Bruce Derman, Ph.D. The Relationship Doctor
- Finding mutuality and intimacy beneath the sea of differences
- Getting beyond the dating ordeal and learning how to date authentically
- Discovering an innovative approach to sexual conflicts, obsessions, and addictions
- Stabilizing chaotic relationships
- Learning respectful solutions to divorce scenarios
- Resolving child custody isses with respect for the children
Working with Adults, Couples, and Families
- Martial and relationship issues
- Anxiety and depression
- Sexual concerns and dysfunction
- Eating disorders
- Men’s and single issues
- Brief/strategic therapy
- Cognitive and behavioral therapy
- Gestalt and Ericksonian therapy
The Mutual Therapy Approach to Helping Couples
When you are in an intimate relationship, you are exposed to a continuous bombardment of difference which often become overwhelming. Your partner likes cold, you like hot. your partner likes sharing, you don’t. Your partner likes being orderly, while you prefer clutter and chaos. This preoccupation with differences then frequently escalates into battles over a never ending list as to who is right, open, sensitive, smart, important, and the most powerful. In the end, half of he relationships head down the divorce path when they become convinced that they have enough evidence to believe the title of my book We’d Have a Great Relationship If It Weren’t for You.
A Whole New Attitude
Since the perception of differences is so much a part of our culture, it is necessary to learn a whole new attitude and perspective in order to counter this trend and to be able to sustain a truly intimate relationship. what makes this especially vital is that the view of seeing and using differences creates an inequality among partners with one being seen as better or worse then the other. As a result they fail to realize that only equals can be intimate, since you can only share and expose yourself at eye level. Looking down or up at your partner doesn’t allow that kind of exposure. To be truly intimate requires seeing you and your partner as basically equal in your emotional and mental development. Thus, while you may differ in certain skills, your capacity to be open to fear, commitment, and love will be equal.
In learning the mutual approach and perspective you will increasingly find yourself asking the question “How are the same?” instead of “How are we different?” Rather then fighting with your partner over who loves who more, you will see that each of you are controlling, manipulative, insensitive, sad, and scared. All of the so called differences you have been pontificating will be seen as merely smoke screens which have been covering up the truth.
Mutuality is definitely not an easy diet to integrate and it demands an extensive commitment from you and your partner. however, when you can develop the ability to see the sameness beneath the differences, you will experience a sense of joining and connecting that was previously unknown to both of you. In addition, once you see the sameness there will be nothing to prove or defend. As a result you will have much less to fight with your partner because it would like fighting with your reflection.
The Ultimate Goal
The ultimate goal of mutuality is not to find a connection that you lost, but to recognize a connection you always had. When you see yourself and your partner through the eyes of real equality, there will be nothing to fear, nothing to prove, and nothing more that you must be.