The relationship is an encounter sustained in the long term, a chain of meetings that includes a shared perspective of shared history and shared present because there is free will to live life together in a reliable relationship.
Relationship presupposes the ability for demarcation and touch, conflict and compromise, mutual empathy and shared reality. Relationships are intentional, lasting and reliable. They include the ability to contact and meet.
The encounter is a reciprocal empathic meeting of different persons in the here-and-now—the meeting in which there is contact results in an inter-subjective exchange that is healing.
Contact is a meeting of separate and concretely different individuals. The perception and bodily experiences of the person and the environment are distinct. The person can distinguish the difference between the inner and outer world and can establish, through contact, identity.
Confluence is a form of human co-existence that is unrestricted. It is characteristic of the coexistence of the embryo and its mother.
There is no differentiation in perception of the individual persons in a confluent relationship. In adults, the fusion experiences can be that of the positive pleasurable or negative non-pleasurable kind (Petzold 1993, Volume III, p. 1066).
Attachment / Bonding
Attachment results from the decision to restrict one’s freedom in favour of a freely chosen bonding. To endow an existing relationship with the quality of inviolability through loyalty, devotion, and willingness to suffer.
Dependence is a bondage at the expense of personal freedom, which is structurally predefined as a natural “attachment” in children, or attachment-based socially meaningful behavior, for example, in the case of adults in need of care in the immediate vicinity of social relationships and networks. But it can also have pathological qualities such as neurotic dependencies, addiction-specific co-dependencies, and collusions.
Bondage involves massive, pathological dependence still exceeding qualities because fundamental rights and rights-violating restrictions of freedom, mental and real deprivation of liberty, when the enslavement occurs (often on a sexual level in pimp prostitution, sadomasochistic dependencies or on an economic basis in debt slavery, blackmail, etc.).
Renz, H., & Petzold, H. G. (2006). Therapeutische Beziehungen–Formen „differentieller Relationalität “in der integrativen und psychodynamisch-konflikttherapeutischen Behandlung von Suchtkranken. Bei www. FPI-Publikationen. de/ materialien. htm–POLYLOGE: Materialien aus der Europäischen Akademie für Psychosoziale Gesundheit, 13, 2006.