Her recently published book, "7 Keys to Successful Relationships: The Arvon Method," has evolved into a popular weekday lecture at Pritikin Longevity Center.
On Improving Relationships
As Dr. Arvon explained, relationships play such a large role in all aspects of life and as such, feeling heard, valued and respected in many of these day-to-day exchanges and interactions is crucial. Though all too often, people are not getting that validation that they need to feel confident and happy, let alone to succeed and to thrive.
"To get healthy, to improve habits or to overcome an obstacle, individuals need to be able to be in a good relationship where they feel validated, where they feel safe," she said. "If don't they have that, it is so easy to self sabotage and fall flat. Everyone needs something to fall back on, something to keep them going."
Whether individuals are trying to reach weight-loss goals like the couples Dr. Arvon often sees at Pritikin or whether someone is not being heard in the workplace, they need to have that sense of belonging and feel that their needs are being met. As soon as she sits down with two people, whether it be a mother and son, a husband and wife or family members who work together, Dr. Arvon said that within moments she recognizes if relationship needs are being met on both sides.
"I can tell when there is a problem with everyday communications and feeling loved," she explained. "And most often, people do want to talk, they just don't know how to get started. This thickness builds like a wall until it is so thick you can cut it with a knife."
The 'Language of Love'
Dr. Arvon went on to explain her favorite moment of working with two people – that aha moment when the light seems to go on. Regardless of what happened leading up to that moment, in a session it is the one time when each person feels as though the other is 100 percent there for them. It's when that person can actually unravel their thoughts and express how they feel.
"Once a person discovers they can be heard, there is that aha moment," she said. "In the end, my job is to make sure he or she feels heard. I love working on the relationship between two people," she said. "It's really beautiful."
According to Dr. Arvon, the language of love is a person's most comfortable way of being loved by another individual. As the introduction of her book explains, this way in which love is communicated can be different for everyone.
"The language of love is really how a person best expresses him or herself. Some are better with physicality, some are better with verbal expressions of love. We try to get comfortable in both languages, but the question is always 'what way makes you feel most comfortable?'"
That teaching of revitalizing your relationship by speaking the language of love is just what Dr. Arvon showcases during her lectures at Pritikin. And the guests love it. She continues to hear stories of participants who have gone home and shared this message with not just their significant other but with their children, their family and even their friends. Once that language of love is there, people can feel respected, encouraged and heard.