I was trying to explain to my therapist what it was like seeing you guys. It’s so different from my experience with one therapist in the room, she said. It’s something like Peter’s experience holds the structure and Tamar dances in and around it. That big heart you have on the floor made from wood, it seems to vibrate all the time and that is like this room and Tamar, radiating heart.
When we heard that we felt the delight of recognition, and then sought out metaphors that resonated. In Chinese astrology Peter is an Earth Ox and Tamar a Water Ox. This fits even our shared love of water coursing over rocks.
“In the enneagram system,” said another client, “I think Peter is around type 8 and 6. The Challenger and Loyalist. Tamar is around type 2 and 4, The Helper and Individualist.” When we read those we knew how spot on they were. Our different personalities were well represented.
However, there is something about the in-between and the flow of energy around us those typologies can’t convey. A number of our colleagues had been encouraging us to meet to share our common interest in Emotion Focussed Couple Therapy, or EFT-C. Though we had met five years previously, it wasn’t until 2019 that we followed their directions.
Meeting on the ground of couple therapy felt gifted, a meeting of complementary interest, values, life experiences. Though we are at different stages of our lives and careers, there is a powerful complementarity that manifest in the between.
Let’s Walk – neither of us can dance Tango Nueva but our body sense of the walk with couples reflects the dance we are playing in the room – a flexible exchange of leading, pacing and following. It is a held space in which we enter, interrupt and redirect the complex dance and disconnecting footwork of couples stuck in their distressing dance pattern. Susan Johnson calls these cyclical steps demon dances or protest polka.