Friday, July 13, 2012

Counselling and the emotion of love - Part 2

Falling in love
As mentioned before anger and sadness are often a reaction to a discrete event and this is less so with love. It is sometimes said that one ‘falls in love’. In this sense it is not a reactive process to some event. The metaphor of ‘falling in love’ in itself is quite a descriptive one. People do not run into love, or climb into love, or drive their car into love, instead they fall into love. 
"Falling" is a passive process and in one sense is almost a submission to the inevitable. Some people who are seeking love, flounder at the stage of falling in love. They may not  be passive enough and they rush to find it, which means of course they never do. They are too desperate for love and one can only really find love when it falls into their arms by accident.
This is a very unnatural act for a human. It takes some strength to jump and let self fall.

As mentioned before to find love involves a surrender to it and a giving up to it. People do not naturally like the sensation of falling. If one is falling they will usually instinctively put their arms out and try to grab onto some thing so as to avoid the fall. Falling in love involves a trust that that one will not be hurt and hence they do not naturally reach out and stop the fall. Some find this very hard to do as they lack the trust and hence they find the falling, submission process hard to achieve.
There are other human functions that require the same psychological ability of letting oneself fall and to give up the usual controls people look for, and those are sleep and sex. Again humans have naturally observed this and hence we have the saying that people fall asleep. They have to give up the controls of the Parent and Adult as this diagram shows.

Falling in love ego states

All three human functions require the ability to allow self to be dominated by the Free Child ego state and to turn off the controls of the Parent and Adult ego states. For some it is very hard to let go of the controls and that can result in insomnia or for men it can be one cause of erectile dysfunction. The same applies for falling in love. One must let the Free Child aspect of self run free and not be overly controlled by the Parent and Adult.
This way of viewing the emotion of love allows the counsellor to get some further kind of framework about how to deal with the emotion when it is presented by a client. For example in the previous post Annalynn made the following comment:
“Coming up with a "Yes" answer is difficult. It's never a "Yes". It is always a "Maybe" or "I guess" or "I don't know". I have to ponder it, taking in to consideration how much the person cares and factoring in how many times I have been upset/hurt by them. "Yes" would mean that the person cares and will never hurt me. But everyone will at some point even if it is unintentional.” (end quote)
The therapist may deal with this by seeing that Annalynn needs to master the falling process again. Because of past experiences she is very reluctant to let go of the Parent and Adult and let her Free Child fall in love with someone again. She needs to relearn how to surrender in this way and submit to her need to experience love again.

Roller girl

This model also provides for some clear therapy exercises. The therapist could provide her with ways to experience being in Adult and letting go of it. Should could experience her Parent ego state and then feel what it is like to give it up piece by piece. It is likely these exercises would engender a sense of fear in her and when this point is arrived at the therapist can assist her in working though the fear. Also she needs to have some practice at experiencing her Free Child. Therapeutic interventions like this would allow Annalynn to restructure her personality such that she is more prepared to again enter the submission process of falling in love.
Therapeutic model for working with love 
1. Assess how the client understands love  - Adult or Child
2. Can client master the process of falling in love. Are they able to decommission the Parent and Adult ego states and let the Free Child be uncontrolled.

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