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Brain researchers have found that when people are scared, hurt, or angry, they're physiologically incapable of thinking straight. That’s why Betsy Sansby, a licensed marriage and family therapist, created The OuchKit. The OuchKit is an ingenious communication tool that teaches people how to talk about even the most difficult subjects, under even the most stressful conditions--without defensiveness or blame. They learn to disengage when they’re upset, calm themselves down, and express themselves clearly and respectfully. The 36-card kit contains six kinds of exchangeable cards: Ouch, Sorry, Thanks, You’re Welcome, I’ve Been Wondering, and Now That You Mention It. On the back of each card are fill-in-the-blank questions and checklists of emotions that help people identify their feelings and express them from a safe distance when they’re not ready to talk face-to-face. The tool works especially well with men, because it helps them find the words they often lack to describe exactly what they're feeling. Although The OuchKit was originally designed as a homework tool for couples in Sansby's therapy practice, it's now being used in schools, treatment centers, and the workplace to increase emotional fluency, teach conflict resolution skills, and help people develop greater compassion.
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Betsy Sansby has over 20 years of experience counseling individuals, couples, and families, and over 10 years of experience supervising other therapists. She is the creator of The OuchKit and other communication tools for couples as well as the author of "Ask Betsy," an online relationship advice column. Betsy was recently featured in the popular Ladies' Home Journal feature "Can This Marriage Be Saved?" Her therapy practice is in Minnetonka, Minnesota, where she also lives with her husband of 20 years. Together, they have written seven award-winning books on hand-drumming and percussion, including "Conga Drumming," "How to Play Djembe," and "Slap Happy--How to Play World-Beat Rhythms with Just Your Body and a Buddy." They live in Minnetonka, Minnesota. Betsy can be reached at: Ouch@mn.rr.com.Review:
The Ouchkit is a communication breakthrough! It teaches you to express heartfelt feelings and build the closeness you're after. --Michele Weiner-Davis, author of Divorce Busting, March 15, 2003
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