FIML is a technique used to optimize communication and psychological well-being between two people in real-time, real-world communication. It is a form of analytical psychotherapy that aims to clear up mistaken psychological interpretations that may have been held for many years or that may have just arisen. No psychological training is necessary to do FIML.
By clearing up many small mistaken interpretations between partners, FIML gradually clears up the psychological bases of those misinterpretations, which leads to greatly improved communication and psychological well-being. FIML can be used in any interpersonal relationship, including romantic relationships, friendships, and professional relationships. FIML is ideal and should be considered mandatory for marriages and other long-term committed relationships based on love or mutual affection, especially when partners live together.
It is important that both partners care about each other and very helpful if they realize that the well-being of one is the well-being of the other, or at least greatly contributes to that. FIML practice enhances and supports honesty between partners and their understanding of what honesty entails and how to be deeply honest in a relationship without relinquishing subjective privacy and freedom of thought, which are essential for spiritual and psychological growth.
To do FIML, both partners need to have a previous agreement to do it and then follow their mutual understanding of how FIML is done. Partners should do FIML at a time and place where they can converse without interruption.
A FIML query begins when one partner notices they have begun to form an impression or an interpretation of something their partner said or did. To be sure they are not mistaken, they begin a neutral query that fundamentally asks their partner to describe the contents of their working memory at that moment in time.
Partners must agree on the basic data that initiated the query. “When you said, XYZ what was in your working memory?” Partners must be able to agree that one of them said XYZ. Or, “When you turned away and looked into the sink, what was in your mind [working memory]?” Partners must be able to agree that one of them turned and looked into the sink. Moments like these are chosen by the partner making the inquiry. These moments can be playful or they can be very serious, causing incipient strong emotions to begin forming. Before those emotions take hold, do the query and find out if you were right or wrong by listening carefully to your partner’s answer.
After you have listened to your partner’s description of the contents of their working memory, compare it with your own. Then share your insights with your partner. This part of FIML is where the greatest value is. Since the precipitating event was small—a word or gesture or tone of voice—it is quite easy to confess your mistaken interpretation and then listen to your partner’s probably befuddled response to your mistake. This part is fun and can be a huge relief if your query was psychologically charged with underlying traumatic memory.
It really helps if both partners have a rich understanding of how imprecise, messy, crude, and sloppy almost all spoken language is. ABN