In therapy, you can compassionately explore and understand the root of your relationship challenges, as well as your hopes and expectations. In many relationships, communication feels like the most difficult issue. This makes sense: No one is a perfect communicator, particularly in intimate relationships. No matter how hard we try, we all experience the frustration of attempting to say one thing and being completely misunderstood. And, even though it can be hard to admit, most people have triggers ~ hot-button issues that can make you feel like you’re three years old and reduce your communication skills and style to that of a toddler.
Why is communication so difficult?
Many people grew up in families where open communication, especially about feelings, was discouraged. You may have been punished, shamed or ignored when you tried to express yourself honestly. You also might have learned to make certain bargains and compromises in order to connect with others. At the same time, it may not have felt safe or possible to rely on family members or caregivers, so you may have come to believe that you had to do everything yourself.
In your early childhood relationships, you formed a kind of blueprint for the way relationships work. Your parents and caregivers did their best, given what they knew. However, incomplete or unskillfully drawn blueprints can set you up for ongoing interpersonal challenges as an adult. In therapy, your blueprints can be revised.
Honest, compassionate communication is possible.
Relationship issues can be difficult to talk about. Maybe you want a deeper commitment, and your partner isn’t ready. Perhaps there are recurrent conflicts that you can’t seem to resolve. Or, maybe you deeply long for a committed relationship, partly because you want to start a family, yet you find yourself alone and afraid that you will never find a partner.
Whether you’re single and longing for genuine connection, or in a relationship but troubled by it in some way, therapy can help you learn to communicate more honestly and compassionately. In therapy, I can guide you to become more conscious of your beliefs and blueprints, and of the unspoken interpersonal bargains that you’re making. Once you have greater clarity, you can practice honoring your truth and communicating in ways that are more effective and lead to greater intimacy and connection.