Revolutionary film footage of a couple in distress and the affect of the ‘still face experiment’ on a partner compared to an infants lack of response from a mother. The classic still face experiment was initially done with a mother and their infant to show attachment reactions, but this video goes a step further to show how powerful disrupted attachment is on the partners. A must see.
A workbook based on EFT methods to help build a sold foundation for connection.[/fusion_title][fusion_text]This hands on must read, resource helps couples begin the process of building a foundation of new ways of connecting together. While Hold Me Tight is an excellent primer for therapy, this workbook will help carry the couple throughout the therapeutic process to really integrate the experience of therapy and create more safety between sessions. Reading and doing the exercises in the book together, between sessions, helps each partner better understand themselves, their partner and their relationship, and the deep connective work they have done in the session. The reason I recommend this book so strongly is because I noticed that couples who integrate the workbook into their therapeutic process, build more safety and connection within their relationship and between sessions, progress through the therapeutic process more quickly. Oh and BTW, I have utilized the book within my own relationship and really enjoyed getting to know my husband and my patterns with him even more. Click here to order NOW!
So the topic of expressing needs vs. being needy came up recently and I thought this was such an important issue that ‘needs’ to be more fully explored and understood. It is not easy letting your partner know your needs, especially when there have been very negative interactional cycles hijacking your relationship and not allowing for safety. We may fear being seen as ‘weak’ or ‘needy’ when it comes to letting our loved one know our needs, so we march on and believe in some way they should just know what we need and not have to tell them. Then again, this could fuel the negative pattern we are caught in because if they don’t know our needs, they won’t be able to be there. All too often we then end up feeling crushed because they aren’t there for us so we respond coldly or angrily, leaving them to wonder what has made us upset now, and further fueling the negative cycle.
Please be advised, asking to have our needs met works best when we are not caught in negative cycles with our partners. This is the first Stage of EFT, and sometimes the longest part and most challenging part of helping couples gradually reconnect. Staying out of negative cycles is not easy, but better yet, understanding them and helping each other understand and guide each other out of them, is what it is all about. To learn more about negative cycles, please go to the menu bar for ‘Couples Therapy’.
Securely attached individuals ask in a healthy way for their needs to be met in times of need, and expect them to be. This is not easy for those working toward earned secure attachment and still stuck in cycles. This may lead to questions such as: Are my needs legitimate? Can you really be there for me or will you let me down again? Will I get stung or rejected, or will you only sometimes meet my needs if I ask for them to be met? Will you outright neglect my needs? All of this is vulnerable and scary as it is unknown territory because we are taking a big risk putting ourselves out there and potentially being hurt, especially if we have been hurt in the past.
The article listed here, by my colleague, explores how ‘neediness vs. asking for our needs to be met’ provides further clarification. So next time you are hoping your partner will get your needs met without you having to ask and then feeling let down when it doesn’t happen, take a moments and ask yourself, ‘Did I let him/her know what I needed in a heathy way that gives them a chance to be there fore me?’
Oh and by the way, understanding attachment, the cornerstone of connection, can help us comprehend why sharing our needs and having them responded to is so important. Attachment, which starts out in infancy (please type ‘Attachment’ in the search bar of my website to learn more about this very important process) indicates that we are hard-wired to connect and that we are more likely to evolve and be fully ourselves when we experience the love and belonging of another. When our significant other isn’t there, or has let us down, it makes sense that we worry they won’t be there for us again in the future. However, once the negative patterns slow down between the two of you, it can become safer to request your needs in a healthy manner and have them be heard. That is, neither hinting sarcastically or overtly demanding, but being able to withstand a loving choice by our partner to not meet the need, is important for us to learn and experience as well.
Many of us know about the 12 Step Approach using ‘HALT’ to slow us down, but now it is being effectively applied to relationships with our loved ones, as Psychologist Carol Vogt notes in her article here. Basically, the concept is designed to help each other in the event you or your partner or child ever becomes H-hungry, A-angry, L-lonely or T-tired because it is during these times, that we are not at our best and we are more likely to exacerbate a negative cycles we may be caught in, or to create a negative cycle, and thereby create disconnection.
So, I realized there are a few more that are worth noting to add to the HALT concept. You may want to say ‘HALT’ and send out an ‘SOS’ to your partner when you become S-sick, O-overwhelmed and S-stressed because those are times when negative cycles can really ramp up as well. Try to help each other by saying SOS and HALT when you find yourself in a rough place and you can spare your relationship from having cycle flare ups together. The linked article above can help you learn more and thereby help each other stay better connected.
If you aren’t sure what I am referring to when I mention the word ‘cycle’ as it relates to your relationship, you can learn more about couples negative interaction cycles in Sue Johnson’t book ‘Hold Me Tight’ under ‘Demond Dialogues’ listed on my ‘Recommended Reading’ page under the menu ‘Couples Therapy’ of this website. Or contact me for couples therapy/marriage counsel to start the process of taming those negative interactional cycles with me and EFT.
Check out this link from Harvard Research on Happiness. 75 Years In The Making: Harvard Just Released Its Epic Study On What Men Need To Live A Happy Life