The quality of our relationships can often mean the difference between inner suffering and overall well-being. Many of us, however, get trapped in ways of relating to others that can keep us uncomfortable, unhappy, or lonely.
These harmful patterns can weaken, fray, and even dissolve our bonds with other people in our lives, and cause distress for those whom we care about as well as for ourselves. CBT can help.
COGNITIVE BEHAVIORAL THERAPY (CBT)
Like many other people, you may be seeking therapy to address relationship difficulties, which can take many forms. These include habitual withdrawal or social isolation, confusion about how we feel about others, problems with chronic anger, under-assertiveness, or excessive ‘people-pleasing.’ Any of these problems can contribute to chronic worry, deeper anxiety, depression or guilt, or additional self-destructive behaviors.
The Cognitive-Behavioral approach to relationships can help you by emphasizing the learned nature of interpersonal problems, as well as our ability to improve them through making different, more effective choices. We are born with the capacity to like and love others and to connect and share with them, but experiences early in our lives or later on can contribute to our developing self-destructive patterns with those around us or becoming vulnerable to theirs. These behaviors can be specific to family relationships, friendships, romantic relationships, or those with co-workers, or can extend across the different bonds in our lives.
Often we simply haven’t learned how to balance our needs, desires, or expectations with those of others.
WHAT TREATMENT LOOKS LIKE
Working with a Cognitive-Behavioral therapist can improve your relationships in a wide variety of ways. First, it’s a place for you to be heard and supported. Also, I can help you to better understand difficult relationships and to develop more helpful expectations about them, through a variety of cognitive interventions or by simply discussing and learning more about what’s typical or reasonable. When required, I can teach you behavioral approaches such as assertiveness training, anger management, conflict management, or problem-solving.
Additionally, the therapeutic relationship itself can often provide clues as to what is troubling you in relationships and how to address it in a meaningful way. Acceptance-based approaches, including mindfulness and ‘harm-reduction,’ may also be useful if you find yourself in one or more long-term relationships whose difficulties have no apparent solutions. These may include certain conflicts with partners, parents, or children.
IF YOU NEED OTHER SERVICES
While I do not provide couple or family therapy, I can help you to assess the need for it when relevant, and in those instances direct you toward finding a suitable professional for that purpose.
In those cases in which, apart from the give-and-take patterns between you and your partner or relative(s), you are primarily struggling with your own experiences or behaviors in a relationship, individual therapy can help you as well.
RELATIONSHIP ISSUES THAT I ADDRESS INCLUDE:
- Family conflicts
- Dating issues
- Friendship conflicts
- Pre-marital anxiety
- Anger management
- Chronic people-pleasing
- Social avoidance
- Sexual difficulties
Do you need to take action but are not sure how?
I invite you to contact me for a free phone consultation to see if CBT can help you with your relationships.