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On the last track we discussed reromanticizing. Reromanticizing is a technique consisting of four steps. The four steps in the reromanticizing technique are identify what is pleasing now, identify what used to be pleasing, identify what the client has always wanted to pleased by, and combine and prioritize.
On the next two tracks we will discuss how intimacy can be used to foster intimacy. Topics we will discuss include the healing potential of friendship, the unconscious selection process, and a technique for overcoming limitations on intimacy.
Would you agree that healing love has to come from outside oneself? But must it come from a spouse? Can the healing love come from a close friend?
#1 - The Healing Potential of Friendship
Mary stated, “I enjoyed the hugging, but Susan’s not the right person. It’s not Susan I need hugs from. It’s someone else.” After numerous experiments like this, I concluded that the love clients are seeking has to come not just from another person within the context of a safe, intimate relationship, but from an intimate match—someone so similar to a client’s parents that the unconscious mind has them fused. This appears to be an effective way to erase the pains of childhood. Clients may enjoy the hugs and attentions of other people, but the effects are transitory.
#2 - The Unconscious Selection Process
For example, Hayden, the son of a depressed, sexually repressed mother, chose to marry Becky, a depressed, frigid wife. How could Hayden recapture his sensuality and joy through Becky? Would you agree that if Hayden were going to be healed Becky would have to change? Hayden’s depressed, frigid wife would have to recover her energy and sensuality. Then and only then would she be able to give Hayden the consistent nurturing he had been looking for all his life.
Think about your Hayden’s unconscious selection process. While it was possible that what Hayden needed the most was what his wife, Becky was least able to give, it also happened to be the precise area where Becky needed to grow.
Technique: Overcoming Limitations on Intimacy
One partner would be asked to come up with a list of requests, which the other partner would be free to honor or not. In this case, however, the requests would be for potentially difficult changes in behavior, not for simple, pleasurable interactions; in fact, virtually every one of the requests would zero in on a point of contention. For instance, clients would be asking their partners to become more assertive or more accepting or less manipulative. In essence, they would be asking them to overcome their most prominent negative traits.
Here’s an example of how intimacy can be used to foster intimacy from Hayden and Becky’s experience. To begin the demonstration, I asked a volunteer to state a significant gripe about his or her partner. Becky started by sharing what at first appeared to be a superficial complaint about Hayden.
Would you agree that all Becky had to do was:
Think of your Hayden. Have you identified an area of change in your client’s partner that could help increase his capability for intimacy? How can you begin to implement a strategy for change through a technique like Overcoming Limitations on Intimacy for your male intimacy client’s partner?
On this track we have discussed how intimacy can be used to foster intimacy. Topics we will discuss include the healing potential of friendship, the unconscious selection process, and a technique for overcoming limitations on intimacy.
On the next track we will wrap up this discussion by presenting the second part of intimacy used to foster intimacy. After initializing the Overcoming Limitations on Intimacy as on this last track, the next three steps are to identify a chronic complaint, isolated the desire, and compose a list of target activities on which to request action.
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