4CouplesNotice: Couple research emerged out of research done with married, heterosexual couples.Gottman and colleagues found that the degree of emotional connection between intimate partners is a predictor for marital stability.(Gottman, Coan, Carrere, & Swanson 1998)
5It does not go away just because we grow up. We NeedInstant decrease in husbands’ heart rate, which is a reasonable proxy for physiological arousal association with lots of negative things, given a moment of humor by the wife – during a fight. Even little moments of positive affect, regulatory efforts that cross brains, the relative success of these moments have consequences. Couples who do this well were the happiest 4 years later, a little bit less successful = unhappy 4 years later – and less successful than that, divorced. (Probability with success is 35%) (Gottman: Scientifically Based Marital Therapy)It makes us vulnerableIt does not go away just because we grow up.
6The defining element is how we deal with our vulnerability —How we understand our emotion and the signals we get and give our partner makes the difference—Couple distress is not because we have too much emotion.—Love is an emotional bond that is a wonderful thing or an incredible source of pain.—Without it we face emotional starvationPull people closePush people awayTurn away
7We need someone to talk to as much as we need fire and water We need someone to talk to as much as we need fire and water. If we don’t have them we create them.Story of Wilson from movie Cast Away - we all understood histerror and grief - we inherently understand attachment needs
8Susceptibility to shock, stress and pain As we are closer we are strongerConflictDepressionAnxietySusceptibility to shock, stress and painSelf-awarenessOther-awarenessProblem solvingFlexibilityCuriosityWith secure attachment -
9Having a loved one hold your hand really does take the hurt away fMRI Study – Jim Coan: Introducing threat and holding handsWhy wives? “You hedge your bets” The studies are expensive.X = 20% threat of getting shock, O no shock – been done by cognitive neuroscientists over 2 decades. It’s a very reliable way to illicit negative affect. 1st replicated other studies with having the experiment done while the subject was alone.Bodily arousal - unpleasantness“How we deal with our relationships is closely tied to how long we live, how frequently we go to the doctor, how rapidly we recover from injury, how happy we tend to be in our lives. People have known for a long time that being in a relationship, particularly in a close, trusting relationship where there’s a lot of emotional connection and emotional intimacy, seems to facilitate how well your body takes care of itself.”“super couples,” those with exceptionally high-quality relationships. “Hand-holding had a particularly profound effect on soothing their brains,” Coan said, involving two structures that were not affected at all in other test subjects.People can be physically available but emotionally unavailable – which creates emotional isolation.We are social creatures.“The structures that govern our emotion and our ability to regulate our emotion all evolved in social contexts.”“Literatures on emotional in the brain and emerging literature on social processes in the brain are all talking about precisely the same structures.”
11The people we love are the "hidden regulators" of our bodily processes and our emotional lives – Sue Johnson "Hold Me Tight"
12Secure Attachment is a Neural Duet We regulate each other’s physiology. Felt sense of security. We can tune into our emotions – they tell us what we need. Demassio research on meaning and decision making with amygdala injuryCan give coherent messages about need.Tolerate ambiguous messages more.
13Effective DependencyThe level of emotional responsiveness that defines how we respond to stress.Effective dependency. The level of emotional responsiveness that defines how we respond to stress.
22A.R.E. Questionnaire A.R.E. You There? A - Accessible R - Responsive E - Engaged (Present)Take a moment and write down your goals for this workshopfor your couple relationship and for yourself personally andthen fill out the ARE questionnaire.7 or above - on your way to a secure bondBelow 7 - need work to strengthen your bondBreak up into dyads and share your responses with your partner.
24Primal PanicPrimal Panic – if the answers to A.R.E. are no –Jaak Pankseep.Loose balance and can’t cope even if have insights and skills. The hidden script in the drama of distance is what John Bowlby called separation distress.
25Still Face and ProtestSeparation Distress Pattern
26How people get stuck And What They Need “ABC’S of Attachment” by Dr. Rebecca Jorgensen. Acceptance, Belonging, Comfort and Safety of attachment – to develop an ability to stay in emotional contact, to not threaten their bond, especially around sensitivities.ARE’s – especially at pivotal momentsTo identify their cycle/stuck place/to have their partner start to understand them and see things from different points of view to de-escalate the conflict—Without it we face emotional starvationAnd What They Need
27Getting the Pattern and the Pain Secondary Emotion/ Reactive - Turn Up or Turn DownPrimary Emotion/Vulnerable, Softer, UniversalGetting the Pattern and the PainDysregulation is a lack of neuro-intergration (Siegel) and shows up as over-regulated emotion or under-regulated emotion.Universal Distress/EmotionsSad - Lonely - AloneSurprise - JoyFear (attachment related fear of rejection or fear of abandonment)Shame
28With Primary Emotion Revealed A Couple InteractionWith Primary Emotion RevealedUse the Script with volunteer readersdebrief
29Attachment Perspective A Map for Loving Stable RelationshipsA Model for a Secure Bondattachmentcare takingsexualityMap outlines the logic of our emotionsThe longings and needs that guide interactionsA path for repair and renewalA language of loveA guide to pivotal and defining moments in our relationships
305 Conversations Demon Dialogue Raw Spots Rocky Moments Forgiving InjuriesHold Me TightPossibly the 6th - on Sexuality.7th - Keeping Love Alive
32How Love Goes WrongWe get stuck in Demon Dialogues when we don’t understand:the nature of loveour own needsour impact on our partnerthe confusing/distorted signals we often send
33How Love Goes Wrong: The Demon Dialogues Misses or mis-attunements are inevitable.2. We don’t re-attune and see the game.
34How Love Goes Wrong3. Negative Spirals 4. Enemy to Secure Connection 5. Reach/Risk - Respond If missing then negative strategies are being used.
35Conversation One Overview Recognizing Your Demon Dialogue Stop:Anger/DistanceSee the Game/Change the Level - emotional music/dance is the enemy
36Three Habitual DancesFind the Bad GuyFreeze and FleeProtest Polka
37Find the Bad Guy Where did this start? Black & White Anger Both trappedStuck in Content
38Find the Bad Guy Spiral The more you attack, the more dangerous you appearthe more I watch my backthe harder I hit backThe more you attack,
39Freeze and Flee Mutual Withdrawal Strangers - parallel live Prelude to detachment
40Freeze and Flee Spiral The more I hold back and shutdown my feelings The more careful and distant you becomeThe more distant you areThe more I go into my shell and chill out
41Protest Polka Most Common Disconnection protest Needs hidden Unclear signals
42Protest Polka Spiralthe more I pursue (complain, demand, instruct criticize)the more dangerous I appearthe more you move away (shut-down, defend, dismiss)the more dangerous (uncaring/inaccessible) you appearthe more I try to get through
43Do you pull your partner into this spiral? One says the message - DO NOT ENTER (it’s dangerous)The other turns up the heat - LET ME IN (it’s dangerous)
44Pursuing Partners I’m dying here. I’m shut out. My feelings don’t matter.It’s lonelier than living alone.By myself.Dismissed.I get no response. I yell to get a response, any response.I don’t matter to....We’re roommates.
45Withdrawing Partners I never get it right - can’t please. I try to FIX it - doesn’t work.I give up, space out.Best to avoid a fight - tryto keep things calm.I’m failing here.Paralyzed.No point.Go behind my wall.Numb out.
46Safe emotional engagement is the only “solution” to this problem.
48Video Conversation 1 Recognizing Your Demon Dialogue Your spouse’s negativity.... leaves youshell shocked. You feel so defenselessyou’re left with the most reflexive, leastsophisticated responses in your repertoire:to fight (act critical) or flee (stonewall).Any chance of resolving the issue is gone.
49Video Conversation 1 Recognizing Your Demon Dialogue Introduce Arwen and Blair
50Exercise Conversation 1 Recognizing Your Demon Dialogue Introduce exerciseEmotionally prepare participants for this exercise - what could happen, what do to do if you get triggered.Debrief
51Conversation Two - Overview Finding the Raw Spots SensitivitiesTemperament, attachment histories, present relationships, traumasWe allhave them
52Vulnerability Comes with Love Choice: How to deal with it?Security - share, soothe, trust deepensMore Insecure - Emotion UP or OFF, hit each other’s raw spots
53ZINGRaw spots clip from AAMFT 2009 Sacramento Plenary: ZING
54Goal: Pinpoint the attachment vulnerabilities, the deeper attachment feelings that trigger Demon Dialogues.
56To Show Ourselves Takes Courage Emotions are fast - if disorganized - confused - off balance. Signals get scrambled.We show nothing which is reactive shut down (protect)orWe show reactive anger (more control)
57Hard to Tune Into Raw Spot Emotions are FAST We pick up on secondary coping responses.
58When a Raw Spot is Hit Radical shift in emotional tone Response may seem out of proportionWhen off balance - instant survival mode - step into spiralOften no map - out of control - feelings themselves get scary or cue shame.Making sense of raw spots and dealing with them well is key to breaking power of Demon Dialogues at moments of disconnection.
59What we do in moments of disconnection is key Emotion is the music of the attachment dance.