If you've ever wondered "why are relationships difficult?" you'll want to catch this episode with Dr. Stan Tatkin.
We start with an exploration of how our species’ survival relies on an inborn negativity bias and how this same mechanism makes relationships difficult and more challenging to sustain under stress. Everyone’s experienced some form of relational loss and developmental trauma. And so, with this in mind, we’re also discussing how early development shapes each of us and our ability to self-regulate and foster safe, secure, adult romantic relationships.
Stan Tatkin, PsyD, MFT, is a clinician, teacher, and developer of a Psychobiological Approach to Couple Therapy. He is also the author of several books on aspects of love and relationships, with his most recent one being We Do: Saying Yes to a Relationship of Depth, True Connection, and Enduring Love. Through his clinical practice in Calabasas, CA, workshops, couples’ retreats, and the PACT Institute, Stan and his wife, Tracey, train psychotherapists to use the PACT method in their clinical practices.
In this episode, Stan and I discuss:
What the Psychobiological Approach is.
The inability of people to act and react quickly and properly before they launch into a “fight or flight” response---or a collapse
For the purpose of helping us understand, Dr. Tatkin simplifies how our neurobiology works down to the two areas of the brain: the ambassadors and the primitives
For optimum arousal, we need all systems online at the same time, which takes alertness and relaxation
Why we aren’t all set up for adult love relationships
How we learn to self-regulate to prepare for adult relationships
Why so many people don’t know how to get to a safe, secure place
Stan’s “foxhole” illustration: are couples at war with each other in the foxhole or protecting one another
How a dangerous environment makes people put aside their differences and work together
How people manage relationships by learning to work together
How a couple has to live by agreements that are good for both, like, “We protect each other in public and private”
How memory perception and communication can get us into trouble
The difference between co-dependency and interdependency
How our trauma approach can lead to PTSD----and hugs, massage, and acupuncture can help much more than talking
How people can ease into eye contact with each other
The importance of play, which comes from feeling safe and secure
Why people might have trouble with play
“The window of tolerance” and what it means for couples
Things that can compromise and narrow the window of tolerance
How we miss much of the language used when we communicate in ways that don’t include eye contact, like phone calls, texting, and email
Why experiencing trauma in life means a lot of re-regulating will need to take place
Why most everything we suffer from is interpersonal
www.thepactinstitute.com Find out more about Stan’s practice, resources, books, retreats, and workshops
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