Does the idea of meeting new people in social gatherings set you on edge? Are you gripped by a persistent fear of being alone, but still find yourself avoiding intimacy and pushing away the people who get too close? Maybe there is a particular relationship in your life that is especially painful or stressful. Or, perhaps you struggle to get along with family members, coworkers, your boss, and people in general. You may feel weighed down by a sense of hopelessness about your difficulty in forming lasting connections.
Perhaps you have to drag yourself through your daily routine, feeling out of step with everyone and lonely even when surrounded by others. Are your romantic relationships often dysfunctional and short-lived, full of resentment, jealousy, and conflict? Does the thought that you aren’t with the right person – and never will be – keep you up at night? Do you alternate between disliking the people in your life and fearing that you will lose them altogether?
Lacking deep, meaningful connections with others can make life feel painful, lonely, and empty. When your attempts to reach out to people fail again and again, it’s easy to become frustrated and hopeless. You’ve likely wondered why you have so much trouble with relationships while it seems so easy for everyone else. When all the people in your life are in a long-term relationship or married, and you are still alone, it’s only natural to feel inadequate, different or under pressure to join the crowd.
At times, it might seem like you’re falling into the same dysfunctional cycles in your relationships, running into identical problems over and over. Maybe you feel disrespected, hurt, or annoyed by people frequently, but you don’t know why interactions and relationships always seem to sour. Perhaps your self-esteem, sleeping habits, and appetite have even been affected by the lack of positive, lasting relationships in your life, and you find it increasingly difficult to focus on your responsibilities or enjoy any part of your life. Do you just wish you could truly connect with someone and finally feel like you belong?
While it may seem as though you’re the only one having trouble making friends, dating, or getting along with family members, the truth is that many of us struggle to relate or connect to others. For many people, relationships always end in heartbreak, friendships fade into silence, or interactions with family only result in drama. It’s common for people to repeat the mistakes of past relationships without ever realizing they’re doing so.
For some, drugs or alcohol skew their perspectives, cloud their judgment, and make them unaware of the way they treat people. Others may have experienced damaging relationship issues with parents or caregivers early in their lives. Childhood trauma can act like a computer program that runs in the background of your mind, making you re-enact old relationship patterns in the present. Even events that occurred before your first memory can still affect you today. Other causes of relationship problems, such as low self-esteem, social anxiety, or mood disorders, can be just as harmful to the meaningful connections in your life.
Regardless of the cause or severity of our relationship issues, most of us could benefit from help with relationships and dating advice. If relationship problems are affecting the overall quality of your life, there is help and hope. Relationship therapy for individuals is a proven, effective way to deal with and overcome these obstacles to your happiness and develop new ways to nurture lasting connections with those in your life – including yourself.
Since 1998, I’ve been helping people work through every kind of relationship issue imaginable. My extensive experience has given me an intimate understanding of relationships and the knowledge to help you overcome the challenges holding you back from feeling empowered, expressing yourself with ease, and bonding with the people in your life.
In relationship therapy sessions, I provide an accepting and nurturing environment in which you can safely explore your feelings and discover more about yourself. My approach is empathic and warm, but solution-focused, which means we won’t dwell on the pain of the past. I get to the point and focus on core issues while working to build trust and a solid foundation for future healing.
In our first session, we would first simply sit down and get to know each other, discussing your main concerns and reasons you’ve come in. We’d then explore your relationship history, current relationships, and the relationships you’d like to have. I can help you practice greater self-compassion, shift your perspective so that you can interpret others with greater accuracy, and better understand your role in the relationship disconnect you’ve been experiencing. You can develop the awareness and skills you need to engage in relationships in new, productive ways.
Some of the techniques I teach include mindfulness-based stress-reduction skills, which can allow you to be more self-aware and really examine your thinking before acting. These techniques and others can help you to challenge negative, self-critical thoughts and replace them with more accurate and supportive self-talk. The goal is to help you look at moments when you felt ignored, disrespected, or shunned and get a different perspective on your reactions. When you’re less reactionary, you can be more in control of yourself and your life.
Ultimately, you can gain insight into the true source of your relationship issues and develop tools and techniques to deal with damaging thoughts and behaviors that impact your relationships. You can also learn to recognize unhealthy patterns and how to avoid falling into them, while learning to better communicate your needs to others. It is possible to create the relationships you long for.
Well, what if you asked a dentist the same thing about dentistry? Therapy for relationships is based on proven, effective methods that I’ve dedicated my life to studying. Just as a dentist can help you heal from a cavity, I can help you work through relationship issues so that you can feel healthier, more confident and more capable of interacting as your best self. Often, it’s too difficult for people who are close to you to help. Working with an impartial outside observer who has trained in the proper techniques is the best way to deal with communication or connection issues over the long term. At the very least, I can provide you with solid relationship advice for the future.
While it’s true that others can contribute to relationship difficulties, it’s extremely useful to really consider who we blame for our issues and to make sure we are seeing the world the way it truly is. Relationships are complicated, and while sometimes people just don’t get along, if you believe that the world is against you, you are unlikely to really engage with people as the complex human beings they are. The coping mechanisms you can learn in sessions allow you to manage your reactions to others, express how you feel with clarity and calm, and achieve healthy relationships.
No! It does not mean you’re crazy. It means you’re curious and intelligent enough to recognize there is a problem. The issues you’re facing are real and there are valid reasons you’re feeling and behaving the way you are. Together, we can work to better understand who you are and make positive changes in your life.
If you are ready to take the next step in self-improvement and be more engaged and connected with your family members, romantic interests, and others, I invite you to call me at (916) 822-2042 for a free, 15-minute phone consultation. I would love to answer any questions you have about relationship counseling, relationship advice, or my practice.