loving relationship, we can unintentionally hurt the other people in our lives through ineffective communication. In The Third Option, you’ll build the skills to make it even better.
- For Your Children: One of the greatest gifts we can give our children is to model good relationships. Also, your children will have a better sense of your love for them when they see a consistently loving relationship between you and others.
- For Your Health: Discord often causes stress-related symptoms. Reconciliation is healthier for you and your children.
- To Relieve Pain: Improving relationships can be hard work, but not as hard as an unhappy relationship, seperation of a parent and child, the loss of a dear friend or the never-ending pain of divorce.
- To Avoid Repeating the Past: You can’t run away from yourself. If you divorce or run away from relationships, your problems will follow you. It is important to understand what caused the problems and how to avoid them. Many second marriages fail because couples haven’t developed the skills needed to make their relationships work.
- For Your Faith: Reconciliation is a central theme of all faiths. It enables you to keep healthy relationships.
Topics to be covered:
- Building a Climate of Respect
- Ending the Blame Game
- Understanding Expectations
- Redefining the Power Struggle
- Coping with Control Issues
- Listening Beyond the Words
- Appreciating Personality Differences
- Recognizing Childhood and Emotional Baggage
- Handling Anger Constructively
- Speaking the Truth in Love
- Learning How to Fight Fair
- Breaking the Hurt Cycle
- Practicing Forgiveness and Repair
- Rebuilding Trust
The Third Option is FREE for anyone to attend.
For questions or more information on the program contact Tara Brooke, Director of Family Ministry, at 701-204-7209 or firstname.lastname@example.org.