Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Earth, Wind and Fire therapy

Four disasters are visited upon a couple or family to improve their relationship
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Before i say more, i want to point out that i have accidentally set fire to the house several times and it has also been flooded several times, so whereas i'm not a fully- paid up disaster survivor, nor am i entirely inexperienced in this respect.

A relationship or family is metaphorically on shaky ground. The people involved call in the Earth, Wind to convert this metaphor to literal truth.

The therapy lasts four days. Each day involves an onslaught by one of the traditional elements. On the first day, earth tremors or a landslide are simulated and their home is damaged mechanically. On the second, a powerful wind machine is erected near their home and further structural damage ensued. On the third, water is pumped into their home and the ground floor is submerged. On the final day, the home is burnt to the ground. Any insurance policies must be terminated before this can take place.

The disasters visited upon them constitute a bonding experience and make their personal problems seem trivial by comparison, and afterwards they all get on like a house on fire.

This only works for detached houses, boats and mobile homes, and creates unfortunately ample opportunities for accidental-on-purpose deaths in particularly dysfunctional relationships. Also, you end up homeless afterwards, but you can't have everything.

nineteenthly, Dec 09 2011

Earth, Wind and Fire Therapy http://youtu.be/_XOY7lsBVpo
[Klaatu, Dec 09 2011]

[link]






       Is there any evidence that surviving disasters does improve family relationships? E.g. was there a massive dip in divorce rates in New Orleans in the years following Hurrican Katrina?
hippo, Dec 09 2011
  

       Interesting question. I've heard that as far as strangers are concerned, if there's a slight degree of attraction between them that increases in markedly adverse circumstances, but so does a slight degree of repulsion. That is, people are sort of perceived as guardian angels or threatening monsters respectively. Can't remember where i heard that.
nineteenthly, Dec 09 2011
  

       People who are physically attracted to each other have increased heartrates. This works in reverse too, so people who have increased heartrates believe that they are more attracted to others. A study was done to ask people who were either just about to go on a roller-coaster, or had just been on a roller-coaster to rate the attractiveness of a set of photographs of people. In the post-roller-coaster set (i.e. people with raised heartrates) they found that people found the photographs significantly more attractive.
hippo, Dec 09 2011
  

       Ah, now that corresponds to the "visceral" theory of the emotions. Not sure what it's usually called - the one to do with labelling emotions as a result of physical sensations rather than the other way round. Also like logical behaviourism, isn't it?   

       In that case, the idea is to raise people's heartrates and other physiological signs of arousal using external stimuli in order to convince them they still love each other passionately.
nineteenthly, Dec 09 2011
  

       Although... the same study found that while post-roller-coaster subjects rated the photographs more attractive, they rated the attractiveness of the person they were with (who had accompanied them on the roller-coaster) as being lower.
hippo, Dec 09 2011
  

       [+] "We learn more from our errors and challenges than we do our successes."
Klaatu, Dec 09 2011
  

       In that case, would it be considered an error or a success to opt for this?
nineteenthly, Dec 09 2011
  

       //This only works for// the right sort of couple.
mouseposture, Dec 09 2011
  

       This could go either way. Some people who have been through disasters such as plane crash survivors reportedly go on to lead richer, fuller lives. Others just suffer from PTSD.
AusCan531, Dec 09 2011
  

       Yes, it'd be kill or cure but some approaches are. Maybe a bit of psychological profiling beforehand would help with that.
nineteenthly, Dec 10 2011
  

       I'm disappointed. I clicked on the link expecting the description of a new kind of therapy based on getting a 1970's/80's 30 piece disco/funk ensemble into your lounge for a massive boogie based therapy session, but alas, it was about actual Earth, Wind & Fire. Sorry, but the disco version would definitely have got a croissant...
goff, Dec 11 2011
  

       It can be done, [goff].
nineteenthly, Dec 12 2011
  
      
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