The Love'n'Graph program was recently used by a family psychologist. The permission of the clients has been granted but their names have been changed to protect their privacy.
John and Natali, a married couple in their 20s, turned to a psychologist for help. Natali arranged the appointment for the couple, who have been married for three years. The couple also has a baby who was born a year and a half ago. Natali is currently on maternity leave, John works as a programmer. The family is financially secure.
So why did they turn to a psychologist? Natali suspects that her husband is cheating on her. She has no evidence, just a feeling. John has denied it, saying that Natali suspicions are groundless. He also accuses Natali of jealousy and suspicion. The family hopes that with the assistance of a psychologist they can resolve the conflict.
During the consultation, the husband and wife were reserved and, in general, quite difficult to contact. Natali spoke a lot, answered the questions willingly, but a preoccupation with thoughts of the suspected cheating did not allow her to go beyond this matter. Jack was quite ironic, restrained, and gave a sometimes skewed account of events.
The test results (the MPI questionnaire, method of H. Eysenck, level of marriage satisfaction, understanding, emotional attraction, PEA credibility, etc.) on were not reliable.
In this situation, John and Natali were invited to work in the program Love'n'Graph and were tasked with creating their own portraits.
The results of their work with the program revealed the following overall picture. These results clearly show that Jack evaluates himself quite positively, harmoniously, showing satisfaction with almost all aspects of his life.
Natali’s results are very unbalanced. She evaluates herself very low in almost all areas, except in the Personality, Behavior, Values and Applied Skills blocks. She rated herself extremely low in the Appearance and Sexuality blocks.
Evaluations of each other also gave different results:
Natali gave low evaluation to the internal personality traits of John — Personality, Behavior, Lifestyle. According to the external parameters she likes Jack and his job.
John’s evaluations were much more positive and harmonious in this case too. He singled out only one problem area — Health. He gave high marks to his wife in all other areas.
From Natali’s reaction it was clear that she did not expect such high evaluations, she almost “relaxed” and become calmer.
In order to deal with the main reason they turned to a psychologist, the couple was invited to draw a portrait of their family together.
The couple initially worked in the presence of a psychologist, and then at home on their own. At first it was difficult to get away from the backlog of grievances and complaints, but the sequence of work pushed them to give objective assessments of one another. They had to base their assessments on facts and actual examples, and not merely on assumptions.
The Jealousy block was particularly intense. Only Natali showed high marks for jealousy. Natali connected all the problems in the family with hurt and jealousy, but not in a convincing way. It seemed that she tried to hide behind this explanation. The cause of such a change in Natali’s behavior still remains a mystery for John. There was never jealousy in their family before. First, he explained this with the pregnancy, then the general fatigue that comes after this, but now he realizes that this is not the real reason and is just an attempt to distract from the real causes of tension. The spouses defined the reasons for jealousy in different ways.
It became clear that it was necessary to analyze the personal profile of Natali in more detail (as noted earlier, it was very unbalanced). Critically low scores in the blocks Appearance and Sexuality caught the eye of the psychologist immediately. In almost 70 different question in the Appearance block Natali gave a negative assessment, often very low one.
The psychologist asked Natali to comment on the situation. Natali was surprised how low her own valuations of appearance turned out to be. She isn’t satisfied with herself, but did not expect to such a great extent. But even more surprising was to see how Jack evaluated her appearance — a high score, the highest possible for a number of factors. Natali was certain that he found her unattractive.
Further evaluation revealed that Natali’s bad image of her own appearance came during her pregnancy and then worsened after the birth of her child. Natali, who always had a toned, athletic figure, gained weight and found it hard to return to her previous weight. It became clear that the problem was hidden in this.
Natali arrived to the next appointment with the psychologist without her husband. Natali was forced to reconsider the situation fundamentally and directed her thoughts in a completely different direction.
After examining the situation in more detail, Natali came to the conclusion that the constant dissatisfaction with her changed body resulted in dissatisfaction, low self-esteem, and self-deprecation. The next step was her own personal belief that she was a woman unworthy of love and sexual pleasure: “If I am so disgusting to myself, I’m disgusting to my husband as well.”
Natali’s psychological defenses erected, and she began to look for external causes and reasons for her mood. She realized that she was hiding from the real cause of her irritation and aggression.
This was a real discovery for Natali, one that inspired her and boosted her mood. She decided that first of all she needed to get back into shape, resume exercise, and reconsider her way of life. Her attitude toward John also changed — Natali realized that he still loved her and was proud of her. She was grateful for his patience and love. Her own feelings to John become deeper, more meaningful, and more confident.
According to the psychologist, who worked with this couple, there was one kind of projection — psychological mechanism of self-protection. Typically, such mechanisms serve to eliminate or reduce to a minimum the negative, traumas a person may experience. But when the negative level increased to a critical state, a person, moving away from one traumatic situation, artificially creates another, and suffers from it. Often understanding this is rather complicated and takes a long time.
The Love'n'Graph program, applied by the psychologist in this case, significantly reduced the time and effort needed to identify the problem. The program helped to start a dialogue, which laid the groundwork for further work. With it, the customers were immediately engaged in active work on solving their problems and felt responsible for the results of the therapy. There emerged a desire to change their behavior and the relationship of the couple. What was particularly valuable was that the solution came about in a natural way, without external pressure. There was internal awareness of the real causes of the conflict, and this is known to be one of the most important tasks of therapy.
Since with the program the couple evaluated many aspects of their own personality characteristics and family relationships, they received a kind of internal audit on a variety of important issues. This will not only help solve the actual problem, but will be of excellent help to prevent possible future conflicts.