CAP Boulder: breakfast Talk: Bob Dressler, RP, on Together Alone: adventure, mystery, transformation and ordeal in marriage and other intimate pursuits
“…while truth should prevail, it is a disaster when only one kind of truth prevails at the expense of others. If only one kind of truth prevails, the technical and abstract truth of science, then nothing stands in the way of the demeaning of and destruction of human life for what appear to some to be reasonable short term goals.” novelist Walker Percy
We’re practicing in the age of the ascendancy of the medical model in psychotherapy, the attendant emphasis on “specific ingredients” in therapy, and a lot of hype regarding specific psychotherapeutic techniques and approaches.
Let’s step back a bit and examine intimate relationship and therapy from a broader humanist, client-centered, and existential perspective, building on alternatives to the medical model. From that broader perspective, what key aspects of intimacy emerge that might be overlooked in popular contemporary approaches to couples and relationship work?
- “Together alone:” “the dilemma of being ourselves, and allowing our partner to be himself or herself while being part of a couple.” Betty Cannon
- Adventure: embarking on the adventure of living one’s own life, not someone else’s.
- Mystery: opening up to the fundamental mystery of another human being, as well as the mystery of one’s own existence and place in the world.
- Transformation: opening up to our fundamental relatedness in the world.
- Ordeal: confronting one’s ego, and opening of the heart to another.
Finally, we’ll look at implications for those in intimate relationship, and for practitioners of relationship work with clients.