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By Chandrama Anderson

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About this blog: I am a LMFT specializing in couples counseling and have lived in and around Palo Alto since 1969. I worked in high-tech at Apple, Stanford University, and in Silicon Valley for 15 years before becoming a therapist. My background i...  (More)

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A Love Script? A Dyadic Encounter

Uploaded: Jan 21, 2015
Mandy Len Catron wrote a column recently for the NY Times called To Fall in Love with Anyone, Do This.

The article is based on work done by Arthur Aron 20 years ago in which Aron created an experiment to see if he could script a set of ever deepening, and ever more vulnerable questions, followed by four minutes of eye contact, to get people to fall in love.

In her story, Catron decided to give it a shot, and she did fall in love (although she admits there was attraction there to begin with).

I wonder if established couples could go through these 36 questions and rekindle or enhance their love. So please give it a try, and let me know how it goes.

All of this reminds me of a powerful exercise I did in high school called "A Dyadic Encounter." This was in a weekend humanities class at Community High School in Ann Arbor, MI in 1976. We were handed a small mimeographed booklet to use with a partner.
Amazingly, my husband still has one of the Dyadic Encounter booklets from the time we met. The booklet has no author, date, or institution listed on it, so I am unable to site the material beyond what I've stated here. (If you know who wrote this, please let me know.) [See Laura's comment, below, her parents John and Johanna Jones wrote A Dyadic Encounter.

As with Aron's questions, A Dyadic Encounter builds intimacy, vulnerability, and trust between two people. It is designed to help people get to know each other, and therefore can be used by those who want to know someone better. I think couples need to get to know each other better ? again ? at times.

My husband and I did A Dyadic Encounter a year or two after high school. We were already good friends (not sweethearts), and it definitely helped us become closer friends.

I am going to post A Dyadic Encounter on my site, to retain publishing guidelines. You can go through the process with your beloved (or on dates).

Comments

 +   1 person likes this
Posted by Laura, a resident of Palo Alto Hills,
on Jan 25, 2015 at 11:10 am

I am pleased and proud to report that my parents, John and Johanna Jones, were the authors of the Dyadic Encounter. Mom enjoyed your post from her home in South Carolina this morning and I'm sure Dad would have, too. It is a timeless tool for honest, deep conversations about love and trust.


 +  Like this comment
Posted by Chandrama Anderson, a Palo Alto Online blogger,
on Jan 26, 2015 at 8:34 am

Chandrama Anderson is a registered user.

Wow, Laura, what a small world! Thank you so much for letting me know, and sharing it with your mom. I will put their names on it right away.


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