The Relationship Remodeler is a self-counseling process using questions patterned on the work of Milton Erickson and Solutions-Oriented Therapy. The questions are aimed at common problem areas found in relationships be they marital, between friends, or at the work place. The Relationship Remodeler questions focus on the present and the future and patterns in interaction in assisting its users to arrive at solutions that will work and hold up over time. Each element of the Relationship Remodeler targets different areas of the relationship. There is no specific order in the use of these self-counseling questions. It users can choose questions best fitting their particular situation.
The Relationship Remodeler Series I Questions
1. What do you notice about your relationship that works best? What are you doing or not doing when that happens? What are others doing or not doing when that happens? How might you allow what works best to happen again? Could you make even more of it happen? If you can, how do you do this?
2. When did a specific challenge not happen in your relationship? What was different about the times when that challenge happened and did not happen? What did you do to influence it not happening? Actions you took? Viewpoints you held? Can you use either your actions or viewpoints to influence other areas of your relationship?
3. In noting the challenges that sometimes occur in your relationships, what do you notice?
Where does it happen?
How does it occur?
When does it occur?
Who is there?
Can you alter any of the above? If so, how? What good things would happen if you altered the where, how, when, and with whom?
4. Can you change how something is done in your relationship? What would you do specifically that would bring about what you want? Are there several ways to change the doing? What are they? Can you do them now or later?
5. Do you share any common interests or pleasures with the persons in your relationship? If so, how might you do more of these? How would you make more time for these common interests and pleasures? Are there areas of interest and pleasure which you as a couple have not yet explored? Which might you do first? Second?
6. Did you ever have a similar difficulty in the past that you solved? How did you solve it and can you fit this solution to what's happening now? If required, how might you alter the solution to make it work better in these circumstances? What might you do?
7. Was there a time when you expected your challenge to happen, but it did not. Something else happened unexpectedly. What created this?
8. How did you feel and act when your current challenge didn't happen? What skills did you learn? What fun did you have? How strongly did you feel empowered? What did you do?
9. Challenges often take the form of a pattern. Can you do one or two of the following?
Alter your challenge's pattern frequency or alter the frequency of any patterns around the challenge.
Alter the time of the day, week, or month when the challenge's pattern occurs.
Alter the order of events within the challenge's pattern.
Tack on a new segment to the challenging pattern.
Break the challenging pattern into smaller segments.
Alter the challenging pattern's duration or alter the duration of the pattern around the challenge.
Can you ask someone or something outside the sequence to assist in changing either the pattern or the pattern outside the pattern?
10. What differences do you notice when your relationship is going best? When your love life is more fun? When communications go smoothly? What are you doing differently or is someone else doing something differently?
11. What valuable lessons have you received from previous challenges? Can you apply any of them to the present situation?
The Relationship Remodeler Series II Questions
1. Have you have given a person, in this relationship, a negative or pathological label? Could you now notice any positive or neutral traits and behaviors they have? Can you list at least 20 positive or neutral traits or behaviors they have? Can you create a more positive or neutral label for this person? How might you notice they are not a label, but a multi-faceted individual with many positive and neutral traits and behaviors and some negative ones as well? How might you feel differently toward them now?
2. Magic occurred and suddenly you saw the other person as a mix of positive, neutral, and some negative qualities and behaviors. How would you experience this person then? What would you like at first about this person?
3. The big roulette wheel in the sky spun and instantly you not only accepted this other person, you noticed they were capable of change. What would you begin to notice more of about this person?
4. What if your challenge abruptly vanished away with this person, what might you notice then? What might be different? How might you enjoy your time together? Is there something in particular you two might like to do?
5. The big bell in the heavens rang. Your challenge dissolved. What might you notice first? Or maybe an hour later?
6. How might clarifying your goals, doing them, and paying attention to them improve your relationship?
7. Suppose the heavens opened and everything worked out between you two? What exactly would be happening? What are the specifics? How would you feel about this?
8. How might you notice the small rewards occurring in your relationship? Will you make lists?
9. When you achieved a solution in your relationship, how will you know when you got there? What would completion look like?
10. If you had a beef with the other person, how have you specified it to them? How did you make it clear or put it so they understood it? Do they know what you want?
The Relationship Relabeler: Relationship Remodeler Series III Questions
1. What if you put a new label or gave a new title to your challenge with this other person? What does it feel like now?
2. Can you view your challenge with the other person as a set of behaviors? How might this alter your sense of the challenge? What specifically would be those behaviors?
3. Is this other person's behavior a stage in their evolution or development?
4. Describe some of the many problem free times. What do you notice about them? What do they feel like?
5. If you developed a hobby--how might that impact on your relationship? What might you notice first? Second?
6. In the past when you solved a similar challenge, how did you get out of the problem? What stopped the problem from happening? What did you do? Can you do it again?
7. What is happening right now in your relationship? What would you like more of? How will you accomplish that?
8. What might be different if your challenging patterns of interaction were changed in these ways?
Hot button words and phrases?
Hot button voice tones?
Hot button loudness?
Hot button facial expressions?
Hot button rooms or places?
Could you process or integrate your emotional response to these hot buttons?
9. Can you recall a time when you felt very close and warm and loving feelings toward your partner? What were they doing?
10. If the challenges between you and your partner were resolved as you slept tonight, what would you be doing differently tomorrow? In what ways would your life change?
Take care, Steve