Dec 18, 2023

#332: Why Couples Really Fight with Figs O’Sullivan

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Attachment Theory, Boundaries, codependency, Communication, Conflict, Dating, Grief, Psychology, Relationships, Self-Love, Self-Worth, Transformation


In this episode, I have the pleasure of interviewing LMFT Figs O’Sullivan. In his practice, Figs focuses on three pillars for relationship work: Attachment Theory, Systems Theory, and Transformational Experiences. Figs teaches us that understanding that people’s actions are driven by their own insecurities and fears is fundamental. Instead of fixating on the flaws of our partner/ex-partner, it’s more beneficial to study one’s own emotional responses and vulnerabilities and how to feel our feelings better. By becoming an expert on oneself and the system, one can be and attract a more emotionally evolved partner. So many gems in this episode – dive in!

Fiachra “Figs” O’Sullivan is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, certified in Emotionally-Focused Therapy, and the founder of Empathi. He strives to interact with his clients as fellow travelers on life’s journey, allowing them to easily dive deeper into their “stuff” with his down-to-earth philosophy.  Figs has spent years working with frustrated couples at a crossroads in their relationship—they want to make things work but are stuck in what Figs calls their “Waltz of Pain”—which is what led him to create Empathi! Inspired by attachment theory, improvisational dance and theater, experiential psychotherapy, and EFT, Empathi provides fun, effective, and simple solutions to help couples stop fighting and snuggle more.


0:00:00 Intro

0:04:11 Who’s the problem in the relationship?

0:08:10 How communication can be threatening

0:11:30 Three Pillars for Relationship Work: Attachment Theory, Systems Theory, and Transformational Experiences

0:18:46 The reason people get together

0:28:21 Confronted with grief – now what?

0:28:55 Changing perspective

0:37:12 Importance of using attachment theory responsibly

0:40:14 Tips for a successful relationship

0:43:37 Counterintuitive concepts in self-development and attachment theory

0:48:12 The line between personal boundaries and relationship deal-breakers

0:54:21 Opening up about feelings and concerns

1:03:08 The Complexity of Attachment and Relationships

1:06:47 The Pain of Disappointing a Loved One

1:10:16 Helping People Feel Their Feelings Better

1:13:16 Becoming an Expert for Future Relationships



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