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Psychotherapist’s practice taps ‘Five Love Languages’

IRVINE, Calif. (BP)–Joan Walmsley is a licensed clinical social worker in Irvine, Calif., who regularly treats singles and couples. As a psychotherapist, she’s willing to try new ways to help her patients interpret and manage their relationships.

That’s why she started recommending — and even giving away — Gary Chapman’s book, “The Five Love Languages,” to couples seeking counseling. Walmsley’s live-in nanny, Mary Ann Roggers, a Bible college student, gave her a copy of the book and suggested it might help Walmsley in her counseling practice.

“After I read the back of the book, I decided it was worth a try,” Walmsley said. “I now use it religiously in my practice. The book has been a catalyst to huge changes in relationships. If nothing else, it certainly gets them [couples] talking.”

What makes Walmsley’s use of the book so special? She’s Jewish, and Chapman is a Christian author.

“I understand that it’s spiritually based,” Walmsley said. “But the principles in it are great and can be applied to any relationship. It doesn’t matter what religion you are.

“It really speaks to couples,” Walmsley continued. “It just makes sense.”

The popular book has sold more than 1.5 million copies, and Chapman holds “Toward a Growing Marriage” seminars across the country during which he outlines the advice in his book. LifeWay Christian Resources of the Southern Baptist Convention offers the book in a video or DVD learning pack, complete with relationship inventories.

The Five Love Languages operates on the premise that everyone speaks in one of five love languages, and people who recognize their spouses’ love language as well as their own can discover new ways to communicate.

The languages:

1. Words of Affirmation

2. Quality Time

3. Receiving Gifts

4. Acts of Service

5. Physical Touch

Roggers moved to the United States from New Zealand when she applied for Spirit Life Bible College in Irvine. A Christian, she has worked for Walmsley a year and a half, even applying some of the teachings in The Five Love Languages in her job as a nanny to Walmsley’s three children. She also uses it in relationships.

“It’s just fascinating to apply it to friendships,” Roggers said. “The thing I love about this book is that it takes your eyes off yourself and makes you look at the other person and say, ‘How do I fulfill your needs?’ It’s just liberating for everybody.”

Chapman also has written other books about love languages, including “The Love Languages of God,” “The Five Love Languages of Children” and “The Five Love Languages of Teenagers.” LifeWay produces video or DVD kits for all of Chapman’s Love Languages books.

Chapman’s newest book, “Covenant Marriage,” published by Broadman & Holman, the trade book division of LifeWay, begins with the premise that a couple’s relationship with Christ is primary. In this book, Chapman looks at problems and misunderstandings in Christian marriages and how to alleviate them.

Chapman’s books are available in LifeWay Christian Stores nationwide or online at lifewaystores.com.
(BP) photo posted in the BP Photo Library at http://www.bpnews.net. Photo title: EXTENDING THE REACH.

    About the Author

  • Leslie Ann Shoemake