Self-Abandonment and the Clinical Treatment of Couples
While there are many kinds of relationship challenges (on the surface), I do believe they are generally caused by one thing and that is self-abandonment. Self-abandonment is at the core of so much that people are suffering from — the anxiety and depression; guilt; shame and anger; relationship problems and all variations of addictions; all come from self-abandonment & self-rejection.
I think both Amy and Jake are no exception:
• As I mentioned from the start that they make each other responsible for their feelings of safety, happiness and self-worth that they created a lot of problems in their relationship.
• There is self-judgment — Amy and Jake are self-critical and fault finding.
• They abandon themselves by making somebody else (each other) responsible for their feelings. And so, when they are ignoring their feelings and staying in their head not being in their body and turning to their self-judgment, is it any wonder why they blame each other for their feelings? Is it any wonder why the “victim” archetype is constantly at play?
Treating Jake and Amy
The goal to achieve true healing and connectedness with Jake and Amy is paramount—first and foremost, is to continue excavating their individual underlying belief system that are governing their relationship (i.e. habitual assumptions; premises and attitudes that determine the way they respond to each other & life events dealing with infertility; mismatch of life goals, temperaments; and infidelity.)
Using MiCBT (integrating mindfulness with traditional Cognitive Behavioral Therapy) to raise their consciousness and to pay attention to all distressing feelings rather than protect against them. Also to educate them on healthy communication skills; containment skills; Gottman’s 4 Horsemen of the Apocalypse; Sternberg’s Triangular Theory of Love; Chapman’s Five Love Languages and provided other practical tools and exercises to help them not only to stop creating the drama but more importantly to treat each other with respect if not love. To help them set the intention to learn to be a loving adult rather from the old operating systems that are operating from their shame-based ego wounded self (i.e. teach them to welcome, embrace and process all their uncomfortable feelings with compassion); guide them through a step-by-step process to explore the thoughts & distorted beliefs from their wounded selves that may be causing them shame, fear and pain so to release anger and pain in healthier ways