A good relationship is more than something we want—it’s something we need to be our happiest, healthiest, most productive selves. A recent 75-year long Harvard study indicates that our relationships are the most important element that impacts overall feelings of joy and happiness in life. But at home or work, supportive, fulfilling relationships don’t come automatically. They take an investment in time and energy as well as social skills that can be learned.
If you are lonely, experiencing conflict and/or dissatisfaction in your relationships, and/or want more peace at home and a better connection with your children there are steps you can take to repair these connections and build meaningful, long-lasting, loving relationships with others.
Family therapy brings parents, siblings and extended family members such as aunts, uncles and grandparents into the treatment process.
Every individual is, in part, a product of the environment they grew up in. Family plays an important role in our emotional, physical and spiritual development since each individ
ual in the family system impacts and is impacted by the others. For example, one person’s illness can change the lives and interactions of all the other family members.
Family therapy may be helpful to:
- Resolve a specific issue
- Prepare the family for a major life change such as a divorce or remarriage
- Address the role that family plays in an individual’s life
Depending on the unique needs and goals of the family, different combinations of family members may participate in each therapy session. The family therapist may give family members assignments to begin addressing some of the challenges identified during therapy.
Family therapy can help an individual:
- Understand how their family functions
- Identify strengths and weaknesses within the family system
- Set goals and develop strategies to resolve challenges
- Improve communication skills
- Make the entire family stronger
Studies show that family therapy is particularly important for adults and adolescents struggling with substance abuse, eating disorders, and other emotional and behavioral issues. When the whole family grows, each individual member is better off.
Romantic Relationships/Couples & Intimacy
Intimacy is about being emotionally close to your partner, about being able to let your guard down, and let him or her know how you really feel. Intimacy is also about being able to accept and share in your partner’s feelings, about being there when he/she wants to let their defense’s down.
To be able to share our ‘inner-world’ with a partner we love, and to be able to share our partner’s experiences, is one of the most rewarding aspects of a relationship. Intimacy often doesn’t need words, but being able to put feelings and experiences into words makes intimacy more likely to occur. Intimacy involves being able to share the whole range of feelings and experiences we have as human beings – pain and sadness, as well as happiness and love. Most of us, however, find it easier to share some types of feelings than others. For example, are you and your partner able to let each other know how you feel about each other?
Saying ‘I love you’ is important. Assuming your partner knows about your love because of the way you behave is usually not enough.
- How do you feel when you are sad and in need of some comforting and reassurance? Are you able to let yourself be dependent and to receive some nurturing? Is this balanced in your relationship, or is one partner the ‘strong one’ who never needs to show any vulnerability? If so, is this really how you want things to be in your relationship?
- How do you feel about sex? – what you like and don’t like in your love-making, and about how your sexual relationship could be made more enjoyable for you.
- Are you having questions and concerns about monogamy and/or your own sexuality? Is your authentic self being expressed in your current relationship?
- Do you really know what your partner thinks and feels, or do you have to guess and ‘mind-read?’ Are you able to be open with your partner, or do you feel that your partner would not be able to accept some of your feelings?
We understand how difficult and sometimes complicated relationships and intimacy can be. We are here to guide, support and empower you and your partner toward lasting change and commitment.
Email us today to set up your first appointment!