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Section 14
Intimacy Development

Question 14 | Test | Table of Contents | Couples
Social Worker CEU, Psychologist CE, Counselor CEU, MFT CEU

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On the last track we finished our discussion on techniques of intimacy discipline.  We explored one additional technique.  This technique of intimacy discipline is conflict resolution.  There are two major areas of conflict resolution.  The two major areas of conflict resolution are factual conflict resolution and opinion-based conflict resolution. 

On this track we will discuss how to build intimacy.  Essentially, this track contains 9 techniques to enhance a client’s ability to build intimacy.  The 9 techniques on this track are decide to know the other people in your life instead of taking them for granted, interview people, let go of your need to possess or own the other person, consider how you can earn others’ goodwill, accept your insecurity with others, see knowing as a process, be there fully, be a true friend, and be willing to tell the truth.  

As you listen to this track, you might consider how you can implement these 9 techniques with your male intimacy client.  Also, you might consider playing this track for client education as it is worded specifically for the client.

9 Techniques to Enhance a Client’s Ability to Build Intimacy

# 1 - Appreciate the People in Your Life
First, decide to know the other people in your life instead of taking them for granted.  When you meet other people or go on dates, rather than trying to impress or possess them, ask yourself how you could get to know them better, then make that your aim.  When you want to get to know people, listen to them.  They, in turn, will usually want to know more about you.  They will begin to listen to you, and true communication will be established.

# 2 - Interview People
Second, interview people.  Become a focused listener.  You can practice on strangers you meet or people you see every day.  Interview others with goodwill—use what they say as a way to get to know them, not as a way to put them down. 

Three interview question examples are:
-- "You seem to enjoy meeting the people who come through your line.  How long have you been a cashier?"
-- "You seem tired today.  Did you have a hard day?"
-- "I saw your wife at the store with your grandson.  Is he with you for the summer?"

# 3 - Let Go of Your Need to Possess the Other Person
Third, let go of your need to possess or own the other person.  See how getting to know the other person can help you connect with others rather than use the other person to help you put up a wall between you and the world ("It’s us against the world").

# 4 - Earn Others’ Goodwill
A fourth way to build intimacy is to consider how you can earn others’ goodwill.  Rather than looking to see how others are taking advantage of you, ask yourself what you can do for them.

# 5 - Accept your Insecurity
Fifth, accept your insecurity with others.  In all relationships there is a degree of insecurity ("Will they like me? Will I continue to like them?").  You have to be willing to accept this insecurity to get to know the person more fully.

# 6 - See Knowing as a Process
Another way to build intimacy is to see knowing as a process.  Rather than having to know a person all at once, let the relationship develop naturally on all levels.

# 7 - Be There Fully
Seventh, be there fully.  Allow yourself to be 100 percent with the other person.  Don’t hold back physically or be somewhere else psychologically.  Look the person fully in the face and put your focus on that other person. Be consistent.  If you can’t be consistent, explain why you are acting and feeling differently ("I’m in a bad mood"; "I’m feeling under the weather").

# 8 - Be a True Friend
Eighth, be a true friend.  A true friendship is the best basis for a love relationship.  Treat a friend with honesty, appreciation, consideration, and acceptance.  After a breakup people often say, "Can we remain friends?"  But had they been friends to start with, they probably would not be breaking up.  You create freedom by cutting the strings you put on yourself ("I should be cool"; "I have to appear noble"; "I have to be smart"; "I have to always . . .").  Imagine cutting these strings with a pair of scissors whenever you recognize you are attaching strings to yourself.

# 9 - Tell the Truth
A ninth technique for building intimacy is to be willing to tell the truth.  Learning to tell the truth to yourself and others is necessary to create the experiences you want.  To connect with others you have to tell the truth. Not telling yourself the truth is like driving with your eyes closed.  And not telling others the truth is letting them drive with their eyes closed. Most people dislike hearing the truth—especially around sensitive areas.  But most people are ultimately glad they are told the truth.  At times people will react to the truth by getting angry at you or by withdrawing from you.

Many clients, for example, come to therapy to hear the truth, yet take steps to see that this doesn’t happen. For example, clients train their therapists to lie to them, just as they have trained others to lie to them, by getting angry at the therapist or by having their feelings hurt.  If the therapist continues to tell the truth, the client often will fire the therapist. Many people say, "I’m successful in life because I always tell the truth," and many other people say, "The reason I fail so often is because I always tell the truth."

Technique: 7 Guidelines for Telling the Truth
 The following are some guidelines for telling the truth in a constructive way:

1. Am I telling my truth or The Truth?  You get in trouble when you start to believe that you have absolute truth instead of personal opinions about what is the truth.  Your best bet is to start by being humble about your ability to see the truth.

2. Am I being asked to tell the truth?  You are on safer ground if you have been asked to tell the truth or if your job is to tell the truth.  Many people create difficulty for themselves by injecting their opinions into areas where they have not been invited.  One accountant, for example, made a point of telling people in the creative department how "lousy" their work was. He couldn’t understand why they disliked him since he was being so honest and open with them. Often "telling others the truth" is just a camouflage for putting others down in order to make yourself feel better or superior.

3. Are you telling the truth in a way that others can hear?  You can tell the truth in an insulting way or in a helpful, matter-of-fact way.  

4. Are you telling the whole truth?  Don’t slant the truth to make a point.  Tell the truth as you would report the news—tell the good as well as the bad.

5. Are you underestimating others?  Most people discount people’s ability to take in the truth.  In the last few years the shift in medicine has been toward telling patients the truth.  Medical professionals have found that people are much better at handling the truth than they earlier thought and that the patients function much better once they have the truth.  When you tell people the truth, you are showing them that you believe they are capable of dealing with current reality as it is.

6. Are you erring on the side of telling the truth? If there is a question of whether or not to tell the truth, tell the truth. Over the long run, honesty is the best policy.

7. Do you want to stay in a situation where you are consistently punished for telling the truth?  You may find yourself in a situation or relationship where you are penalized for telling the truth.  At times you may decide not to tell the truth.  You may for practical reasons want to keep a job from which you would be fired if you told the truth.  

Keep in mind you do pay a price for not telling the truth.  Humans function better when they feel free to tell the truth.  If you continue to lie, you will feel bad and may become physically sick. Civilization has evolved because of our ability to recognize and tell the truth.  If someone didn’t say the emperor had no clothes, we would still be living in caves.

How can your male intimacy client learn to feel free to be himself.  How might you help him gain a sense of freedom?

On this track we discussed how to build intimacy.  This track contains 9 techniques to enhance a client’s ability to build intimacy.  The 9 techniques on this track are decide to know the other people in your life instead of taking them for granted, interview people, let go of your need to possess or own the other person, consider how you can earn others’ goodwill, accept your insecurity with others, see knowing as a process, be there fully, be a true friend, and be willing to tell the truth.  

A Review of Marital Intimacy-Enhancing Interventions
among Married Individuals

- Kardan-Souraki, M., Hamzehgardeshu, Z., Asadpour, I., Mohammadpour, R. A., and Khani, S. (2016). A Review of Marital Intimacy-Enhancing Interventions among Married Individuals. Global Journal of Health Science, 8(8). p. 74-93.

Peer-Reviewed Journal Article References:
Busch, H., & Hofer, J. (2012). Self-regulation and milestones of adult development: Intimacy and generativity. Developmental Psychology, 48(1), 282–293.

Debrot, A., Cook, W. L., Perrez, M., & Horn, A. B. (2012). Deeds matter: Daily enacted responsiveness and intimacy in couples' daily lives. Journal of Family Psychology, 26(4), 617–627.

Pedro Sobral, M., & Emília Costa, M. (2015). Development of the Fear of Intimacy Components Questionnaire (FICQ): Embracing a dependence component. European Journal of Psychological Assessment, 31(4), 302–309. 

What are 9 techniques which can be used to build intimacy? To select and enter your answer go to Test.

This CD set has covered such topics as: avoiding taboo loaded communication, becoming aware of intimate discontent, hidden sources of knowledge, the stretching technique, testing, intimacy as a stressor, reromanticizing, intimacy used to foster intimacy, preserving and protecting friendship, techniques for intimacy discipline, and how to build intimacy.

I hope you have found the information to be both practical and beneficial. We appreciate that you've chosen the Healthcare Training Institute as a means for receiving your continuing education credit.

Other Home Study Courses we offer include: Treating Teen Self Mutilation; Treating Post Holiday Let-Down and Depression; Living with Secrets: Treating Childhood Sexual Trauma; Interventions for Anxiety Disorders with Children and Adults; and Balancing the Power Dynamic in the Therapeutic Relationship. 

I wish you the best of luck in your practice. Thank you.  Please consider us for future home study needs.

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