An intimate love relationship is composed of a friendship, a love affair, and different abilities to repair problems when they arise. Relationships progress through attraction, to affiliation, to romantic infatuation, to intimate bonding, to better or worse in the long run.
There is four times the rate of depression now than in 1987. We’ve essentially been doubling the amount of depression in this country for each of the last three generations.
Even considering an increased tendency to diagnose depression now than in previous years, this emerging 21st century culture is clearly not particularly conducive to happy care-free lives.
Who is your closest relationship right now? Do you get along well all the time? Do you fight occasionally? To those who can’t think of a conflict, come on! You must have fought or been irritated at least once! Remember your last fight or disagreement. As you and he or she struggled, were you listening, explaining, making excuses, or attacking? Probably you were doing several of these.
In my book, Waking Up, I maintain that Integral psychotherapists cultivate compassion and depth of consciousness to co-create healing cultures with their clients. Depth of consciousness means understanding people within the many contexts of their lives, including the altitudes they typically inhabit on a variety of developmental lines like the self, interpersonal, parenting, morals, psychosexual, and integration-of-defenses lines. With deeper consciousness in my clients and myself comes felt responsibilities to help all those contexts, but with varying degrees of urgency.
Marriage is a garden: a couple’s friendship, love affair, and repair of injuries nurtures the marital garden
Have you ever had a garden? You love it, tend it, water it, and shape it like the work of art it is. When you do, your garden becomes beautiful and fruitful, delivering whatever you desire—beauty, pleasure, rest, nourishment, purpose—a complex living system to love and cherish. People invest more time and money in gardening than any other hobby in America.
I’ve looked with interest at the rise of coaching as a discipline over the last twenty-five years. I love the movement and admire all the men and women who are called to help others in their lives. People are by nature social, and everything we do, any developmental progress we make, involves intimate connections with other people, and we all do better with wise guidance.
Integral theory is a meta-theory that creates a scaffolding within which all other theories are organized. Integral psychotherapy is any therapy that takes into account a global understanding of the Kosmos. Objective/subjective, individual/collective, states of consciousness, lines of development, stages of development, spiritual/temporal, and types of individuals are core dimensions of Integral understanding. Any healing approach that practically utilizes these perspectives as cross-validating, mutually influencing forces is by definition Integral psychotherapy.