#Passion and #Relationships: A Psychotherapist Reflects


 “If you meet somebody and your heart pounds, your hands shake, and your knees go weak, that’s not the one.
When you meet your ‘soul mate’ you’ll feel calm. No anxiety, no agitation.” 

Source : Unknown


When recently asked about #passion I was struck by my internal response; cautious. I’m thinking about #passion as depicted by popular American movies or the media. For example those selling perfume; so often #passion is portrayed as instant, instinctive and a sudden ‘passionate attraction’. Passion of the type we are fed by the PR machines, or propaganda to give PR it’s original name.


As a psychotherapist my consulting room is full of individuals or couples who have fallen ‘passionately’ in love, married or set up home, and then ‘things’ start to go wrong. The Games that we were completely unaware of when we meet gradually heighten and we realise that we can feel hurtful, or helpless with our significant other. As we all know, long-term, passion of a heightened nature is not sustainable. So how did that happen?


In #Transactional_Analysis_Psychotherapy (#TA) the founder #Eric_Berne has been quoted as saying something along the line of:

        ‘if you’re eyes meet across a crowded room, get the hell out’

In his studies of human behaviour #Berne noticed many of our relationships are based on intuition not intimacy. By intimacy he meant sharing conscious thoughts, feelings and behaviours, which could include sex, without fear of the others response. This naturally takes time.

How can you fall in love with someone you don’t know?

#Eric_Berne proposed that it’s an intuitive attraction to someone who will play our favourite psychological Games with us that excites us. I believe he meant that it’s this which feels like #passion, leading to a notion of ‘the one’. In #TA, #Game_Theory proposes that a Game requires two people who take up different and complimentary positions and then proceed to engage in a series of exchanges with each other. This continues out of awareness until one person switches their position in relation to the other, and both parties end up feeling hurt or hurtful. This can be in a moment or over years before the ‘switch’ occurs. #Eric_Berne proposed that we are probably in some form of a psychological Game with many different people 80 % of the time.

So now what?

Well the good news is that anyone can come to understand their #Game(s) and how they play them; or how they misunderstood #passion. The goal of #Transactional_Analysis is to develop and heighten your capacity for intimacy, spontaneity and awareness. What I’ve come to understand is that this is much more rewarding, and certainly longer lasting than the notion of passion we are fed.

Helen Davies is a UKCP registered Psychotherapist, Supervisor and Trainer. She runs a private practice working with adults, couples and groups in West Sussex and North West Surrey. She is a visiting lecturer in #Transactional_Analysis_Psychotherapy at various colleges. Helen supervises trainee and qualified practitioners of varying modalities including complimentary health practitioners.
For more information:

07976 605949

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