A nice summary of the principals of this approach are included in  The Triangle of Conflict,
The Triangle of Persons- How Past Relationships Affect You Today,  or keep reading below.

The Basics

  • If we were to touch a hot stove and burn ourselves, we would do everything we could to prevent that from happening again
  • This is because we are programmed to avoid pain
  • The same is true of painful thoughts and painful feelings
  • The problem with this system is that an avoided feeling is like a ball of energy, and if it is not felt, it has to go somewhere
  • We know from this model of therapy that this energy (from avoided feelings that we don’t want to have, feel are too big to deal with or believe we shouldn’t or aren’t entitled to have) either goes into ANXIETY or something called DEFENSES
  • Defenses are the mind’s way of distracting us, calling our attention to “bells and whistle’s over here, forget about that feeling over there”, they are basically our coping strategies, which can be helpful or harmful (See example below)


  • This happens so instinctively, that we automatically do this, without even recognizing that it is happening
  • This therapy helps people become aware of the defenses they use (which empowers them  to interrupt them), and guides people towards feeling the avoided feelings, which typically leads to a significant reduction in their symptoms (because they were largely driven by anxiety or defenses)
  • This therapy can be very mobilizing and intense, and extremely effective for many people, however this is not a good fit for everyone
  • I offer an abbreviated form over five, one hour sessions,  ideally, scheduled a week apart
  • I may suggest a 1 session trial if we are not sure if this is the right fit for you
  • In some cases, where it is clear that a longer course of this therapy is indicated, I recommend referral to the Centre for Emotions and Health [tel: (902) 473-7172 ] at the Queen Elizabeth II Hospital in Halifax, NS. They offer 10-15 session courses of this therapy, however they do currently have a notable wait list.
  • For more information about this approach, visit