Presentation on theme: "Recreating Intimacy The Task of the Recovery Family"— Presentation transcript:
1 Recreating Intimacy The Task of the Recovery Family Instructor:Craig Nakken, MSW
2 Letter To My Brother’s Addiction “Nothing can justify the destruction you have caused. If you were a person, not a blind force, I would strangle you with no second thoughts. Not one shred of good has come from your work, and none ever could. You are destroying life as cruelly and utterly as napalm, as cancer, as a torturer’s rack.“I wish you were a real person, so I could scream in your face, tear down your house, follow you down the street yelling for everyone to shun you. Because you aren’t a person, it’s hard not to see you as the person you’re sucking the life out of...”
3 “Our journey through life is a community affair, someone has to say: “I will be with you.” -- Damian McElrath --
4 Intimacy a psychological and spiritual event Intimacy A By-productIntimacy is created by living by spiritual principles within a relationshipIntimacy a psychological and spiritual eventCreates mutual vulnerability
5 Created Intimacy Random Intimacy Created Intimacy Addiction destroys a person’s ability to have intimacy with self, others and spiritual principles. A large part of recovery is the retraining or teaching of ourselves and our families about intimacy and theskills of intimacyCreated IntimacyRandom IntimacyCreated Intimacy
6 The Pleasure , Power and Meaning Framework Domain of Transformation Spiritual Sideof Our BeingDrive for MeaningDomain of TransformationDrive for PowerDomain of ControlInstinctual Sideof our BeingEthical PowerDesire for PowerDrive for PleasureDomain of AvoidanceDesire for PleasureEthical Pleasure
7 The Pleasure , Power and Meaning Framework Drive for MeaningDomain of TransformationSpiritual Sideof Our BeingIllness of AddictionDrive for PowerDomain of ControlInstinctual Sideof our BeingSensations of PowerDesire for PowerDrive for PleasureDomain of AvoidanceDesire for PleasureSensations of Pleasure
8 Burdens We Place On Intimacy: Belief that our partners will fill our ever needs and allow us to feel completeBelief intimacy and love can heal wounds (diseases) that it can’tBelief that because we have declared intimacy that there will intimacy -- Intimacy must be createdIntimacyis an achievementnot an entitlement
9 Different Types of Intimacy • Emotional Intimacy• Physical Intimacy• Personal Intimacy• Intellectual Intimacy• Spiritual Intimacy
10 Emotional intimacy pertains to communication abilities regarding different emotion states. It speaks of a certain comfortability and effectiveness in discussing one’s feelings with another.Fear and Sadness
11 Why Emotional Intimacy? To gain understandingTo offer mutual supportTo create mutual vulnerabilityTo maintain mental healthTo create a “We” from “Me’s”To transform pain into growthTo not be alone anymore
12 Personal IntimacySpeaks of a person’s ability to work through, find support or help in working through emotional issues or life issues. Needed: self-esteem, self-confidence, certain level of self love
13 Spiritual IntimacySpeaks of person relationship and ability to use spiritual principles to deepen their relationships with others, self, and Higher Power; and to find and create meaning in their life.
14 Pain is information -- most often it is a challenge, a call for us to change and growPain speaks of a wound or damage that has occurredPain is necessaryPain is to be transformed into growthor a deeper relationship withspiritual principlesPain is energyPain not listened to will increase in intensityPain demands our attention
15 If pain can’t be transformed in a relationship, intimacy becomes a burden, a threatDisconnection becomes the solutionPain that can not be transformedbecomes suffering
16 trying to get our attention Spiritual pain is ourHigher PowerPain and AddictionDuring our addiction, we betrayed our humanity,our values, our Higher Power.The only way we had to keep these parts of us alivewas through pain, Spiritual Pain.Spiritual Pain asks that we feel the pain and speakof wrongs done in order totransformthe pain back into our humanity, our values.Family’s job:To Transformspiritualpainintohumanity--Intimacy--trying to get our attention
17 Transformation Process PrinciplesActionsPainSadnessFearsGriefPowerlessnessNew RelationshipsNew BehaviorsNew PerspectivesEthical PowerLoveAttachDetach
18 In addiction, pain is hijacked by the addictive process. We lose our ability totransform pain into growth and meaning.Pain not transformed is transferred onto others, mainly the family.Family members become afraid of intimacy and spiritual principles--love doesn’t fix or cure addiction.Because pain is not transformed, it accumulates, and the system adjusts = a shame based system.
19 Channels of IntimacyPerson AEgoPerson BEgoWe all go through life with a tension, a question:“Do I go it alone, or with another?”
20 Channels of Intimacy We Me Me Person A Ego Person B Ego MUTUAL VULNERABILITYPerson AEgoPerson BEgoWeMeMe• When we meet someone with whom we want to set up a long-termintimate relationship, we form an unseen--but very real--channel ofintimacy• This becomes the couple’s understanding and agreement about why theyare together. There are three parts to this agreement:1) Formal2) Informal3) Assumed• The channel is to be a place of mutual vulnerability, meaning egosare to become less important than the agreement itself
21 Channels of Intimacy We Person A Ego Person B Ego MUTUAL VULNERABILITYPerson AEgoPerson BEgoJoyComfortIntimacyA HistoryTrustWeMeMe• Time -- friend or foe. The better they live up to the agreement,the better they feel about themselves and about the relationship.• As they live by the agreement, by-products get created--trust,joy, care, intimacy. There starts to be more of the “we” and itbegins to gain in trust.• Ego must be sacrificed in order to create the “we.” In a sense,this is where the raw material to build the “we” comes from.-Virginia Satir’s “Self/Other Dilemma”
22 We Channels of Intimacy Person A Ego Person B Ego MUTUAL VULNERABILITYPerson AEgoPerson BEgoWeMeMe• Over time, as the couple honors their agreement, there actuallybecomes more of the “we” than of the “me.” The persons withinthe relationship feel most comfortable as a couple--their identitiescome from the couple.• Less and less energy is needed to maintain intimacy because thesystem is balanced in favor of intimacy• This is where 1+1 = 3; in addiction it becomes = 0.
24 Channels of Intimacy We Person B Ego Person A Ego MUTUAL VULNERABILITYPerson AEgoPerson BEgoWeAddictionMeMe• If addiction enters into the relationship, we go back to the original question: “Do I go it alone or with another?” Person A basically starts to go it alone, switchingprimary relationships. Addiction is now this person’s primary relationship.• Person B senses shift and reacts, pursing person A, attempting to get relationship“agreement” back. This is normal. This person becomes “keeper of the agreement.”You have heard statements like, “You’re not the same person I married!” “What’sgotten into you?” etc.• As addiction progresses, addict develops defense system and rationalization system toprotect themselves from the concern and fear of their partner. Care and concernno become threats to the addictive process. Intimacy can’t be created.
25 Channels of Intimacy Me Me Person A Person B Ego Ego MUTUAL VULNERABILITYPerson AEgoPerson BEgoWeAddictionMeMe• Person B feels beat up by the addict and retreats back into self. Often, bothfeel guilt. Person A goes to their addiction more, and Person B works harderto fix the problem.• Both will now only enter into the channel with their ego along for protection.Overtime, the agreement covertly changes to reflect this change. Mutualvulnerability is now seen as a liability instead of an asset.• Negative by-products start to get created: mistrust, resentments, cynicism,defensive anger, hopelessness.
26 Channels of Intimacy Me Me Ego Ego Person A Person B Addiction • At some point the channel of intimacy becomes completely blocked by thenegativity created by the addiction. Couple now feels trapped by theiragreement. It is a weight around their necks. The goal often is now to staymarried versus being married.• Egos have grown to unhealthy proportions, as a means of self-protection.• Couple’s inability to create intimacy is a constant source of shame.• The original agreement is shredded and and beaten up to the point that it meanslittle, except as a source of frustration and shame. Blame is now the primarydefense mechanism.• This is the spot at which many couples enter into treatment.
27 Channels of Intimacy we Me Me New Couple’s Recovery Agreement Person AEgoPerson BEgoRecovery ProgramAddictionNew Couple’sRecovery AgreementMeMe• In the past, couples have been told that they’ll need to work through all their past issues--a task that many couples choose not to do.A different way is to help the couple create a new agreement based in their recovery--a principle centered agreement. *• Couple works to create a new “We.” Can only happen if addiction is kept away by abstinence.*Couples recovery workbook by Craig Nakken is available through Hazelden Publishing
28 Channels of Intimacy we Recovery Program New Couple’s MUTUAL VULNERABILITYPerson AEgoPerson BEgoweRecovery ProgramNew Couple’sRecovery AgreementMeMeAddictionOver time, the new agreement starts to create a new relationship and new patterns of communication and connection.Over time, some old issues just fall by the wayside and others get faced and dealt with as the couple develops new skills and redevelops trust as they see each other working to bring life to their new agreement.This new agreement seems to be more realistic than the past initial agreement: Less, “I’ll love and care for you no matter what,” more, “ I’ll work to have patience with us during tough times.”Mutual vulnerability gets re-established within the relationship. A “give and take” starts to replace the “take” mentally of addiction. The “WE” starts to have a life of its own again.
29 Addiction Written by the 16-year-old daughter of an alcoholic Addiction is the color of my obsidian heartIt sounds like the shouting matches between my parentsIt tastes like bitter boozeAddiction smells like stale alcohol on the breath of a fatherIt looks like my dad stumbling down the stairsIt feels like broken glass inside my heartAddiction is the color of crimson rain dripping down my sleeveIt sounds like the drunken slurs muttered by a distant dadIt tastes like alcohol-tainted kisses from husband to mistressAddiction smells like the cheap perfume of another womanIt looks like my dad tearing my family apartIt feels like I’m losing everythingAddiction is the color of the divorce papersIt sounds like my mother’s heartbroken sobsIt tastes like the lips of another womanAddiction smells like two new, separate houses for one familyIt looks like another broken homeIt feels like the deepening despair in my soulAddiction is the force that tears families apartWritten by the 16-year-old daughter of an alcoholic
30 TRAGEDYSensationsWhat is different about above this line that makes more attractive to addicts?CRISISPROBLEMSISSUESWe will have all of these, healthyFamilies are better at keepingIncidents, situations and issues asIncidents, situations and issues and notTurning them immediately into problemsor crises.SITUATIONINCIDENTDILEMMA
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