Presentation on theme: "Pursuing Passion Through the Neo-Cortex"— Presentation transcript:
1 Pursuing Passion Through the Neo-Cortex Don Ferguson, Ph.D.
2 Response to Threat Full body experience Breathing, heart rate, musculature, body chemistry, hormones, digestionThe brain also prepares for battle or flightDirect routing of threat info to amygdalaNarrowed focus and vision
3 Executive Operating Systems RAGE CAREFEAR PANICSEEKING PLAYLUSTAffective NeurosciencePanksepp, Jaak, 1998, New York: Oxford University Press
4 Bartholomew and Horowitz used this model to create the Relationship Questionnaire (RC).
5 Curiosity I need I can’t You won’t You’re bad You want too muchYou’re badYou won’tYou’re bad
6 Anxiety increases anxiety Frustrated needs and desires will lead to increased anxiety and need for reassuranceAs one acts out this desperation, the partner’s anxiety and desperation increases and so onGetting one partner to surrender in some manner may only make matters worse
7 Couples out of synchThe partners are often startled by the fact that even their most positive efforts are met with suspicion or resentment.(the gift of information)They are out of synch so that when one tries the other is not ready.This leads to hopelessness: “Nothing I do is ever good enough.”
8 John Gottman Increase overall positivity in marriage—nonconflict Decrease negativity during conflict discussionIncrease positivity during conflict discussion
9 The Goal Reduce intensity between partners. This is exactly opposite of attempting to increase intimacy. Reducing their closeness and tension facilitates their ability to use complex neo-cortex abilities.
10 The treatment agreement Following the initial assessment- I ask the couple to have a brief meeting about their experience of the intake. They should discuss whether this approach sounds reasonable and whether they both feel comfortable with me.If agreeing to treatment, they will make one evaluation appointment for each and a conjoint session for recommendations.
11 Common fears when attempting change It won’t changeIt will get worseIt will change but it won’t lastThe change will not be sufficientI will be talked/coerced into doing or accepting things that are not good for me.
12 The mechanics-assessment How do they attempt discussions?When do they have time together?How do battles begin?How do they fight dirty?How do they ask for things?Who initiates sex and how do they respond to each other?
13 Primitive battle Diagnosis and name-calling Attacking the family I’m the expertI work harder than youCalling on experts, books and other evidenceIntimidationArguing the facts
14 Looking for positivesAttachment language-agency, connection, hope, positive story telling, humorShared goalsThe exceptions to the negatives:When do things go well?When do they have their best times?Be cautious when asking about exceptions.
15 The Experimental Nature of Change Everything a couple asks for or tries is merely an experiment.Be prepared to back up because…If an assignment fails, it wasn’t resistance. It was the wrong assignment.
16 We need to talk.I really need to talk to you and get to know you better. I will feel closer to you.orI want to rip you open emotionally, make you feel guilty and inadequate and then tap dance on your bloodied useless carcass. This will take about four hours.
17 The mechanics- planning Planning meetings- timing, time-limits, preparation, decreasing surprisesPlace- remember conditioning theoryEstablishing rules of engagementSoft start-ups, bids and increasing positives (Gottman)
18 Defining the Problem Forcing your brains to organize the data Specific and behavioral objectivesSelect and define sub-arguments and distractionsWhat are the key subjects and what do they mean to each of you?What would each of you view as a successful conclusion to the topic you have named as important?
19 Early Building of Positives (Gottman, Hendrix) Wish listMinimal positive contactSacred timesInitiating times together (How do they get together after absences? The arsenic hour is described.)Celebrating changeNote: These are early interventions and do not necessarily address the big issues, yet.
20 Relapse Inoculating against catastrophic reactions to relapse Using relapse as a learning toolCelebrating new responses to old behaviorsDiscussing continued growth
21 After Relapse, Tx Begins! Couples have an initial honeymoonThey then have a vicious relapse which is all the more painful because they thought they had made it.Now they are ready to do the deeper work beyond just learning to be nicer to each other.You need to invoke their curiosity.
22 Sex, love and affectionCouples often view problems of sexual desire, arousal and performance as problems of interest, affection and desirability.It is often difficult but necessary to help them separate these concepts.
23 What part of sex is just business and mechanics? Business versus Personal IssuesPartnership MeetingsPlace, timing, agendaDefining the problem and who has what problemWhat is minimal positive change?What else do we need for this discussion? (books, other info)
24 Group Program Introduction to the biology of fighting and estrangement Self AssessmentDevelopment of structured interactionsMeetings, Negotiations, PlayFamily Discussion and AssessmentsProblem focus for successful discussionsIncreasing intimacyRelapse