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Home > Behavioral Healthcare
Making Hostile Words Harmless: A Guide to the Power of Positive Speaking For Helping Professionals and Their Clients
Making Hostile Words Harmless: A Guide to the Power of Positive Speaking For Helping Professionals and Their Clients
Making Hostile Words Harmless: A Guide to the Power of Positive Speaking For Helping Professionals and Their Clients
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Infused with wisdom and a strong dose of humor, Making Hostile Words Harmless offers therapists and their clients a unique collection of effective exercises and bully-busting responses guaranteed to diffuse difficult exchanges. The book uses the martial art of Aikido, or the 'way of harmony' as a model to teach the 'verbal arts' of confirming, inquiring, understanding, and evoking. It is filled with sample dialogues, case vignettes and other tools for using this approach in private practice or in workshops.

Table of Contents

Chapter 1. Difficult People and the Art of Aikidō

The Martial Arts—East Does Not Meet West

Verbal Arts; Instinctual Reactions

Turning The Spotlight

Response vs. Reaction

Chapter 2. Acting As If—The Art Of Confirming

The Art of Agreement

Speak It As You Want It

Counting on Compliments

Drama Is Worth a Thousand Words

Reverse Resistance with Psychology

Exercise; All Purpose Confirmations

Chapter 3. Asking Questions—The Art Of Inquiry


Pseudo Questions

Asking Questions to Avoid Assumptions

Asking Hidden Questions to Promote Contemplation

The Spotlight Effect

Asking Questions to Prevent Prying

Asking Questions to Evoke Inquiry

Asking Questions that Give People a False Choice

Asking Questions that Predict Success

Exercise; All Purpose Questions

Chapter 4. Active Listening—The Art Of Understanding

How Listening Became “Active;”

Obedient Listening

The Amazing Mirror Mind

Therapeutic Triangles—Reflect Harsh Words Away from Targets

Narrating Behavior and Diction

Naming the Game

Filial Therapy Narrations

Refinement of Active Listening

Active Listening Add-ons

Active Listening for Empowerment


The Advantages of Active Listening

Chapter 5. Hypnosis & Humor—The Art Of Evoking

Modern Hypnotherapy

Hypnotic Basics in the Verbal Arts

Advanced Hypnotic Patterns


The Comedy Connection

Chapter 6. Taking a Stand by Opposing

The I-Position

Taking a Stand Effortlessly

Disagreeing Effortlessly

Handling a Backlash

Buber Takes a Stand

Chapter 7. Teaching Positive Speaking To Clients

Positive Speaking Training Steps

Aikidō Cross Training

Positive Speaking for Inter-Personal Issues

Interference from Inner Bullies

The Limits of Positive Speaking

The Goals of Positive Speaking

Maintaining Balance with “High Wire Families”

Chapter 8. Workshops on Positive Speaking

Possible Titles

Program Description

Learning Objectives


Scripted Program Outline


Feedback Form


Quiz Answers

Appendix I. Verbal Arts Terms

Appendix II. All Purpose, One-Liners

Appendix III. Psychotherapy Approaches Referenced in this Text



Publication Date: April 2008
Number of Pages: 208
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