chapter  7
11 Pages

Negotiating Needs

This chapter addresses the question of how to handle corresponding but conflicting needs, a phenomenon all couples must navigate. It helps the couple to recognize that they both have valid needs and that, once again, the experience of being shamed for having needs in childhood has inhibited them from negotiating skillfully. Noticing needs for connection means getting into relationship with parts and becoming their primary source of inner-connectedness. We all want to be understood and cared for by our partners, but couples often have needs that conflict and they become polarized when they are trying to get their needs met. When a couple presents with this dilemma, Intimacy from the Inside Out (IFIO) therapist's first intervention is to normalize the situation and let the couple know that even though their needs conflict at times, they can learn a more effective way to negotiate getting their needs met.