“Early in my professional practice of counseling couples, I realized that most of the couples who came to me in emotional pain, seeking help for their relationship, lacked the basic knowledge and fundamental tools and skills for making a relationship work.“
~ Becky Denslow
“I Am ME” profiles people teaching relationship and marriage education classes in their local communities. We call this series “I Am ME,” both because “ME” is an acronym for “Marriage Education” and in honor of a poem about self-esteem written by the late Virginia Satir.
Rebecca “Becky” Denslow has been helping couples and families in her hometown community of Charleston, South Carolina for three decades. She and her husband have been happily married for 35 years and have one daughter.
As a licensed clinical social worker, Becky Denslow maintains an active practice in nearby Mt. Pleasant, where she introduced relationship and marriage education to the community after being personally trained by PAIRS founder Lori Gordon in 1993. Becky also studied with Virginia Satir in 1978 and 1984. Virginia was a pioneer in the development of marriage and family therapy and the first honorary chair of PAIRS Foundation.
1. What led you to want to teach relationship and marriage education?
When I studied family systems theory in graduate school, I became passionate about working with couples and families. I was especially inspired by the work of Virginia Satir. Early in my professional practice of counseling couples, I realized that most of the couples who came to me in emotional pain, seeking help for their relationship, lacked the basic knowledge and fundamental tools and skills for making a relationship work. PAIRS provided these skills. I have trained in other marriage education programs and counseling techniques for working with couples, and I can easily say that PAIRS is the best. PAIRS provides the tools that uncover and heal the depth of the problems. I use PAIRS skills in working with individual couples in my private practice as well as teaching PAIRS classes. [Come to beautiful Charleston, SC for a PAIRS Essentials weekend course which I will be teaching from March 26-27, 2011.]
2. How are the challenges facing young couples today different?
Today there is a greater tendency to mistake sex for intimacy. Also, there is a tendency for people to rush into becoming a couple instead of developing a friendship or courtship that may or may not lead to becoming a couple. When a couple quickly moves in together before really getting to know each other, it may become more complicated to end the relationship if it does not work out. Another challenge today is that there are more distractions and ways to spend time with global communications and electronics rather than interacting face to face, hand to hand with your partner.
3. How has being a marriage educator affected your marriage?
By using the PAIRS tools and skills on a regular basis, we have avoided many possible misunderstandings, found solutions to problems that neither of us would have come up with individually, learned how to appreciate and respect our differences, and have developed a healthy sense of humor about ourselves and life.
4. What are some favorite hobbies you enjoy as a family?
We enjoy going to the beach, taking nature walks, and reading books out loud together. Reading out loud as a family began when our daughter was a little girl. My husband and I find that we still greatly enjoy reading to each other.
5. What qualities would you like your family to most admire in you?
I’d like them to admire my ability to develop and carry out creative strategies for dealing with life events. I’m a compassionate and grounded person.
Editor’s Note: If you’d like us to feature a Relationship and Marriage Educator in your community, please e-mail their name, contact information, and a brief statement about why you’d like to see them profiled on the FatherhoodChannel.com to firstname.lastname@example.org.