Your Past May Hold Clues To Why You Struggle In Relationships Currently
Maybe traumatic childhood experiences have impacted your ability to adequately express your thoughts and feelings as an adult. Feeling unresolved about the past may make you feel hopeless and discouraged about the future. A fear of abandonment or rejection as a child could result in unhealthy relationship dynamics later on. Or perhaps as you’ve gotten older, you struggle to set boundaries or feel like you have to pull more weight than the other person in most of your relationships.
If you are flailing and don’t know how to course correct, it’s okay to admit you could use some help navigating relationships more successfully. A relationship coach can offer perspective, guidance, nurturing, and wisdom. Whether you need help with a family member, friend, or coworker or want to understand the dynamics that led to a breakup, relationship counseling can help.
The Nature Of Relationships Is Imperfect
As humans, we are wired for connection and crave community. The relationships we forge throughout our lives are how we experience love, trust, and intimacy. As important as relationships are, we all experience some level of dysfunction within them. Over time, hurts and emotional wounds can accumulate, leading us to make assumptions about others’ behaviors that may or may not be true. When resentment builds, expressing thoughts and feelings without exploding or shutting down becomes difficult.
The Modern Era Can Negatively Impact How We Relate To Each Other
The shifts we have experienced technologically and culturally have taken a toll on how we communicate and see the world. The rise of digital communication has created more opportunities for misinterpretation and misrepresentation. In the absence of face-to-face contact, it’s easy to write our own narrative in the confines of a text or email, filling the blank screen with our insecurities and fears. And on social media, people decide what they want others to see, often portraying an illusion of perfection that glosses over reality.
What’s more, today’s intensely polarized political and cultural climate has made maintaining some relationships challenging. When our belief systems are opposed to those of friends or loved ones, it can feel like we live in different realities. Sadly, these unwavering points of view can lead to severing ties within families and friend groups.
Trying to mend our relationships can be difficult to do on our own. Family relationships can be extremely complex, making it hard to find a way forward. Because we lack perspective, we often can’t see past the hurt and conflict to an equitable resolution.
Counseling can help you overcome any issues or problems that continue to arise in your family relationships, work relationships, or friendships. If you have recently experienced a breakup, therapy offers a safe space to examine what happened so you can enter future relationships with a newfound perspective.
Coaching Provides Skill-Building Tools To Improve The Quality Of Your Relationships
Problematic relationships can impact your quality of life and sense of well-being. As a relationship therapist and coach, I can help you gain confidence in handling situations that have caused worry, guilt, confusion, and frustration in your life. By providing you with beneficial tools, strategies, coping skills, and suggestions to navigate relationships, I can help you finally break out of communication styles that have kept you stuck repeating the same patterns. When you better understand how you got here and what changing your current relationship dynamics will entail, coaching can offer you a new path forward.
What To Expect In Sessions
First and foremost, coaching allows you to experience what it feels like to be heard and seen within the context of a therapeutic relationship. Together, we will address your present relationship concerns with hands-on tools and then delve deeper into the past to better understand the root cause of these struggles. From the onset of coaching, I will actively offer communication skills to shift your relationship dynamics, guided by a thorough understanding of your family history. This creates change that starts right away.
Some of the insights and skills you can expect to take away from relationship coaching are:
- Gaining wisdom and clarity about intergenerational trauma and its potential impact on how you relate to others;
- Learning how to break long-standing unhealthy relational patterns and replace them with more positive forms of communication;
- Acknowledging and accepting others' limitations while also honoring your own limits;
- Avoiding engaging in one-sided relationships;
- Discerning between reacting and responding as well as understanding the value of taking a pause when needed;
- Developing and strengthening internal focus instead of expending most of your emotional energy on others;
- Realizing how it feels to achieve deep and lasting change in relationships rather than putting a Band-Aid on the problem.
Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT) For Relationships
I incorporate the principles of Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT) into relationship coaching. EFT focuses on identifying and interrupting negative interaction cycles in relationships. For example, you might engage in a repeating cycle of hurting each other’s feelings, which then triggers one another’s trauma and unmet emotional needs.
Having empathy, compassion, and understanding for the emotional wounds both of you carry into the relationship will provide you with a fresh perspective. Oftentimes, protective emotions like anger and blaming are masking vulnerable emotions like sadness, shame, and worry. With EFT, you will learn you can still hold empathy for others even when you don’t agree with the content of what they’re saying.
You can’t change other people. However, when you change, so too does the dynamic of your relationship. In therapy, you can learn to speak your truth to others; not because you expect a certain response, but because it liberates you and helps you heal. Building trust within yourself will enable you to improve how you relate to others and navigate future relational challenges that inevitably arise.
But Maybe You’re Not Sure If Relationship Coaching Is Right For You…
I’ve put off seeking relationship counseling for so long that I worry it’s too late to change.
Even if you’ve struggled in relationships throughout your life, it’s never too late for change. No matter how much hurt, pain, or resentment has piled up, it’s possible to start digging out. You may regret not seeking help sooner, but reaching out and starting relationship coaching now will allow you to enjoy the present moment more fully.
What’s the point of me attending relationship coaching alone?
Even if the other person continues to exhibit unhealthy patterns, the growth you can achieve in individual therapy for relationship issues will alter the interaction. By learning new ways to process your emotions, you won’t feel pushed to the point of exploding or shutting down. Freeing yourself from the distress of these negative reactions can help you gain clarity. Most of all, you will master what lies at the heart of all healthy relationships, nurturing and cultivating connection.
Will working with a relationship counselor or coach just be rehashing all the things I regret?
Our work together will be a journey rooted in trust and curiosity. Rather than judgment, I will meet you with compassion. No one operates in a vacuum—all of our behaviors fit within the context of our early experiences, forming a template for our adult interactions. Working with me is like putting together a puzzle. We'll take the pieces out of the box, see how they fit together, and start to see the picture they form. Together, we will create a new template for relating to others.