Therapist to present on five love languages
Each person expresses and experiences love in different ways – does the way you express love get the message across?
Derek Ball, a marriage and family therapist, will lead a two-part discussion on The Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman, Jan. 31 and Feb. 14, 10:45-111:30 a.m. in the Chapel (with Feb. 7 off for the congregational annual meeting). The goal of the session is to help participants understand their own love language and give practical ideas on how to translate love and commitment into the language of others.
He uses the concept of a vending machine to illustrate what happens when two people speak different love languages: It’s like putting Canadian money into an American vending machine. The person is putting something into the machine, but despite expectations of a can of soda or a bag of chips, doesn’t get anything out, Derek said.
“The Five Love Languages works with any relationship where a connection is necessary,” Derek said, including married couples, partners, child-parent, and colleagues.
Derek, who earned a Ph.D. in marriage and family therapy from Purdue University, uses the languages in his work with clients and purchases the book in bulk for his Rock Island-based practice. Each person, he said, has a primary love language. Some people have a secondary love language as well. Learning a different language in order to connect with another can be done, but often takes time, practice, and patience.
Here is a synopsis of The Five Love Languages:
A person whose primary language is physical touch is, not surprisingly, very touchy. Hugs, pats on the back, holding hands, and thoughtful touches on the arm, shoulder, or face – they can all be ways to show excitement, concern, care, and love. Physical presence and accessibility are crucial, while neglect or abuse can be unforgivable and destructive. Physical touch fosters a sense of security and belonging in any relationship.
Words of Affirmation
Actions don’t always speak louder than words. If this is your love language, unsolicited compliments mean the world to you. Hearing the words, “I love you,” are important – hearing the reasons behind that love sends your spirits skyward. Insults can leave you shattered and are not easily forgotten. Kind, encouraging, and positive words are truly life-giving.
Acts of Service
Can vacuuming the floors really be an expression of love? Absolutely! Anything you do to ease the burden of responsibilities weighing on an “acts of service” person will speak volumes. The words he or she most want to hear: “Let me do that for you.” Laziness, broken commitments, and making more work for them tell speakers of this language their feelings don’t matter. Finding ways to serve speaks volumes to the recipient of these acts.
In the vernacular of Quality Time, nothing says, “I love you,” like full, undivided attention. Being there for this type of person is critical, but really being there – with the TV off, fork and knife down, and all chores and tasks on standby – makes your significant other feel truly special and loved. Distractions, postponed dates, or the failure to listen can be especially hurtful. Quality Time also means sharing quality conversation and quality activities.
Don’t mistake this love language for materialism; the receiver of gifts thrives on the love, thoughtfulness, and effort behind the gift. If you speak this language, the perfect gift or gesture shows that you are known, you are cared for, and you are prized above whatever was sacrificed to bring the gift to you. A missed birthday, anniversary, or a hasty, thoughtless gift would be disastrous – so would the absence of everyday gestures. Gifts are visual representations of love and are treasured greatly.
The book will be available in the St. Paul Book Corner.