All Woman

LATCH on to your relationship

Monday, March 10, 2014    

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BROKEN relationships are situations counselling psychologist Dr Lola Allen sees every day, but her main advice to couples who feel like all hope is lost is to LATCH on to their union and the commitment they have made to each other.

LATCH is the acronym for love, acceptance, trust, communication and honesty. All of these criteria she believes are crucial to having and maintaining a relationship.

"This LATCH principle came about from the latch that you use for windows and doors. One fastens the other to ensure that the window or your door is secure. But if it malfunctions, just like in relationships, it becomes dysfunctional," she said.

The principle is one of several topics discussed in her new book The Word: Guiding Principles for Everyday Living. Apart from matters relating to building and maintaining a relationship, the psychologist also addresses issues such as anger, pride, discontent and unforgiveness which challenges individuals to live a fulfilled life.

"From my counselling experience, a lot of persons come to me with different issues. For example, the need for anger management, relationship issues and unforgiveness," she said. "In many cases when relationships break down there is unforgiveness."

Dr Allen, who has been counselling for the past 14 years, said that maintaining a victorious life will require individuals to utilise the tangible, spiritual, human, and financial resources they have at their disposal.

She is adamant that marriages can work if individuals rely on the foundational pillars of love, acceptance, trust, communication and honesty.

"Love is not necessarily that emotional love, but it is respect, seeing the person as your equal and being able to work out things together," she pointed out.

""Trust in any relationship is very important because persons need to be able to know that your words can be relied on. If I cannot rely on your words, we cannot build a relationship."

Acceptance she finds continues to be a big struggle for some persons as the temptation is always there to change someone into the perfect spouse instead of appreciating who the individual really is. There are those individuals too who are unable to be honest with their partners because the lines of communication are not open.

"We have to be open. It's not only the good things you talk about. You need to be able to talk about everything and to express your feelings to the other person. If there is something that you see that you don't like about the other person, you need to be able to say it to the other person."

The book, which is the second publication being written by Dr Allen, is available at several bookstores including Cert, the Jamaica Baptist Union Bookstore, Nandcare Pharmacy and Bookophilia.

— Nadine Wilson

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