Reflections From Ellis
The 2 Day Family Intensive was simply invaluable for me. It clearly demonstrated how unresolved differences between Debbie and me interfere with our management of Edie. Even more importantly, however, was learning the healing power of empathy and how it can help us understand Edie better and develop a closer relationship with her.
The first day and a half was devoted to Debbie and me. For us, that time together with Rob and Crystal was invaluable. As unreal as it sounds, I really did not understand what empathy was and how to express it. Using one or two issues that divided us, Rob and Crystal skillfully guided Debbie and me respectively in expressing empathy for the other. This exercise brought us closer to each other in both feeling and understanding. It was an example of the necessity and huge power of experiential learning.
Our time with Rob and Crystal prepared us for the last few hours with Edie, where we once again were able to experience an empathic interaction with Edie, based on issues that she raised. There was nothing artificial about our experiential empathic learning with Edie. It culminated in the three of us hugging and crying…a bonding experience we had not shared in a long while.
If CALO parents have an opportunity for a 2 Day Family Intensive, they shouldn’t pass it up. It could save them weeks or even months of mistakes and healing time.