by Counsellor, Stoke on Trent, Staffordshire
Many people contact me because they are experiencing relationship problems and feel helpless and stuck. They may say things like:
Every time I say something to my partner it turns into an argument. I can’t win.
I miss how my relationship used to be.
People don’t like me.
I’ve got nothing to say.
I feel a bit frightened about meeting people I don’t know.
I try really hard to please other people and it still doesn’t work out.
I’ve given up with trying to make friends. I’m not worth knowing but I feel lonely.
Why doesn’t anyone understand me?
I don’t understand me.
Why is it that everyone else is happy and I’m not?
How Counselling may be able to Help
Counselling provides you with a safe and confidential space to discuss and explore your worries and concerns without being judged. Your counsellor will try to understand you and will offer you both support and challenge by, for example, reflecting how you may be contributing to your own difficulties. The relationship that you develop with your counsellor may help you to learn about how to relate with other people. Your counsellor will model relationship skills and this may increase your awareness and understanding of yourself.
The vocabulary we use with others can have a major impact on the way we relate. Which of the following do you prefer:
- You make me so angry. You never do what I say.
- I feel angry at the moment because I wanted some help with ‘xxx’ and I feel let down.
- You’re always moaning. Leave me alone because I’m not putting up with it.
- I need to talk about this later.
- Let’s do whatever you want. You know I don’t mind.
- I would like to do ‘xxx’. What about you? What would you like to do? Then we could decide on a plan.
In my experience, the outcome of successful therapy is that the client is able to say what they need from others in a respectful way. This means recognising that we are entitled to have our needs met in a relationship. A healthy relationship is underpinned by trust, respect and mutuality. Do you really want to be in a relationship with someone who does not care about your happiness?
Copyright Christine Bonsmann. All rights reserved.