Counselling is a powerful tool to help you have happier, healthier relationships.
When we find it difficult to relate to people, whether they are friends, partners, children, family members or work colleagues we can feel isolated, frightened, misunderstood and frustrated. We can find it hard to express ourselves or understand others’ wants and needs, leading to conflict and breakdowns in relationships.
When we have enjoyed positive, life-affirming relationships, we are able to hold within us a positive self-image. We learn to express ourselves, our needs and wants, in a healthy way. However the opposite is true where we have experienced negative and conflicting relationships, particularly those we experienced as children and young people. This can lead us to live with a negative and conflicted sense of self and the relationships we have with others will often reflect this. As our lives progress we learn coping strategies for dealing with the anxieties brought on by these early relationship conflicts. Initially these defences are successful and we can feel secure enough, but eventually they fail. We can find ourselves in situations where we see the spectre of past relationship problems appearing in the present and find our previous coping mechanisms no longer work for us.
Through counselling we can develop awareness of our relationship patterns and to recognise that the patterns of feelings evoked from the past, along with the defensive reactions and negative consequences, can leave us in conflict in our relationships. This can help us understand ourselves better and free us from our negative ways of relating. By helping us to recognise and understand our patterns and their limitations, we will gain insight into how and why we related to others in the past and how we no longer need to relate like that now or in the future. When we are clear on what the patterns are and how they occurred, it is much more difficult to fall into old, destructive patterns in our current relationships.
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