Love Languages: What is the Best Way to Give and Receive Love?

Today’s post comes courtesy of Morgan Kupersmith, a recently-graduating student from Drexel University’s Master of Family Therapy program. 

Have you ever wondered why the effort that you put into your relationships sometimes goes unnoticed? You put the dishes away for your mom, pick up your friend’s homework when they are home sick, take out the trash so your little brother does not have to do it yet no one does any of this for you! When you love someone, whether it be a romantic partner, sibling, aunt, or parent you want to love them the way they deserve. You want to do things for them to make their life easier, right? You do not necessarily expect them to do these exact things in return but you may want a little reciprocity, do you not? If I just described you, you most likely have a primary love language of “acts of service”.

Image of a couple holding hands on a boardwalk while looking out at the ocean

What are the Love Languages?

Introduced by Gary Chapman in 1995, the concept of the love language has since shaped the way we think about how people view and act in their relationships. A love language is a way that people communicate and understand love. It is the metaphorical language we speak when are telling someone we love them, and the language we need to understand to hear that someone loves us back. According to Chapman, there are five love languages that encompass all of the ways people give and receive their love. A person can have a primary and secondary love language and he developed a questionnaire to asses them. The love languages are: acts of service, words of affirmation, receiving gifts, quality time, and physical touch.

“Acts of Service” involves doing things for other people that normally they would have to do themselves. “Words of Affirmation” are when someone says kind things and telling you that they love you outwardly. “Receiving Gifts” encompasses giving and receiving gifts. “Quality Time” involves taking the time to just “be” with the person you love and have them around and actively engaging in spending time together. Finally, the love language of physical touch means that in order to feel loved by someone there needs to be a level of physical touch that is not necessarily sexual, but can be small acts of physical affection.

It is important to note that when we think of what love languages actually are, we need to remember that they are the way we best receive our love. For instance, if your primary love language is acts of service and you are doing acts of service for others, but no one is doing acts of service for you, you are not going to feel as loved as if someone was doing those things for you. That being said, those for whom you perform an act of service may have a different love language and, even though you are loving them your way, you may not be loving them their way and they may not feel as loved. This is very much a two-way street that is defined by how people receive love rather than our preferred way of expressing love to others. We can use the love languages to the best of our ability but finding out our own and the language of the ones we love in order help everyone feel the most loved.

Who Uses This?

Chapman’s love language theory and conceptualization are very prevalent among clergy but they are also prevalent in premarital therapy and I have also seen some prevalence in Family Life Education or general psychoeducation classes. Regarding premarital therapy, there are many different premarital courses or systems that a couple could go through that do not include love languages. However, if love languages are brought up, it is usually based on the therapist’s personal preference and it is included in therapy as an additional resource for the couple in order to prepare them to navigate their coupled life.

Why is this Helpful?

The concept of love languages is super helpful when trying understand someone else’s perspective. It is something that I personally have had success in using with clients because it provides a way to specify what exactly someone is looking for from their loved one and what they are receiving. By being able to understand that perhaps the way that you want to be loved is not the same way that someone else wants to be loved can be transformative in the way that two people relate to each other. This is a concept that can be generalized to the outside world as well in the sense of realizing that your own personal experience may not be the experience of others.

Limitations

One of the limitations of love languages is that there is not a lot of research. This is problematic because we do not really know for sure if this concept is something that is beneficial for couples or relationships or just another way to think about communication. Another limitation is that it not based in cultural competence. This concept is mainly used for married couples and in premarital counseling. That is to say, it does not take into consideration different couple dynamics or different communication techniques that could be influenced by the culture of the people in the relationship. There is also not much mention about racial or ethnic identification and perhaps that could be another area of growth for this concept.

Overall, I personally believe that the idea of love languages teaches us to slow down in the judgments that we make about our loved ones and allows us to ask for what we need as well as give others what they need. This is not a quick fix for relationship communication issues but more so a little tool to put in your back pocket if you want to try to get the most out of the people that you love!

Source: Chapman, Gary D., and Jocelyn Green. (2017). The 5 love languages: The secret to love that lasts. Chicago: Northfield.

The Karabots Fellows Study Philly Public Spaces

Students in the Karabots Junior Fellows Program talk with Michael Nairn, Professor of Urban Planning at Penn, in the courtyard of Philadelphia City Hall

In addition to learning about healthcare and medicine, the students of the Karabots Junior Fellows Program have been learning about different perspectives on living in Philadelphia. Recently, they took part in a set of field trips to learn about urban planning and design in the city, as well as getting the opportunity to connect with Philadelphia college students. For two sessions the Fellows met with Michael Nairn, Professor of Urban Studies at the University of Pennsylvania, and his undergraduate Urban Studies class. During the first session, they traveled to Dilworth Park, the public park surrounding City Hall. There they met with Susan Weiler, who headed the team that designed the park. Susan offered her unique perspective on the development of a public space, going into detail about the decisions that motivated the creation of Dilworth Park, as well as insights into the field of architecture. Michael challenged both his students and the Fellows to think about the definition of “public space” and the social, economic, and political negotiations that term entails.

The following week, the Fellows traveled to Penn to meet with Michael and his students at their class. It gave the opportunity for them to connect with college students in a real class environment. The Fellows and students broke into groups to discuss what they had learned at Dilworth Park; however, conversations quickly turned to sharing experiences: life in college, living in Philadelphia, and other interesting topics. It was a great opportunity for the Fellows to get a sense of what to expect during their future academic pursuits.

The Karabots Junior Fellows Race Around the Umlaut

Students in the KArabots Junior Fellows Program stand on a stage in Mitchell Hall at the College of physicians of Philadlephia. They receive small trophies for competing in an educational game show.

Regular readers to our blog will know that in the past we have utilized game-based learning into our youth programs. Students have learned about crime scene investigation by exploring virtual crime scenes; they studied vaccines by testing a game about historic vaccinations; and even designed forensics-themed games of their own. Interactive game shows have become a regular CEPI staple, challenging our students to test their memories over topics in healthcare, STEM, and CEPI programming. Our games-based approach has also extended to events such as Pennsylvania Teen Health Week 2017 and the Philadelphia Science Festival.

Youth Program Coordinator Kevin Impellizer (dressed in a lab coat and goggles) gestures to a projection screen, on which a Jeopardy-style game board is projected. The game took place at the "Friday the 13th @ the Mütter" event at the College of Physicians of Philadlephia

Recently, we carried the game show format even further, converting the College of Physicians of Philadelphia’s Mitchell Hall into a massive board game. Titled Race Around the Umlaut, students from the Karabots Junior Fellows Program broke into small small teams of contestants to compete in a variety of challenges. Some of these challenges reviewed information they had learned in lessons from throughout the semester while others tested their general knowledge. Among the ways they put their mental might to the test: they reviewed news headlines in an effort to pick out real from “fake news”; they attempted to match SAT words with their definitions; they tried to answer SAT/ACT math problems in a tense race against the clock; and they even competed in a fast-past game of Operation. Teams competed for glory and fabulous prizes and demonstrated the power of games to convert class into an exciting, competitive atmosphere.

A student in the Karabots Junior Fellows Program leans over a game of Operation while another student looks on. Part of a game show activity.

Deadlines Extended for All CEPI Youth Program Applications

The 2016 cohort of the Teva Pharmaceuticals Internship program pose with Teva employees and hold certificates of completion for completing their summer internship

Are you interested in applying to be part of the Karabots Junior Fellows Program, the Out4STEM Program, or the Teva Pharmaceuticals Internship Program? There is still time.

CEPI is proud to announce we are extended our application deadline to FRIDAY, MAY 12, 2017. For more information, check out the respective sites for each program. You can download the applications below:

Karabots Junior Fellows Program: APPLY NOW

Out4STEM Internship Program: APPLY NOW

Teva Pharmaceuticals Internship: APPLY NOW

 

CEPI Curiosities: Aesculapius/Asclepius

CEPI Curiosities: Tales from Medical History's Strange Side

Hello again, fellow historico-medico aficionados, and welcome to another installment of CEPI Curiosities, our monthly dive into the medically strange. This time around, I hand the medical history reigns to a guest speaker: Jorge Colon. Jorge is currently performing admirable work as a CEPI intern and is an alum of the Out4STEM Program. Past interns have examined such topics as Chang and Eng Bunker (the original “Siamese Twins”), Harry Eastlack and FOP (Fibrodisplasia Ossificans Progressiva), CPP Fellow Chevalier Jackson and his collection of swallowed objects, and the difference between venom and poison. Jorge’s topic today examines the history of an omnipresent figure here at the College of Physicians of Philadelphia: Aesculapius, a marble statue of whom stands at the top of the staircase in the College’s rotunda.

Marble statue of Aesculapius at the top of the main staircase at the College of Physicians of Philadelphia

 

Take it away, Jorge!

Different sources claimed Asclepius to be many things. Some claimed he was a mortal physician (such as in Homer’s Iliad) who was struck by Zeus with a lightning bolt and became god. In other accounts, Asclepius was the ancient Greek god of medicine, son of the god Apollo and Coronis. He was married to Epione, the goddess of soothing; together, they had nine children:their daughters were Panacea (goddess of medicines), Hygeia (goddess of health), Iaso (goddess of recuperation), Aceso (goddess of the healing process), Aglaea or Aegle (goddess of magnificence and splendor). They also had four sons: Machaon and Podalirius, legendary healers who fought in the Trojan War; Telesphorus, who accompanied his sister, Hygeia, and symbolised recuperation; and Aratus. In Roman mythology, he is known as Aesculapius.

Asclepius learned medicine and the healing arts from the centaur Chiron. According to legend, he once healed a snake, whom in turn taught him secret knowledge. The Greeks considered snakes divine beings that were wise and could heal mortals. This is why a single snake wrapped around a staff became the symbol of Asclepius; it later became the symbol of medicine. Asclepius became so skilled a healer he learned how to cheat death and bring people back from the underworld. As a result, Zeus killed him to maintain the balance of life and death and placed him on the night sky under the constellation of the Ophiuchus (the snake holder).

Asclepius developed a loyal following of mortals who traveled far and wide to one of many sanctuaries for healing, called Asclepions. The most famous sanctuary of Asclepius was the Epidaurus, which hosted athletic, dramatic, and even musical games in honor of Asclepius every four years. Today you may notice the staff of Asclepius adorned on things related to health and medicine, such as on medical professionals’ uniforms or on the sides of ambulances.

Logo of the American Medical Association

Logo of the American Medical Association, using the Rod of Asclepius

However, sometimes you may notice a different staff with two snakes wrapped around it and a pair of wings at the top. This symbol is the staff of Caduceus, which belongs to the Greek god Hermes. Hermes is considered the god of transitions and boundaries. He acted as herald of the gods and also escorted the souls of the dead when they transitioned from the mortal realm to the afterlife. The Caduceus was usually affiliated with public speakers and heralds. Printing companies also used the staff.

Image of the Staff of Caduceus

The Staff of Caduceus

However, because it looks similar to Asclepius’s staff, it is often misrepresented today as a symbol of medicine. This dates back to 1902 when the Medical Department of the United States Army used the staff of Caduceus. Today, professional medical organizations use the staff of Asclepius; however, many commercial medical firms make use of the Caduceus. Make sure you keep an eye out for both symbols and see if a commercial or professional group is using them.

Until next time, catch you on the strange side!

Doctor Anonymous: A Play Reading at the Mütter

On May 2, 1972, Dr. John E. Fryer, a professor of psychiatry at Temple University, delivered a talk at the Annual Meeting of the American Psychiatric Association calling for the organization to remove homosexuality from the list of mental disorders in the APA’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM). Fryer, a closeted homosexual who risked discrimination, harassment, and professional ostracism for speaking out on this subject, concealed his identity, delivering his talk while wearing a rubber mask and using a voice modulator under the pseudonym “Dr. H. Anonymous.”  Thanks to his efforts, the APA declassified homosexuality as a mental disorder in April 1974.

On April 19, 2017, the College of Physicians of Philadelphia will be hosting a dramatic reading of Guy Frederick Glass’ play on Fryer’s speech: simply titled Doctor Anonymous. Glass’s play explores gay conversion therapy and the events leading up to the the APA’s removal of homosexuality from the DSM.  It is the first time selections from his performance have been read in Philadelphia.

Guy Glass is a psychiatrist, playwright, and Fellow of the College of Physicians of Philadelphia. He attended the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine and completed his residency in psychiatry at the Institute of Pennsylvania Hospital. He held a private practice in New York where he specialized in treating LGBT patients and also edited the newsletter for the Association of Gay and Lesbian Psychiatrists. Later in his career, he branched into performance art, earning an MFA in theater from Stony Brook University. His play first appeared in Los Angeles in 2014.

The dramatic reading will take place from 6-8 PM here at the College of Physicians of Philadelphia. Tickets can be purchased here. General admission is $10. Students (with valid ID) and Mütter Museum members can purchase tickets for $5. Admission is free to CPP Fellows and members of the Section on Medicine and the Arts.  The event is presented by CEPI and the Section on Medicine and the Arts of the College of Physicians of Philadelphia.

The Karabots Junior Fellows Explore Imperfecta

The Karabots Junior Fellows meet with Mütter Museum exhibit developer Michael Keys to discuss the Museum's new exhibit: Imperfecta

As part of a semester-long project, several members of the current cohort of the Karabots Junior Fellows Program will be developing their own exhibit. To help them in their process, the Fellows recently met with Michael Keys, Exhibit Designer for the Mütter Museum. Michael took this opportunity to introduce them to the Mütter Museum’s latest exhibit: Imperfecta. Imperfecta “examines the shifting perceptions about abnormal human development, from fear and wonder to curiosity and clinical science.” Through historic texts and select human specimens the exhibit addresses a subject known historically as “teratology,” addressing how unusual or abnormal births have been examined scientifically and culturally. Michael walked them through the exhibit, explaining the rationale behind the selection of certain objects and his method for transforming the exhibit from idea to reality. He helped them gain insight into not only exhibit development but the possibility of careers in exhibit design.

The Karabots Junior Fellows meet with Mütter Museum exhibit developer Michael Keys to discuss the Museum's new exhibit: Imperfecta

You can view Imperfecta for yourself here at the Mütter Museum.