• Although communication training can be useful, it is often the deep emotional injuries rather than communication skills at the root of couple's or family's problems.• Therapist neutrality may need to be challenged or broken to address dysfunctional dynamics or risk giving permission for the dysfunction to continue.• Communication is made up of expression and reception- effective communication occurs when what is expressed is received as it was intended.• Therapist "translation" or interpretation may be necessary to clarify communication, including negative communication.• Therapist recommended communication practice and rules are often cross-culturally challenging.
"I'm finding myself worried about saying something that one of you may experience as taking sides… and getting into trouble for it. Is that something that happens between you or from your families?"
"Did that feel like I was on your partner's side (or against you? or criticizing your father?) Do you feel attacked?"