Peace at Any Price: The Conflict Avoidant Couple

When couples are in the symbiotic-symbiotic stage of their relationship, it’s often characterized by “peace at any price.” While minimizing differences and building a strong bond early in the relationship can help couples weather the storm later, you don’t want them getting stuck in this stage. If they do, they can be arrested in a conflict avoidant pattern.

In moving couples from the discomfort of being alone, clinging to constant togetherness, or fights around times of separateness, you can help them self-soothe and maintain attachment through their feelings of frustration and disappointment.

Take a look at the handout below, taken from the In Quest of the Mythical Mate kit. It offers some thoughts on the conflict avoidant couple, and suggestions for what you can do when you see these couples in your office.

If you found this handout helpful, you can get your own digital copy, as well as a similar handout for the hostile-dependent couple, a therapist skills survey, directions for The Paper Exercise, the couples questionnaire and much more in our comprehensive, world-class couples therapy independent study program, In Quest of the Mythical Mate.

After spending just a couple of hours with the material, you’ll be on your way: starting off  sessions powerfully, helping couples set a vision for their relationship, and confidently intervening with chronically angry couples. 

Click here to see everything that’s included.

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Dr. Ellyn Bader

Dr. Ellyn Bader is Co-Founder & Director of The Couples Institute and creator of The Developmental Model of Couples Therapy. Ellyn is widely recognized as an expert in couples therapy, and since 2006 she has led innovative online training programs for therapists. Professionals from around the world connect with her through internet, conference calls and blog discussions to study couples therapy. Ellyn’s first book, "In Quest of the Mythical Mate," won the Clark Vincent Award by the California Association of Marriage & Family Therapists for its outstanding contribution to the field of marital therapy and is now in its 18th printing. She has been featured on over 50 radio and television programs including "The Today Show" and "CBS Early Morning News," and she has been quoted in many publications including "The New York Times," "The Oprah Magazine" and "Cosmopolitan."

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