The Debra Macleod Method™ is an unbiased, low-conflict and skills-based method of relationship help / marriage education that strives to resolve specific areas of relationship conflict and improve the general dynamics of a partnership. It was created by Debra Macleod, B.A., LL.B., and combines elements of her “hard” background in law, conflict resolution, shuttle / facilitative 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 for partners who are working together.
This method is a professional alternative or adjunct to 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 goal is to help an individual partner advance his/her own well-being and position, understand “both sides” of the issue (including his/her partner’s position), resolve conflict and improve the communication, interactions and intimacy of the overall partnership.
If only one partner is participating in the process, he/she can initiate 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 / educational 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) strong marriages by improving communication and interactions, enhancing intimacy, and learning how to successfully avoid and resolve relationship conflict. There is an emphasis on understanding “both sides” of an issue and balancing the needs and perspectives of both spouses for the overall good of the partnership. It 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.