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Exploring and discussing a variety of relationship topics and issues for people in all kinds of relationships; including partnerships, family, friends, co-workers, neighbors, roommates and more.

Sep 8, 2020

A lot of people are in tremendous stress as a result of the global pandemic. Some people find themselves falling back to some old behavior patterns that they thought they had already let go. This is what’s called regression: a defensive mechanism for coping with stress. It’s a common phenomenon many of us experience unconsciously. Corey Costanzo - a licensed addictions counselor and good friend of mine - believes that a significant part of managing our regressive responses to stress is mindfulness. Corey is a licensed massage and bodywork therapist, somatic experiencing practitioner, and co-owner of Still Point Wellness, a premier Esalen Massage and Salt Water Floatation spa in Asheville.


Today, Corey and I discuss our tendency to regress when we are under stress. We highlight the different ways regression can manifest in our lives and how they can impact our relationships. We share some of the tools you can use to learn how to recognize regressive tendencies and manage them. We also draw from our personal experiences with regression and illustrate how we work with it, as well as emphasize the parents’ roles in teaching children how to cope with stress and negative experiences.


“It’s important for everybody to figure out the resources to be able to stand up in the face of uncomfortable sensations and thoughts.” - Corey Costanzo


This week on Relationships! Let’s Talk About It:

  • How a stunted developmental stage can result in adult regression
  • The collective stress resulting from the pandemic and how stress triggers regressive behavior
  • Substance use and addiction as a form of regression and the importance of bringing regressive behavior into the consciousness
  • Regression and self-sabotage
  • The difference between a regressed response versus a partnered response
  • The value of communicating our needs and meeting them ourselves
  • How mindfulness can help the awareness of regression and recognition of stress
  • The neuroscience of stress and meditation and how our brain regresses to primitive lifeforms when we’re stressed
  • Corey’s experiences with regression and how he transforms them
  • How our regressive behaviors are exhibited when we’re with family
  • My tendency to shut down and get defensive under stressful situations
  • Experiencing tension, anxiety, and regression in the body
  • What it means to resource for ourselves
  • Regression in children and teenagers and how parents can model calm and mindfulness for their kids
  • The importance of seeking support in times of stress


Related Content:


Resources Mentioned:


Connect with Corey Costanzo


Let’s Talk About It!

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Theme music “These Streets” provided by Adi the Monk