Relationship Issues

Going through life, we form relationships with parents, siblings, friends, significant others, children, colleagues, and other important figures. Often, problems in these relationships follow a certain pattern. Our sense of identity and self-worth rests on the strength of our relationships and often we despair when they fail. We learn how to form relationships at an early age in the family and social environment we grow up in.

Our fears and insecurities become parts of habits that we form and apply in relating with others. Under pressure we often revert to familiar patterns. The family scapegoat may find herself quick to accept blame when the pressure builds up at home. The assistant, who was bullied as a child, may find himself drawn to inviting criticism from an overbearing boss.

Successful relationships are formed by self-sufficient people who possess self-respect, self-esteem and know how to love themselves as well as have been taught how to love others. Working with the psychologist on your relationship forming skills can help discover when and why we could have become stuck in unhealthy or unhelpful habits, break away from the old patterns and improve our relationship forming skills. It is usually an integral part of personal or individual work.
What are the symptoms of relationship difficulties?
  • repetitive, destructive patterns at work or home
  • 'here we go again'
  • feelings feeling bullied or pressurised
  • feeling that the relationship diminishes your self-esteem
  • feelings of being held back for no apparent reason
  • limiting of social life for fear of consequences
  • anxiety or depression

I can help you examine patterns of interacting with those around you. We can 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 it. Differences can be acknowledged with respect to allow people to co-exist in any environment – at work or home. Learning the skills to negotiate 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. Psychotherapy can help build confidence and self-esteem. While working with a psychologist destructive patterns of relating can be recognised and addressed, conflict and communication can be improved, new relationship skills can be learned, the effect of change can be examined, relationships can be more successful, abusive relationships and domestic violence can be acknowledged. Psychotherapy can help us understand the messages and habits we may have inherited from the family in which we grew up and offer new, healthier skills to realize our potential.

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