Sign Up to Get The CALM Process


Episode 26


Dr. Sheldon Kardener

Why Your Adult Brain Sometimes Acts Like a Six Year Old and How it is Sabotaging Your Relationships

Episode 26

Why Your Adult Brain Sometimes Acts Like a Six Year Old and How it is Sabotaging Your Relationships


Dr. Sheldon Kardener

Dating Den Episode 26 – With Dr. Sheldon Kardener: Why Your Adult Brain Sometimes Acts Like a Six Year Old and How it is Sabotaging Your Relationships

You are going to love this episode. My guest’s brilliant book changed my life. So much so, I often share it with my clients.

Dr. Sheldon Kardener is the creator of Focused Dynamic Therapy which identifies early threads that have been woven into the fabric of our current lives. He currently serves as a Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at UCLA. In his book, Breaking Free he illuminates how emotional conflicts develop and how they can be treated with psychotherapy.

How is the Process of ‘Breaking the Chains’ Different from Other Approaches? [4:36]

The process makes the patient’s emotional realm accessible to the therapist and the patient. This allows the patient to be a co-therapist in their own discovery which is vital to successful therapy. It facilitates the relationship which assists the curative process.

Why Are High-Achievers Unable to Make a Breakthrough? [7:49]

High-achievers are able to function because they are free of the pull of their early unmet childhood needs in their professional lives. They may have conflicts in relationships because the old needs come roaring back. But they will separate their professional and personal lives. These people may have a lot of friends but no one they are intimately close to.

There is a tremendously powerful emotion in maintaining what we don’t want and it competes with what we do want.

A Mission Impossible [13:18]

Dr. Kardener believes we always marry our emotional twin. We are drawn to a person who would understand what it was like to come from the home we came from. We do this in order to fight an old battle on a new battlefield with hopes this time we will win. We spend our time, energy and effort in the present trying to change the past.

Becoming an Emotional Adult [16:29]

Naomi Rachel Raymond once said, “There ain’t no healin’ without grievin’.” Part of the process of healing is focusing in on what you are holding on to and what you are looking for but never found and grieve the loss. We feel ‘lost in space’ and all alone when we let go but it is a risk we must take to get what we want.

After birth, if our first connection was difficult we flee to an independent state. It is apparent in dating when we don’t get too close for too long. Many who have this experience never reach intimacy with another person.

The Law of Attraction Isn’t A Law At All [30:32]

If you are in the dating game, Dr. Kardener recommends if you find yourself powerfully drawn to someone and the person does not repel you, go out with that person as an adult and know that person as an adult.

Remember ladies, attraction is a double-edged sword. If the attraction is strong you may just want to revive conflicts from your childhood.

The idea of love at first site is really familiarity at first site.

Advice for Black & White Thinkers [35:19]

Those who think in absolutes are often reflecting a conflict that occurred between 7-11 years-of-age. A person may become the exact opposite of the parental figure they had a conflict with. If you become aware you are thinking in a binary mode you have the opportunity to change and make other options available to you.

Make a Connection With Dr. Sheldon Kardener

Make a Connection with Marni:


“The first born child does something no other child does, they give birth to parents.”

“We always marry our emotional twin.”

“Many people can stand on their own two feet as long as they maintain a distance from any intimate other.”

Other Recommendations