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The Anatomy of the Couple: The seven principles of love

The Anatomy of the Couple: The seven principles of love

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The Anatomy of the Couple: The seven principles of love

249 Seiten
3 Stunden
Jun 7, 2018


When we are in a couple, when we question ourselves about the experience of coupledom or as we form a new partnership, very often we forget that the couple is a third compared to the two that compose it. The couple has its own rules, its phases, its needs, its conscience. Very often the difficulties that we encounter in the affairs of love are linked precisely to this, to the inability to read and guide the couple by building a true union that is recalls this third being made by two. What exactly does that mean? How can we create union in the couple? A journey towards unconditional love and true inner happiness, starting with the most recent discoveries in neuroscience and energetic psychology, which leads to the peaks of a reflection on the Soul and the leap of Conscience that Love offers us, enriched by real cases and stories and accompanied by a practical guide for the happy couple which is both comprehensive and effective. The love which we can live today is no longer destined to make us suffer, but to make us free. Now, more than ever, we can know its anatomy and penetrate its mysteries.

Erica F. Poli is a psychiatric doctor, psychotherapist and counsellor. As a member of scientific societies including IEDTA, ISTDP Institute and OPIFER, her background includes a profound and eclectic psychotherapeutic training that has granted her the skill to bridge the world of the psyche with that of spirituality. Therein she has developed her own personal interdisciplinary and psychosomatic working method which is continuously updated through her active participation in and organization of courses, congresses and scientific publications. She is dedicated to the development of Integrative Medicine with the implementation of traditional pharmacology with phyto and nutraceuticals, and the use of innovative and deeply rooted therapeutic techniques grounded in modern neuro-scientific knowledge on the functioning of the mind. She is not limited by treating single psychic disturbances but takes care of and shows attention to each person as a mind-body whole.
Jun 7, 2018

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The Anatomy of the Couple - Erica Francesca Poli

Erica Francesca Poli

The anatomy of couple

The seven principles of love



The seven principles of love

Preface by Salvatore Brizzi

Anima Edizioni

Anima Edizioni. Milano, 2015

Erica Francesca Poli, 2015

Cover image: pingouine - 

Translation rights, electronic storage, reproduction and total adaptation

or partial by any means (including microfilm and photostatic copies) are

reserved for all countries. For rights of use contact the publisher.

Editorial project: Jonathan Falcone

Editing: Paola Salvadori

Translation: Federico Bozzi and Helen Black

ISBN: 978-88-6365-470-7

ANIMA s.r.l. 

Corso Vercelli, 56 - 20145 Milan


First edition: Anima, September 2015

UUID: 9ac39258-6a3a-11e8-9ac1-17532927e555

Questo libro è stato realizzato con StreetLib Write

Indice dei contenuti

Preface by Salvatore Brizzi

Preface by Erica F. Poli


1. Couples

2. Couples in Need

3. Couples in Desire

4. Couples in union


​5. Feminine and masculine: from neuroscience to energy

​6. Being single

​7. Being a couple

​8. Living as a sacred couple


​9. From Seattle to Milan: the secret language of couples

​9.1 What you need to know for... arguing well

​9.2 Principles of non-violent communication

​10. Emotional profiling: knowing more about each other to love better

​11. The art of communicating in a couple

​12. Me, you and emotions: the couple as a catalyst for emotional healing


​13. Unconditional love

​14. Kama, sex and love.

​15. The seven principles of love


To the one who is love to me,

who is my spouse of the soul.

To his ‘edges’,

ultimately precious,

to his unexpected,

boundless sweetnesses,

to his miracles.

To the Love that binds us,

to the Mystery which every day

makes us its means of manifestation. 

Preface by Salvatore Brizzi

We fall in love to heal ourselves

People seek love because they are convinced that it can make them happier.

They pray, Lord, let me meet the love of my life, that person who will finally make me happy.

In the Gospel it states, Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened. (Mt 7: 7-8), so the Lord cannot pretend he didn't hear, for it would be wicked not to honour a promise, and being a man of honour Jesus will do all he can to satisfy the demands of such people!

So how must these people go about finding love?

First of all, it is necessary to decipher why they have not yet encountered it despite their desire. It should be noted that people tend to have an ideal partnership in mind which leads them to believe that coexistence together will be synonymous with happiness and serenity, meaning that when their daily difficulties exceed a certain limit, they will rupture ties and begin again with another relationship until, after a series of failed attempts, they cease to believe in love itself.

There is a clear difference between this ideal partnership and the real partnership we all experience. The ideal partnership is possible, but is only achieved through the integration of the emotional wounds that each of us holds in our unconscious mind since childhood. The real partnership is a kind of indispensable relationship, one that allows us to work on the integration of such emotional wounds. In practice, the first kind prepares us for achievement of the latter.

From our time spent in the belly of our mother to the early years of life, we live a series of emotional and physical states (they cannot yet be mental) that are imprinted in our unconscious as wounds - which ultimately are interferences of an electrical nature - both in the astral body and directly in the physical body, primarily at the muscular level. There is one wound in particular which comprises all, and of which all the rest are mere declinations: it is a vibration, an energetic imprint that is at the basis of our behaviours, our gestures, our way of eating or driving, our way of making love and our life within a couple. This vibration is the foundation of our own personality and is defined as the Guardian of the Threshold, the Achilles heel, chronic reaction , principle characteristic or the main weakness .

It is a vibration of discomfort stemming from an unresolved childhood emotional wound. It can be a wound of abandonment, which gives rise to dependent behaviour; a wound of betrayal, which gives rise to a controlling behaviour; a wound of rejection, which gives rise to a constant escapist behaviour; and so on... To identify it is not so simple because it has accompanied us virtually forever and we recognise ourselves so much in it that we don't know how to perceive it as separate from us. The music we listen to, the sports we practice, our way of walking, dressing, dealing with with our romantic partner... everything we consider ourselves or our style is impregnated with this vibration.

Given this premise, when we experience attraction or even fall in love with a person, in fact, it is our childhood wound (often prenatal) which causes us to feel attracted or to fall in love. It is neither their physical appearance nor their eloquence, their artistic excellence or anything else that really attracts our attention, but the fact that person mirrors our own personal wound. The wound is irresistibly attracted by someone who can create the conditions suitable for it to emerge and then integrate and heal. It's all a question of vibration, so much so that in place of the person in front of us there may be any number of other people capable of resonating with the same vibration.

That sweet relationship where everything is rosier and you live happily ever after at this point goes out the window and is replaced by a much more concrete mutually therapeutic relationship. On the one hand, we have been conditioned into believing in a fairy tale idea of a coupledom, on the other we carry a wounded child who wants to be healed from its unconscious traumas.

Each partner has the ability to allow its emergence with their behaviour, their words, sometimes with their presence alone... or in absence, our Achilles heel with all its burden of ancient and unexpressed pain. As long as the wound has not been integrated and transmutated, all of our relationships (sexual, romantic partnerships, friendships) must be dysfunctional by definition; we will pass from one emotional drama to the next one, in an endless recital of the same roles. No lover will be able to give us what we desperately seek until we have integrated that vibration experienced as children that today still causes us deep discomfort. Each partner will always appear incomplete and unsuitable and we will find them most wrong in the sphere which concerns our wound more closely.

The emotional or physical/emotional wound is almost never seen at the onset of a love story, but with its continuation and especially towards its end, when we find ourselves with a broken heart and full of blame towards our partner. If the child has been abandoned, betrayed, rejected, or humiliated, as an adult they will still carry within themselves, in their unconscious, one of these wounds, and by obeying it will fall in love with a specific partner. This partner will have the task of helping them to emerge from the wound, causing the same suffering as would a surgeon... but without anaesthesia!

To transmute our wounds allows us to become free from the past. Our present identity - what we are convinced of and the ways we behave - comes from our childhood and is a constant expression of it. Nothing could be further from what we call freedom of thought or freedom of action. How can we say that we have free will if even our political sympathies are determined by what happened to us in the very first years of our lives?

Erica Poli's book speaks of all of this and of how to deal with romantic partnerships in order to reach an alchemic transmutation of the discomfort. On my part, I can only emphasise the need for Presence in the healing process. This requires finding the courage to shift our focus every day from the physical circumstances and from the people who have caused them, first and foremost our partner; towards the vibration of the discomfort that lies within us.

Ultimately, our suffering does not concern anyone or anything outside of us, but an energetic imprint within us. To blame outside means you do not have the courage to face the reality of the facts. Through a prolonged and constant presence, the demon is forced to come to light. He can no longer hide behind the phrase It's his fault. He doesn't love me.

We will understand that we are on the right track when we are no longer looking for the ideal partner or someone to love us. Having to look for love in a compulsive way - even through sex or friendship - is the wounded child, not the soul of the adult. A conscious individual expects love to come to him in any form, as it should be, even if it comes in the form of a healing experience that has nothing to do with the fairy-tale couple we know from commercials or American movie endings.

Physical/emotional wounds separate us from - and at the same time lead us to - unconditional love. They represent the grooves through which authentic love will then flow, the kind for which people pray to the Lord. For such people to obtain the serenity of complete love, the Lord will send them partners that they will perceive as wrong. But you cannot pass through the flames without crossing the fire. That is why love is not for everyone, but is only granted to those who prove impatient and resolute along the path of descent within themselves.

I quote from Erica's book:

"Couples in their union surprise us.

They are a synthesis of opposites, paradoxes and normalities.

The love they create and which they cross, has nothing to do with the love that makes us suffer and evolve. [...]

This love and this freedom are of another world that suddenly explodes among lovers and makes them custodians, not owners, of a mystery... which consecrates them as guardians of a beyond that dominates their feelings, their being, their conscience."

At the end of the tunnel, there is a love waiting for us which inflates the Heart and ends our subjection to the 'ifs' and 'buts'. The good news is that this tunnel, in truth, is shorter than it is believed it to be, if only we if only we might allow ourselves to overcome every emotional wound in one stroke, triggering within us the superior emotion of Adoration. To adore the other, it means to rely entirely on the beauty of their soul, however it is expressed on the material plane. Adoration is no longer fashionable and is often mistaken for servility or submission, but in reality it is a movement of the Heart that heals from the wounds of those who feel it and brings to life new life to those subjected to it.

If there is any professional out there who can help people in the process of transmutation, Erica Poli is the one. I will never stop thanking her for allowing me to observe and then hear the unconscious mechanisms that operate within the couple.

Salvatore Brizzi

Turin, September 9, 2015

Preface by Erica F. Poli

Love today

Can love last?

So posited the title of a book by psychoanalyst Stephen Mitchell, with the subtitle: The Fate of Romance over Time.

I use the past tense because it's been many years since the day I entered a book shop to buy a scientific medical text, and left with that book instead. Besides, I do not have it anymore, it's in the hands of some of the many people I've lent it over time, and in fact, whilst writing, I notice that today I don't need it anymore.

Since then I have lived through several personal stories in the love department and I have seen many others from the various couples and people who have turned to me.

Today I can say, with deep joy, that I know a complete love, a pure union in its perfect imperfection, in its ideal reality and in its transcendent immanence.

And I can also say with equal joy that I have helped so many, many couples and so many individuals to take this journey in the things of love, to paraphrase the title of another text dear to me from Umberto Galimberti.

Anatomy of the Couple is simply a reverberation of this personal and professional journey into love.

The query with which it opens raises the question of a dark topic - the duration of love.

Suspended between the need for stability and the necessity of something new and unpredictable in order to survive, romantic love - that of literature and poetry, that of the heart - is like an equilibrist running through our life on the thin wire that separates and unites matter and soul.

There are so many other forms of love, so many other versions of this primal force that animates life and that can achieve everything, but certainly a couple's love is one of those only few can prescind from, at least once in a lifetime or one time for all your life or many, even too many times...

In the many letters I receive from the papers for which I write, related to counselling requests, to psychotherapy, to courses, love prevails as the main theme.

That love for another, that human being that suddenly arrives and takes our inner space or comes slowly and earns it as a silent plant earns its height imperceptibly with its branches... and here the usual questions arise: what is the secret to true and long lasting love? How to make it a true love? How to be happy together and how to deal with conflicts? How to combine commitment and autonomy? Nearness and freedom? How to love and be loved in the end?

Love can even exist in a moment, in a glance, in a game of vibration with a stranger, while you're on the subway, while dancing an Argentine tango, while you work or do grocery shopping.

But the love that lasts, creates something, it manifests itself in a project, resists, insists, forgives itself and revives every day, how can it keep the spark of that primordial energetic vibration which led to it in the first place? How can it also do even better: multiply, amplify, celebrate, and exalt that spark so that it becomes much more than it use to be ?

Is it possible? The answer is yes and this book will explain how.

It is moving to write it, and to know and feel that the love from the most intimate dreams of most of us can exist.

However, it requires a path, starting with the dream going through a deep transformation of ourselves, and it is primarily a journey.

It requires the path of love for oneself - an indispensable prerequisite for healthy love to be manifested - and it requires the awareness that love in a couple is nothing but a way, one of the ways, for the evolution of the soul.

So to be a couple in love it means to choose to progress in the destiny of one's soul together with someone else rather than alone, and the deep meaning of this is one of the crucial points in this book.

Spark, vibration, soul ... these words seem miles away from financial modernity built upon a consumerism of sex and affection, fast stories, emptiness to be filled, of constant escape from solitude.

Yet in order for that love which everyone wants to exist, lovers - in the sense of those who love - must be alone like a sun, paraphrasing Carlotta Brucco in Il segreto dell'essenza (The the Secret of Essence) .

They have learned to be with themselves, to solve the needs and impulses within their own inner reality, and so, in transcending their solitude, while shining through it, alone in their own universe, they will meet as two suns.

Dependence does not belong to this kind of love, neither does the continuous need for something new.

The suns recognise one another, there is recognition amongst souls, and they choose to realise themselves together.

For this reason, the fidelity that binds them is not the result of a conscious inhibition of existing impulses, but of the fact that they simply would not betray themselves because they freely chose to pursue this path of evolution rather than another.

Talking about this kind of love today is not easy, but I think there is no other partnership love to talk about.

We are in the era of solitude, said psychoanalyst Paul Verhaeghe in his book Love in a Time of Loneliness.

All the social containers fall short, conventions, family, the clear distinction between genders, the role of male and female: so that contemporary men and women must cope with the pressure of the soul's questions alone.

With a shortage of ideologies, a shortage of social morality, a shortage of reasons for living housed by community, the individual has the sole purpose of fulfilling their own happiness and is solely responsible.

That is why relationships have become so central to personal fulfilment, much more so today than in the past.

As Galimberti himself says:

"... because in comparison with the ages that preceded us, in the age of technology love has radically changed form.

On the one hand it has become the only space in which the individual can really express himself, outside the roles he is forced to play in a technically organized society; on the other hand this space, being the only one in which the Self can deploy itself and enjoy his freedom away from any pre-established rule and order, it has become the place of the radicalization of individualism, where men and women seek in the other their own self, and in a relationship not so much the relationship with each other, as much as the possibility of developing their own deep selves, which no longer find expression in a technically organized society which reduces the identity of each of us to their suitability and functionality

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