Relational Venn Diagram
You know how the best treatment for someone with foot pain is amputation? Or how lung cancer can be cured simply by taking prescription cough medicine? Or how each and every symptom a person experiences gets addressed by a separate doctor, diagnosis and treatment since they are totally unrelated to each other?
Of course not! These inappropriate treatments—those that are too extreme, incomplete or without regard for the relationships between the parts of the whole—would be considered medical malpractice. So why do we accept this as standard psychotherapy practice?*
Mainly it is because the life of a human being is so complex and interwoven with others’ lives that it feels impossible to know where to start or for one clinician to be able to adequately manage the needs of an entire social system at one time. So, each part of the system gets their own treatment or only one part of the system gets treatment while the other parts linger, making lasting changes unlikely.
The Relational Venn Diagram (RVD) solves these problems.
* There is an extra fee for this service.
The RVD is a map illustrating how and why a couple affects and is affected by one another. This diagnostic tool uncovers the root causes under each person’s behaviors that lead to relational problems, and directs them towards the paths to resolution (i.e., shows how each “ME” affects the “WE” and vice verse).
This tool allows each person in a couple to get clarity on their own part in their relational problems, eliminating the common “villain-victim” model (AKA "the blame game" or “attack and defend”) most couples use. It allows for more actual problem-solving since ones’ motives are never defined as faulty or bad--only their choices or viewpoints—and thus, both people are far less defensive in their interactions.
Since the RVD shows why a person does what they do and their impact on others—the therapist gets the whole picture of a person’s struggles. It can create a laser-sharp relational diagnosis of what underlies each person’s problematic behaviors and thus, can focus their treatment on root causes instead of on symptoms.
It also allows treatment to be more comprehensive, efficient and effective. Instead of prolonging the treatment by breaking the system into pieces, a family can resolve all of the struggles in one fell swoop. This saves time, money and energy, and increases the chances that a family or a couple can make their relationships as enjoyable as possible for all family members.
You will now see yourselves and your problems like a therapist sees them—with compassion, clarity and confidence and real life, lasting solutions.
*Common analogous examples in therapy practice, respectively: a. therapists counseling their individual clients to divorce their spouse without having ever met the spouse, b. treating depression and anxiety generically without identifying their root causes, and c. diagnosing and treating each family member in separate therapies.
“Taken out of context I must seem so strange.”
- Ani DiFranco
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