There are many types of relationships, and any one of them could need help. In the end, everything revolves around relationships. As many native tribes say, Mitákuye Oyás’in, which translates to “All my Relations” or “All are Related.” It is a prayer of oneness and harmony with all forms of life: other people, animals, birds, insects, trees and plants, and even rocks, rivers, mountains, and valleys.
Romantic Relationship counseling
AKA couples therapy, is a type of psychotherapy where the therapist focuses on the couple as the client while working on individual goals for each person. Relationship counseling is helpful at any stage of a relationship: pre-marital (as an aid to help dig into the hard topics), troubled relationships (improved communication, improved interactions, conflict resolution, figuring out if the relationship still works for each partner), and even healthy relationships (strengthened communication or connection).
Relationship counseling can be the focus of individual sessions or couples sessions. Sometimes we may find ourselves unhappy but not have a clear reason why. Bring that into therapy with you, we can figure it out. Sometimes there is a lack of a relationship that needs to be addressed because the last, or the last few relationships have been so detrimental you’re scared to try again. Or maybe you are afraid to be alone so what we need to work on is carving out time for learning who you are, your hard no’s, and what you are capable of giving, and what you need in a relationship.
DeTOXING from an abusive relationship
You may be left feeling anxious or insecure, angry or upset, or drained and dissatisfied. This can be any type of relationship where you feel dissatisfied with the relationship as it is and where your needs aren’t being met in the relationship. Sometimes this is a parental relationship, your co-parent, a friend, or a family member. Often, this is a significant other. Sadly, no matter the hurt, there is often something about the dynamic that is difficult to leave behind which can cause cognitive dissonance that we often solve by continuing to put energy into maintaining the relationship despite the toll it is taking on your life, mental and physical health.
Some believe that to fully detox from a toxic/unhealthy relationship, you need to follow specific steps. Some include No Contact for 8 weeks, similar to a chemical detoxification program. I don’t believe that one size fits all. It’s not always realistic to stop all contact; then it is about managing contact on terms that are acceptable to you, identifying and enforcing boundaries, as well as healing yourself while protecting yourself. You might co-parent with this person, work for or with this person, or have them as a friend or family member that you don’t want to cut out of your life, but create distance and a more manageable relationship instead. Bring that into the session with you, we can work on that.
When is it “time” to come in for therapy?
Regardless of the type of relationship you are in, if you find that
- You have a hard time expressing your feelings to the other person
- You have one or more unsolvable disagreement
- One of you withdrawals, criticizes, or holds feelings in contempt
- A stressful event has happened that the relationship hasn’t been able to move past
- You have trouble making decisions together
- Infidelity, addiction, or emotional/physical/psychological abuse occurs
- You want a stronger relationship
Relationship counseling could be helpful for you. It is never too early to start therapy, some couples begin before they are married to help ensure a strong foundation and that no one “buries” any potential problems. It is possible to wait too long to go to therapy. The average couple waits six years before going to therapy which is a lot of time for problems to fester (https://www.nytimes.com/2012/03/04/fashion/couples-therapists-confront-the-stresses-of-their-field.html?pagewanted=all) making it extraordinarily difficult to repair the relationship.