Gottman and colleagues found that the degree of emotional connection between intimate partners is a predictor for marital stability. (Gottman, Coan, Carrere, & Swanson 1998)
We Need It makes us vulnerable It does not go away just because we grow up.
The defining element is how we deal with our vulnerability Pull people close Push people away Turn away
We need someone to talk to as much as we need fire and water. If we don’t have them we create them.
As we are closer we are stronger Conflict Depression Anxiety Susceptibility to shock, stress and pain Self- awareness Other- awareness Problem solving Flexibility Curiosity
Having a loved one hold your hand really does take the hurt away
Jim Coan: Social BaselineTheory
The people we love are the "hidden regulators" of our bodily processes and our emotional lives – Sue Johnson "Hold Me Tight"
Secure Attachment is a Neural Duet
Effective Dependency The level of emotional responsiveness that defines how we respond to stress.
A.R.E. Accessibility Responsiveness Engagement
Can I reach you? Do I matter? ACCESSIBILITY
Can I depend on you? Will you come when I call? RESPONSIVENESS
Are you emotionally present? Do you share? Will you keep me close? ENGAGEMENT
A.R.E. questions are often hidden in content issues A lasting, fulling, secure, in- love relationship is entirely possible if we have a map.
It’s impossible to create a sentiment of tenderness by any process of reasoning. Marilyn Yalom
A.R.E. Questionnaire A.R.E. You There? A - Accessible R - Responsive E - Engaged (Present)
Still Face and Protest
And What They Need How people get stuck
Secondary Emotion/ Reactive - Turn Up or Turn Down Primary Emotion/Vulnerable, Softer, Universal Getting the Pattern and the Pain
With Primary Emotion Revealed A Couple Interaction
Attachment Perspective A Map for Loving Stable Relationships A Model for a Secure Bond attachment care taking sexuality
5 Conversations Demon Dialogue Raw Spots Rocky Moments Forgiving Injuries Hold Me Tight
Conversation 1 Recognizing Your Demon Dialogue
How Love Goes Wrong 1. We get stuck in Demon Dialogues when we don’t understand: the nature of love our own needs our impact on our partner the confusing/distorted signals we often send
How Love Goes Wrong: The Demon Dialogues How Love Goes Wrong Misses or mis- attunements are inevitable. 2. We don’t re-attune and see the game.
3. Negative Spirals 4. Enemy to Secure Connection 5. Reach/Risk - Respond If missing then negative strategies are being used. How Love Goes Wrong
Conversation One Overview Recognizing Your Demon Dialogue Stop: Anger/ D istance
Find the Bad Guy Freeze and Flee Protest Polka Three Habitual Dances
Where did this start? Black & White Anger Both trapped Stuck in Content Find the Bad Guy
Find the Bad Guy Spiral the more dangerous you appear the more I watch my back the harder I hit back The more you attack,
Freeze and Flee Mutual Withdrawal Strangers - parallel live Prelude to detachment
Freeze and Flee Spiral The more I hold back and shutdown my feelings The more careful and distant you become The more distant you are The more I go into my shell and chill out
Protest Polka Most Common Disconnection protest Needs hidden Unclear signals
Protest Polka Spiral the more I pursue (complain, demand, instruct criticize) the more dangerous I appear the more you move away (shut-down, defend, dismiss) the more dangerous (uncaring/inaccessible) you appear the more I try to get through
Do you pull your partner into this spiral?
Pursuing 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.
Withdrawing 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 - try to keep things calm. I’m failing here. Paralyzed. No point. Go behind my wall. Numb out.
Safe emotional engagement is the only “solution” to this problem.
Introduction to HMT Couple
Video Conversation 1 Recognizing Your Demon Dialogue Your spouse’s negativity.... leaves you shell shocked. You feel so defenseless you’re left with the most reflexive, least sophisticated responses in your repertoire: to fight (act critical) or flee (stonewall). Any chance of resolving the issue is gone.
Video Conversation 1 Recognizing Your Demon Dialogue
Exercise Conversation 1 Recognizing Your Demon Dialogue
Conversation Two - Overview Finding the Raw Spots Sensitivities We all have them
Vulnerability Comes with Love Choice: How to deal with it? Security - share, soothe, trust deepens More Insecure - Emotion UP or OFF, hit each other’s raw spots
Goal: Pinpoint the attachment vulnerabilities, the deeper attachment feelings that trigger Demon Dialogues.
To Show Ourselves Takes Courage Emotions are fast - if disorganized - confused - off balance. Signals get scrambled. We show nothing which is reactive shut down (protect)or We show reactive anger (more control)
Hard to Tune Into Raw Spot Emotions are FAST We pick up on secondary coping responses.
When a Raw Spot is Hit Radical shift in emotional tone Response may seem out of proportion When off balance - instant survival mode - step into spiral Often no map - out of control - feelings themselves get scary or cue shame.
What we do in moments of disconnection is key Emotion is the music of the attachment dance.
Video Introduction to HMT Couple
Video Conversation 2 Finding the Raw Spots
Video 2 Conversation 2 Finding the Raw Spots
Unpacking the Raw Spot Cue/Trigger Body Feeling Inner Dialogue (catastrophe) Action fight/flee or move close/move away Surface feeling your partner sees Raw deeper emotion
EXERCISE Conversation Two Sensitivities We all have them