The famous Austrian psychotherapist, a representative of the existential analysis of the Alfred Langley – about love, loneliness and happiness in a relationship.

I want to consider topics such as people, relationships, suffering in a relationship and find some correlation.


Every person – a person, personality, Person. As a Person man stands as if on two legs: on the one hand, it is in itself, on the other hand, it is intentionally directed to another or others. As a Person, we open to the world (it is thought Scheler), and thus the partner in the relationship, so that the person can not be only from himself only by relying on himself. Without the other I do not have. More precisely: I can not be I without the other. As an adult I can not I be completely without the other. For this anthropological fact Frankl introduced the concept of self-transcendence.

But no matter how much we may need in the other, the other can not do everything for us. Another can not replace us, can not represent us. Everyone as a Person must himself master of his life, to lead their lives, to find yourself, to be able to relate with himself. To be able to be well with them and be able to converse well with them, be in dialogue with them, including without the other. A person should be able to have one without the other.

Thus, as Person I involved and to its own inner world and the world at the same time to the other, the outside world. Therefore, people from the beginning is in the dual position, dual correlation. And here, in this place problems begin pairs – because I itself has a pair in his attitude outside and inside. I currently connect these two poles: the intimacy and openness to the world. This fundamental duality is rooted in human nature.

Summarizing, we can say that a person can be with other people or another person, but he can not be with others. He should be able to restrict yourself and be with yourself. This is a typical field of tension in which the couple: between egoism and dedication, dissolving, losing himself in another, in the relationship. When there are relationships with others, there is the danger. With respect to myself, too, there is a similar danger. Because if I myself can not understand and can not sustain itself, to be with you, if I can not confidently stand on their feet, that I seek to relate to others. And then the other as it is to me to replace it, I can not myself to realize themselves.

Just because the ability to be with yourself may be shared being. Thus, working with a couple in existential therapy is similar to work with the individual. The man, his being so arranged that it is predisposed to have a relationship with another person. I support the fact that the problems couples should not be treated only with a systems perspective. Systematic approach provides very valuable insights, but requires a personal perspective on each person. The basis of my own – a personality of each person in the pair.


What is a couple? A pair – it is something that belongs to one another. Two – it’s still no match. For example, a pair of shoes belong to each other, both shoes together make up the whole. So if I have two shoes, but both left-handed, it will not be a pair. A couple of people we. But just two people do not amount to We. If we in this one lacks, the other is feeling, “I miss him.” We have something in common. The couple, who live with life tend to have an emotional relationship – we call this relationship of love. It is only through the experience of what I have been through Another finish building itself before the whole, become whole, there is a new quality of experience. And if this person is not what is missing. Thus, the pair – it is more than the sum of the two parties.

My individuality paired partly lost, and after being paired me there is an additional value. The right boot gets added value through the left boot. Couple two people related to each other and experience themselves as a part of a certain community: through you I get something that I do not have one.


As people in a pair are linked? There may be mentioned two kinds of communication: the relationship and meeting .

What is the relationship? It is a constant form of communication. That is, people somehow relate to the other person, it is constantly in mind. For example, if I see someone, I can not stop it – it just is, in my field of vision. Thus if two people meet, they can not enter into a relationship. There is a forced point. At a time when in front of me is the other, I feel it differently than if there is no other before me. I keep relation with something, I am constantly in the world. Therefore, the relationship – last, this long-term thing, and they contain the totality of the experience that we have acquired over a lifetime. And it remains there forever. Therefore, when a couple comes to therapy, and the wife says: “You know, thirty years ago you I was very offended,” while her husband does not remember anything, it means that the relationship – a container in which all collected and all stores nothing is lost. Naturally, there is added some new experiences that can change the whole set of experiences.

Meeting – is another form of communication, which includes the pair. If relations revolve around the cognitive and emotional components, the meeting – it is private. What meeting? I meet you, and you meet ya These two poles are linked not by a link but by field (in that “between” us). This field exists only when I really found you. If they do not match, do not resonate, then this field is minimized, and the meeting did not occur. Therefore, you may want to meet, strive for it, to make a decision about it. Meeting punctual – it is happening at this moment.

Continuing relations need to place the meeting. If the meeting occurs, the relationship changed. After the meeting, we can work with the relationship. If the meeting does not take place, the relationship becomes automatic. And one feels that it seemed “lucky devil” – because psychodynamics delays in automatism, and we become functional in rem and not personal.

Naturally, in the life of each pair there and then, and more: the attitude, and meetings. And then, and another is necessary. But relations live through meetings.


What is the structure from the relationship in a pair? If we consider the couple’s relationship existentially, we find the fundamental structure, which gives us the foundation for couples therapy.

For any couple, everyone has the need, the desire, the motivation “to be able to be in this relationship.” This is the first fundamental motivation . I want to be where you are. For example, I want to live with you. Or go together somewhere. I want to be with you because you make me be in this relationship. With you I can be. You give me protection, a support, you’re ready to (a) help me, or do you give me, for example, the material basis of life, an apartment. Can I trust you, because you are faithful, reliable.

The second fundamental motivation in the relationship pairs . With this man I want to live. Here, I feel life. This man touches me. With him I feel the heat. I want to survive the relationship with you, I want to spend time with you. Your intimacy is desired for me, it revives me. I feel your appeal, you are attracted to me. And we have common values that we share: for example, sports, music or something else.

The third dimension of being in a couple . With this man I have a right to be so, I am. Moreover, with him I become more than himself, than outside these relations – not only because of who I am and who I can be. That is, through you, I become more myself. I feel you have learned and seen. I feel respect. You take me seriously, and you’re just me. I see that you think I am, that I am an unconditional value for you. Although you can be not agree (agree) with all my thoughts and actions. But exactly what I am, is suitable, you are taking it for you.

And fourth – this is common sense. Together we want to build peace, to share some common values, to do something for the future. We want to work on something: on themselves or on something in the world outside of our relationship – and it binds us.

When all four of these structures in order – it is an ideal form of relationship because this relationship can be experienced all the basic foundation of existence. And here we come to the practical level.


What, in fact, keeps a couple together? We can say, summarizing what each of the four basic motivations holds a couple together.

The first plane – some practical side that allows a person to live in peace. For example, we have a common flat – where do I go? A quarter of pairs, and can be, and most live together why. No romance, personality, too. The reality is that there is no place to go. There are common money, the division of labor. Together, we can go on vacation and not work alone.

The second level – the heat that I can survive another, tender, sexy. It happens, and talk like nothing, but it functions with each other.

The third – a personal level. I am not alone when I come home, there is at least a person has, not just a cat.

And the fourth – we have a common project, a common task in the world, and it is reasonable to stay together. Most often, as this project are the children while they are small. Or, for example, the joint company.

These four structures of existence – as the glue that binds the couple together. There is a very well-known, even famous study on the problems of couples, which was held Goulmanom, author of the book “Emotional Intelligence”. This study confirms what I am saying. Goleman has slightly different wording, but in general the idea of similar. He studied thousands of couples, and found as follows: for four years divorced or separated couples all in respect of which were the following four symptoms (they are the same – non-existence of four listed above).

Thus, it is possible to accurately predict 93% of that pair divorces if:

1) One of the pair take a defensive position. On the existential-analytical terms, this means that they are in the plane of the first fundamental motivation: he seeks protection. This position devastates relationships.

2) At least one partner constantly criticizes others. This means it depreciates other. And the other a feeling he does not see me, I can not be with him. This is the third fundamental motivation and partly one.

3) This aspect plays a central role. If there is a lack of respect and mutual depreciation, then the couple will disperse. This means destruction of the sense of self-worth. Man feels that he can not see. Personality in a relationship does not occur.

4) There is a closeness. If at least one of the pair is closed, it is not a common event live, sense experience.

These couples – even if they go to therapy – the worst chances of staying in the relationship. They can not find each other personal relations. In such pairs pronounced inability to personal relations, at least one of the partners. And the other can not do it for him, make up for it. Such a person is not capable of long-term relationships, he must still maturing and development. We need to work with its problems and injuries.

Goleman all filmed on video. In these videos in the first 15 minutes of talk time on non-verbal communication is possible to ascertain what the forecast is this pair. For example, they are sitting in a position that does not look into each other’s eyes. Or do degrading gestures. Facial expressions and gestures – is the fastest communication. Generally speaking, in the treatment of such a degree of predictability, as in this study is rarely achieved.


What keeps a couple together? All four fundamental motivations, but especially the third. If we are not talking about functional relationships, respect for others, acceptance of the other, a sense of value of another – it is a fundamental prerequisite. But it turns out only if I can be with him, and not be dependent on the other by unmet needs. The good relations of pairs converge two separate people who do not need one in the other, in which everyone can live and one without the other. But they feel that with them better, more beautiful. If I, along with others, I develop. I experience joy when I see how you disclose blooms.

Thus, the pair held in a relationship is more personal relationships – respect, common interest, a sense of what the other sees me and sees that I can be more than yourself to that person.

A few questions for understanding relationships . What is important to me in a relationship? If I have a relationship, I ask what is important for me in these respects? What I want in a relationship? What I would like, I feel like something that pulls me entails? That, I suppose, it is important for my partner? Will we ever talked about it at all? Or, perhaps, I have fear to enter into a relationship? What in me this pervostraha, fear of expectations? What is the worst thing for me in this relationship? Male fear – to be swallowed. Women fear – to be used, the fear that it “be abused”.

What is my idea of a relationship? Should there be a specific role in the family: the husband – one of his wife – another? How close, open relationship should be? How much free space we want to give to each other? What I need is more pronounced – in the merger or autonomy? As far as these relationships have to be partners, dialogue, or hierarchical relationships much better – because then everything is easier?


Relationships are stabilized through love. Love – is the most powerful factor that keeps people together. Love wants the good for the other. Loving interested in who you are, what you are interested in who you are. The lover wants to live for others, and for you to perform at your side, in your defense.

If we analyze the need for love, we find there the same basic existential structure. We need protection and support, we have a need for intimacy, attention, respect, common, where you can open up. If these existential needs are not fulfilled, here mixed with psychodynamics, and there are problems.

Requirements – this is a big problem in couples therapy. Needs – is perceived deficits that become vital character. They seem to be endowed with psychodynamic vital force they depersonalny. The problem the couple is never personal. Because the personal is just something that brings healing. The problem – this depersonalization, anonymization. Requirements are selfish, selfish and any psychodynamics, this is its qualitative difference. The need, for example, love, recognition, respect, in order to be satisfied, seeks to use the other to meet these needs. And the other says it is, he feels that something is not right, that he is not good in these respects, and even starts to defend the ideal partner in this relationship. But in most cases, also have other unmet needs. And so there are persistent patterns fueled this psychodynamics.

Thus personality recedes into the background, and comes to the fore the functional relations are beginning to be custom, both partners start to use another for their own purposes. Of course, to some extent, we can accept and fulfill the other requirements. If a person is in the fundamental motivation is strong enough, then it may be this need to some extent to meet.

As one of the goals of therapy, we consider that the couple helps each other to meet those deficiencies that everyone has. But it turns out only when we can talk about it and discuss it in the dialogue. Because if this psychodynamics will happen by itself, automatically, it depersonaliziruet, degrading. A person should not be allowed to be used. Even in love, he does not give itself to be used.


How are couples counseling? Consider a simple model. In consultation it is about to lift the severity of the conflict. This process consists of four steps.

The first step – the release of the goods: we release the goods the specific situation in which the couple is now. In accordance with the first fundamental motivation we look at the situation: what is? At this level, we do not touch on the problem of relations. But if we remain almost exclusively on the basis of the facts that people can do now to alleviate the severity of the situation arisen? The couple wants to experience the miracle. But they must learn to look, what is the next step, and not to put everything under question in fundamental terms. This sober view creates some relief.

And then we begin the second step – creating a foundation. Together we look at what is currently the overall objectives of these people. And make it clear what contribution each of the two people make this common purpose, and to which everyone is ready.

The third step – the development of relations. Care and cultivation of what is worthy of love, that, on the basis of what you can grow to love. What else can I love – it is a resource of the relationship. We work with a resource. What I see in the other, that is worthy of my love? What I myself can do to be worthy of your love?

And the fourth step – discussion of the deeper issues: bullying, some weaknesses, inability.


I will mention the central elements of the steam treatment.

1) Position of the therapist, his installation . The therapist as it belongs to both parties equally, it has no right to cultivate the secret sympathy for someone in a pair. This position is quite difficult. It is important that she saw the couple, the therapist is on both sides. Thus, the primary therapist position – I as a mediator in the dialogue. We must contribute to the dialogue in pairs, because the dialogue – is a healing moment.

The therapist must respond immediately if the couple begins to swear. He says you can do it at home, this is not the place. Therapy crumbles at once if the therapist will allow them to swear. You can make an exception, but no longer than 1-2 minutes, then to go back and analyze what happened.

2) The phenomenological point of view . As phenomenology, we look at a couple and ask ourselves: what is fighting each? It suffers from what one? why the two can not solve the problem, what is the reason? For example, if you found a defensive position, and the pair only exchanged claims to one another, for it can stand the frustration of unfulfilled expectations. It is necessary to identify and clarify the expectations: whether they are realistic as far as the person is willing to do what he expects from the other? Expectations – this desire. In existential analysis we turn desire into the will.

3) dialogue development . The development of dialogue – is the core or heart of the existential-analytical treatment of couples. It has two premises: one person who is willing to say that he is concerned about, and another who is willing to listen to it. Dialogue begins with listening. The therapist offers to each of the pair to describe their problem. Another is to listen to him, it is not always easy, but it should listen. Then we ask the listener to repeat what the first one said. Then we extend it as the next step, enter empathy – what we call self-transcendence. We ask: how do you think what kind of problem you actually have your partner? It requested its image of another (as if I’m looking through the eyes of another to himself and asking such a question, one begins to think and speak). So we’re trying to build a dialogue with the support of the therapist. The therapist in this case – the mediator and gunner bridges.

4) Motivation relations . Couple asks why we are together? that was the first motivation when we entered into a relationship?

5) The idea of rupture . Why do not we disagree? A good pair should be able to go away, if it’s better for another. This idea often provokes psychodynamics.

6) The structural assistance pair . Here we touch again with the 4 basic motivations, but now an active way. Where am I for my partner really present? Do I like my partner? I appreciate it? Can I tell him? What good can grow out of our relationship? What I see our common? If we can open the view of the general and find that I can make in these relationships, and instead of waiting to talk with others about what is really important to me, if the couple does have a chance. Then we, as therapists we can be glad that at present the personal dialogue. Thank you for attention.