André Anthony Moore, LMFT

Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (New York State License: 001435)

Ketamine and Psychedelic Assisted Therapist certified by The Integrative Psychiatry Institute Practitioner of Eye Movement, Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR)

Use Nonverbal Sensorimotor Techniques to deepen Emotionally Focused Therapy

Recognizing Demon Dialogues

One of the most important ways of developing a more intimate relationship with your lover is by recognizing when what Sue Johnson who pioneered Emotionally Focused Therapy calls Demon Dialogs before they happen.

Our relationship therapists offer marriage counseling and therapy for couples that will help you get a handle on demon dialogues before they blow up in your face.

There are usually three types of Demon Dialogs:

  1. One of you erupts like a raging volcano as the other tries to escape the lava flow.
  2. Both of you blow up at the same time with words like missiles in a blitz of mutually assured destruction.
  3. You both live on separate ships in an ice cold ocean of mutual indifference. Elie Wiesel who survived the Holocaust once said that the opposite of love is not hate but indifference.

J. M. Gottman in What Predicts Divorce recognizes that it’s not the angry blow ups that lead to divorce. Indeed, when couples erupt in anger it usually means they still care deep down. It’s really the bored, spiritless looks, the frigid body language, delivered day in and day out that lead to divorce.

Gottman’s research has revealed that four specific behaviors together increase the odds of getting a divorce to 85%:

  1. Criticism: Coldly, methodically diagnosing and critiquing your lover’s character. What therapists call pathologizing and often referred to as gaslighting.
  2. Defensiveness: Denying responsibility when you screw up.
  3. Contempt: Insulting, disdainful comments served like cold soup to your lover.
  4. Stonewalling: Looking right through your lover as if he or she wasn’t there.

Gottman calls these behaviors The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse.

And adding six more behaviors increases the odds of divorce to 90%:

  1. Emotionally distancing and isolating your lover.
  2. Emotionally flooding or overwhelming each other with the other’s stress.
  3. Overestimating the severity of each others problems.
  4. Refusal to work on your problems.
  5. Living parallel lives or sleeping in the same bed while you may as well be living emotionally in two different cities.
  6. Feeling alone all the time, especially when your partner is in the same room.

Gabor Mate in his book The Myth of Normal, suggests five important ways in which lovers can overcome the above pitfalls.

  1. Ordinary Human Compassion which requires empathy, the capacity to relate to the feelings of others. The absence of empathy in anyone is always a sign of the suppression of hurt or a wound in the soul.
  2. The Compassion of Curiosity and Understanding. Asking what pain is in the life or my lover? What wounds is he or she carrying inside?
  3. The Compassion of Recognition. Seeing myself in my lover, a basically good hearted person who has flaws like me.
  4. The Compassion of Truth. Seeing the pain my lover carries inside, the pain we all carry inside of us.
  5. The Compassion of Possibility. The capacity to imagine that our fondest wishes, what we most need and long for, can be realized if we keep trying.

If lovers strive to practice each of the above compassions, they can reach the place of the two lovers in Jan Beatty’s exquisite poem, Modern Love, as they take their evening meal together: [Eating] in our element, our little city; so we can tear open time to find the heart, heart enough for us to fill our bellies and fill our bodies with each other until we surface to ourselves again, until we’re the only ones here tonight, and the look in your eyes looking at me is the beautiful sight, and my only complaints are two: that I didn’t make myself ready for you sooner in life, that I can’t give better, Love you more.

At Marriage Counseling in New York City, we provide the best couples therapy from a staff of seasoned relationship therapists who will help you enrich and deepen your relationship.

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    Marriage Couples Counseling & Life Coaching
    160 Bleecker Street, 9C East, New York, NY 10012
    (212) 673 4618