Couples and Premarital : "Who we are . . . depends in part . . . on who we love." | Couple's Net | Chandrama Anderson | Palo Alto Online |

Local Blogs

Couple's Net

By Chandrama Anderson

E-mail Chandrama Anderson

About this blog: About this blog: I am a LMFT specializing in couples counseling and grief and have lived in Silicon Valley since 1969. I'm the president of Connect2 Marriage Counseling. I worked in high-tech at Apple, Stanford University, and in ...  (More)

View all posts from Chandrama Anderson

Couples and Premarital : "Who we are . . . depends in part . . . on who we love."

Uploaded: Feb 13, 2020
One of my favorite books is "A General Theory of Love." Lewis, Amini and Lannon write poetically about love research, and they talk about limbic resonance, limbic regulation and limbic revision. The limbic part of the brain is the emotional brain. The gist of it is this: when in proximity to one another we exchange energy and our physiology responds and changes, too.  Think about how your mood changes around different people that you know.

Limbic resonance is when we become attuned to each others' emotional state. Limbic regulation is ". . . to adjust and fortify one another's fragile neural rhythms in the collaborative dance of love." Limbic revision is the " . . . power to remodel the emotional parts of the people we love."  The authors continue, "Who we are and who we become depends, in part, on who we love."

This takes the idea of power to a completely new level. Our ability to attune emotionally to one another can heal -- or harm --another, and will certainly restructure the brain of each person, throughout one's entire life.

Since we hold the power to emotionally remodel our partner, that raises many questions. How do I remodel with integrity? How am I remodeling in ways in which I am unaware? How can I do this well, with a good heart, despite my own unfinished business?

What am I doing when I show emotional attunement, love, compassion, listen well without giving advice or fixing? I am shaping a loving, secure attachment and connection. What am I doing when I disconnect, withdraw, yell, criticize, show contempt, become defensive? Probably feeling unsafe or anxious and trying to protect myself. But this is a downward spiral that needs to be interrupted and healthier limbic regulation/revision is needed.

In therapy or counseling, limbic revision is done by presence and attunement (limbic resonance and regulation) and experimentation with new tools and skills (limbic revision). This is the art and science of therapy. "A General Theory of Love" put into practice.

(For further definition and a few more details about this fabulous book, see
What is it worth to you?


There are no comments yet for this post

Follow this blogger.
Sign up to be notified of new posts by this blogger.



Post a comment

Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

Stay informed.

Get the day's top headlines from Palo Alto Online sent to your inbox in the Express newsletter.

Worried about the cost of climate change? Here is some hope.
By Sherry Listgarten | 21 comments | 3,173 views

Two Hours - 75,000 Meals – Wanna Help?
By Laura Stec | 0 comments | 1,560 views


Sign-up now for 5K Run/Walk, 10k Run, Half Marathon

The 39th annual Moonlight Run and Walk is Friday evening, September 29. Join us under the light of the full Harvest Moon on a 5K walk, 5K run, 10K run or half marathon. Complete your race in person or virtually. Proceeds from the race go to the Palo Alto Weekly Holiday Fund, benefiting local nonprofits that serve families and children in Santa Clara and San Mateo Counties.