The emergence of the therapy culture typifies societal transformation. The culture has been instrumental in encouraging individuals to be more open and expressive. According to Yates (2011), the therapy culture portends a positive in the lives of people. For instance, the culture has made people free to talk about the things that hurt them, their desires, and vulnerability. The therapeutic culture promotes confessions by encouraging the emotionally injured individuals to share their hurt in an attempt to heal their wounds. The modern lifestyle discourages silence and supports the belief that happy people express their feelings. People now use this approach in love relationships. In contemporary society, couples are struggling to build relationships based on emotions and genuine feelings of equality. There is a connection between current love and therapy culture.
First, in the modern society, emotions act as the foundation of romantic relationships. Couples bring to their intimate relationships certain emotional expectations (Fox, 2015. In most cases, the expectations involve words and gestures of love, companionship, friendship, acceptance, encouragement, and trust. The emotional aspect of relationships acts as the pillar of romantic relationships today (Fox, 2015). In the therapeutic culture, individuals focus on emotions hence leading to an emotional vulnerability that become the feature of romantic relationships. Anderson, Brownlie and Given (2009) demonstrates that emotions have become the foundation of relationships. The authors examine the general attitudes people have towards expressing their feelings. The authors argue that people now find it easy to express their feelings and insist that the people reveal the importance of showing their emotions. Although most of the respondents grew up in households where people did not express their feelings, they agree that today people spend more time talking about their feelings. Additionally, Bellah, Sullivan, Madsen, Swidler, and Tipton (1985) argue that people are now more in touch with their feelings and are more able to seek what they want in romantic relationships. The findings suggest that emotions form an essential part of today's romantic relationships.
Second, modern love relationships have been shaped by the values of individualism. The therapy culture has promoted as a positive way of expanding and exploring the individual's personality. Today, individuals are encouraged to acknowledge their problems and know their place in relationships (Seebach & Nunez-Mosteo, 2015). The modern love relationships emphasize the idea of relationships taking a functional form to enable the two people to accomplish their individual goals. Individuals realize that they can achieve a lot on their own and do not need to depend on their partners. Therefore, love relationships in the western world have shifted from an institution where two people participated and benefited to an individualistic and voluntary institution. As described in (SOC315, Week 5), the westerners value the concept of actual ties in romantic relationships. A genuine love affair refers to an arrangement where one becomes a part of the arrangement only because they want to and because the relationship fulfills the two individuals. This type of relationship is different from the past relationships where individuals assume that they will find one partner to stay with forever (Lerner, 2015). In the modern world, couples demonstrate the concept of individualism borrowed from the therapy culture. The individuals are free to spend their time looking for a partner who they think will improve their lives. Likewise, the individuals are free to leave if they are no longer satisfied.
Third, the therapy culture is linked to a desire for emotional wellbeing that is provided by loving relationships. Westerners illustrate their passion for emotional wellbeing in their romantic relationships. The need for emotional well-being is a critical element of the therapy culture. In fact, Lerner (2015) provides that one of the primary features of the therapeutic culture is emotional wellbeing. Similarly, modern day relationships focus on emotional wellbeing. This connection implies that love is embedded in the therapy culture.
Finally, the therapy culture shapes how people connect and emphasize the need for fulfillment in romantic relationships. For most people, romantic relationships provide a source of deep emotional fulfillment (Seebach & Nunez-Mosteo 2015). In the modern world, people express the need for forming healthy and loving relationships. Some people argue that the necessity to establish a stable relationship begins in infancy when a child attempts to develop a healthy relationship with the caregiver. The therapy culture encourages the individual to seek deep emotional fulfillment (Anderson, Brownlie, & Given, 2009). This necessity forces them to establish relationships with other people. Most people have to master the skills of relating to others to develop healthy and loving relationships. Optimal psychological wellbeing is achieved when one feels connected to other people. The fulfillment of each need influences both the individual's welfare and the relationship wellbeing. Just as the therapy culture suggests, individual relatedness influence a relationship's outcome. Additionally, individuals need fulfillment that influences their relationship functioning and well-being.
The society has transformed into a therapeutic culture. There is a connection between modern love and therapy culture. In today's society, people are encouraged to express their feelings and desires. Consequently, most westerners base their relationships on emotions. Additionally, values of individualism shape modern-day relationships. Finally, the therapeutic culture is linked to a desire for emotional wellbeing and need for fulfillment that is provided by loving relationships.
Anderson, S., Brownlie, J., & Given, L 2009, Therapy culture? Attitudes towards emotional support in Britain, London, Sage.
Bellah, R.N. Sullivan, W.M. Madsen, R., Swidler, A., Tipton, S.M 1985, Habits of the Heart: Individualism and Commitment in American Life, University of California Press.
Fox, N.J 2015, 'Emotions, affects and the production of social life,' The British Journal of Sociology, vol. 66, no. 2. Available from: https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/pdf/10.1111/1468-4446.12119. [04 May 2018].
Lerner, J 2015, 'the Changing Meanings of Russian Love: Emotional Socialism and Therapeutic Culture on the Post-Soviet Screen,' Sexuality & Culture, vol. 19, no. 2. Available from: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/272408436_The_Changing_Meanings_of_Russian_Love_Emotional_Socialism_and_Therapeutic_Culture_on_the_Post-Soviet_Screen. [04 May 2018].
SOC315 Week 5.
Seebach, S., & Nunez-Mosteo, F 2015, 'Is Romantic Love a Linking Emotion?' Sociological Research Online, vol. 21, no. 1. Available from: http://www.socresonline.org.uk/21/1/14.html. [04 May 2018].
Yates, C 2011, 'Charismatic Therapy Culture and the Seductions of Emotional Well-Being,' Free Associations: Psychoanalysis and Culture, Media, Groups, Politics, no. 62, pp. 59-82.
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