Not Everyone Knows How to Date For many psychotherapy clients, issues with relationships and intimacy are paramount.
Typically, individuals seeking help with these issues display insecure attachment styles, usually the result of inconsistent, neglectful and/or abusive parenting – though many other forms of early-life (and even adult-life) trauma may also be in play.
Yellow lights are characteristics that should cause your client to proceed with caution.
Green lights, obviously, are traits that are healthy and desirable in another person.
Sometimes these clients have turned to an addiction, either substance or behavioral, as a way to cope with the discomfort caused by adult-life relationships.
In my practice I have dealt with many such people, primarily sexual addicts and co-occurring sex/drug addicts.
Red lights are characteristics that are unacceptable to your client in anyone that he or she might date.
Your client should agree to stop dating or to not date anyone who displays even one red light trait.
Hopefully, over time, as your clients utilize these guidelines in their dating life, they will develop a more grounded sense of who to choose as a romantic/sexual partner, and they’ll reflexively make healthier and safer choices.
Oftentimes these clients have lost confidence in themselves and their ability to bond in healthy ways.
They may also, based on past experience, simply find it difficult to trust others.
Of course, it’s not just sexually and/or chemically addicted men and women who struggle with dating and intimacy.
Beginning and developing adult romantic relationships is a struggle for anyone with any type of attachment deficit disorder, including relatively healthy people coming off breakups or divorces (especially if the former partner was abusive or unfaithful).