How to Form Healthy Intimate Relationships

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Information about How to Form Healthy Intimate Relationships
Spiritual

Published on July 27, 2009

Author: rbuchmann

Source: slideshare.net

Description

This part explains how to maintain healthy intimate relationships based on the principles outlined in the book "The 7 Levels of Intimacy" by Matthew Kelly.

How to Form Healthy Intimate Relationships Ryan Buchmann MA, MFT Pastoral Counselor Marriage & Family Therapy Intern

• Former St. Brigid staff pastoral counselor from 2004-2006. • Graduate USD with MA in Pastoral Care & Counseling (2005). • Graduate Alliant Int’l University with MA in Marriage & Family Therapy (2007). • Currently working as a mental health counselor in a local agency and private practice. Ryan Buchmann MA, MFT Pastoral Counselor Marriage & Family Therapy Intern

Ryan Buchmann MA, MFT Pastoral Counselor Marriage & Family Therapy Intern

“Intimacy is  The recursive experience…  …of open self-confrontation (vulnerability)…  …of core aspects of the self…  …in the presence of a partner.” --David Schnarch Author of Passionate Marriage Ryan Buchmann MA, MFT Pastoral Counselor Marriage & Family Therapy Intern

• Balancing (autonomy) and (relationship) creates a constant tension. • A person over-oriented toward individuality becomes self-absorbed and set in their ways. • A person over-oriented toward togethernessbecomes dependent on others for a sense of self. Ryan Buchmann MA, MFT Pastoral Counselor Marriage & Family Therapy Intern

• The ability to validate one’s own experience/existence… • …in the face of pressure from the other/partner… • …without cutting off… • …is called self-validated intimacy. Ryan Buchmann MA, MFT Pastoral Counselor Marriage & Family Therapy Intern

A healthy relationship is formed when • two people who each have a healthy sense of their identity… • …come together willing to regularly and openly confront their authentic self… • …in the presence of their partner. Ryan Buchmann MA, MFT Pastoral Counselor Marriage & Family Therapy Intern

• Primary Relationships  Significant Other  Close family members (e.g. children)  “Closest and Best” Friends  God • Secondary Relationships  Everyone else  Other friends, boss, extended family, family friends, friends of significant other, the person you met at the bus stop, etc. Ryan Buchmann MA, MFT Pastoral Counselor Marriage & Family Therapy Intern

• It has a high priority in your life.  The relationship is “primary” for both of you.  Both are willing to be completely open and vulnerable with each other— comprehensive trust.  Boundaries diminish as you become closer. Ryan Buchmann MA, MFT Pastoral Counselor Marriage & Family Therapy Intern

• It has a high priority in your life.  Concerted effort to spend time together.  No fear of judgment.  Each one strives to help the other be or become their most authentic self.  The relationship is an end, not a means. Ryan Buchmann MA, MFT Pastoral Counselor Marriage & Family Therapy Intern

• Growing in closeness not a priority. • Vulnerability not required.  Safety and security is not that necessary. • Time together is nice, but not a necessity. • The relationship sometimes serves a specific purpose.  Relationship is a means, not an Buchmann MA, MFT Ryan end. Pastoral Counselor Marriage & Family Therapy Intern

Ryan Buchmann MA, MFT Pastoral Counselor Marriage & Family Therapy Intern

vul·ner·a·ble adj. [Late Latin vulnerbilis, wounding, from Latinvulner re, to wound, fromvulnus, vulner-, wound.]  Susceptible to physical or emotional injury.  Susceptible to attack.  the state of being exposed. Source: The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition Copyright © 2000 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved. Ryan Buchmann MA, MFT Pastoral Counselor Marriage & Family Therapy Intern

When a person feels “exposed,” what is the emotion associated with the experience?  Joy  Sadness  Anger  Fear  Shame Ryan Buchmann MA, MFT Pastoral Counselor Marriage & Family Therapy Intern

 If my vulnerability causes me to feel ashamed of myself, I will likely not let myself be vulnerable again.  How can I create a space where my partner will not feel ashamed when vulnerable? Ryan Buchmann MA, MFT Pastoral Counselor Marriage & Family Therapy Intern

What causes one to feel shame? Judgment! Ryan Buchmann MA, MFT Pastoral Counselor Marriage & Family Therapy Intern

“Eternal Sunshine of a Spotless Mind” Ryan Buchmann MA, MFT Pastoral Counselor Marriage & Family Therapy Intern

(Uh, what’s “intimacy?”) Ryan Buchmann MA, MFT Pastoral Counselor Marriage & Family Therapy Intern

“Intimacy is  The recursive experience…  …of open self-confrontation (vulnerability)…  …of core aspects of the self…  …in the presence of a partner.” --David Schnarch Author of Passionate Marriage Ryan Buchmann MA, MFT Pastoral Counselor Marriage & Family Therapy Intern

• State of voluntarily being exposed. • Open self-confrontation. • Involves a risk (judgment, disagreement, rejection, separation). • Most often feels uncomfortable. Ryan Buchmann MA, MFT Pastoral Counselor Marriage & Family Therapy Intern

Ryan Buchmann MA, MFT Pastoral Counselor Marriage & Family Therapy Intern

• Key elements:  Vulnerability  Communication  Openness to confronting the deepest self in the presence of your partner….  In the absence of judgment. Ryan Buchmann MA, MFT Pastoral Counselor Marriage & Family Therapy Intern

Based on the book by Matthew Kelly Ryan Buchmann MA, MFT Pastoral Counselor Marriage & Family Therapy Intern

Clichés Ryan Buchmann MA, MFT Pastoral Counselor Marriage & Family Therapy Intern

• Casual interactions • Reveal little about each person • Rely on fleeting and superficial exchanges. • The style of communication is not a “conversation,” rather it is a transaction.  Relationships are NOT made up of transactions. Ryan Buchmann MA, MFT Pastoral Counselor Marriage & Family Therapy Intern

• Common “cliché” terms  Good  Nice  Interesting  Fine  Okay  Whatever!  Translation: “I disagree with what you’re saying, and I don’t want to discuss it now.” Ryan Buchmann MA, MFT Pastoral Counselor Marriage & Family Therapy Intern

• Advantages  Establishes connection with others.  Enables us to conduct daily affairs.  Great conversation starters. • Disadvantages  Can become shallow and superficial.  Can be used to keep others at an emotional distance. Ryan Buchmann MA, MFT Pastoral Counselor Marriage & Family Therapy Intern

• The best way to move a relationship beyond the level of clichés? Carefree timelessness! Ryan Buchmann MA, MFT Pastoral Counselor Marriage & Family Therapy Intern

Facts Ryan Buchmann MA, MFT Pastoral Counselor Marriage & Family Therapy Intern

• Focus is on communicating facts about our lives and our world. • The facts are mundane, self-evident, and conflict-avoidant. Ryan Buchmann MA, MFT Pastoral Counselor Marriage & Family Therapy Intern

• Advantages  Ignites our love for learning and getting to know another person.  Reawakens our natural yearning for knowledge. • Disadvantages  Continued use of facts when revealing our selves to others leaves the relationship superficial and stale. Ryan Buchmann MA, MFT Pastoral Counselor Marriage & Family Therapy Intern

• The best way to move a relationship beyond the level of facts? Practice non- judgment & express appreciation! Ryan Buchmann MA, MFT Pastoral Counselor Marriage & Family Therapy Intern

Opinions Ryan Buchmann MA, MFT Pastoral Counselor Marriage & Family Therapy Intern

• Advantages  Initiates a forward step toward authenticity (self-expression).  Opens an opportunity for genuine agreement, not just conformity.  Enables the possibility for acceptance even if the other is not entirely right. Ryan Buchmann MA, MFT Pastoral Counselor Marriage & Family Therapy Intern

• Disadvantages  People often cannot get past this level unless they have the other completely “figured out.”  Arguments often flare up because each wants the other to believe in the same way they do (a.k.a. conformity). Ryan Buchmann MA, MFT Pastoral Counselor Marriage & Family Therapy Intern

• Opinions are the first step toward becoming vulnerable with another person. • The biggest risk of sharing an opinion is disagreement. • The key to this level is acceptance, not understanding (“figured out”). Ryan Buchmann MA, MFT Pastoral Counselor Marriage & Family Therapy Intern

• Acceptance  The ability to respect each other’s opinions and unconditionally accept the other, despite the differences of opinion.  Being a benevolent witness of someone’s journey through life, rather than a manipulative or dictatorial force in it.  Allows a person to be themselves, not pushed into someone you want them to be. Ryan Buchmann MA, MFT Pastoral Counselor Marriage & Family Therapy Intern

• Understanding  A condition of acceptance (“I can’t figure her out” or “He doesn’t make sense to me.”)  A need for predictability, to know how he/she will react in a situation. Ryan Buchmann MA, MFT Pastoral Counselor Marriage & Family Therapy Intern

• What is it about me that mandates that I completely understand this person with respect to this issue? • What experiences have influenced and formed my opinions? • Is my position the absolute truth? • Is this the hill I want to die on? Ryan Buchmann MA, MFT Pastoral Counselor Marriage & Family Therapy Intern

• The best way to move a relationship beyond the level of opinions? Find common ground. Accept one another. Ryan Buchmann MA, MFT Pastoral Counselor Marriage & Family Therapy Intern

“Tough Love – Episode 1” Ryan Buchmann MA, MFT Pastoral Counselor Marriage & Family Therapy Intern

Hopes and Dreams Ryan Buchmann MA, MFT Pastoral Counselor Marriage & Family Therapy Intern

• Our hopes, dreams, and goals are a derivative of our authenticity. • Inform us of a person’s values. • The person with whom we will form a primary relationship will be the one who will help us fulfill our dreams. Ryan Buchmann MA, MFT Pastoral Counselor Marriage & Family Therapy Intern

The Kicker: Ryan Buchmann MA, MFT Pastoral Counselor Marriage & Family Therapy Intern

• Know what drives those closest to you. • Dreams provide a vision of where one wants to be in life. • Dreams change constantly. Stay in touch with your and your partner’s dreams. • Write your dreams down! Ryan Buchmann MA, MFT Pastoral Counselor Marriage & Family Therapy Intern

Best way to move a relationship beyond the level of hopes and dreams? Delayed Gratification Ryan Buchmann MA, MFT Pastoral Counselor Marriage & Family Therapy Intern

Don’t let yourself get overwhelmed when someone reveals all their hopes and dreams to you at once! Ryan Buchmann MA, MFT Pastoral Counselor Marriage & Family Therapy Intern

“My Cousin Vinny” Ryan Buchmann MA, MFT Pastoral Counselor Marriage & Family Therapy Intern

Feelings Ryan Buchmann MA, MFT Pastoral Counselor Marriage & Family Therapy Intern

• Emotional reactions to the world around us. • The big question: Ryan Buchmann MA, MFT Pastoral Counselor Marriage & Family Therapy Intern

• Removing the mask of “having it all together,” making yourself vulnerable, and telling your significant other how you really feel. • The failure to release stored up emotions is the core of psychopathology. Ryan Buchmann MA, MFT Pastoral Counselor Marriage & Family Therapy Intern

• How do I create an environment that enables a person to openly express how they feel? Unconditional acceptance Ryan Buchmann MA, MFT Pastoral Counselor Marriage & Family Therapy Intern

• Quote of the day: “Confident that they will not be judged or criticized but rather accepted for who they are and where they are on their journey, most people will open the doors of their hearts.” Matthew Kelly “Seven Levels of intimacy” Ryan Buchmann MA, MFT Pastoral Counselor Marriage & Family Therapy Intern

• Learn to listen to the other person. • Make the person feel as if nothing else existed, except the two of you. • Ask the question “Why is this person saying this to me?”  Until you know why, remain silent and listen. Ryan Buchmann MA, MFT Pastoral Counselor Marriage & Family Therapy Intern

• “Our journey toward intimacy means trying to understand why people have certain feelings and why they react to certain people and situations as they do.” • “We will likely discover these truths about the people we love .” Matthew Kelly Ryan Buchmann MA, MFT Pastoral Counselor Marriage & Family Therapy Intern

“About Last Night…” What are the emotions NOT expressed? Ryan Buchmann MA, MFT Pastoral Counselor Marriage & Family Therapy Intern

Faults, Fears, and Failures Ryan Buchmann MA, MFT Pastoral Counselor Marriage & Family Therapy Intern

• In Level 5, we make ourselves vulnerable. In Level 6, we expose ourselves.  Emotional nakedness • True advancement in this level is when you can honestly and humbly admit to your significant other “I need help.” Ryan Buchmann MA, MFT Pastoral Counselor Marriage & Family Therapy Intern

• Also heard at this level:  “I am afraid.”  “I messed up.”  Ownership of one’s faults, failings, or mistakes. Ryan Buchmann MA, MFT Pastoral Counselor Marriage & Family Therapy Intern

• The twisted paradox of vulnerability: By owning your faults, fears, and failures, people will accept you even more. Ryan Buchmann MA, MFT Pastoral Counselor Marriage & Family Therapy Intern

• People will own their faults, fears, and failures only in a place of unconditional acceptance. • What are you doing to foster an environment of unconditional acceptance? Ryan Buchmann MA, MFT Pastoral Counselor Marriage & Family Therapy Intern

• The “magic” formula: How to create an environment of unconditional acceptance: You must first accept yourself unconditionally. Ryan Buchmann MA, MFT Pastoral Counselor Marriage & Family Therapy Intern

• How do I accept myself unconditionally?  Know your “dark” or “shadow” side  If a person behaves in a way that does not make sense, it is likely the shadow in action.  Ask your closest friends “What is the gold you see in me?”  Then ask your family members “What are the shadows you see in me?” Ryan Buchmann MA, MFT Pastoral Counselor Marriage & Family Therapy Intern

“Elizabethtown” Ryan Buchmann MA, MFT Pastoral Counselor Marriage & Family Therapy Intern

Legitimate Needs Ryan Buchmann MA, MFT Pastoral Counselor Marriage & Family Therapy Intern

• A dynamic collaboration to fulfill the needs of your significant other. • Providing needs, not wants. • At this level, we build a lifestyle that helps each other be our authentic selves. • It’s about revealing MY needs, not getting my partner to reveal theirs. Ryan Buchmann MA, MFT Pastoral Counselor Marriage & Family Therapy Intern

• Ask yourself: Is this a need or is this a want? How does this need enable me to be my authentic self? • Relationships are not about getting what you want. Relationships are about helping each other become your authentic self. Ryan Buchmann MA, MFT Pastoral Counselor Marriage & Family Therapy Intern

• Love  Not a feeling, but an action.  Learning to know our partner’s legitimate needs and attempting to proactively fulfill them.  “You should KNOW that about me!” Ryan Buchmann MA, MFT Pastoral Counselor Marriage & Family Therapy Intern

• The biggest error of romantic relationships: Passing judgment and failing to accept the other unconditionally. Ryan Buchmann MA, MFT Pastoral Counselor Marriage & Family Therapy Intern

• Vulnerability • Absence of Judgment • Unconditional Acceptance Ryan Buchmann MA, MFT Pastoral Counselor Marriage & Family Therapy Intern

• Identified primary & secondary relationships. • Defined and explained vulnerability • Listed the 7 levels of intimacy • Described how to move from one level to the next. • Saw lots of cool movie clips. Ryan Buchmann MA, MFT Pastoral Counselor Marriage & Family Therapy Intern

Ryan Buchmann MA, MFT Pastoral Counselor Marriage & Family Therapy Intern

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