How couples can grow up the spiral together
2019, February 6th at 10 AM PT/ 7 PM CET

Growing into Childlike Love – Conscious regression in intimacy


The highest stages of intimacy rest upon LR structures that enable a couple to navigate the inevitable emotional issues that arise.

These structures are laid down in Stage 3, the Relational Stage of a Couples Development. The majority of couple’s center of gravity hovers within Stage 2, the Roles Stage of development.

In this interview Tom will bring his clarity and simplicity to illuminate what has to be understood in a couple’s intimate interaction to achieve the foundation from which the upper stages can be sustained.

Dr. Tom Habib

STREAMED LIVE HERE on February 6th,  2019


Tom Habib 2/19

0:00 Intro

1:26 Tom introduces himself

2:25 Martin short intro

2:50 Tom starts his presentation, Overview, the stages of development (find these discussions on or

5:00 Regression: process into intimacy, dependency, younger self, necessity and unique characterisation for intimacy. Good or bad regression.

8:50 Regression in LR (expectation of appropriate response)

10:00 Who regresses when? Quality of regression. Anger is low quality. More info selected on regression in a couple.

11:58 Martin asks a question about repressed, dissociated anger, projected outwardly. Tom: Without resolved inner issues partners cannot participate fully. UL process necessary. Couple’s therapy isdealing with 2 people’s issues

14:55 Avoidance of dependency,

15:30 Tom starts to present his model: Life starts in dependency. “C”. An example of a hungry child. Education towards long term goals. Neediness aside and be there for another person = Adult “A”.

18:00 2 people falling in love with their inner C and A. C reemerges in both with falling in love, the need gets met: The Golden Phantasy. “If she loved me, she would know what I need” = C.

20:05 In a couple: if one has a need (in C) the other needs to be in A (listening to the anger of the other) An example.

22:40 A-C has to go back and forth in a couple. A-A is needed occasionally for decisions etc.. You never want C-C. It leads into couples destroying their relationship. Both in strong need.

24:30 Martin asks question about free flow childish flow, e.i. In sexuality, exampleof Tom’s experience.

25:45 Heidi clarifies Tom’s work as pointed to problematic relationships.

26:50 On the surface couples can look good when they are conflict avoiding and underneath are the problems

27:45 Complementary flexible relationships while managing the regression. Sequencing A-C and see how it works. Questions to Heidi and Martin about the different constellations. Man A, woman C. Father-daughter. Complementary traditional relationship. Role stage for the longest time in history. Emotional collusion not to experience all aspects of the relationship. It was culturally described,

30:50 Heidi: Feminism addressed exactly that when women wanted to get out of C into A.

31:12 Necessity to go through a traditional relationship through time, the development of the relational stage started only in the 60ies, not long ago

32:20 Man in C, woman in A? Heidi: when the woman is the boss in the house, she takes the power away from the man, children. Martin: a cougar, strong woman who has a much younger boyfriend, boy toy. Rigid complementary non traditional relationship. Often with professional women. She cannot feel the femininity.

35:45 Martin asks about the movie “American Beauty”. Helen Hunt, Jack Nicholson. She is the adult in the room, he leans on her emotionally.

37:05 A relationship stuck in A-A. Heidi: it becomes boring, Martin: like my marriage: no emotions, no sex, but very solid.

38:10 Tom: stability and predictability. TOm gives an example: no passion in relationship, caused by several reasons.

39:35  C-C Symmetry is a disaster, while symmetry  in A is still akzeptable

40:30 POWER = ability to influence. Who has the most influence? Examples of power.

43:00 Cartoons on Power. Where is power? The man or the woman in traditional configuration?, Both possible. Often power at C.

45:02 Heidi gives example of her family

45:28 Tom explains how he found these things out, even before knowing Integral. And also about Heidi’s mother who had power in C and father dynamic.

47:45 Rigid, complementary non traditional power. Also: Male C – Female A an example by Tom

49:40 Test questions starting: where are the people when they say xyz (it was fun to answer them): where is the need? Projected on the other >> in C  Someone is in A when he/she is focused on the other person.

58:50 Martin brings in Carol Gilligan: Men try to understand others by understanding themselves, while women try to understand themselves by understanding others.

55:50 MAking it about the other, not oneself is creating trust. Once stabilised the relationship there is a tacit agreement.

58:05 Empathy vs. Sympathy

58:50 Continuing the test

On the relational level the structure becomes important, the ability to hold the emotions and address things in an A way later. Martin thinks that men can do that only post-therapy!

1:05:00 The 12 rules of A/C When in C: ask “What do I want?” WHo has a need is in C,


During the IEC Conference in Hungary 2016 I had occasion to videotape the presentation of Dr. Tom Habib on the “Couples Line of Development”. I posted it on YouTube and we had several shows with him in our Wisdom Factory, always talking about intimate couples and how the knowledge of the integral map can explain certain phenomena and how, using the map, we can predict the growth process and skilfully help the couples grow in a good way.

See previous shows HERE.

It is astonishing how Tom’s message is “landing” with the people: Almost unknown in the integral community 2 years ago, he is now widely known and his work very much appreciated.


Dr. Tom Habib is a clinical psychologist in San Juan Capistrano, CA specializing in couple’s therapy. Tom has published papers on a Couple’s Line of Development (Integral Leadership Review, Aug-Nov, 2016, revised 2018) and on the role of Regression and LR Supporting Structures   (Journal of Integral Theory & Practice, Dec. 2014).

He has presented at the Integral Theory Conference, at the Integral European Conference (IEC) 2018 and 2016 where he was recognized for the Best Practitioner Paper, Honorable Mention. Tom is currently serving as a co-chair for the newly emerging Academic & Scientific Track for IEC. 

In Dec., 2017 Tom was designated as a top 5% researcher by and was notified last month that he had achieved the top 1% researcher in recognition how often his work is viewed by researchers all over the world. The Wisdom Factory was the first to introduce Tom to the larger integral community and to make his ideas available throughout the world. Since then, he has presented his work on several pod/video cast including The Daily Evolver, Evolve Radio, Something You Should Know among others.

He is also an organizer for San Diego Integral where he is experimenting with creating a container from which collective moments can be sustained. See Focused Integral Group Discussions.Tom has published papers on a Couple’s Line of Development (ILR, Aug-Nov, 2016) and on the role of Regression and LR Supporting Structures   (JITP, Dec. 2014)

He has presented at the Integral Theory Conference in 2015 and at the Integral European Conference in 2016  where he was recognized for the Best Practitioner Paper, Honorable Mention. At t he Integral European Conference 2018 he presented again his further research about the stages of development which an intimate couple can go through. (Video of the presentation)





If These Walls Could Talk: A Therapist Reveals Stories of Change and How They will Work for You

Dr Thomas Habibs book on AMAZON

A couples line of development

Academic paper by Dr. Tom Habib

INTIMATE COUPLES Regression and Lower-Right Supporting Structures

Academic paper by Dr. Tom Habib

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