Emotional Support

Liz experiences her emotions intensely, moving from joy to despair. Her family of origin was able to support her emotionally and now she looks to her husband Bill to play that role.

Bill’s a guy with simple needs. He’s a laborer who enjoys time with his kids. When Liz shares her emotional state with him, he’s baffled how to support her. He initially reacts with aggravation and ultimately withdraws, which infuriates Liz.

The couple gets so frustrated with this pattern; it‘s like a maze with no way out. This is where professional invention enters.

Liz’s emotions are a given. Her highs and lows are part of her emotional make up. She generally doesn’t attack Bill, until Bill appears incapable of supporting her. She primarily wants to be listened to—without advice—and feel safe in her emotional ups and downs.

The intervention models for Bill how to support Liz, and when he attempts to support her in session, he gets specific feedback so that he can be more effective. Liz’s initial doubts about the marriage are lessening as Bill is learning to support her, despite his coming from an emotionally disconnected family. She’s feeling safe with him again, as he becomes ballast for her emotional states.