Friday, March 25, 2022

Helping couples to avoid the fight, flight or freeze trap

When working with couples, one of the biggest challenges for couples to learn and practice, is to acknowledge, appreciate, and hold space for one another’s opposing views rather than the fight, flight, or freeze responses. 

Gottman, who is a researcher in relationships, framed the fight, flight, and freeze responses as the 4 horsemen of the Apocalypse.  It reliably predicts the failure in the relationship. 

1. Being critical
2. Being defensive
3. Being contemptuous
4. Stonewalling

But the real challenge is this.

How can one truly acknowledge, appreciate and hold space for the other person’s opposing views and perspectives when one doesn’t have the emotional literacy to understand what and why that is.

Counseling is in part to give couples a bit of that emotional literacy.

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