psychotherapy Relationships

Fully alive without withdrawing or fusing

A dialogue is a lot like a therapeutic relationship. Perhaps it is ok that a marriage is therapeutic, but there is something strange about having your partner as a therapist. The Imago method has also been criticized for creating dependency. “People are responsible for themselves, for their own healing.” A common idea in our western culture.

The questioning I’m doing above is interesting as it leads me to see clearly that it is based on flawed thinking that is prevalent.

The relationship though healing and nurturing is nothing like counselling or therapy. One reason is that each party does all the relational tasks, there is no functional difference. Another is that the main thing a couple do is live life together, the working on the relationship is a small part of that.

The more troublesome flaw is the one about individual responsibility. It sounds good but it does not make sense. People need other people. Need. Typically to become fully individual, differentiated people enter therapeutic relationships to do that!

The sort of couple work I do with people has as its aim to be fully present and authentic, “differentiated”, fully alive without withdrawing or fusing. Without fight or flight or freezing. Interdependent collaborative work. It can take quite a bit of living to get there! Perhaps when you can do that it is enlightenment.

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