Presenter: Carolyn Daitch, PhD, FASCH
Anxiety can strain even the most loving relationship, damaging trust and intimacy. This is especially the case when one partners autonomic nervous system is chronically dysregulated, with the sympathetic nervous system chronically running on high alert. Both partners begin to feel that the other is just not on my wavelength anymore. This may be true, because when one partner has a chronically hyperactive sympathetic nervous system and the other does not, each has a fundamentally different experience of life. And these different experiences can create an ever-widening chasm. Couples can learn to bridge this gap, however, by working in concert to re-establish better parasympathetic activation and subsequently enhance the attuned connection they experience.
This workshop will examine the ways in which the presence of heightened sympathetic nervous system arousal, which can manifest in the form of an anxiety disorder, damages emotional intimacy in romantic partnerships. First, we will look at anxiety's impact on the experience of attuned connection between partners, identifying the anxiety-based rifts to attuned connection and how to repair these ruptures. Second, we will examine the over-dependent bonds that result when sympathetic dysregulation, with a specific focus on anxiety disorders, take center-stage in a relationship. Characterized by the maintenance of rigid roles, these bonds are hard to break. Interventions first foster the ideal balance of sympathetic and parasympathetic functioning and then address the creation of resilience and role flexibility as an alternative to this rigidity. Dynamic, rewarding relationships result.
This workshop will provide participants with explicit interventions to teach individuals and couples to break over-dependent bonds and repair anxiety-based ruptures in attuned connection. Participants will learn hypnotic tools to enhance clients parasympathetic tone and role flexibility, foster resiliency, and shift the relational dynamic so that true emotional intimacy can exist and anxiety no longer dictates the relationship.