Exercise for Couples on Healing Old Projections
Because we unconsciously choose partners who we replicate dynamics with that we experienced with our parents in early life, our adult relationships offer unique opportunities to transform negative patterns and pain. Through this exercise we can gain awareness of some of the core wounds and negative assumptions that underlie our relationships and our life, heal these and deepen the level of satisfying intimacy that we experience.
Both partners should take turns going though all the steps (for both one's mother and father projections) and then reverse roles.
What were the most hurtful or disappointing aspects about your relationship with your mother/father when growing up?
Adopt the 'child' role and express to your partner this hurt, pain, frustration or disappointment.
The partner adopts the 'parent' role and listens, mirroring or reflecting what is said without replying to it.
Express directly to your 'parent' what you most need from them or long for.
The 'parent' is to empathize with the 'child's' point of view and support him.
Now articulate to your partner a particular frustration with your present relationship and how the pain it engenders, reminds you of childhood hurts.
The partner is to listen as closely as possible to what is said and to mirror it back -- as closely word for word as possible.
The listening partner verbally validates the speaker by acknowledging how the speaker's point of view makes sense.
The listening partner then empathizes with the speaker by verbally imagining how the speaker might have felt in this relationship difficulty.
How does it feel to be deeply heard, understood, appreciated and supported by your partner?
How would you now articulate the core wound and negative assumption behind this pattern?
What shifts for you now? Is there anything that you have been holding on to that you can now release?