Unlike other treatment professionals, Canadian physician and social critic Gabor Maté disagrees with the current biomedical, genetic model of addiction. He insists that addictive patterns of behavior are rooted in the alienation and emotional suffering that are inseparable from Western capitalist cultures, which (by favoring striving and acquiring over noticing and caring for one another), end up shortchanging — and too often traumatizing — children and families.
Martha Kauppi, marriage and sex therapist, and founder of the Institute for Relational Intimacy, notes that basic psychoeducation is an integral part of helping partners negotiate the most intimate aspects of their relationship.
California couples therapist Dr. Robert Solley writes about the need to be right as a significant single predictor of relationship failure.
When differences become contests of right and wrong, he writes, the essential feelings of safety and comfort that we seek in relationship get replaced with feelings of helplessness, mistrust, inadequacy and pain.
The skills we need to “work the relationship” by “working ourselves” inside the relationship are different from qualities prized in the “intervention from above” model — being right, being powerful. That flies out the window when we begin to think relationally.
The following two selections are from Terrence Real’s important book, How Can I Get Through to You? Closing the intimacy gap between men and women (2003). Relational therapist, lecturer and author Real looks at the “thousand cuts” that contribute to the death of a marriage and the “intimacy skill set” that is essential for reconnection.
Relationship and sex therapist Esther Perel notes that, much as one must be able to conjugate certain core verbs in order to speak a language, one must similarly practice seven basic relational verbs to sustain a satisfying friendship or relationship. In the bedroom, practicing these verbs becomes even more significant.
In her New York Times article, Great Betrayals (10.05.13), New York psychiatrist Dr. Anna Fels writes eloquently about the corrosive, confusing and life-altering impact of betrayal and deceit in a marriage.
She describes how lies eat away at the fabric of the betrayed partner’s past reality, creating the need — in order to move forward — for a new narrative that integrates both the good and the bad. The following is a selection from her longer article.