Some people are interested in hearing more of how PLEDGEtalk began. Here is the short version:
THE YEAR WAS 2010.
I was working in a private practice as a marriage and family counselor, sitting with yet another couple arguing in front of me for what seemed like the thousandth time. I thought to myself: what is wrong with this picture? What are these couples missing? I wondered how my wife and I worked through conflict in a far less intense manner, and what we did differently than the couple sitting in my office?
From a discussion that night with my wife Zerrin, we made two discoveries:
- First, we named six specific steps we used to solve our conflicts. Each one was necessary for us to connect and get back to health.
- Second, we noted that each step naturally resonates within us. We know them to be true. Each step has a natural soothing effect in our relationships.
We thought further about:
Naming the steps.
There is power when you name something. We had observed that in spite of the supporting research, we rarely use the six steps well–if at all–especially when in conflict. Naming the steps would enable us to intentionally recall each one when needed and bring health to the relationship.
Each step naturally resonates within us.
We knew what good communication felt like when it happened. It resonated within us. And we understood why. We were made to connect. That’s when we really got excited about PLEDGEtalk. Each step naturally led to connection. We believed if we could teach the steps to others, they too could learn to connect well even in the most difficult times of conflict.
After our discoveries, we began teaching PLEDGEtalk in counseling and marriage conferences, Before long, people asked if they could use the process with their children, or a friend, or in their workplace. With each question we responded with more enthusiasm. Yes of course! Absolutely!
And as they say: the rest is history.
We began with the marriage conference – which we still do. But now we offer the PLEDGEtalk training in a variety of other settings as well:
- Through marriage conferences
- To parents and children together
- To entire churches and communities
- In the workplace
- For Schools
- As an online class
Well there you have it — the backstory of PLEDGEtalk–in a nutshell!
It has been 7 years since we began but feel like we are just getting started. God-willing there is much more to come.
Through it all, we have come to believe this: