6 Steps for Taking Responsibility for Triggers and Healing (your own and/or your partner's)

One of my deepest wounds and greatest triggers of unworthiness happened this week. 

My birthday.

It's become a well-worn path bordered by landmines and avoidance.

Shaun's taken to be my guide on occasion, and this year was especially sweet.

(I share it here on Instagram.)

And in this week's episode of The Epic Couple's Journey, he and I drop into a little conversation around the extreme amount of power we have to heal and to hurt one another in romantic relationships. 

We are born into relationship with our parents and caregivers.

We choose (many of us) to grow in relationship with a partner.

It's powerful stuff. 

And if we have someone (or multiple someones) to witness or reflect our pain, we can gain great insight into how to heal ourselves.


Relationship work


Individual work.


That's why it was so beautiful for me around my birthday this year to have


Shaun at the helm of celebrating, honoring, and seeing me


Me giving myself the space and time to see, listen to, and hold a young piece of myself.

(I share that experience here on Instagram.)


To support you to take responsibility for triggers and healing (your own and/or your partner's), here are six steps you can take on your own or together:

STEP ONE: Examine

Either on your own or together sitting comfortably across from your partner, examine an issue that's been coming up for you.

It might be something that shows up as aggression, defensiveness, a closed heart, numbness, resistance, a thought pattern, a mask, a way of being, an emotional experience....

For right now, decide on one thing that's been causing an issue in your life or in your relationship.

STEP TWO: Connect To Your Bodymind

Close your eyes if that feels safe or invite your eyes to relax and unfocus. Then begin to take some deep breaths into and out of your lower belly. 

Feel this thing you're working on. Where do you feel it in your body? What are the sensations? 

If it's a thought pattern, where do you actually feel this thought? How does it feel in your body? 

If it's defensiveness, where do you feel the defense in your body? What kind of sensations are associated with it?

Describe what you feel and experience inside of this thing.


Keep breathing. Invite your whole body to soften. 

Ask yourself, What is beneath this? What need is underneath this?

Let it bubble up and share it out loud.


Keep breathing and feel for this need. What do you need underneath this thing? 

With you eyes closed or relaxed and unfocused, name this need: "I need to be loved" or "I need to be safe."

STEP FIVE: Express

Share how it felt to not have this need met in your life.

Breathe even more deeply and more fully. Allow yourself to fully feel all the emotions associated with having not gotten your need met.

Give yourself permission to express: Scream. Yell. Rage. Cry. Grieve. Sound if you need. Feel the emotions running through you.

Allow them all until the experience feels complete.


What would feel good to you right now? What would help you feel loved, supported and safe? 

If you're doing this with your partner, ask your partner if they can offer you what you need. It may be to be held, cuddled, a glass of water, a firm hand on your shoulders....

After you've gone through these six steps either on your own or with your partner, gently process and integrate.

You can write down or discuss with your partner what you experienced, what you felt, and what you learned. 

Then I invite you to decide how you are going to change things.

What are you going to do differently for yourself or in your relationship?

It's in this last piece that you take responsibility for yourself, your partner, and/or your relationship. 

That's where the true healing—and deep intimacy—comes in.

Sending you so much love on your journey,

P.S. Know that you can always email me at daniela@danielatanner.com and share with me what you're going through, what you're experiencing, what you've learned.

I'm here to witness you, to support you, and do my best to guide you through this adventure.