mature, and thus capable of intimate, passionate, and loving relationships is much less recognized. By emphasizing security, comfort, and empathy, many forms of therapy actually reinforce codependency--implicitly stalling attempts to self-differentiate and undermining the capacity for people to develop more adult-to-adult unions. In this workshop, we’ll discuss the four major aspects of self-differentiation: maintaining a clear sense of self while being close to, or away from, others; soothing anxieties without seeking validation; controlling your reactivity in the face of other people’s reactivity; and tolerating the discomfort engendered by growth. We’ll also explore how learning these skills can lead to both self-differentiation and true intimacy.
David Schnarch, Ph.D., is the director of the Crucible Institute in Evergreen, Colorado. His books include Intimacy & Desire: Awaken the Passion in Your Relationship and Passionate Marriage: Keeping Love & Intimacy Alive in Emotionally Committed Relationships.