As a marriage therapist, I am a process consultant for my couples. My goal is to help them tune into the emotional process unfolding underneath their conscious awareness. The words we use (and tone/body language) during negative interactions are often a symptom of this underlying process. As such, changing the words alone won’t necessarily change the interaction but it can help orient us to the underlying process and focus on the source of the pattern (wanting to feel safely connected to each other). Translating these phrases into the language of attachment and emotion clarifies the scrambled signal and helps de-escalate the interaction. You can try this out on your own by asking yourself what’s fueling certain words and actions. Connect the emotion to the behavior and you’ll have a better understanding of why you act the way you do.
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* The information provided is for self-enrichment and not intended to replace any necessary mental health treatment.
Jonathan Dixon, LMFT
Alpha Omega Team