Right after I wrote about  The Emma Peel Approach to Needs I came across something Dr. Ellyn Bader said about needs, which I’ll quote below. She runs The Couples Institute in California with her husband and only takes on difficult cases.

“Yes, everyone should be sure the relationship is healthy for them.  But the statement ‘be sure your needs are being met’ has done more damage to American relationships than any other statement floating around.  Needs are food, water, shelter, air to breathe, etc.  Mostly everything else is wants and desires.”

“However, most dysfunctional couples we see come to therapy with the lament, ‘I’m not getting my needs met.’  They can’t or won’t stop focusing on what the other is not doing, rather than what they themselves can do.  I wish I could erase ‘be sure your needs are getting met’ from the American lingo!”

Which reminds me of this Bob Newhart video, where he says the two words some therapists probably long to say everytime they hear, “I’m not getting my needs met.”

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