The “Energetics” of Couples’ Therapy
By Garet Bedrosian, LCSW, CIRT, CBT, CET
nonverbal energetics between partners is akin to a siren song;
alluring, irresistible, yet destructive. They become compelled to
engage with one another as if they are fighting for their deepest
desires or maybe even their lives.
Relationship Therapy and Bioenergetics Therapy offer a structure as
well as communication tools to help couples navigate those turbulent
waters and ignore the siren call to respond to triggering events. Each
modality is developmentally based and correlates the connection between
childhood experiences with adult character traits and relationship
Theory states that individuals develop unconscious templates of love in
their families of origin. All the positive and negative characteristics
of their parents or primary caretakers form their energetic love-map.
Not only do they possess those traits, but they will only choose and
fall in love with people who also possess those same traits. They will
not fall in love with anyone else. They choose their Imago or mirror
image. The Imago partner with whom they fall in love cannot give them
what they need. Harville Hendrix founded Imago Relationship Theory and says, “Incompatibility is grounds for marriage.”
To heal the childhood mis-attunements
and wounds, people need to be with someone who is willing to grow into
their ability to provide what the other needs to heal. Each partner
possesses what the other needs to grow into their fullest, most alive
self. They will not be interested in someone who meets their needs too
easily. To protect themselves from the inevitable disappointments they
engage protective barriers adapted at an early age in the form of
beliefs, behaviors and bodily contractions.
as a field of study, addresses the issue of bodily contractions. One of
the premises of bioenergetics is that people protect themselves from
their childhood wounds on a bodily level as well as on a
mental/emotional level. Since these wounds are embedded in the cells of
the body, the age and chronicity of the wounding determines the
characteristics of those contractions and resulting adaptations.
Mis-attunement occurs in a wide spectrum of possible woundings. The synapses that are enforced correlate to a higher degree of mental, emotional and physical protection, lower levels of self worth, self hatred or possibly sociopathy. The will to live conflicts with the need to be safe resulting in restricted life energy on multiple dimensions.
reveals that loving attunement in childhood strengthens the neurons and
synapses in the brain that correlate to higher levels of self esteem orself worth, as well as the ability to be compassionate and empathic to others.
be healthy and happy, the individual must release the mental, emotional
and somatic holding to allow energy to flow freely through them as well
as between them and others. Living in a defended body attracts others
who are equally guarded. In contrast, when the ability to give and receive love flows easily, the individual attracts others with similar dispositions.
to Imago theory, it addresses another facet of developmental
defensives. The theory discloses that partners are wounded at the same
developmental level but defended in an opposite way. In other words one
might attempt to get their needs met by pursuing while the other
withdraws when needs are not met. Neither defense is better than the
other. They are both restrictive and reactive postures adapted as
protection. The attraction to someone possessing the opposite stance is
an attempt to reclaim some fluidity in response and a less-defended
style of need gratification.
unable to trust the relationships with childhood caregivers,
individuals characteristically defend their expressions of love as well
as their receptivity to love. However, defending against authentic
expression creates a multitude of physical, emotional and relational
problems. Humans are born fully alive, joyful, and connected and want
to reclaim that birthright. Individuals long for the give and take of
love yet unconsciously defend against it or the possibility of
heartbreak. It is the unconscious, energetic expression that stirs the
transformation happens in the ‘Getting the Love You Want’ couples’
workshop, the ‘Recovering Our Connection’ workshop for couples with
addictions and the ‘Keeping the Love You Find’ workshop for individuals
interested in having more successful relationships. Each participant
learns how and why they chose their partner and how the relational
struggles are opportunities to heal and grow into a deeper love.
I invite you to my website www.garetbedrosian.com to learn more.