is available for purchase at Amazon!
It’s with great joy that I’m able to announce the eighth and final book in the Cultivating Love series, Cultivating Love: Choosing Change is available for purchase in the Amazon bookstore! Click here to order the Kindle or Paperback version.
What’s in the book…
Cultivating Love: Choosing Change is actually two books in one, with the first half starting with Choosing Change #1 (Safe People, Safe Places and Safe Processes) “ending” with Choosing Change #9 (Suggested values with the A-C-T-I-V-E Model). The focus of attention in these chapters is on achieving personal change, so you and others in the systems you live and interact in (i.e., home, school, work, church, etc.) benefit from your decisions and actions as you live out your changes in their presence. Here’s what you’ll find in the first half of Choosing Change:
- Choosing Change #1 (Safe People, Safe Places and Safe Processes) guides you to create your own personal safe place to generate calm and focus immediately, especially when emotional triggers or emotional flooding processes threaten to dysregulate and derail you from experiencing safety or being a safe person.
- Choosing Change #2 and #3 (So what’s my reasonable contribution to your change process?) presents the “66% – 33% solution,” which is a self- and other empowerment model to help you deliver “reasonable responses” to facilitate healing with others without overextending or losing yourself in the process.
- In Choosing Change #4 (Gardening with Intention) and #5 (Traveling with Intention) you’ll read how change and growth is a process and how to take steps to nurture, grow and “fertilize” change in your own life. In Chapter 5 you’ll read how the development and intentional application of specific character values helps you to move toward healthy and functional outcomes versus lapsing into misdirected behaviors associated with emotional regression.
- In Choosing Change #6, #7 and #8 (Schemas, Defenses, Distortions and Resolution, Parts 1 – 3) you’ll identify how dysfunctional psychological processes thwart your own maturation, and how the application of the “A-C-T-I-V-E Model” facilitates progress and resolution when these saboteurs threaten to disintegrate your good efforts. (Choosing Change #9: Suggested values with the A-C-T-I-V-E Model repeats the latter part of #8).
The second half of the book is based on the premise of two scriptures found in the Gospel of Matthew, and specifically in a passage commonly known as the Sermon on the Mount. The scripture, Matthew 7: 24 -25 invites you to capitalize on your personal growth and make qualitative interpersonal changes by building yourself and others up in your home.
You’ll accomplish this by visiting each room with “specialists” from the fields of psychology (Dr. Erik Erikson, Dr. Sue Johnson), theology (Pastor Rick Warren, Gary Smalley and Dr. John Trent) and neurobiology (Dr. Dan Siegal, Dr. Tina Bryson) and many others to help you create optimal changes and growth as you engage in activities which are specific to the people and processes that take place in those rooms. Here’s what you’ll find in the second half of Choosing Change:
- In Choosing Change #10 (Blueprints and Building Change) you’re encouraged to identify, integrate and live by principles that lay a strong foundation and breathe life into the other inhabitants of the home you’re seeking to build.
- In Changing your Mind with the practice of LoveWorks you’re introduced to the “A-B-C-D-E’s of Love” and how these simple but profound psychological, theological, and neurobiological tools could help you to create and maintain healthy connections in your home.
- In Choosing Change #11 (Building Character and Building People, Part 1) you’ll focus on basic communication principles and processes to assist you and your partner as you enter your new home (or rebuilt relationship).
- In Choosing Change #12 (Building Character and Building People, Part 2) you’ll visit the psychological and theological “River of Integration,” which takes you into the Living and Dining rooms of your home. In these rooms, you’ll identify relationship goals and engage in activities to develop skilled behaviors that strengthen those who congregate in these “centers of activity.”
- In Choosing Change #13 (Building Character and Building People, Part 3) you’ll discover specific principles to bless and nurture your children, and how the application of the Wheel of Awareness (developed by Dr. Dan Siegal and Dr. Tina Bryson) provides practical and valuable insights to assist you in the psychological development of your children.
In your Office/Study the 24 R’s for Reflection, Reminding, Recovery, and Renewal are presented to help you hone in on your vision, purpose and personal development while activity in your Kitchen presents the opportunity to identify and “Cook with the C’s,” which encourages you to develop and integrate virtues and values that begin with the letter “C” in your effort to provide edifying and nurturing behaviors to sustain your relationship with others.
- In Choosing Change #14 (Living, Loving and Leaving a Legacy) you’ll visit the last two areas of your home: Your Bedroom, to look at multiple factors that culminate in strengthening your primary relationship, and finally your Front Porch, where “rocking chair moments” inspires you to reflect on the life you’re living and the legacy you’ll leave behind.
While in your Bedroom (that is, exploring your primary relationship), you’ll have the opportunity to consider how the cultivation of intimacy in your 7 Core Areas (Spiritual, Cognitive, Emotional, Physical/Biological, Sexual, Social/Relational and Environmental) could lead to the development of a thorough and holistic experience of closeness and connection.
This is followed by a visit with three specialists whose goal is to assist you to enhance your intimacy with practical insights and great communication tools. Intimacy Building Behaviors is followed by Love and Sex from A – Z, which are four exercises to help you explore, gain knowledge about and engage in practical and fun lovemaking experiences to enjoy your sexual life.
The chapter continues with an in-depth exploration of the effects of Betrayal Trauma upon the “Partner” (Understanding and Empathizing with Survivors of Betrayal Trauma) when sexual secrets have surfaced and wreaked havoc upon the relationship. A list of “Do’s and Don’ts” written from the Partner’s perspective is offered to the “Offender” to further understand the impact of Betrayal Trauma. A five-tier integrated treatment response (McGill’s Hierarchy of Needs) is suggested that identifies critical ingredients and processes (Truth, Safety, Empathy, Care and Connect, and Love) to be included in the repair effort if reconciliation is chosen as a goal for the coupleship.
Among the tools provided in this section to help the couple are The 68° – 72° Degree Target Charts (Psychological and Theological), which could also be utilized to help anyone identify constructive “green zone behaviors” to assist in their personal growth as well as “red and blue zone behaviors” which threaten to sabotage repairing and rebuilding efforts.
As mentioned earlier, the chapter concludes with a visit to the Front Porch of your completed home that’s “built on the rock,” and through a series of questions (“L-E-G-A-C-Y”) beckons you to explore how the intentional use of your energy “in your home” and during your lifetime culminates in a worthwhile legacy you’ll one day leave behind.
Cultivating Love: Choosing Change is an integrated and thorough resource for you (in addition to Clinicians, Pastors, Newlyweds and others) to access over the course of your life to assist you to make good, sound, constructive, and therapeutic changes in your life and relationships.
Dr. Ken McGill
- Enhancing Communication: Effective communication tools to facilitate dialogue, empowerment and conflict resolution. This is a staple in my counseling practice.
- Renewal in Your Life and Your Marriage: Is for couples who have decided they wish to rebuild their relationship, and this workbook provides the couple with practical, effective and clinical “tools” to assist them in their process of defining and growing healthy, safe and edifying behaviors to produce love, and serves to strengthen and protect their marriage.
- Finishing Strong is a book in the Cultivating Love book series, where the focus is to address problematic or compulsive sexual and addictive behavior in the lives of men and women.
- When Secrets Surface: This is an in-depth exploration of how to deal with the discovery of unfaithfulness, with insight and practical exercises to help you make safe, informed and healthy choices regarding what direction you wish to take with your relationship.
- Growing Character: Identifies, explores and suggests the cultivation of specific values to help you live a purposeful, intentional and functional life.
- Daily Bread For Life, Vol. 1: Provides inspiring, insightful and integrated counseling information on the subjects of Empathy, the emotions of Love, Fear, Guilt, Anger and Shame as well as information about six classes of drugs that are abused and what you could do overcome them.
- Daily Bread For Life, Vol. 2: Provides additional inspiring, insightful and integrated counseling information about the Fruit of the Spirit, “Keynotes” (brief comments about life and recovery and are intended to provide insight, inspiration, wisdom or humor to your day) and “55 for 55” (55 scriptures that have shaped my personal and professional development when I turned 55 in 2016).
Please share this information with others who you think could benefit from Cultivating Love: Choosing Change or any of the books in the Cultivating Love book series!
Thank you very much!
-Dr. Ken McGill, LMFT, CSAT