by Huda Gamieldien

Can childhood trauma cause infidelity? Which patterns are involved in the unravelling of a love relationship? Counselling psychologist Dr. Ingrid Artus clarifies what happens emotionally and physiologically, the effect of betrayal, dealing with trauma, and affairs as a possible form of addiction. She offers the antidotes to criticism, defensiveness, contempt and stonewalling.

Dr Ingrid Artus discusses couples therapy in the context of BWRT:

  • the negative spiral of events leading to potential affairs

  • what differentiates “masters” from “disasters” of intimate relationships

  • the meaning of partners’ turning towards, away from, or against each other

  • the “four horsemen of the apocalypse”: criticism, defensiveness, contempt and stonewalling:

what criticism entails and what the antidote is

what defensiveness looks like and how to handle it

a description of contempt – a fundamental reason for divorce – and how to change it

a definition of stonewalling – actually a freeze response – and a countermeasure

  • why talk sometimes becomes useless when a couple experiences problems

  • childhood trauma as a possible cause of infidelity

  • why affairs can be a bizarre attempt to self-soothe and may become an addiction

  • how BrainWorking® Recursive Therapy (BWRT) can help individuals deal with trauma, fear and historical or recent losses

  • exploring partners’ core beliefs using Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT)

  • the top-down and bottom-up approach to facilitating a couple where trust has been broken

  • which couples can be helped to successfully rebuild trust and heal their relationship

  • ways for partners to calm themselves down

  • Ingrid’s 3 tips for life.

    In this episode, Ingrid mentions the work of John and Julie Gottman at The Gottman Institute which includes the SPAFF system; BrainWorking® Recursive Therapy (BWRT); Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT); the Gottman techniques; finger-pulse oximeters.