Relationship Conflict - the Fascinating Link between Infants & Adults

Relationship Counselling
Disconnection hurts and how we handle these inevitable moments of vulnerable disconnection define how these bonds work out for us.
— Dr Sue Johnson
Reaching and responding on an emotional level is what transforms these moments of disconnection. We can get stuck on angrily pushing for a response or shutting down. Now we know the basic steps in the bonding dance. This dance is often defined by how we deal with our fear of disconnection and if we’re able to move into repair.
— Dr Edward Tronick

All relationships experience conflict at some point in time.

This excellent video featured below, with relationship expert Dr Sue Johnson and expert developmental psychologist Dr Edward Tronick, gives a great insight into what that conflict is all about and how both partners can heal conflict. Understanding what goes wrong, and why it goes wrong, in cycles of conflict is the important first step to decreasing conflict and improving relationships.

Dr Sue Johnson and Dr Edward Tronick outline the fascinating parallel between the disconnection of a parent and child as being similar to that of disconnection which occurs in romantic relationships. Dr Johnson says "the drama of romantic bonding is an adult version of the bond between parent and child."

These are their basic moves in the "emotional dance" that is conflict and re-bonding;

  1. Reach (invite connection)

  2. Protest - Push

  3. Turn away

  4. Melt down

  5. Reconnect

Enjoy this video and have a think about how the dance may play out in your life!