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Model15: Intimacy

  • Luciano L’Abate
  • Mario Cusinato
  • Eleonora Maino
  • Walter Colesso
  • Claudia Scilletta
Chapter

Abstract

The purpose of this chapter is to elaborate and expand on a model of intimacy defined as the sharing of joys and of hurt feelings and fears of being hurt. These feelings are the essence of our existence, as shown operationally by a list of related hurtful feelings in Fig. 17.1, as well as visually by a vertical, multilayered, and funnel-like model in Fig. 17.2 (L’Abate, 2009b in press). Being emotionally attuned and available means sharing concern, care, and compassion when hurts are present in oneself and in intimate others, that is, showing empathy in the “here and now” rather than in the past or the future (Feeney, 2004; Young, 2004). This process is found in functional relationships and is inadequate if not absent in dysfunctional ones. It takes a certain degree of functionality to share hurt feelings reciprocally with loved ones. It is very difficult, if not impossible, to share hurt feelings in severe incompetence. It takes functionality to admit to hurts and weaknesses, that is, one needs to feel “strong” enough to admit to being “weak.” In incompetence and severely incompetent relationships, individuals are not able to feel and to admit to feeling vulnerable to hurts and to share this vulnerability with loved ones, who in themselves are also unable and sometimes unwilling to share their vulnerability (L’Abate, 2009b, 2009c).

Keywords

Cerebral Palsy Couple Relationship Work Satisfaction Adult Attachment Malformation Syndrome 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Luciano L’Abate
    • 1
  • Mario Cusinato
    • 2
  • Eleonora Maino
    • 3
  • Walter Colesso
    • 2
  • Claudia Scilletta
    • 4
  1. 1.Georgia State UniversityAtlantaUSA
  2. 2.University of PaduaPaduaItaly
  3. 3.Scientific Institute Eugenio MedeaBosisio PariniItaly
  4. 4.MilanoItaly

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