After identifying the wound
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After identifying the wound book
This chapter begins with a suggestion to approach the clients one at a time, connecting with the most injured one first. As we explore that client’s history, we imagine the early relationship between this more compromised partner, and their problematic parent or parents. We use detailed case data to emphasize each point.
First, we meet 60-year-old Mark, treated in couple group. He seems bent on provoking each person he encounters, particularly his wife Joanne. He dismisses any financial suggestions from her, with a flick of his hand.
It turns out that Mark, an only child, was virtually ignored by his parents, growing up. He wandered about the city playing the sport of the season and came home whenever he pleased, to his virtually silent home. This abandonment represents his childhood wound.
By the end of the 15-session group, Mark realized that he never expected any constructive response from anyone, because he had never received one in the past. This leads to his dismissive, hostile style. However, at termination Mark has started to mourn his empty childhood and has developed a surprisingly open approach to those around him, particularly toward Joanne.
Next, computer engineer Ed has apparently identified with his controlling father and argues almost incessantly with his wife Nancy. He seemingly can’t connect in any other way. He only says, “I love you” in the middle of a fight.
These two extended vignettes make up the body of Chapter 3.