From De-escalation to Withdrawer Re-engagement:
“Stay with Me - Don’t Go Away”
See the EFT Tango in action as the therapist consolidates de-escalation and choreographs withdrawer re-engagement. Increasing safety is emerging between Robert and Marsha (pseudonyms), married nearly 48 years. In their typical pattern, both partners have moves of angry outbursts and both withdraw. Robert, the first one to withdraw in their negative cycle, describes his biggest fear to be that of being left alone – abandoned, like when his mother walked away from him in disapproval. He takes Marsha getting upset with him to mean that he is somehow letting her down and she will walk away. Marsha, on the other hand, describes her core fear to be that Robert will go quiet and refuse to talk, perceiving that he doesn’t love her.
Robert assembles his skyrocketing anxiety and deepens the core fear that has been driving his rapid solution-giving, followed by anger and silence. He discloses his core fears of disappointing Marsha and of her walking away in disappointment. In her Step 6 Marsha makes a touching shift in view of self and other. Then Robert takes the risk of assertively asking Marsha for what he needs to soothe his fears, especially when he doesn’t know how to give her an answer that will please her (Step 7). They make a powerful step towards securing their bond.