Paul J. Hannig, Ph.D.

Separation Counseling 
 

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Paul J. Hannig, Ph.D. MFT  
PsychotherapyHELP  
818-882-7404  

phannigphd@att.net  


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You are driving me nuts! I can't stand it. Every time that I try to get close to you, you push me away. What is this … a course in separation? First, you abuse me and accuse me of all kinds of crazy things. I'm tired of trying to explain to you and other people that I am innocent. Oh, you want to fight, don't you? Every time I talk to you, it ends up in some kind of big argument. You kick me out, then you invite me back in. What am I … a YO YO?"


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Start with the Basics

  • No 1:  Drop all kinds of judgments/beliefs that togetherness is the preferred way of being in a relationship. If that were true, why are there so many miserable couples who are together and not getting their real needs satisfied? And why are there so many couples that seem to have reached an ideal together state, only to find themselves on the bottom of the divorce heap at some point in their relationship.
  • No 2:  Forget that separateness is such a bad thing. How did the idea of separateness ever get such a bad rap in our collective unconscious anyway? From what I understand, Jesus never got together with a woman and his separateness certainly produced some extraordinary states of consciousness. Maybe we have been conditioned from the first man, Adam, who complained to God that he was alone. After all, God himself is One and One alone. He didn't do so bad. Besides, it only took a few paragraphs in Genesis for Adam and Eve, in their togetherness, to mess up royally. Maybe, we are still paying the price for so much dysfunctional togetherness. 

So, you ask what has this got to do with you. I'll tell you. If you have been in a relationship where you are separating repeatedly and not getting anything beneficial out of it, then you are doing something wrong. The mistake here is in constantly trying to get back together again. Your brain is telling you that separateness is bad and only togetherness is good. Well, you forgot to look at one little demon that operates in your separation/get together again operations. That demon is named, "Emotional Over Reactivity." What the hell happened to reasoning?

 

I forgot to mention one other evil spirit named, "Acting Out." Yes, there's all that righteous anger and justification for perpetuating pathological and immature behavior. But, who cares, let's get back together! After all, it only seems natural to want to get back together again with your beloved pain in the butt. However, the automatic flight into togetherness may be one of the most ineffective strategies in a world starving for effective solutions.

 

It has to be very painful to accept the notion that your Irrational emotional responses are pushing you back together again before you accomplish the tasks of a therapeutic separation process. If you are getting the picture here, you may begin to realize that you'll have to go against the togetherness mentality that erroneously suggests, "you and your partner should always be happy when you are together." What if I were to tell you that getting back together again too soon will probably be a disaster. Think about that! Check out your past experiences and track record when you and your partner have repeatedly tried to get back together again before the real issues have been resolved.

 

Perhaps, you have some mistaken notion that if you get back together again, you will be able to resolve your global conflict. I don't think so. This is one illusion that you may have to learn the hard way to drop. If you don't believe me, check out your past relationships where all attempts to get back together again, without resolution, led to dissolution.

  • No 3: Learn to do the necessary self work. In my system of Successful Separation Coaching, you learn to pay attention to the differences between you and your partner during the alone time that you spend separated from one another. You'll also learn how to do the necessary self work to determine how you can be in each other's presence without feeling the need to split for safer ground. 

When a marriage hits the fan, a transference/countertransference takes place between the warring partners and is usually undetected. The separating partners are locked into a battle that has its roots in unresolved childhood pain. The ''get away from me/let's get together again" pattern obscures and distracts the warring partners from the real underlying issues. They are so busy pushing and pulling each other in different directions that they neglect to work the deep underlying feelings and the spiritual issues that plague their relationship.

 

When a safe and secure, uninterrupted separation program has been instituted, the partners are then free to work through the repressed emotions that are the real problems in their relationship. It is also during this time, that they can benefit from counseling in intensive relationship building skills. By getting down to each partner's bottom line without the distraction of the "Separate/Come back together again” pattern, this program allows them time to eliminate the emotional junk and unwanted/unneeded love killing behaviors that they bring with them into the relationship.

 

This program necessitates the enforcement of complete separation, without any type of contact for a period of at least three months. Then a six-week partial contact program can be instituted based on the successful assessment of achievement of targeted goals. This program is so structured that it does not allow for any contact of any sort for that designated period of time. This intensive self work program is based on deep self and relationship exploration, without any distractions or "In/out," manipulations. The separation period is meant for deep personal work devoid of any efforts by the warring parties to hold onto or push away each other.

 

The time must be spent alone working on the self emotionally, while deeply exploring personal contributions to the relationship destruction. This separation period is aimed at exploring and changing the self and modifying personal goals in concert with what is significant in one's life. This very important separation experience allows the individual to search and solidify, "What do I really want and need in my life and what am I willing to do to achieve what is right for me?" It also asks the very important question, "Do I really want to be married to this person and does this person want and need to be married to me?" I might add that this separation process also offers the opportunity to learn what constitutes effective relationship and marriage building strategies.








PsychotherapyHELP Home  |  Dr. Paul Hannig  |  Hypnosis: Beyond Therapy  |  Teletherapy: Telephone & Skype Video Sessions  |  E-Therapy  |  Deep Feeling Therapy  |  Music in Therapy  |  Separation Counseling  |  The Love Program  |  Ecstatic Meditations  |  Power of Prayer/Psycho-Spiritual Therapy  |  ONLINE STORE: Manuals, Books & E-Books  |  ONLINE STORE: Media Programs  |  Mail Order Form  |  Mood, Anxiety, & Personality Disorders  |  Feeling Therapy Articles  |  FREE Articles  |  FREE Manual Excerpts  |  Newsletters  |  Online Tests  |  Web Links  |  Addictions  |  Soulmates from Hell  |  Soul Mating  |  Managing Your Anger - NEW!  |  Depression  |  Secrets of Success  |  Dealing with Time Bandits  |  Reinvent Yourself!  |  Catching Yourself  |  Married People - Unmarried Minds  |  The Power to Convince  |  Daily Thoughts  |  People Are Saying...  |  Subscribe to our Mailing List!  |  Initial Intake Form  |  Therapy Guidelines & Confidentiality  |  Contact Us!

Paul J. Hannig, Ph.D MFT w PsychotherapyHELP

Chatsworth, CA 91311 w 818.882.7404 w phannigphd@att.net


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