Have there been communication problems between you and the ones you love? Do you worry about the quality of your romantic relationships and how to get what you need? Do you find yourself feeling anxious, hurt, or overwhelmed? Are you starting to wonder about the potential for your relationships to change?
Maybe you’re experiencing problems with important individuals in your life, such as friends or family. They have expectations that you’re not sure you can or want to live up to. Perhaps you feel like you can’t talk to them anymore, which leads to feelings of frustration. Or maybe you’re starting to feel like you’re the only one who is trying to fix things.
You might also be facing problems in the dating sphere. You might have trouble finding people who match what you need, and worry about the kind of people you’ll run into. You might have found someone you like but are having a hard time navigating the evolution of the relationship, possible cultural differences, or familial expectations.
You might have gotten to the point where you are tired of pushing these issues aside and are wondering how you can help yourself build the relationships you want. You know that things can’t stay the way they are.
Everyone Experiences Relationship Issues At Some Point In Their Lives
Some people don’t see eye-to-eye with their parents on raising a family, career choices, or values. Others have had rocky romantic relationships that they’ve struggled to fix. Some are struggling with the role they have taken on, such as feeling like a constant caregiver who may not receive care. Many people have had some sort of trouble managing relationships, romantic or otherwise.
Many of us spend most of our days working and supporting others. We do this almost naturally because we’ve been trained to focus more on helping others than helping ourselves. This can come at a cost: we might struggle to balance the desires of others with our own, which often leads to us pushing aside our own wants for another person’s sake. This coping, while helpful in the short-term, can cause feelings of anxiety and bitterness to fester.
Society also has a very specific way of talking about dating and relationships. We’re often taught that only certain emotions are acceptable or “allowed” in relationships—for example, happiness, joy, or gratitude. It can be difficult to find a relationship with only “good” emotions, and because of this we often struggle to figure out how to handle the “negative” emotions when they appear.
Regardless of what sort of relationship concern you’re struggling with, you know you need help.
Relationship Counseling Might Be Just What You Need
Therapy is incredibly effective in treating relationship issues. It helps you understand your core values and clarify what you need from a relationship to be happy. It also helps you identify choices you can make to improve the relationship and can help you learn how to communicate your wants and needs. Therapy can help you identify how to protect yourself if important others are causing you hurt.
I offer an open, non-judgmental environment where you can safely put your feelings and experiences into words. We will work together to help identify ways that you can communicate more clearly, discover what’s really important to you, and help you understand your own emotions.
I use a balanced combination of insight-oriented exploration and tangible skills to tailor my help to your specific situation. For example, we might explore your core values, to help you understand what really matters to you. We might also engage in mindfulness techniques, such as mindfulness meditation, and compassionate self-talk to help you learn to be more kind, more consistent, more motivated, and less critical, not just to others but also to yourself.
Perhaps most importantly, together we can help you use your emotions more effectively. It can be hard to feel angry, sad, or hurt. When these feelings are talked about effectively, they can allow you to create relationships that you want in your life. I can help you develop strategies to better communicate these emotions to the important people in your life, so that you may start a conversation that will help you both.
I have a Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology and I have close to ten years of experience with helping people sort through these really important concerns. I love to see clients gain more clarity about themselves and it is wonderful to see a shift in the quality of relationships people have over our time working together.
Many times people feel like things are out of their control and that they don’t have the power to make the changes necessary. However, there are still lots of choices in front of you. Together, we can work to identify the choices that will center your values and needs, and build the skills you need to achieve your goals.
You may still have concerns about relationship counseling…
I don’t think I can change.
Understandably, it can be frustrating if you’re stuck in negative patterns and aren’t seeing a lot of change. I would encourage you to be patient—change happens. My job is to help you clarify your wants, identify your strengths, and build skills so you can move toward that change.
Does relationship counseling work?
I have seen therapy prove successful, and it’s always a joy. However, I must emphasize that while therapy can work, it does take work.
I have a collaborative relationship with my clients. This means that I provide support and strategies in the office, and we find ways to practice applying those strategies in the real world. Therapy has worked for many others before, but it does require effort on the part of the client.
My partner and I are having trouble in our relationship. Do you do couples counseling?
I don’t focus on helping couples as a pair; instead, I focus on helping individuals one-on-one to improve all their relationships, not just the romantic ones. Many people don’t realize how much benefit we can get from individual counseling. With individual counseling, we can focus more on helping you, and you can learn how to build skills that will transfer to all parts of your life.
You Can Start Building Relationships With A Little Bit Of Help
If you are interested in learning more, I offer a free 15-minute phone consultation that you can schedule through my scheduling form. Together, we can take the first steps toward clarifying your values and improving your relationships.