Some of the overall angles and directions that are applicable with relationships are:
- de-nominalizing a "Relationship" into relating
- finding out what unconditional love is
- being non-judgmental
- allowing other people to be what they are
- BEing the relationship, rather than being strangers
- seeing multiple viewpoints
- recognize positive intentions, rather than reacting to symbolic meanings
- to be interesting and educational a relationship must be partially flawed
- partner reflects one's own lack of wholeness,
1. De-nominalize -
Discuss some key nominalizations connected with relationships. Explore if the client has any significance attached to them. Break them down in actual perceptions and experience. De-nominalize them: make them into actions and verbs, rather than frozen nouns.
relationship, trust, commitment, love, fidelity
2. Previous Track -
Go through previous track of relationships. Discuss what went wrong or right in each one. Fish for deleted material, fixed ideas, areas not being taken responsibility for. Deal with whatever comes up. Don't label any of it, just deal with the client's side of it.
3. Purpose -
Explore reasons for having a relationship, the outcome, the intention, the payback. Not just superficially, like "I want to have children" but really get what it does for the person in terms of feelings and qualities. Is it security, self-confidence, admiration, excitement.
"What is the purpose of a relationship?"
"What do you hope to find in it?"
"What will you receive, what will you give?"
4. Remembrance -
Have the client remember many instances of different kinds of positive relations with other people. This is to have more access to positive resources and memories concerning relationships.
"Remember having a good time with another person"
"Remember having a surprising time with another person"
"Remember having an intimate time with another person"
"Remember having an exciting time with another person"
"Remember having an adventurous time with another person"
"Remember having an educational time with another person"
"Remember having a relaxing time with another person"
"Remember having a wild time with another person"
"Remember having a quiet time with another person"
5. Definitions -
- Discuss the definition of love. Reframe it in the direction of being unconditional, accepting, admiring. Track down any self-contradictions.
"What is love?"
6. Kinds of Relationships -
Discuss what kind of relation the client has with each person in her life. Not just romantic relationships, but work, acquaintance, anything. How does she relate with that person, what is their common agreement, what do they exchange.
"What kind of relations do you have with people in your life?"
7. Domains -
Discuss domains in general and the relationship domain in particular. Particularly how one can BE the domain and act as it, rather than being individuated and self-centered.
8. Who -
Get many different people and types of people that client could relate to. Not just enumerating them, but considering the what is involved in relating with different types of people. But primarily this is to establish an abundance of people to relate to.
"Who could you relate to?"
9. How -
Explore different ways of relating. Get client to experience an abundance of ways one could relate. Get many different ones, both ordinary and unusual and fanciful.
"How could you relate to somebody?"
"How could one relate to somebody else?"
Explore different places where one could relate. Get many different places.
"Where could you relate to somebody?"
11. Importance -
Compare the importance of relationships with other things in the person's life or in the world. The idea is to move out of any fixedness about it, or any obsessive focus.
"Think of something more important than a relationship"
"Think of something less important than a relationship"
12. Quality of Life -
Find out what it qualities it is the person is seeking in a relationship. Not the immediate benefits, but the underlying aspects. What it does for her on a really big scale.
"What quality of life are you seeking in a relationship?"
13. Advantages -
Get the person to look at the pros and cons, advantages and disadvantages of having a relationship. Clarify that it is a choice and that there is positive content in any choice.
"What is the advantage of having a relationship?"
"What is the advantage of not having a relationship?"
14. Happen/ Not happen -
A certain desire or solution might be fixated because one hasn't explored the consequences of all the options. Make sure to get positive results and events.
"What would happen if you had a relationship?"
"What would happen if you did not have a relationship?"
"What would not happen if you had a relationship?"
"What would not happen if you do not have a relationship?"
15. Models -
Look for relationships that have acted as examples or models for the person. It might be positive or negative examples of what "a relationship" is. Parents would be an obvious one to look at. Examine the main relationships the person has been around. What worked about them, what didn't and why.
"Are there any relationships that have acted as examples or models for you?"
16. Parents -
If it hasn't been looked at already, look closely at whether or not the person is looking for partners that somehow reflect her own parents. Is she looking for somebody who looks or acts or talks like her mother or father. If so, work it over really thoroughly. Do re-experiencing of incidents and so forth. There are probably some lessons the parents should learn that she doesn't really have to learn for them. Resolve it in the proper context.
"Are you looking for somebody like your mother or father?"
17. Desired Elements -
Have the person list all the elements desired in a relationship. She could do that as a homework during the week. Then go over the list. Is it realistic, is it self-centered, does it represent addictive needs, does it reflect un-balanced parts of herself, etc. Work towards making the client more whole and integrated. Use polarity integration, soul retrieval, etc.
18. Ways of Relating -
Go through many different ways of relating. Just get the person to explore an abundance of different ways. Notice how each one is, how does it feel, what might come out of it, what is there to learn, etc. But mostly attain some more flexibility in how one might be able to relate.
"Think of a (boring) way of relating"
interesting, adventurous, dangerous, secure, conservative, apathetic, hostile, quiet, frightening, enthusiastic, etc.
19. Getting Along -
Examine what kind of people the person gets along with and what kind she doesn't. Particularly dig into why. Does she have fixed ideas, is she trying to avoid something, does she search out people with similar meta-programs, or what?
"What kind of people do you get along with?"
"What kind of people don't you get along with?"
20. Meta-programs -
Discuss meta-programs in general. Think of people operating in the different categories. Work out a strategy for dealing with them. Expand the person's flexibility in dealing with different types of people.
|Moving towards||- Moving away|
|Focus on Self||- Focus on Others|
|Global chunks||- Specifics|
|Internal reference||- External reference|
|In Time||- Through Time
21. Symbol Test -
Do symbol test. Let her pick the figure she likes the best and the one she likes the second best. Square always gets things done, but in a very routine way. Rectangle gets things done with committees and organization. Triangle is goal oriented. Circle deals with everything with communication, by talking about it and trying to get along. The squiggle is creative and off-the-wall. Discuss differences between each one, and the different specializations. Use that to lead into how the person relates with other and how to interact with specific other people.
22. Chunking #
Practice chunking up and down in logical levels. That is, one can see things as big, general, abstract, global chunks, or as small, precise, detailed, specifics applicable to a specific context. Or anything in-between. Make sure the person can change logical levels. For example, you can pick some random subject to talk about and each role-play a different level of chunking. Like, instruct the client to talk only in big, global chunks. You can do the same to make it easier. Then you both talk in really exact details. Then you can try choosing different levels and see how that goes. The ability to change logical levels is important for relationships. For one reason, to be able to match somebody else. But also, if a detail gets in the way, if one switches up to a higher level, it seems much smaller and if one sees the general underlying intentions it is much easier to sort out. Or, if one agrees on the general level, one can then switch down to the specifics to sort out how things would actually take place.
23. Other Cultures -
Imagine and/or discuss relationships in different cultures and species. Polygamy, Matriarchy, birds, ants, spiders, etc. Visualize in detail how it would be to be part of it. What would the pros and cons be.
24. Competing for Energy -
Examine how people compete for energy. Positioning themselves to suck out the most energy from others. Also discuss status games. Look at how the client uses them and how others do.
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