What is consensual agreement?
Consensual agreement (or group confirmation) is a key factor in the development of dependency and denial. Who was present during discovery? Who does the addict use with, or engage in the addictive activity with, on an ongoing basis? As the disease progresses, addicts tend to relate to people who, in some way, support their addiction.
When there is consensual agreement, the people in the group act as mirrors for each other. They reflect each other’s wishes and delusions, redefining reality in their own terms. The group’s celebration of the drug-induced experience reinforces a “reality” predicated on denial.
The addict’s relationships with significant others decrease in importance, while relationships with using cronies become increasingly important. The addict becomes increasingly removed from those prior relationships; anyone who doesn’t support his or her addiction is avoided.
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About Daniel Linder, MFT
Relationships. I was born with a keen sense about relationships, was always assessing how close and intimate people are with each other. I had a knack for relationships. The importance of relationships cuts to the core of who I am. The combination of clinical training, 25 years of professional experience treating dysfunctional, non-intimate couples and families, as well as rigorous self analysis has given me a lot to work with. I put what seemed to come naturally to me under a microscope in an effort to break the process of building healthy relationships down to concrete essentials: Understanding of Basic Principles, Communication Skills, Self-realization and Intimacy.