The Figure 8 Trauma Cycle and the Conversational Model

The Figure 8 Trauma Cycle and the Conversational Model


This paper will outline the Figure 8 Trauma Cycle and Pickering’s Interlocking Model Scene.

The Figure 8 Trauma Cycle was introduced through the supervisory process, and has become key to my practice with high conflict couples.

Through the presentation of a key case, the model will be explored and applied.

Theorists such as Gottman and Hendrix note that safety, containment and soothing are essential to settling the couple to move them beyond the traumatic state of relating- in order to have effective and connected conversations.

The Conversational Model is used to shape understandings of cohesion vs disturbance of self; language, emotion and relationship. Through the case study, we see that when the couple is in a volatile state; a slowing of the conversation is required. Slowing the conversation allows them to hear their partner and improve the listening process. Pickering says that retelling the story, allows couples to disentangle from the conflict, and a wider experience becomes possible.

Speakers: Maryanne Koussa
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