James Tobin, Ph.D.             

Parent Guidance 
Buddhism and Mindfulness
Organizational Consulting


"The Signal": 
Groups on Saturday, December 6, 2014

Romantic relationships center on a complex psychological and emotional negotiation in which two identities become one.  This negotiation commences at the start of a relationship and extends throughout its course, with each partner residing in the union yet simultaneously remaining, at least to some degree, a separate self.  Human development involves a similar negotiation: in early life, the infant exists in a state of oneness with mother, and, gradually, this bond transitions -- often with challenge and heartache -- into a "two-ness."   


My psychotherapy practice has afforded me the opportunity to work with hundreds of men and women who struggle with forming and maintaining healthy, committed romantic relationships.  Common issues arising in this work including boundaries, co-dependency, love addiction, communication difficulties, selecting the "right" vs. "wrong" partner, "game-playing," etc. may be viewed from the lens of union and separateness.  Patients' experiences have helped me realize that the process of becoming "one" while also remaining "two" is a central dynamic in adult romantic love that is poorly understood. Most people don't realize that their partners are "using" them in alternating singular (union) and differentiated (separate) relational formats, and that ongoing shifts between these two formats occur all the time and generally fuel most conflicts and relationship dilemmas.


I have developed a pragmatic model for understanding what is actually happening psychologically in relationships, no matter what stage of development, as union and separateness are negotiated.  This model, called "The Signal," depicts how and why you are (and must allow yourself to be) "used" psychologically and emotionally by your partner.  It also presents a new framework of nonverbal communication that is a key component of the courtship dance, i.e., what signals are sent to indicate that you are or are not available to be of use?   


In the next meetings of the Men's Group (10:45 AM to 12:00 PM noon) and the Dating and Relationship Group (12:00 to 1:15 PM) on Saturday, December 6, 2014, I will present "The Signal."  My hope is that this model will provide men and women with a road map to understand these complex dynamics, what it actually means to be of use to one's partner, and how to respond skillfully to alternating formats that characterize all relationships. 


The next meetings of the Men's Group and the Dating and Relationship Group will be on Saturday, December 6, 2014, at The Water Garden Business Center, 23421 South Pointe Drive, Suite 130, Laguna Hills, CA, 92653.  The fee is $25.00.  If you would like to attend, please RSVP ASAP to Dr. Tobin at 949-338-4388 or jt@jamestobinphd.com as space is limited to the first 14 persons who register to attend.   The Men's Group will be at 10:45 AM to 12:00 PM noon, and the Dating and Relationship Group at 12:00 noon to 1:15 PM. 
James Tobin, Ph.D., PSY 22074 | 949-338-4388 | jt@jamestobinphd.com 
Website: jamestobinphd.com
Previous Newsletters: Archive
Recent Talks & Conference Appearances: Presentations