Using Healing Inner Conflict (HIC) principles as a basis for dealing with issues of relationship conflict involves:
- Bringing the couple together in order to check out their individual desired outcomes.
- Unpacking the dynamics of the relationship by making distinctions between the content and methodology of their conflict, that is, what the issues are as distinct from how they attempt to deal with them. The HIC template acts as a tool to get them to be able to label, sort and envision a path of both internal and external intervention that makes sense to each of them.
- Getting both of them to the point of being able to identify the default mechanisms that pop out in the way of intimidation or paralysis. It soon becomes obvious that these mechanisms make it impossible to deal with conflict.
- Working with each of them individually, once they each know exactly what it is they need to work on internally, in order to get a sustainable external result.
- Working with them individually using the HIC template to help them see their default mechanisms and discover the childhood training that made those insensitive behaviours understandable.
- Bringing awareness to the lack of choice involved in these mechanisms and behaviours and then showing them how to intervene effectively internally with understanding and therefore compassion.
- In almost all cases they either need to be able to protect themselves from their partners critical/intimidating behaviours using the ‘stop, or I’m leaving’ technique (explained later) or to effectively grieve the momentary abandonment/loss of the relationship.
- When both individuals are able to understand and intervene effectively internally then they can progress back into the relationship with their partner from a completely different way of being.
- At this stage, when the couple comes back together, instead of having two dissociated partners unaware of their own triggered default mechanisms (that is, intimidation/paralysis) you now have a couple who are able to bring self-awareness to their own individual processes. This helps them develop the ability to have understanding and compassion for their partner’s similar or opposite insensitive behaviours, which is only possible when they are able to protect themselves from each other’s triggering behaviour by using either ‘stop, or I’m leaving’ or the ‘guide for navigating conflict’.