David B. Seaburn, Ph.D., LMFT: Nurturing Family Functioning Through Communication | All Together #34

In this episode, host Gabriella Joustra is joined by David B. Seaburn, Ph.D., LMFT, a marriage and family therapist with over 35 years of experience, as well as a novelist of many books

Communication in families can sometimes be tricky. However, building strong family functioning through nurturing communication is super important. David B. Seaburn is here to tell the secret of nurturing communication to foster family functioning.

Meet David B. Seaburn, Ph.D., LMFT

David B. Seaburn is a multifaceted individual whose journey spans literature, therapy, and academia. With 9 novels to his credit, including the recent release Give Me Shelter, David’s literary prowess traces back to his early days at Boston University, where he began his writing career with a series of poems. His creative spirit continued to flourish while serving in the church, where he crafted short stories, plays, songs, essays, and manuscripts of inspirational prose. However, it was in 2000 that David embarked on his fiction writing journey, birthing his debut novel, Darkness is as Light, which laid the foundation for a prolific literary career.

David’s commitment to human connectivity and resilience shines through in his novels, where he navigates the complexities of ordinary lives entangled in extraordinary circumstances. Beyond his contributions to the literary world, David has made indelible marks in mental health and family therapy. Transitioning from ordained clergyman to counseling, he dedicated over two decades to the University of Rochester Medical Center, where he served as an Assistant Professor of Psychiatry and Family Medicine. David directed a family therapy training program, delving into extensive academic writing, co-authoring professional books, and penning over 60 papers and book chapters. 

In his later career stages, David’s quest for understanding and enhancing communication dynamics led him to pursue a Ph.D., delving into qualitative research on doctor/patient communication. His expertise found new avenues as he joined a Physician Coaching team, supporting physicians in honing their communication skills. As retirement beckoned, David’s passion for fostering mental well-being persisted, culminating in the direction of a free counseling center for students and families in the local school district. 

About the episode

In this podcast episode, David B. Seaburn discusses how communication can enhance family functioning and bring families closer together. He says that when people speak openly and listen to each other, they feel like they belong. They learn about each other and can handle problems better. David also discusses how sometimes it’s hard to speak because of busy schedules or not knowing how to express feelings. But he suggests making time to talk and doing things together to make it easier.

When David discusses what makes a family, he says it’s not just about being related by blood or marriage. It’s about having strong emotional connections that last. He believes that families can come in all kinds of shapes and sizes, and society decides what’s normal.

He explains how good communication can strengthen families. When you share your thoughts and feelings honestly, it helps everyone feel respected and understood. David mentions research that shows talking regularly, even when it’s hard, helps families stay strong. He says listening and responding thoughtfully to each other is important.

David discusses how communication isn’t just about talking—it’s also about listening and responding. Speaking from your own feelings and experiences can create a safe space for conversation. He also discusses how small gestures or not saying anything can also send messages in a family.

He discusses families’ challenges, like not having enough time to speak or understand each other’s perspectives. But he encourages you to make time, even if it’s just a few minutes a day. He says it’s important to adapt how you communicate, especially with kids of different ages. Overall, David believes that making an effort to talk and understand each other is key to having a strong and happy family.

In conclusion

One thing that may hinder family functioning is the lack of communication, like not having enough time to talk or not understanding each other. But if you try nurturing it by listening and talking openly, you can strengthen your family. Remember, every little effort you put into understanding each other helps build a better family bond. Tune in to this podcast to discover how you can communicate effectively to enhance your family functioning.

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