Maybe you are feeling inadequate, insecure or your relationships are not developing, maybe you are not reaching your potential with healthy relationships. Counselling can help you to understand your communication skills, what you hear and how interpret messages, how to become assertive in relationships…  

Every day we are in some kind of relationship, with the cashier in the shop, with parents, children and relatives, at work, at college, with superiors, acquaintances, friends, close friends and intimate friends (spouses, boy/girlfriend). In each of these relationships, we experience them differently, how we experience them is built on how we view or interpret them, we experience different feelings and emotions and these emotions control how we react, feeling good, we are secure, feeling bad, we are insecure.

Symptoms of Relationship Difficulties

  • Repetitive, destructive patterns at work or home (co-dependency)
  • 'Here we go again' feelings
  • Feeling bullied or pressurised
  • Limiting of social life for fear of consequences
  • Being anxious or depressed
  • Feelings of not wanted or good enough, feeling criticised
  • Feeling others are not good enough
  • Finding it difficult to communicate, say what you mean, or say NO

Why we might feel like the examples above has to do how we experience and view ourselves in different relationships. Our sense of identity and self-worth rests on the strength of our relationships and often we despair when we feel we fail. Our ways of relating are learned at a young age in the family in which we grew up and we can become stuck in unhealthy and unhelpful habits that restrict our lives.

Under pressure we often experience strong negative emotions and if we imagine these emotions having a voice they might be saying something negative about us.  We feel blamed, guilty, anxious, shamed, depressed even, hopeless and helpless. We often accept these emotions and criticism as a fact of what and who we are. Any relationship that diminishes a person's self-esteem should be examined closely.

There is a way out

Relationship Counselling can help us improve the way we relate to the people around us, to examine our patterns of interacting and break free of old patterns, wrong beliefs about what and who we are in relationships, so we can reach healthy goals and new potentials. This is done with personal or individual work were we look at what is holding the individual back and challenge with new options, perspectives and beliefs.  Having self-respect, a healthy self-image, important ingredients for good relationships, this allows us to improve our relationships with work colleagues, friends or an intimate partner when we make conscious choices and learn new skills.

Managing conflict is one of the corner stones to improving relationships. It is unrealistic to hope to avoid conflict or just hope it goes away. Differences can be acknowledged with respect to allow people to co-exist in any environment, at work or play. Learning the skills to relate and communicate better can allow unhealthy patterns to change.

Understanding the value of self-esteem can help address difficult issues with the greatest chance of success. Transactional Analysis and Cognitive Behavioural Therapy are just two of a vast array of tools which can help focus on healthier ways to deal with people. Individual counselling can help build confidence and self-esteem.

How can Relationship Counselling help?

  • Destructive patterns of relating can be recognised and addressed
  • Conflict and communication can be improved
  • Healthier boundaries, be able to express thoughts, feelings and needs
  • Feel valued in challenging relationships
  • New relationship skills can be learned
  • The effect of change can be examined
  • Relationships can be more successful and assertive
  • Abusive relationships and domestic violence can be acknowledged and dealt with

Counselling can help us to understand the messages and habits we may have inherited from our past, the environment we grew up in and offer and develop new, healthier skills to realise our potential.  Working with a qualified therapist help us to become more assertive and recognise and work through any unhealthy tendencies we have of poor relating and co-dependent issues with others.     

What can be expected in the therapy?

The therapist meets the client for an initial 1 ½ hour assessment where the therapist and the client can explore what is going on for the client.  The client and therapist can discuss how to proceed with the therapy, and whether what the therapist suggests is what the client is after.  Usually we suggest 6 sessions of one hour regular therapy and then a review of the work achieved and how and if,  the client wants to continue.