Moment by Moment: 6 Developmental Assists to Support Your Work

Over the next 8 days, you will receive a series of emails with interventions and interactions designed to disrupt the symbiotic structure of these relationships. I call these interventions developmental assists.

Ellyn Bader, Ph.D.
Founder of The Couples Institute

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Do you ever wish you could know exactly what to say and when to say it with your toughest couples?

I’m going to show you.

Over the next 8 days, I will do something I have never done before.

I will illuminate exactly what to say and do, moment by moment, when your couples are stuck and you want to help them in a way that creates enduring change.

In this series, you’ll get interventions and interactions designed to disrupt the symbiotic structure of these relationships.

I call these interventions developmental assists.

They are designed to help your couples evolve!

Here are 6 Developmental Assists that will make a difference in your work.  

  1. Developmental Assist #1: Sidestep negativity when couples bring up the fight of the week
  2. Developmental Assist #2: Protect and build on micro-connections
  3. Developmental Assist #3: Disrupt symbiosis and support self-definition
  4. Developmental Assist #4: Clearly encapsulate each partner’s individual issues
  5. Developmental Assist #5: Help partners stay in differentiation-based tension
  6. Developmental Assist #6: Support emotional risk-taking by using proactive empathy

It would be naive to think that any one of these assists alone will change a highly enmeshed couple. However, when you recognize the need for these interventions and start actively using them in familiar moments, they will form a foundation for real change.

This is the joy of being a couples therapist!

Ellyn Bader, Ph.D., and Peter Pearson, Ph.D. have been featured in: