Learn to articulate your emotions with ACS communications classes

Daisy Fakunle (right), Family Advocacy Program manager, shares a laugh with Heather Allen, Family Advocacy administrative assistant, in a conference room at Army Community Service on Panzer Kaserne, Feb. 27, 2024. Photo by Kieran Murphy, USAG Stuttgart Public Affairs.

By Balmina Sehra
USAG Stuttgart Public Affairs

Move over, flowers and chocolates, and make room for better communication and understanding. 

It’s that time of year when love and romantic relationships take center stage for a day, but aside from the expensive treats and gifts you can spoil your significant other with, it is also a great time to reflect and work on the foundation of any strong and healthy relationship: communication. 

Army Community Service (ACS), located on Panzer Kaserne, regularly offers free instructor-led classes to improve communication within your relationship. 

“They are specifically designed to be interactive and fun, educating participants on how to articulate their feelings to a partner, which in turn, helps to strengthen a relationship,” said Leticia Gaines, Family Advocacy Program specialist. 

The classes provide insight into many different practices that can be used to learn more about a partner, including love mapping.

A variety of Family Advocacy Program literature is available for class participants and visitors to take with them. Photo by Kieran Murphy, USAG Stuttgart Public Affairs.

“Love mapping is a way to better understand each other, the more you know and understand one another the better you stay connected,” said Gaines.

It is one of many tools the classes use to help understand your partner’s needs and wants.  

“When you read a map, you understand the person, become familiar with each other’s worlds, and remember major events in the other person’s history,” said Gaines. 

The classes offer couples much more than just mutual understanding – they help build resilience and awareness, she said.  

Even those without partners shouldn’t shy away from taking these classes, but rather embrace them as a valuable opportunity for personal growth and development, as it can help make better decisions when looking for a partner in the future. 

“Taking these classes is beneficial even when you’re single, as you learn to understand yourself and therefore learn what you are looking for in a partner,” said Daisy Fakunle, Family Advocacy Program manager.

Not only do these classes help individuals when choosing their partner, but it also sets them up for success in their future relationships. 

But it’s not just the choice of partner these classes help with, it’s making sure individuals are provided with the knowledge to steer clear of typical arguments and relationship issues later on. 

“You can avoid certain relationship issues altogether because you’re equipped with the tools already,” said Fakunle. 

And the great news is that these classes are useful not just for romantic relationships, but for any form of relationship since they provide great tools and skills to communicate with anyone around you, be it family members, co-workers, or friends. 

“Being purposeful is important for any relationship. It’s not automated just because you know someone for a long time, you still have to put that time into your relationships and this expands further than just your romantic relationships,” said Fakunle. 

The classes listed below provided by ACS are accessible to anyone with a DoD ID card, including military members, civilians, contractors, family members, and local nationals.

Building 2915, Panzer Kaserne, is home to Army Community Service (ACS), along with other services. Photo by USAG Stuttgart Public Affairs.

ACS Couples Enrichment Classes 

7 Principles of Making Marriage Work: This series is broken into 4 – 1-hour classes or can be customized to the group.  The participants will learn about the 7 principles to make marriage work according to Dr. John Gottman.   

5 Love Languages:  The “5 Love Languages” shows couples how to make their love last by learning to recognize the unique way their partner feels love. 

Couples That Play Together Stay Together: Participants will discuss relationship goals and different ways to stay connected. 

Emotional Agility:  This Class will address the process of how not to ignore difficult emotions and thoughts. Instead, you will learn how to be emotionally aware while facing them courageously to manage challenging situations. 

Crucial Conversations: This class will help those crucial conversations, which is “A discussion between two or more people where the stakes are high, opinions vary, and emotions run strong.” While these tense situations may be unavoidable, Crucial Conversations will help you have better outcomes.

All of the classes listed above are completely free. If you would like to register for any of these classes, you can do so by either calling the ACS at +49 (0)9641-70-596-3362 or stopping by their office on Panzer Kaserne in Böblingen. A schedule of each month’s classes is available at the Stuttgart ACS Facebook page and MWR website.