Archive for April 7th, 2009

GAMES TO RESTORE TENDERNESS – GAME 3: EXPRESSING GRATITUDE

Tuesday, April 7th, 2009

Husband and wife repeat the following sentences:

“I’m afraid to thank you.” “And I’m afraid to thank you.”

“If I thank you, you’ll . . .” (Say whatever comes to mind next.)

“And if I thank you, you’ll . . .” (Say whatever comes to mind next.)

“My mother never thanked my father.”

“And my father never thanked my mother.”

“My brothers never thanked each other.”

“My sisters never thanked each other.”

“I don’t want you to thank me.”

“And I don’t want you to thank me.”

“If you thank me, I’ll …” (Say whatever comes to mind next.)

“If you thank me, I’ll . . .” (Say whatever comes to mind next.)

“Nobody in my family ever appreciated me, and I don’t appreciate you.”

“And people in my family didn’t appreciate me, and it’s hard for me to appreciate you.”

“I appreciate you anyway just because . . .” (Say whatever comes to mind next.)

“And I appreciate you just because …” (Say whatever comes to mind next.)

“I’m grateful to you and it’s all right.”

“And I’m grateful to you and it’s all right.”

“You’re grateful to me and it’s all right.”

“And you’re grateful to me and it’s all right.”

“I’m so grateful to you for being you.”

“And I’m so grateful to you for being you.”

“You make me grateful to be alive.”

“You make me appreciate other people.”

“Thank you so much for being kind to me.”

“And thank you so much for being kind to me.”

“When I think about your kindness, I want to cry.”

“And when I think about your kindness, I want to cry.”

“If I cry, I’ll …” (Say whatever comes to mind next.)

“And if I cry, I’ll . . .” (Say whatever comes to mind next.)

“I’m so grateful to you and I don’t care if it makes me cry.” “And I’m so grateful to you and I don’t care if it makes me cry.”

“Thank you.”

“You’re welcome. And thank you.” “You’re welcome.”

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GAMES FOR POLITICALLY OR MORALLY CORRECT COUPLES – GAME 4: EROTIC CARDS (PART 1)

Tuesday, April 7th, 2009

Players: Husband and wife. Activists: Both. Setting: Home.

Aim: To stimulate a relaxation of counterproductive political correctness by appealing to unconscious competitive feelings.

Game Plan: Most often, a couple whose sex life is constricted by political correctness (or, in the case of religious extremists, moral correctness) is acting out unconscious competitiveness. This competitiveness is based on narcissism—that is, on the need to bolster lagging self-esteem by defeating the spouse through gaining political and moral superiority. A wife may rule her husband by continually citing rules of feminism that he is breaking, and a husband can rule his wife by continually citing the rules of religion that that she is breaking. Not that there should be no rules or that they should never be cited; but some people, as I have noted, misuse them to put their spouse on the defensive or to gain an advantage that will allow them to defend against their own feelings of low self-esteem and envy.

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GAMES FOR UNATTRACTED COUPLES – SEXUAL ATTRACTIVENESS

Tuesday, April 7th, 2009

One of my patients, grew up feeling repulsed by his mother’s feet, which he said gave off a foul odor. She used to put her feet on his lap while they were watching television, knowing that they would annoy him—then laugh at him when he became angry at her. As an adult, his relationships with women were brief, usually ending after he had sexual intercourse with them. At that point, he would find something about them that disgusted him and quickly reject them. Often some part of their body would disgust him.

The phenomenon of transference and its relation to sexual attractiveness is most clearly demonstrated in the therapy relationship. At some point during therapy, and particularly during psychoanalytic therapy (since in psychoanalytic therapy, the therapy relationship is itself seen as the main agent of change and therefore is intensely analyzed), many patients develop an erotic transference toward their analysts. In other words, the patient falls in love with the therapist. This happens no matter what the therapist looks like—or even smells like. Whatever the case, the patient suddenly becomes enraptured with this counselor, who becomes irresistible—and the patient comes at the analyst with sexual overtures of every variety. Psychoanalysts have discovered that sexual attraction is definitely something that has psychodynamic roots and can be cultivated.

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GAMES FOR PERVERSE COUPLES – GAME 1: GENDER REVERSAL (PART 4)

Tuesday, April 7th, 2009

Now comes the hard part of the game: talking about their feelings. As with previous games, this is the crucial step; without it, the game remains a shallow piece of acting-out. The couple should lie facing one another, and talk about what it felt like to be a man or a woman, what they wanted from each other, how they felt sexually, and what they remembered from the past—particularly their childhood. They should be candid about the negative feelings that came up. The man may say, “It felt kind of good not to be a man; not to have to initiate sex and risk rejection.” The woman may say, “It felt strong to be a man—I could make all the moves and didn’t have to restrain myself.” He may say, “You know, I got in touch with how much I’d like to be a woman, and how much I resent women—and you.” She may say, “I got in touch with how much I hate men and their arrogant attitudes about their penises.”

This conversation can go in many directions. The important thing is to let the conversation continue to go wherever it will—no matter how embarrassing, risky, or seemingly insane.

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GAMES FOR OBSESSIVE-COMPULSIVE COUPLES – GAME 2: THE NUDE CLEANING LADY/MAN (PART 2)

Tuesday, April 7th, 2009

“What does it look like I’m doing? I’m cleaning the house. I’m giving it the thorough cleaning it needs. I’ve finally understood that if I want it to be done thoroughly, I’ll have to do it myself.”

“Have you gone crazy?”

“No, I’ve finally become sane and realized that the house has to be kept in a certain order. You’ve been right to clean it and arrange it as often as you do, but you haven’t gone far enough. It needs much more.”

“Oh, really?”

“Yes. What have you been lying around for? Get out of bed and give me a hand—the baseboards are filthy!”

“I just waxed and polished them yesterday.”

“I know, but there are still coffee stains on them. You need to really scrub them. Use the chlorinated Ajax.”

“May I ask why you’re in the nude?”

“That’s part of the cleaning process. I need to be in the purest, most natural state in order to convene with the natural state of the world and of our house. Cleanliness is next to virginity.”

“And what is the natural state of the world?”

“The natural state of the world? My dear, the natural state of the world is one of disorder and filth. Only through hard work and constant vigilance can we overcome this disorder and filth. Now please get up and give me a hand.”

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