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A Thriving Marriage In The Midst of Change: Part 2


When You Discover your Personality type, you learn how to compliment, not compete in all your relationships–Especially your Marriage!

This week we are going to explore how four different personality types deal with change.  You will discover whether you are the take charge type, the people person type, steady and calm, or a process and procedure type.

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Last time we focused on 3 steps that you could take to navigate through times of change. I hope you were able to recall other successful changes in your life, that you were able to go easy on yourself by understanding that change is awkward, and that you were able to do something that made you feel in control. 

In today’s session, we’re going to talk about how different personalities deal with change.

Human behavior is a subject that has been studied in depth since the turn of the last century. Psychologists have conducted a plethora of research about human behavior and have identified 4 basic personality types. You might have even had an assessment that categorized you as a combination of letters, such as the Myers Briggs or DISC profile. Some assessments even categorize the behaviors by referencing animals, colors or types of ice cream.

Today we are not going to discuss behavior assessments. What we will do is identify the basic four behavior types and how each type responds differently to change and how this may be impacting your relationship at home and in business.  We are simply going to use these categories as a tool to better understand how we cope with stress and change.

The four types are:

  • The take charge type
  • The people person
  • The steady, calm person
  • The process and procedure person

Let me describe the four types and then we’ll talk about how they deal with change. The first type of person has a strong tendency to be a “take charge” type and often the instigator of change. They like to be in charge, they move at a fast pace, and they are the first ones to suggest that we: “change things around here”. They adapt to change as long as they are in charge. If they are not in charge of the change, they will often resist the change, argue vehemently about it and can be the last one to support it.

The second type are very personable– we call them “people persons”. They tend to have a positive outlook on life and may not be as bothered by procedural changes. They tend to adapt to the world around them. These people are also fast paced, but focus more on people than they do on processes. Their biggest concern is how the change is going to affect their relationships. Maintaining relationships is more important to these types than the impact of the change. Of course, as you can imagine, this type of person needs to talk about the change, discuss it with everyone they know, and make sure that the change has minimal impact on their relationships. When a relationship has to change, these people have the most difficulty.

All of us know someone who is really steady, the third type. They love routine. They move through life more like a sail boat than a jet ski. Their biggest concern about change is how it’s going to affect their routine. They need more time to adjust. The difficulty about steady people is that they often do not express their discomfort with change so it is easy to believe that they have adjusted. If you are one of the steady types, then you need more time to process – especially if it significantly disrupts your routine. If you are a steady person, you may feel more lost, vulnerable, and uncertain about change. You may even dig your heels in and be perceived as stubborn.

And the last fourth type we’ll talk about is the person who focuses on tasks and procedures. They like knowing what the rules are and will follow the policy and procedures. They are sometimes described as the more serious type. They collect data and arrive at a conclusion in a very systematic way. Sudden changes, especially if they are not supported by rationale thinking, are very difficult for this type. Their concern is how the change is going to impact them and their tried and true way of doing things. This type of person will think about change in a more scientific way. They want it to make very good sense and will want time to test the change before showing too much support.

As I talked about the four types of people, I’m sure most of you thought, “Well, I’m a little bit like that style and a little bit like another style.”

That is normal.

The important lesson I want you to learn today is that we have a natural way of dealing with change.

And that style is different for all of us.

What is difficult for one person to accept is easier than other. What may drive you to despair or panic may not bother another person at the same intensity.

Therefore, you cannot measure your ability to cope with change against someone else’s. Your ability to thrive will be different from someone else’s. I’m sure you’ve experienced this in your relationship, marriage and in business.

This week, pay attention to not just the change that you are going through, but how the change that others are going through impacts them. Resolve to be patient with yourself and with others as you navigate the course of change. This isn’t about labeling yourself or others. It’s about creating compassionate connection with yourself and others to weather the storms in the midst of change.

Next time we I’ll share with you 5 tips for moving through the transitional period of change.

Until then, remember these words of Bruce Barton,

“When you are through changing, you are through.”

See you next time!

Warmest Aloha,

Dr. Lisa Hartwell

I’d like to encourage you to stay in touch so you can come on back and listen to the entire series at your leisure! 

“A Thriving Marriage in the Midst of Change” titles are:

  • Audio 1 – Change:  What’s it Really All About
  • Audio 2 – What’s Your Style When it Comes to Change?
  • Audio 3 – Position for a Transition During Change
  • Audio 4 – Bouncing Back from Change
  • Audio 5 – Becoming the Best You
  • Audio 6 – Helping Others Navigate the Course of Change

FOR PDF download transcript A Thriving Marriage in the Midst of Change Series : click here

 LISTEN HERE for PART 2 >Audio #2: What’s Your Style When It Comes to Change? 

So tell me in the comments below – what positive things do you do in your marriage to successfully navigate through change?

Want to build and keep a strong and FUN marriage foundation in 3 easy steps? Check out the DIT (“do it together” Marriage Success: The 3-Step Hartwell Marriage Plan for Making your “I Do’s” Last a Lifetime, click here to learn more!

DIT not for you? If you need a little support and don’t want to do it yourselves, then my chock-full value marriage mentoring and PRIVATE VIP Healing Couple Retreat is perfect for you! Sign up for a free 20 minute consultation today to explore!  

Be sure and take the Super Happy Spouse Quiz if you haven’t already to find out where you are on the Marriage Success Scale!

A Thriving Marriage in the Midst of Change: Part 1


When You Can Thrive In the Midst of Change You Possess a Very Special Ability that Can Bring You Huge Success in Any Area of Your Life—Especially your Marriage!

Change is constant.  It’s one of the few things that is a certainty in life. Hopefully that change is for the better as you plan to marry or have celebrated many anniversaries!

But despite this fact, very few people are prepared when the inevitable changes take place.

If you had the ability to prepare for changes before they happen so you can better handle changes when they do happen, you would have a very enviable and marketable skill.  But perhaps more importantly, you would be able to better manage the twists and seemingly unexpected turns of your own life and marriage.

“Thriving in the midst of change” is an ability that will help you in all areas of your life:  at home, at work, anywhere change can take place unexpectedly.  You’ll be truly amazed at your new reactions to situations that used to stress you out.

I’ve put together a series of 6 audios with transcripts for you to give you the steps to thrive in your marriage no matter changes come your way! These audios are only 6 or so minutes long, so you can listen to them at your convenience.  You’ll be able to make progress very quickly!

To listen to the Audio 1 — Change: What’s it Really All About, click here.

Be sure and take the Super Happy Spouse Quiz if you haven’t already to find out where you are on the Marriage Success Scale!

You can return to this page to read and listen to the rest of this series and I’ll also send you a gentle reminder each week!

The titles are:

  • Audio 1 – Change:  What’s it Really All About
  • Audio 2 – What’s Your Style When it Comes to Change?
  • Audio 3 – Position for a Transition During Change
  • Audio 4 – Bouncing Back from Change
  • Audio 5 – Becoming the Best You
  • Audio 6 – Helping Others Navigate the Course of Change

FOR PDF download transcript A Thriving Marriage in the Midst of Change Series : click here

 LISTEN HERE for PART 1 >Audio #1: Change:  What’s it really all about?

So tell me in the comments below – what positive things do you do in your marriage to successfully navigate through change?

Want to build and keep a strong and FUN marriage foundation in 3 easy steps?

Check out the DIT (“do it together” Marriage Success: The 3-Step Hartwell Marriage Plan for Making your “I Do’s” Last a Lifetime, click here to learn more!

DIT not for you?

If you need a little support and don’t want to do it yourselves, then my chock-full value marriage mentoring and PRIVATE VIP Healing Couple Retreat is perfect for you!

Sign up for a free 20 minute consultation today to explore!  

Two Hearts. One Love: Creating Connection for Marriage Success

Throughout my years in practice, my specialty has evolved into working mostly with relationship anxiety at home and in business and adjustment to grief caused from losses that occur in everyone’s lives.Young married people having coffee

When I see couples, the most common, first words out of whoever has decided (or told to) make that phone call, is “we just can’t communicate”.  Over time, after teaching what the couples asked for (the best communication skill that was a fit for their individual needs), they would go through cycles of conflict and feel “stuck” yet again and again.  

I began to notice what was missing:  A Lack of Marriage Framework. And at the forefront of that lack of framework, was a lack of connection:  mind, body, and spirit. No wonder it felt so hard and why couples dread coming to therapy in the first place! Not to mention most couples wait WAY too long to seek out guidance and support…and sometimes a life preserver!

I wanted to bring the FUN and EASE back into their marriage!

So, after hundreds of couples used my marital framework approach, I finally set out to focus on the missing link:  PREVENTION! 

Hartwell Marriage Plan Premarital Workshop March 2016 (2)We all complete school courses and even have college degrees that teach us skills for a great life. It is NOT required we complete a course that provides the framework and skills for a successful and lasting marriage!  Most couples either use either the positive or negative role models in their lives as their idea of a successful marriage. I have seen that if we all address those pesky issues that EVERY marriage has, before they build and become big issues, maybe we can finally shift the daunting statistic of 50% divorce rate in our nation.

My approach and focus is from studying the other side of the coin: the 50% marriage SUCCESS rate in our nation. What ARE the key elements of marriage SUCCESS?

Find out here by filling out this free Relationship Compatibility Marital Satisfaction

Go ahead and take the time to fill it out to get a “snapshot” of the current areas that may be key to focus on. The areas on the survey are researched-based and known to contribute to marital satisfaction and dissatisfaction.  I recommend you also return to fill it out annually around your anniversary to keep in front of problems BEFORE they occur.

Through being alongside couples on their journey toward marital success, as well as with my own marriage, I have also learned that love is the single most important “glue” I refer to as connection for success, health, and happiness. How you grew to know love, how to love, and how to be loved is an imperative step in creating the close and long-lasting marriage you and your partner desire. And developing connection that takes couples deeper with a focus on connecting through skills involving their mind, body, and spirit is what couples say they want to learn. ESPECIALLY when life gets in the way or during conflict. Have you ever tried to stay connected when you are frustrated or angry at your love muffin? It’s hard! But it’s imperative we all do it. 

I decided to start my quest at the beginning: by offering Premarital Workshops for couples preparing to get married within one year. We had SO much fun as you can see in the pictures and the couples left feeling equipped with their personal marriage success plan. You can read about their experience here. I’ll offer the same for my newlywed-bliss and marital-renewal couples as I keep getting asked! 

For now I am offering these workshops live in Hawaii and look to expand to online during 2016!2016_03_26_18_30_08I hope you are as passionate as I am and ready to join me on the “other side of the coin” of the 50% of successful marriages in the nation. Stay tuned as I’ll be back to share more about my easy and fun 3 Step Hartwell Marriage Plan that will get you to that rock solid relationship no matter what curve balls life throws at you both! Leave your comments or get in touch with me anytime at DrLisaHartwell@gmail.com.

To Your Marriage Success!

Dr. Lisa Hartwell


Another Sleepless Night? Use Your Anxiety as an Ally

There you are yet again. Another night of eyes wide open, looking into darkness. Tossing and turning, listening only to the ceiling fan noise, the ticking of the clock, and your stream of consciousness that begs for attention.

I recently contributed to an article by Claire Hannum of YouBeauty.com, as she asked for some additional suggestions beyond the tried-and-true “sleep hygiene” (go to bed at the same time, etc). I am a true believer, follower, and teacher of how we all should use our anxious thoughts, especially at night, as something to learn and grow from, not to push away. Read my suggestions below and I’ve included the link to her full article for additional ideas for those sleepless nights.

anxiety and insomnia

If you still find yourself laying awake, take action right then and there to shut anxious thoughts down. Dr. Lisa Hartwell, clinical psychologist, author, and owner Hartwell Therapy & Consulting suggests a three-step approach.

Step One: “Breathe Deeply”

“Deep breathing. Seriously. Sounds so simple, but watch the next time your mind is racing and I bet you are breathing very shallow or sometimes even holding your breath. When we do this, we are depriving our brains of oxygen and puts us in a bit of ‘panic’ mode. When we panic, our mind races. So the first step is to slow down the breathing, breathe deeply 5-10 times, then move on to step two.”

Step Two: “Get out of Bed! Yep. Don’t lie there more than 15 minutes awake!”

“The worst thing you can do is lay there and let your mind have a field day with your thoughts. We need to train our minds and bodies that our beds are only for sleep and sex. You never want to associate anxiety with being in bed. Bedtime is only associated with relaxation, sleep, and again, sex.”

Step Three: “If your mind is racing about nonsense, it is time to use the skill of distraction.”

Very light reading (think: flipping through a magazine or reading an article about insomnia) and under very low lighting. No bright lights, no TV and no phones/iPad. Bright light gives the receptors in our eyes the signal to our brains it’s time to wake up. That’s why the morning sun wakes us up. If you don’t want to read something light, you could doodle or draw. The key is to only do this for 15 minutes or so. Then get back in bed after your mind has calmed. Rinse and repeat: if afterward you are not relaxed/asleep in 15 minutes, get up and repeat. Usually this takes about 4 cycles. It is literally retraining the brain and body so it may take a few attempts. “

Behavior Training not working? Let’s dig deeper into the insomnia.

Dr. Hartwell advises that anxious sleepers can take the process a step further and make for easier nights in the future by “listening to what your anxiety is offering you so you can actually grow and move on.” Perhaps you’re anxious because there’s something you need to learn from it!

”I am of the notion that we all have some level of anxiety. It is meant to keep us awake, alert, ready for action if need be so we can grow and learn from that moment in our lives. Most people get so caught up in the distracting physical symptoms of anxiety (mind racing, heart racing, shortness of breath, headaches, body aches, feeling prickly skin), they just want medication to knock them out. However, when anxiety leading to insomnia takes on a life of its own, most of the time it is related to the need for us to focus on something in our lives. Maybe there is a decision you need to make, or an emotional hurt you need to work through, or an upcoming fear that haunts you (financial, sickness, parenting worries, etc). Doesn’t matter what it is, it is your mind’s only way of getting you to essentially hyper-focus on something to work through it. That’s why it feels as if your head is spinning. If you really pay attention to each thought you’ll start to notice repetitive thoughts and themes that are popping up.

That’s great! Embrace it! But not all night! It’s best to keep a journal or notebook of your thoughts and do not try to edit as you write. Just write. Any time of the day, but I always say it’s best to do in the morning or evening in your quiet times. Or if you’re a talker, talk into your voice recorder on your phone. Either way. Just get your thoughts out of your head. It’s best not to engage in conversation with someone as these are your thoughts trying to sort out what is best for you to propel you forward to whatever needs to be solved or help you grow. You do not have to do this every day, but of course I recommend jotting down at least your goals, gratitude, and gifts daily. Then on the days when your anxiety keeps you up at night, free-writing journaling is a short term intervention and solution-focused and doesn’t carry over very long. When you have your ah-ha or solution, you can move on or take action with a plan!”

Be open to making adjustments.

Dr. Hartwell also considers that repetitive anxious thoughts may be a sign that some aspect of your life is not lining up with your values or that you’re meant to experience growth.

“This may relate to the bigger picture that it’s time to refocus on your values and how they are being played out throughout the day…if you value integrity, financial stability, and self-worth and yet something happened that day or week to trigger those values not being upheld for you, your mind will want to spend time making you think about the incident until you figure out it was actually a particular values was being squashed. Ask yourself, once you figure out which value it was, how you can realign with yourself or others to make sure your values are being honored and aligned again with who you are…

…What I have noticed, is when we are working through a developmental stage in our lives, we tend to have “growing pains.” This may be in the form of actual physical pain or grumpiness (kids’ growth looks like this) or as an adult, it seems we are met with the same ‘theme’ when it’s time for us to develop and grow into our next stage of life. This may be working through the same type of (perceived) ‘difficult’ person, same conflicts with your spouse or kids, or tested with your integrity to your spiritual and faith development. It is when we spend more time on seeing what these external events mean and how they keep arising in our lives, that we can focus on a new goal of the anxiety symptom question:  ‘what do I need to do to grow from this?’ not ‘I wish there was something to do to stop my mind from racing so I could sleep.’ Think of your mind as a developmentally on-target toddler:  it will ‘tantrum’ until it gets its ‘need’ met. Our minds and bodies and spirits are amazing in my view, with its focus on only our overall growth and development in mind.”

For the full article by Claire Hannum, click here: http://www.youbeauty.com/life/how-to-sleep-anxiety/

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Designing the Alliance—Empower All of Your Relationships

Designing the Alliance—Empower All of Your Relationships

Zoe is happy that Suki sends business her way, but it annoys her when Suki waits until the last minute to give her the work, causing Zoe to have to scramble to get it done in less time than has been promised.

Tom and Sarah have recently begun living together. Sarah wishes Tom would just “get it” that she doesn’t like to talk in the morning, or at least not until she has had her coffee.

And Brian bemoans the fact that his boss practically watches over his shoulder while he’s working. Can’t he just give him space and trust that Brian knows what he’s doing?

All of these people—in fact, just about anybody in any kind of relationship—can benefit by learning to “design the alliance” with the person with whom they’re in relationship.

The concept of designed alliance is often used in Relationship Consultation to set the stage for a relationship that empowers clients to be the most successful as they make changes in their work and personal lives. For example, a client might suggest the most effective ways for his consultant to support him when he’s feeling scared, resistant or stuck. Once the alliance has been designed, it’s important to update it as individual needs and desires change.

This concept is highly applicable to all kinds of relationships—romantic or business partnerships, friends, parent-child, and more. Imagine a world, in fact, where all relationships begin with a consciously designed alliance, the purpose of which is to create a mutually successful experience! In Bad Apples: How to Feel Good Even When Rotten Things Happen, I write about how we all need to practice being mindful of nurturing and being accountable to our individual orchard, cultivating growth in ourselves and in every relationship.

Perhaps Sarah and Tom could have taken time before they began living together to talk about what kinds of support they would want from each other. They could have saved themselves quite a bit of discomfort by designing it so that Sarah could have her quiet time in the morning without Tom feeling rejected. Likewise, Tom could make his own requests. Together they could bring greater clarity and ease to their relationship.

Imagine what life at work would be like if Brian and his boss had designed an alliance at the beginning of Brian’s employment. Brian might have let his boss know that he is most effective when given space to carry out assignments independently. The boss might have asked for a trial run at this way of working together. Although this communication didn’t happen when Brian was first hired, there’s no reason it can’t happen now.

And what if Zoe designed it with Suki that, unless she has proper turn-around time, Suki will have to do the work herself. That might actually inspire Suki to keep to her original schedule, or perhaps even get the work done early! In either case, clear boundaries will make for a much happier working relationship.

Bringing conscious communication and the willingness to listen to and meet each other’s needs is a wonderful way to empower the relationship to serve each person. The notion of creating an “alliance” instills the understanding that “we are in this together,” working to consciously design a successful experience for both individuals. What could be better than that?

Author’s content used under license, © Claire Communications and excerpts from Dr. Hartwell’s, “Bad Apples” book