The four-step model
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The four-step model book
It becomes increasingly clear that to treat the original injury from childhood, the therapy may inevitably require more than 15 sessions. Chapters 4, 5 and 6 represent a comparative study of three couples in extended treatment (as many as 40 sessions). We introduce them now, using verbatim case dialogue as our primary data throughout.
Peter and Jean – this well-to-do pair in their early 60s, argue repeatedly over how to control and spend the fortune which investment banker Peter has earned. Even with millions of dollars available, Jean feels that she has little say over what is spent, on what, or when. Peter comes from constrained economic circumstances. He’s determined to have much more control over his life than did his parents.
Rob and Liz, both in their late 60s, married some 40 years, also have an interlocking difficulty, stemming from their backgrounds. Rob, a consulting architect, worries daily that he’ll make a mistake, and his clients will fire him. He continually asks Liz for re-assurance, but this never suffices. She feels powerless to help and resents his not inquiring after her own daily happenings.
Liz’s father died when she was 6. Her mother brought up the family, competently but communicated a vigilant, joyless daily attitude, similar to Liz’s husband Rob. Liz lives in fear that she might fail a succession of vulnerable people: her mother, her husband, her children, neighbors …
Dick and Renee, mentioned in the Introduction, represent our third couple.
As we explore the wounds within each individual, they begin to understand their lives in more depth, likewise their troubling interactions with each other.