On-Demand Webinars

The Fantasy Bond



In this Webinar: 

Many struggles we face in our current interpersonal relationships arise from a core defense formed in childhood known as the “fantasy bond.” As one of the central concepts of Dr. Robert Firestone, the fantasy bond describes an illusion of connection we originally form with our parent or primary caretaker as a defense system to help relieve early anxiety and emotional pain. However, as we grow up, this very defense system limits our ability to pursue or accept real love and connection.

In this Webinar, Dr. Lisa Firestone will explain her father’s concept of the fantasy bond. She will discuss how the original “bond” that is formed in a family can keep people stuck in the past, reliving rather than living their own lives. The incorporation of these early fantasy dynamics can lead to limiting psychological defenses and a critical self-concept that go on to negatively impact how an individual relates to themselves and those closest to them throughout their lives. On an unconscious level, people may turn to the imagined safety of a fantasy connection over the more threatening or painful reality that comes with real relating, genuine caring, or giving value to our loved ones and our lives in general.

In her presentation, Dr. Firestone will help therapists understand how and why this primitive defense develops and how it goes on to affect clients in everything from destructive relationship patterns to self-sabotaging behaviors, from shattered self-esteem to parenting difficulties. She will explain techniques to help clients recognize, understand, and challenge elements of a fantasy bond, a process that can dramatically improve their relationships with their partners, their children, and themselves, while allowing them to live their own lives free of the shackles of their earliest defenses.

Learning Objectives:

  1. Become familiar with the concept of the fantasy bond, an imaginary connection formed with their partner that relieves anxiety yet interferes with real relationships.
  2. Learn how methods or defenses formed to deal with pain and anxiety in childhood later come to limit people as adults in their ability to develop and sustain attachments
  3. Learn to identify the negative thoughts they have toward self, partner, and the relationship in order to provide targeted interventions
  4. Apply techniques to identify and challenge destructive thinking in clients.
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Ordering Information

Once payment is received, you will be emailed a full video recording of this webinar along with all presentation materials.

Optional CEs (2) may be purchased through R. Cassidy Seminars. A link to purchase CE Credits will be included in the email containing all your webinar resourcesMore Info Here

Continuing Education Information

Optional CEs (2) may be purchased through R. Cassidy Seminars. A link to purchase CE Credits will be included in the email containing all your webinar resourcesMore Info Here

About the Presenter

Lisa Firestone, Ph.D. Dr. Lisa Firestone is the Director of Research and Education at The Glendon Association. An accomplished and much requested lecturer, Dr. Firestone speaks at national and international conferences in the areas of couple relations, parenting, and suicide and violence prevention. Dr. Firestone has published numerous professional articles, and most recently was the co-author of Sex and Love in Intimate Relationships (APA Books, 2006), Conquer Your Critical Inner Voice (New Harbinger, 2002), Creating a Life of Meaning and Compassion: The Wisdom of Psychotherapy (APA Books, 2003) and The Self Under Siege (Routledge, 2012). Follow Dr. Firestone on Twitter or Google.

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Maureen Buggy

Dr. Firestone,
I have just ended a relationship, and the issues that came up are clearly included in your seminar, The Fantasy Bond.
I would like to know if you give any seminars (live) on this subject, as I feel I need more than what is available on line.
I live in California, but wold be willing to travel.
Thank you for you work,
Maureen Buggy


Thank you for your interest in our work, Maureen. You can sign up for The Glendon Association newsletter to be notified of upcoming live events. Here is the link: http://www.glendon.org/contact-us/newsletter-subscribe-form/


I am a male and 55 years of age who has suffered from this all my life. Every time I have got in s meaningful close relationship I have lost the intimacy in my relationships ending in disaster, being the one being left alone, the very thing I feared all along , being alone which I spent during my childhood years not having close friends and my brother and sister not liking me and continually making fun of me.

At this age is there still a chance of breaking this cycle. Intimacy is something I haven’t experienced for s long time even though I am married. I love my wife and my two teenage boys very much and it has been a hard battle for my wife and I to get through to this stage. We are still close but not intimate, but I have never given up. I have seen many councillors and sexologists but never had this been mentioned to me. I find it a relief that I have found out what it is but am still concerned of how to break this cycle. I have tried so many things to date, trying to understand why I am like this- very tiring. I have also suffered s medical condition that was only diagnosed 3 years ago, a massive brain aneurysm which has caused me a lot of emotional grief as well.it resulted in my pituitary gland to produce a female hormone “ prolactin” that was the highest doctors had every seen. This imbalance of hormones in my body nearly mentally sent me around the twist. Scary suffering massive anxiety attacks for many years.

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