Lawrence E. Hedges Syllabus 2019 Kauai
Making Love Last Creating and Maintaining Intimacy in Long-term Relationships Instructor: Lawrence E. Hedges, PhD., PsyD., ABPP
Course Description: We have long known that physical and emotional intimacy diminish or actually die out during the course of long-term relationships. There have been many speculations as to why this is so, and couples’ therapists have generally, without any real basis, promised that intimacy can be restored. Psychoanalyst Stephen Mitchell’s question, Can Love Last? And anthropologist Helen Fisher’s question, Why We Love? have stirred recent controversies and fostered a series of radical re-formulations regarding the development and restoration of intimacy and love.
Further, methodological and technological advances in neuroscience, infant research, anthropology, sociology, and relational psychology over the past decade have yielded startling new insights into sex, sexuality, gender, and gender identity that have massive implications for our intimate relationships—how we form them and how we can keep them. We now know that we are a relational species—that our brains are actually shaped by, and our biological regulatory systems fully responsive to, the intimate relationships we are exposed to in infancy and throughout our lifetimes.
Something in us continues to believe that love can last. But cross-cultural and historical research makes clear that we have always been a species generally given over to serial monogamy. Dr. Hedges will present recent theory and research findings that point us in new directions for how we can establish more rewarding intimate relationships and how we can work together to make love last. The course material extends to all intimate relationships—including the psychotherapy relationship. Topics to be considered: The Web of Intimacy: Lust, Love, and Attachment Intersubjective Engagement: Oneness and Separateness Intimacy and Brain Research—The Split Brain, The Triune Brain, The Re-entry Brain, The Synaptic Brain, The Cluster Brain, and The Transcendent Brain Intimacy and the Baby Watchers The Evolution of Human Emotions, Intimacy, and Sexuality Motivation Systems and Intimacy Why We Love And Can Love Last? Intimacy and the Psychotherapeutic Relationship Learning Goals: To identify the ways that relationships affect our neurological systems To assess what infant research has to say about intimate relationships To compare how the complex motivational systems of human life interact To analyze the current thinking on long-term relationships To critique the anthropological research on intimacy To assess how "otherness" can be integrated into intersubjectivity To describe relational approaches to developing intimacy