11. Satiation Triggers Dev Progression - RonaldMah

Ronald Mah, M.A., Ph.D.
Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist,
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11. Satiation Triggers Dev Progression

Therapist Resources > Therapy Books > Out of Dev Chrysalis Intimacy/Relationship

Out of the Developmental Chrysalis in Intimacy and Relationship Therapy
by Ronald Mah

Satiation of developmental needs triggers the individual, couple, and family's progression on to the next developmental challenge.  Until the developmental needs of the stage are met, an individual will stay in the stage or be pulled back to deal with unresolved tasks or energy.  Vlad's compulsive attempts to gain intimate validation through successive relationships reflected the lack of resolution of his developmental attachment needs.  Sufficient quantitative experiences create satiation of developmental needs, which facilitates qualitative change into more mature stages.  Collyn had always been doing the "right things" in responding to Vlad's requests.  However, the quantity of experiences he required to feel secure were beyond a normal amount needed by a securely attached individual.  With his developmental wounding, Vlad needed a much more substantial quantity of consistent nurturing for a qualitative change in his sense of security.  Therapy also identified his quantitative and qualitative requirements that had otherwise seemed excessive to Collyn and at some level, also to Vlad.  This mitigated her frustration at Vlad's "neediness" allowing her to have more compassion for his developmental deficit of nurturance.  Identification of how his parents had poorly supported him and created his insecurities helped lifted his shame for being "needy."  Need for nurturing was counter-balancing with understanding that Collyn could not be responsible and was not capable of re-doing history and the parental response to his childhood needs.  Satiation or satisfying of current needs became simpler and possible when Vlad could recognize the boundaries between themselves as a couple and his family-of-origin.  This required Vlad to accept and mourn the losses he suffered as a child.  He had to also accept that his parents may never be able to give him what he needed and still may desire.

Satiation of unmet developmental energy or needs may be a key issue for many individuals, couples, and families.  Since problems and conflicts may come from unsatisfied individual's developmental needs or energy, only when they are satiated individually and therefore possibly, collectively can the individual function in an intimate relationship, or the couple or family function in a healthy manner.  In a couple, one or both partners (or in a family, one or more members) may be continuing to seek satiation of developmental needs from each other but are continually frustrated, perhaps re-traumatized.  Vlad and Collyn entered therapy asking for help with communication.  They did not realize that at the core of their communication problems was Vlad's unarticulated developmental cries for validation and care.  He had been unconsciously seeking remedy for this developmental deficit all along in many ways and with many people.  Since Vlad had not communicated where his needs came from, Collyn of course had no idea either.  Therapy becomes another attempt to get these needs addressed, however this time with the therapist's assistance.  The therapist's role is to facilitate satiation of unresolved, denied, suppressed, and unfinished developmental needs for an individual, each partner or member and/or for the couple or family that have interfered with healthy relationship functioning.  The ten basic rules of developmental theories apply to all types of development for individual emotional, psychological, relationship, and social growth.  They also apply to the development of the couple or family, and to many other systems and processes.  Of primary interest for an individual and the intimate relationship are the development of attachment and the underlying experience of anxiety.

3056 Castro Valley Blvd., #82
Castro Valley, CA 94546
Ronald Mah, M.A., Ph.D.
Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist, MFT32136
office: (510) 582-5788
fax: (510) 889-6553
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