Therapist brings 'ScreamFree' marriage philosophy to post
September 19, 2013
FORT JACKSON, S.C. -- Hal Edward Runkel brought his idea of a "screamfree" marriage to Fort Jackson, offering advice on conflict resolution to Soldiers at the Solomon Center Tuesday evening.
"We've been lied to about what makes marriage work and about what it's supposed to look like," said Runkel, a licensed marriage and family therapist and founder and president of The ScreamFree Institute. "And, when our lives don't seem to match up to these lies, it's easy to get reactive."
Parents rarely let their children get away with this behavior, he said, but are often willing to tolerate it from themselves.
"There's no way out of that cycle unless one of you has the courage to do something different," he said.
The ScreamFree Institute is an international training organization dedicated to "calming the world, one relationship at a time."
"I realize that sounds a little bit cheesy, and it's impossible," said Jon Kaplan, managing director of The Scream-Free Institute. "Because you can't calm anyone's world. Only you can only calm your own world. Instead, what we realize our mission is to ignite hope."
It's a message that found a solid foothold in military communities, he said.
"About nine years ago, we got an order in the middle of the night from Fort Richardson, (Alaska)," Kaplan said. "It was for 50 books, which was a big deal for us. They reached out to us and asked, 'Did you write this for Army families?' Well, no, we actually never worked with Army families."
The book was resonating with Soldiers, he was told, and this led to a long-lasting relationship between the institute and the Army, he said. Last year, the representatives of ScreamFree visited 32 installations, and have visited 37 so far in 2013.
Representatives with the institute will be on Fort Jackson next week to conduct a Screamfree Parenting session.
The event is scheduled to take place 3:30 p.m. Tuesday at the Hood Street Child Youth Services Center. To register to participate in the event, call 751-6325.
"I was here last year to do ScreamFree Parenting, and one of the things I'm finding is that it's easier for folks to admit that they scream at their kids," Runkel said. "Not all of us scream out loud at our spouses, but we all get reactive. And, when we say the word, 'scream,' that's really what we mean -- any form of reactivity."