Although I help people resolve emotional issues and change beliefs,
I am told that some people reading this will feel unable
or concentrate on my words.
If you feel stuck, email me.
Part 1. Introduction to
Relationship Bonds .
Part 3. Resolve Emotional Bonds
Part 2: Identity Loss & Bonds
As I researched the structure of beliefs ... again and again I
found that loss of personal identity originates
in relationship trauma.
I labeled three common varieties
of this identity loss :
Do you want to change emotional bonds,
identity loss, identifications or identity conflict?
Relationship Bonds & Beliefs about Identity
We often meet therapists who understand their own development in terms of
identity loss. Like many therapists, they
experienced its consequences, gained a sense of authority
about how they lost identity and now present themselves as role models of
whatever method they use to regain it.
Beliefs are associated with compliance. Although beliefs
may motivate healthy or unhealthy behavior, beliefs
motivate people to continue or survive difficult relationships without
going crazy. Consider a fairly common belief: I am bad!
A child who perceives that a parent is bad, may compensate by
creating a limiting identity belief that he or she (the child) is
bad. Such beliefs are less threatening than "My parent is
bad!" and may support a taboo bond, which could be verbalized as
something like, "We are connected by our badness".
The extent to which we maintain close
personal relationships, and the degree to which we feel a part of our
community or have deep, abiding social and psychological resources, help
to determine how protected we are against biological, environmental, or
Dr. Lisa Berkman, Psychosomatic Medicine
People often cling to limiting beliefs without being aware of
them. If awareness of a belief-bond
may damage an important relationship, people avoid this awareness.
But, like a mind-virus, whatever people believe about themselves, they
communicate to others, especially to their partners and children.
Conscious Bonds & Taboo Bonds
Some relationship bonds are conscious, such as promises,
family traditions and professional associations. Less conscious bonds include enmeshments
with parents or past partners. Common examples of unconscious bonds are to
abusers or to victims of abuse.
Conscious bonds are often associated with obsessions
obsessive thoughts, while taboo bonds are more associated
with compulsions and compulsive behaviors.
|I feel connected to someone or something
||I can "see" something
connecting me with another
||I know why I obsess about X
|I feel that something is wrong
||I can "see" something dark, close to
or in my body
||I don't know why I am compelled
Although some people describe perceptions of dark, shadowy
shapes in the body as evidence of esoteric phenomena or as examples
of black magic, we find that these dark shapes are related to the
emotional entanglements that we call taboo bonds.
Existential & Contextual Bonds
I differentiate the consequences of bonded relationships
as existential (all of life) or contextual (part of life), in
the areas of identity, relationships and global.
Global relationship bonds (often at the level of humanity) seem to be
associated with mentor damage and
spiritual abuse. This table shows how identity bonds support dysfunctional
behavior (in this table bad can refer to limiting identity beliefs
such as "I am sick", "I am not good enough"
or "I am weak").
(All of life)
|I am bad. I cannot not be bad.
Bad is who I am.
||I must be with people
whose lives reflect my or the world's badness.
||Everybody is bad and
everybody will always be bad.
|I am bad only when X happens or if
Y is present.
||Sometimes I need
to be with people who know how bad I am or how bad the world is.
||The world is only bad when X
happens or if Y
Existential bonds may indicate chronic identification, lost identity or
identity conflict; while contextual bonds may be activated by internal or
external stimuli. Both existential and contextual bonds can trigger
recurring dysfunction, such as:
- apathy, depression, anxiety or anger
- symptoms of psychosomatic disease
- destructive or toxic relationship habits
- obsessions, compulsions or fixations
Origin of Relationship Bonds
Unpleasant bonds originate in relationship
disturbances; either intense disturbances (e.g. a person witnessed
an event that the person could not assimilate), or repeated
unpleasant experiences (e.g. a trusted authority communicated
that a person is somehow bad). Reciprocal bonds are a
common consequence of mentor damage.
My wife and I are clinical
psychologists and our son has muscular dystrophy. We attended a workshop by
a German family therapist who said he intuited our situation, and told us,
before an audience of our peers, that my wife and I were "sucking the life
from our son's body". We were devastated. Since our couple coaching with
you we better understood how therapists can abuse clients with careless diagnosis.
You helped us dissolve this terrible schema, and we can move on.
Maintain Relationship Bonds
People may maintain and strengthen their relationship bonds by...
- age regressed or traumatized behavior in the context of the bond
minimizing or denying information that contradicts the bond
- seeking and exaggerating experiences that support
or confirm the bond
- dysfunctional relationships that perpetuate the
bond through transference
If a person transfers a relationship bond from
one person (e.g. father) onto another person (e.g. boss),
then expect bonded behaviors (in
this example a person could not leave a disliked job). Also, a person
may transfer a bond to one person (e.g. to mother) onto many people
(e.g. to all women).
Those who can make
you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities.
Taboo Relationship Bonds
People often avoid acknowledging their unpleasant bonds - often avoiding anything that
reminds them of those emotions and thoughts. Such taboo bonds may be perceived as
unpleasant feelings, compulsive thoughts and/or horrible visual images. People with taboo
bonds often avoid situations that could activate their bonds. They may:
- suffer psychosomatic or mental health symptoms
- avoid career success and/or partnership happiness
- dissociate all emotions to avoid anger, sadness, guilt or fear
- use drugs to dull their emotions (e.g. alcohol,
Taboo relationship bonds can motivate people to dissociate, become
aggressive or confused (e.g. "What we were talking about?")
Some autoimmune diseases and
psychosomatic symptoms may also be
associated with relationship bonds.
It's like ... most of my life I was living
my ancestors' nightmares,
yet since we worked on it I can hardly remember them.
Part 1. Introduction to Bonds
. Part 3. Resolving Emotional Beliefs
Do you want to manage difficult emotions or solve relationship
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