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Book Title: The Commitment Dialogues|
The author of the book: Matthew McKay
ISBN 13: 9780071441551
Date of issue: January 13th 2005
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 443 KB
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Reader ratings: 6.6
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A useful read that identifies 4 core fears that play into couples' conflicts, and how to work around them.
1. Fear of Engulfment: Will I exist if I merger with you?
2. Fear of Abandonment - runners (leave first) or clingers
3. Fear of Shame: You won’t love me if you see the real me
4. Fear of Emptiness: If I keep moving, I won’t have to look inside - seeing people in love lose their passion for each other. Vulnerable to emptiness, meaninglessness, depression and boredom.
Remember - emptiness is just a temporary state. It’s like a wave. It may last a few hours or a few days or weeks. But it, too, shall pass.
A new intense sexual relationship feels great to someone coping with emptiness.
The honeymoon phase is full of sexual and emotional discovery. Everything is new and interesting.
For a time, the emptiness and depression are hidden.
Then the relationship plateaus. There are conflicts, periods of withdrawal. The sexual energy subsides a little. Commitment wavers and the relationship begins to feel like a trap. The only escape is another new, intense involvement.
Coping with Emptiness
Step 1: Recognize that emptiness, like all painful emotional states, is temporary.
Step 2: Acknowledge the feeling. Give a name to the experience. Describe the loneliness and yearning or the numbness. Give words to what’s chasing you, and make it less scary. We can manage it as a team. The worst thing about emptiness is being alone with it. Collaborate on ways to face off depression and vulnerability.
Step 3: Plan a set of strategies to push emptiness away: exercise, walks, romantic weekend, massage, time with friends, movies, cooking, eating, talking
Step 4: Build “emptiness tolerance.” Focus attention outside the self and/or meditation to peace and calm inside.
Time: Time taps into core needs: the hunger for connection and human nourishment, the need to be seen and known, and also the need for autonomy, private self
Adapted from When Anger Hurts Your Relationship by Kim Paleg, PhD and Matthew McKay PhD.
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Read information about the authorMatthew McKay, PhD, is a professor of psychology at the Wright Institute in Berkeley, and author of more than 30 professional psychology and self-help books which have sold a combined total of more than 3 million copies. He is co-founder of independent self-help publisher, New Harbinger Publications. He was the clinical director of Haight Ashbury Psychological Services in San Francisco for twenty five years. He is current director of the Berkeley CBT Clinic. An accomplished novelist and poet, his poetry has appeared in two volumes from Plum Branch Press and in more than sixty literary magazines. His most recent novel, Wawona Hotel, was
published by Boaz Press in 2008.
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