Marriage Education is touching the lives of couples, families and children across the country. “I Am ME” profiles individuals and couples teaching relationship and marriage education classes in their local communities.
Debra Greene, Ph.D., is passionate about combining what she sees as the work of the soul with work of the heart. As an energy health specialist, she says the quality of our closest relationships is an essential ingredient for the health of both mind and body.
After earning three academic degrees in communication–a BA, Masters, and PhD–and after teaching for over a decade in the field of communication, Dr. Greene said it wasn’t until she discovered the PAIRS program that she felt she had finally arrived.
Dr. Greene leads weekend PAIRS retreats in Hawaii, California and elsewhere as an integral part of promoting the health and well-being of her clients. She calls Hawaii a “healing sanctuary,” where couples are able to combine romantic getaways to a beautiful paradise with skills training to empower their love relationships.
1. What led you to teach relationship/marriage education?
I discovered PAIRS at a time when I was struggling in an intimate relationship. The program gave me the wisdom to overcome my belief that, because I had studied communication for so long, that meant I actually knew how to communicate! I came to understand I was undermining my relationship by creating an uneven playing field. I had been acting like the expert while blaming him for our breakdowns. PAIRS gave us tools to have meaningful conversations, to better understand our relationship and each other, and make decisions we’d long put off. Although the relationship eventually ended, we were able to use the skills to get through the breakup in a very loving, harmonious, and non-hurtful way.
2. How are the challenges facing young couples today different?
Young couples today live in a very different world than I grew up in. One of the biggest challenges is that young people often become involved in intimate, sexual relationships at a very young age before they have the skills needed to attend to the emotional and psychological aspects of sex. Also, they have grown up in an era of information explosion. While we’d expect all these new, easy ways to communicate such as Facebook, Twitter, and text messaging would make communication easier, it’s actually the opposite. Now, instead of face-to-face communication, they would rather break up via Facebook and avoid having the very real dialogue, understanding, and growth that can come from meaningful communicating with each other. Real communication has gone out the window and young people are suffering because of that.
3. How has being an instructor impacted your relationships?
Being a PAIRS instructor has positively affected every relationship in my life including family, colleagues, friends, and intimate relationships. I have discovered that even if a couple chooses not to stay together, they can learn to build healthy relationships for the future. Many separated couples have children together and they need to be able to communicate in healthy ways so they can co-parent in healthy ways. I want people to know that PAIRS is for everyone, whether or not they’re married, whether or not they’re in a romantic relationship at the moment. I have enjoyed working with parents and their children, roommates, and many others who are deeply connected to each other’s lives, but not in a romantic relationship. My experience teaching diverse groups made me realize anyone who is open to learning can benefit.
4. What are some of your favorite hobbies?
I live on Maui island in Hawaii, one of the most beautiful, romantic places in all the world. I enjoy working in my garden, walking on the beach, snorkeling, and whale watching. Maui is a truly incredible place! I will be conducting a PAIRS Weekend retreat immediately before Valentine’s Day, February 12-13, on Maui. I encourage anybody and everybody to treat themselves and their loved ones to a romantic weekend escape to paradise. Maui is known for its ability to heal and is the perfect place to nurture your relationship and consciously create the future.
5. Is there anything else you want to share about yourself?
In my book, “Endless Energy: The Essential Guide to Energy Health,” I feature one of my favorite PAIRS tools: “Emptying the Emotional Jug.” This can be found in the section on working with emotional energies. It remains one of the most powerful techniques I’ve ever used for dealing with stuck or hidden emotions and making room for more love. Mahalo and aloha!
Debra Greene, Ph.D.
Follow Debra Greene on Twitter: http://twitter.com/EndlssEnrgyBook
Debra Greene’s Facebook page: http://facebook.com/drdebragreene