Being Well Podcast: Intimacy and Autonomy
September 10, 2018

Dr. Hanson and Forrest begin a new strength, Intimacy, with a discussion focused on how to balance two seemingly conflicting goals: intimacy and autonomy.

During this episode, we cover:

  • How intimacy and autonomy work together to improve our important relationships.
  • How people who struggle with autonomy can work to build healthy boundaries with others.
  • Why there’s both a biological and social basis for person-to-person variation in desires for intimacy and autonomy.
  • The role of internalized oppressors in our interpersonal styles.
  • The critical role of freedom and choice in our relationships.


  • 1:40: How does intimacy support autonomy?
  • 3:50: What does appropriate autonomy look like?
  • 5:30: How does autonomy support intimacy?
  • 8:50: The importance of choice.
  • 10:25: Is there a biological basis for preferences for intimacy or autonomy?
  • 12:35: The ways we inhibit ourselves.
  • 16:10: Where do our inhibitions come from?
  • 19:15: How issues with autonomy can disguise themselves as problems with intimacy.
  • 21:55: The oppression of the internalized audience.
  • 24:45: Focusing on your own experience.
  • 26:20: How to build healthy emotional boundaries.
  • 29:00: Remembering when things went well.
  • 30:30: Asserting your autonomy inside your own mind.
  • 34:15: The importance of balance.
  • 35:20: Recap

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Each practice is grounded in modern neuroscience and ancient wisdom, and Rick’s background in the very real world of business and raising a family.

Practices include a 1-2 minute video explaining the importance of the practice and how to do it, a recap, reflection, and suggestion for integrating it into your daily life, weekly emails with inspiration, support, and encouragement, an audio download, transcription, and printable handout.

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Join Dr. Rick and Forrest Hanson every week on the Being Well Podcast for lively and thought-provoking conversation and practical tips for being happier, building inner strengths, and getting the most out of life.

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