One of the issues clients bring into the therapeutic consulting room is dissatisfaction with the state of their marriage or partnership. Although this dilemma often takes shape as bipolar, it represents a challenge to engagement with deep, defended parts of self and relationship. Joseph, Lisa, and Deb make it clear they are not focusing on issues like abuse or addiction, but the more subtle yet substantial ways in which people can feel dissatisfied. Partners often hold deep aspects of the other’s shadow; for example, if one person has a fear of abandonment the other may have an equally strong fear of engulfment. They discuss stages of marriage/partnership, from romantic to parenting to empty nest, and the ongoing need for evolving relational awareness, especially in discerning the difference between individual complexes and relational problems.
Here’s the dream we discuss:
“I feel chunks missing from my molars on the bottom left, and spit it out into my hand, It’s three pieces of different teeth plus one full tooth. I look in the mirror and there is no tooth missing but the broken pieces match up. My mouth is like Gollum’s and my teeth in front are shifted right and are thin and pointed like vampire teeth.”