When a nurturing and loving parent is in a spontaneous encounter with their well-fed and safe infant child, they radiate contagious mutual joy.
This hard-wired contagious response is the cornerstone for the child’s developing feelings of safety and intimacy. On close inspection – and scientific measurement – we see that this encounter indicates a state of play for child and parent.
Continuing to access this state, as it becomes more complex and culturally sculpted, is a pre-requisite for the capacity for intimacy throughout life.
We are developing evidence-based axioms and techniques to assist in recapturing states of play when they are lost or buried.
Play refreshes a long-term adult-adult relationship; some of the hallmarks of its refreshing, oxygenating action are: humor, the enjoyment of novelty, the capacity to share a lighthearted sense of the world’s ironies, the enjoyment of mutual storytelling , the capacity to openly divulge imagination and fantasies, … These playful communications and interactions, when nourished, produce a climate for easy connection and deepening, more rewarding relationship – true intimacy.
Take play out of the mix, and like the oxygen deprived cyanotic, the relationship becomes a survival endurance contest. Without play skills, the repertoire to deal with inevitable stresses is narrowed. Even if loyalty, responsibility, duty, and steadfastness remain, without playfulness there will be insufficient vitality left over to keep the relationship buoyant and satisfying.