In the framework of the conference “About love, loneliness and happiness in a relationship. Existential-analytic couples therapy” was made by the famous Austrian psychotherapist, representative of the existential analysis of the Alfred Laengle. “I want to consider topics such as people, relationships, suffering in the relationship and find some relationships.”
Every person is an individual, personality, Person. As a Person man stands as if on two legs: on the one hand, it is inside yourself, on the other hand, he intentional directed against another or others. As a Person we are open to the world (this idea Scheler), and thus partner in the relationship, so that man can be only himself, only relying on himself.
Without the Other I don’t have. More precisely: I can’t be I without the Other. As an adult I cannot be fully me without the Other. This anthropological fact Frankl introduced the concept of semitransparency.
But to whatever degree we may need other else can do for us all. Another we cannot replace, cannot represent us. Every person as a Person must master his life, to his life, to find myself, to be able to relate with himself. Good to be able to be with them and be able to talk with him, to be in dialogue with you, including without the other. People should be able to be one without the other.
Thus, as a Person I’m responsible to her own inner world and other world, the outside world. So from the very beginning is in a dual position, a dual correlation. And here, in this place problems begin pairs – because I itself is already such pair in the outside and inside. I connect these two poles: the intimacy and openness to the world. This fundamental duality is rooted in human nature.
Summarizing, we can say that a person can be with other people or another person, but he can’t be with others. He should be able to limit yourself and be with yourself. This is a typical field of tension in which is a pair: between selfishness and giving, dissolution, losing oneself in the other in the relationship. When having relationships with others, there is this danger. In relation to myself too, there is a similar danger. Because if I myself can’t understand and can’t stand himself, to be with you if I can’t confidently stand on my feet, I strive to identify with others. And then the other would like me to replace what I can’t for myself to implement.
Only from the ability to be with oneself may occur joint existence. Thus, work with a couple in existential therapy is similar to working with an individual. Man, his being so constructed that it is predisposed to have a relationship with another person. I support the fact that the problems couples shouldn’t be treated only from the point of view of system approach. A systematic approach gives a very valuable insight, but requires a personal opinion for each person. The basis of a pair – the personality of each person in the pair.
What’s a couple?
Steam is something that belongs to one another. Two is not a couple. For example, a pair of shoes belongs to each other, both shoes together make up the whole. So if I have two shoes, but both the left, it will not be a couple. A couple of people We forms. But just two people are not We. If We don’t have one, the other feels: “I miss him.”
We have something in common. The couple who lives together, usually have emotional relationships – we call this relationship love. And only through the experience what I have through Another complete themselves up to a whole, become whole, brings a new quality experiences. And if this person is not, then something is missing. Thus, the pair is more than the sum of the two entities.
My unit is paired is partly lost, and after being in a couple, I have extra value. The right Shoe receives added value by the left Shoe. As a couple, two people connected and experiencing yourself as part of some community: I through you get something that I can’t have.
As a couple of people linked?
Here there are two sorts of connections: relationships and meeting.
What is the relationship? This is some permanent form of cooperation. A man is somehow correlated with another person who constantly has it in mind. For example, if I see someone, I can’t stop it – it just is in my field of vision.
Thus, if two people meet, they can not help but enter into a relationship. There is a forced moment. In that moment, when I have another, I feel it differently than if before me there is no other. I always relate to something, I am constantly in the world.
So the relationship lasts, it’s a long thing, and they contain the totality of experience that we have acquired throughout life. And it remains there forever. So when a couple comes to therapy and the wife says, “Remember, thirty years ago, I was pretty insulted?”, whereas the husband has no memory, it means that the relationship is a container in which all are assembled and everything is stored, nothing is lost. Naturally, there is added a new experience that can change the totality of the experience.
The meeting is another form of when included in that pair. If the relationship revolve around cognitive and emotional components, the meeting is personal. What is a meeting? I meet you and You meet Ya. These two poles are bound together not by lines, and through fields (that “between” us).
This field exists only when You and I really are. If they do not match, do not resonate, then this field collapses, and the meeting is not happening. So if you want it, strive for it, to make a decision about it. Meeting punctual – it is at this point.
Lasting relationships need to have been met. If meetings take place, relationships change. Through the meeting we can work with relationships. If the meeting does not occur, the relationship becomes automatic. And the man feels as if his “lucky devil” – because the psychodynamics of addictive the automatism, and We becomes functional, REM, not personal.
Naturally, every couple has both: the relationship and meeting. And, both are necessary. But the relations live through the encounters.
What is the structure of relations in the pair?
If we consider the existential relationship of the couple, we find the fundamental structure that gives us a framework for couples therapy.
In the relationship of any couple, every person has the need, the desire, the motivation “to be able to be in the relationship.” This is the first fundamental motivation. I want to be where you are. For example, I want to live with you. Or together to go somewhere. I want to be with you because you give me to be in this relationship. With you I can be. You give me protection, support, you’re willing(a) to help me, or you give me, for example, the material basis for life, the apartment. I can trust you because you’re loyal, trustworthy.
The second fundamental motivation in the relationship of the couple. This is the man I want to live. Here I feel the life. This man affects me. With him I feel warm. I want to experience with you, I want to spend time with you. Wish your close proximity to me, it animates me. I feel your attractiveness, you pulled me in. And we have common values that we share: for example, sports, music or something else.
The third dimension of existence in pairs. With this man I have the right to be as I am.Moreover, with him I become more myself than outside these relations – not only who I am, and who I can be. That is, through you, I become more myself. I feel recognized and seen you. I feel respect. You’re taking me seriously, and you’re fair to me. I see that you take me for, what am I to you are unconditional value. Although you may not agree (disagree) with all my thoughts and actions. But exactly what I am, you are, you accept it.
And the fourth is common sense. Together we want to build a world, share some common values, to do something for the future. We want to work on something: on themselves or on something in the world outside of our relationship – and that binds us together.
When all these four structures is in order – this is the ideal form of relationship, as these relationships can be experienced all the basic grounds of existence. And here we come to the practical level.
That, in fact, holds a couple together?
We can say, summarizing, that each of the four basic motivations holds the pair together.
The first plane is some practical side, which allows the person to live in the world. For example, we have a shared apartment – where do I go? A quarter of couples, and maybe more living together, that’s why. No romance, personality too. The reality is that there’s nowhere to go. There is a common money, the division of labor. Together, we can go on vacation, but alone does not work.
The second level is the heat that I might have with others, tenderness, sexuality.It happens, and to talk seems to be nothing to each other, and it works.
The third – personal level. I’m not alone when I come home, there’s even people there, not just the cat.
And fourth , we have a common project, a common task in the world, and it is therefore reasonable to stay together. Most often, as such a project are the children while they are small. Or, for example, the joint firm.
These four structure of existence – as the glue that holds a couple together. There is a very famous, even the famous study about the problems of couples, which was conducted by Holmanom, author of the book “Emotional intelligence”. This study confirms what I’m saying. Holman applies a slightly different formulation, but in General ideas are similar. He has researched thousands of couples and discovered the following: for four years, got divorced or broke up all the couples in a relationship which were the following four symptom (the failure of above mentioned four existences).
So, it is possible with 93% accuracy in predicting that a couple will divorce if:
1. One of the pair took a defensive position. The existential-analytical language, this means that they are in the plane of the first fundamental motivation: he’s looking for protection. This position is devastating to relationships.
2. At least one partner constantly criticizes the other. That means he devalues the other. Another feeling: it can’t see me, I can’t be with him. This is the third fundamental motivation and partially the first.
3. This aspect plays a Central role. If there is a mutual contempt or depreciation, then the pair will part. It means the destruction of self-worth. The person feels that he can’t see. Personality in a relationship is not apparent.
4. There is a closeness. If at least one of the pair is closed, there is no common residence events, experiences sense.
These couples – even if they are in therapy – the poor chance of saving the relationship. They can find each other personal relations. Couples are pronounced inability to a personal relationship with at least one of the partners. Another cannot do it for him, to make up for it. Such a person is not capable of long-term relationships, he needs some more maturation and development. You need to work with his problems and injuries.
Holman all this is captured on video. In these videos in the first 15 minutes of conversation on non-verbal communication we can say what the forecast is this pair. For example, they sit in such a position that it is not looking into each other’s eyes. Or do degrading gestures. Facial expressions and gestures – this is the fastest communication. Generally speaking, therapy is very rarely achieved a degree of predictability, as in this study.
What keeps a couple together?
All 4 fundamental motivations, but especially the third. If we are not talking about functional relationships, respect for others, acceptance of the other, a sense of value of another – is a fundamental prerequisite. But it turns out only if I can be with myself, and not to be dependent on another through unmet needs.
In good relationships couples converge two independent people who don’t need one another, in which each can live one without the other. But they feel that together they are better, more beautiful. If I’m with others, I develop. I experience joy when I see how you unfold, blossom.
Thus, couples in a relationship keep to a greater extent personal relationships – respect, common interest, a sense that the other sees me and sees that I can be more myself with that person.
Some questions for understanding the relations.
What is important to me in a relationship? If I’m in a relationship, I can ask myself, what is important to me in this relationship? What I want in a relationship? What would I like, what I feel what I am drawn, attracted to her. That, I believe, important to my partner? We ever talked about this? Or maybe I have a fear of relationships? How much in me that periostraca, fear of expectations? For me, the worst thing in this relationship? Men fear to be swallowed. Women’s fear is to be used, the fear that it “abuse”.
What is my relationship? Should there be in the family defined roles: the husband alone, the wife of another? How close, should be open relationships? How much free space we want to give each other? What is the need I have expressed stronger in the merger or in autonomy? How these relationships should be a partnership, dialogical or hierarchical relationships much better – because then everything is easier?
Relationship stabiliziruemost through love.
Love is the strongest factor that keeps people together. Love wants good for the other. Interested in loving who you are, what you’re interested in who you are. Loving wants to live for others, for you and speak on your side in your defense.
If we analyze the need for love, we find there the same basic existential structure. We need protection and support, we have a need for intimacy, attention, respect, something in common, where disclosed. If these existential needs are not fulfilled, here mixed with the psychodynamics, problems arise.
Needs is a big problem in couples therapy. Needs are perceived deficits, which are vital in nature. They seem to psychodynamic endowed with vital force, they depersonalise. The problem is the couple is never personal. Because personal is exactly what brings healing. Problem is depersonalization, anonymization.
Needs are selfish, and every selfish psychodynamics, in its qualitative difference. The need, for example, in love, in acceptance, respect, to be satisfied, tends to use other to meet those needs.
And the other notices this, he feels something that he’s not well in this relationship, and even a perfect partner begins to defend himself in this relationship. But in most cases the other also has unmet needs. And thus there stable patterns powered by the psychodynamics.
Thus personality overshadowed, and at the forefront of functional relationships are beginning to be the custom, both partners start to use other for their own purposes. Of course, to a certain extent we can take and fulfill the needs of another. If the person is in this fundamental motivation is strong enough, then he has this need to some extent to satisfy.
As one of the tasks of therapy we consider the fact that the couple helps each other to satisfy those deficiencies, which everyone has. But it turns out it is only when we can talk about it during the dialogue to discuss it. Because if this psychodynamics will happen by itself, automatically, it depersonalised, degrading. A person should not be allowed to used it. Even in love, he must not give yourself to use.
How is couples counseling?
Consider a simple model. In business it is about to take the severity of the conflict. This process consists of 4 steps.
The first step is liberation from the weight: we remove the goods to a specific situation in which a couple is now. In accordance with the first fundamental motivation, we look at the situation: what is? At this level we don’t yet affected the problems of the relationship. But if you stay almost exclusively on the basis of the facts that can make people now to ease the severity of the situation? Couple wants to experience a miracle. But they must learn to see what is the next step and not to put everything into question in fundamental terms. Such a sober view creates some relief.
And then we start the second step – create the Foundation. Together we look at what is currently the common goals these people have. And clarifies the contribution of each of the two persons to contribute to that common goal, and where everyone is ready.
The third step is the development of relations. Caring or nurturing that is worthy of love, that, on the basis of which you can grow love. That another I love is a resource of the relationship. We work with the resource. What I see in the other that is worthy of my love? What I can do to be worthy of your love?
And the fourth step is the discussion of deeper problems: caused by the offense, some weakness, disability.
Central elements of couples therapy
1. The position of the therapist, setting it. The therapist as if belongs to both parties equally, he has no right to cultivate within yourself a secret sympathy for someone in a pair. This position is quite difficult. It is important that couple saw a therapist that is on both sides. Thus, the basic position of the therapist – I as a mediator in the dialogue. We should contribute to dialogue in pairs, because the dialogue is a healing moment.
The therapist should immediately respond if a couple starts to fight. He says: you can do this at home, here this is not the place. Therapy immediately falls apart when the therapist will allow them to swear. You can make an exception, but no more than 1-2 minutes, then to go back and analyze what happened.
2. The phenomenological point of view. As phenomenology, we look at a couple and ask yourself: what fights each? what affects one? why these two can’t solve problems, why? For example, if there is a defensive position, and the pair only exchanged claims to each other, this could be the disappointment of unfulfilled expectations. You need to detect and clarify expectations: how realistic were they, as far as the person is willing to do what he expects from the other? Expectation is desire. In the existential analysis we transform the wishes in the will.
3. The development of the dialogue. The development dialogue is the core or heart of the existential-analytical therapy couples. It has two preconditions: one person who is willing to say that he cares about, and another who was willing to listen. The dialogue starts with hearing. The therapist offers each of the pairs to describe their problem.
The other should listen to him: it is not always easy, but it needs to listen. We then ask the listener to repeat what I said first. We then expand this as the next step enter empathy – what we call semitransparency. We ask: do you think what is the problem with you actually has your partner?
Here it is requested the image of the other (I like looking through the eyes of another upon himself, and, asking this question, one begins to think and speak). Thus we are trying to build a dialogue with the support of a therapist. The therapist in this case, the mediator and the gunner bridges.
4. Motivation relations. Couple wonders why we’re together? what was the first motivation, when we have entered into a relationship?
5. The idea of the gap. Why are we not disagree? A good pair should be able to diverge if it is better for the other. This idea often provokes psychodynamics.
6. Constructive help pair. Here again we come in contact with the 4 fundamental motivations, but now actively. Where I for my partner truly are? Do I like my partner? I appreciate him? Can I say to him? What good can grow from our relationship? What I see of us?
If we can open a position for a joint and find that I can make to this relationship, and instead of waiting to speak with others about what I do is important, then the couple really has a chance. Then we as therapists can rejoice that was present during a personal conversation. Thank you for your attention.