The Debra Macleod Method™ is a practical marriage-saving method created by Debra Macleod, B.A., LL.B.. It combines elements of her “hard” background in law, conflict resolution, couples mediation and communication with her “softer” experience as a marriage/intimacy author and relationship coach. It is suitable for individual partners who are working alone to save their marriage, as well as partners who are working together.
This method is an alternative or adjunct to psychology-based couples counselling, one that avoids the possible pitfalls of traditional couples counselling (i.e. finger-pointing, an individualistic focus, confrontational or divisive discourse, unnecessary psychoanalysis, a focus on the past or the negative, ongoing discussion without resolution, and prioritizing theory over practical suggestions).
The Six Goals of the Debra Macleod Method™ are to help partners:
- gain information to better understand the nature of the marital conflict
- understand “both sides” of the marital conflict, including their partner’s perspective, feelings, interests, needs, behaviors, etc.
- understand their own role in marital conflict
- exercise personal empowerment so that self-determination within the marriage is possible and balanced
- resolve areas of marital conflict (i.e. infidelity, disrespectful behavior, arguing, apathy, etc.) using practical insights and strategies
- improve the communication, commitment, interactions and intimacy of the overall partnership so that future marital conflict can be avoided and the needs of both partners can be met
If only one partner is participating in the process, he/she can prompt positive change in the relationship. If both partners are participating, each is encouraged to do his/her part and work collaboratively toward positive change.
In addition to being used during office and telephone sessions, this method provides the foundation for Debra’s Macleod’s series of online crash courses and has been adapted to suit that informational format.
Debra’s Method: What It Is & What It Isn’t
Debra’s method is a positive alternative or adjunct to traditional couples counseling. It focuses on teaching individuals and/or couples the insights, skills and strategies necessary to build (or rebuild) successful marriages by improving communication and interactions, enhancing intimacy, and learning how to successfully resolve and avoid marital conflict. There is an emphasis on understanding “both sides” of a conflict and balancing the interests, needs and perspectives of both spouses for the overall good of the partnership. There is also an emphasis on the importance of self-determination within the marriage. This method focuses on a happy future more than an unhappy past, and on practical application more than theory.
Debra’s method is not psychological counselling or therapy and is not a substitute for these. It does not diagnose or treat mental illness/disorder and does not advise clients of what actions to take in their marriages or lives. It is not suitable in cases of abuse, trauma, mental illness/disorder, addiction, serious emotional distress or when crisis intervention is indicated. Those in such situations must seek help from the appropriate resources – such as the police, lawyer or mental health practitioner – ASAP.