This is a positive and powerful interaction where partners actually reach for each other.
Kick starting trust and tuning into the bonding channel is risky for many partners, however this process is not only a corrective move that kick starts trust but also,
for many, a transforming and liberating emotional experience.
These experiences are deeply emotional: partners who each reach for the other in a simple and coherent way that pulls forth a tender, compassionate response.
This begins a positive bonding cycle and a reach-and-respond sequence that builds a mental model of relationships as a safe haven.
- Couples have to handle a series of mini-tasks in reaching towards each other.
- Tune in to and stay with their own softer emotions and hold on to the hope of potential connection with the loved one.
- Regulate emotions so they can look out at the other person with some openness and curiosity and show willingness to listen to incoming cues. They are not flooded or trying to shut down and stay numb.
- Turn their emotions into clear, specific signals. Messages are not conflicted or guarded. Clear communication from a clear inner sense of feared danger and longed-for safety.
- Tolerate fears of others response enough to stay engaged and give the other a chance to respond.
- Explicitly state needs. To do this they have to recognize and accept their attachment needs.
- Hear and accept the needs of other. Respond to these needs with empathy and honesty.
- Explore and take into account the partner's reality and make sen of, rather than dismiss, his or her response.
Love Sense ~ Dr. Sue Johnson