Out of the Developmental Chrysalis in Intimacy and Relationship Therapy
Developmental theories offers excellent guidance for assessment, diagnosis, and therapy for adult individuals especially with intimacy and relationship challenges. Expansion of the focus on developmental theories beyond infancy, childhood, and adolescence can enrich therapy for individuals, couples, and families. From the baby's need to be picked up and soothed, early developmental experiences predispose the individual to attachment, intimacy functionality, and relationships in adulthood, including in the couple and in a family as well as in the workplace and socially. Individuals come out of childhood shaped in functional and problematic ways that can enhance or challenge important relationships.
Ten basic rules of developmental theories guides assessment and diagnosis of intimacy and relationship functioning, while also providing guidance for enhancing resiliency and reparative therapeutic relationships. Primary defense mechanisms and theories of the cognitive development are re-examined to enable the therapist to evaluate clinical presentations and provide strategy for therapeutic interventions. A person's apparently immature presentation instead is revealed to be clear clinical cues to the developmental history of individuals, the etiology of behavior, and the goals of therapy. Attachment theory and Emotionally Focused Therapy are viewed from these principles and rules. The therapist is directed how take a transitional authoritative quasi-parental role to promote developmental progression of quantitative change to create the qualitative change that are the goals of therapy.