Are You Stuck In A Cycle Of Unhealthy Relationship Patterns?

Are you struggling in your romantic, family, work or social relationships? Do you find yourself repeating negative patterns of interaction and attracting the wrong kinds of people? Perhaps you have a hard time recognizing red flags that indicate that somebody is not good for you or that it is time to leave a relationship. Or maybe many of your relationships are healthy, but you’ve been engaging in ongoing conflict with your partner or one particular person. Do you have a hard time communicating your needs and expectations effectively? Do you often feel disconnected from other people? Are you interested in having healthier, more satisfying relationships with all the people in your life?

People in all stages of life experience relationship issues, whether they are romantic, family, friendship or professional in nature. As you mature, your needs, expectations and tolerance for certain behaviors change and grow. And, it is totally normal for your relationships to experience some growing pains along the way.

It Can Be Difficult To Break Negative Relationship Patterns

You may have noticed that you seem to fall into the same ineffective patterns and behaviors in your relationships. Things might go well at first, but eventually you find yourself sliding back into the same habits. You may feel unsure about whether you should commit or whether you are ready to settle down or be faithful. You might wonder if your partner can make you happy or if you are missing out on something. You could be having the same arguments over and over and feel like your partner just doesn’t understand or value you. Romantic relationships are a big source of stress for many people.

But relationship problems aren’t always romantic in nature. You may be having problems at work or in school because you are stuck in certain negative patterns of interaction or because you have preconceived ideas about a group of people. You could be feeling disconnected from your friends, colleagues or people in your social circles. Perhaps you feel like you can’t really be yourself or that no one will understand your point of view. Maybe, like many of our clients, you are a young professional having a hard time meeting people or making friends. Once you leave your high school and college friends and enter the working world, it can be a lot harder to form quality relationships. You have to search them out instead of having those daily interactions with people you have known for years.

Relationship issues can cause drama, preoccupation and stress. You might replay conversations or interactions over and over in your head, wondering what you could have said or done differently. You may not feel confident in your decision-making or ability to attract quality people. And, you might be generally unhappy or unfulfilled in your daily interactions with others.

Thankfully, you’ve recognized that there is a problem and want to do something about it. With the help of an experienced, compassionate therapist, you can get to the root of what’s causing your relationship challenges and gain the skills and insights needed to engage with the people in your life in meaningful, effective ways.

Relationship Counseling Can Help You Get Clear On Your Own Boundaries And Expectations

Conflict is often a necessary and natural part of relationships. However, it’s how you handle the conflict and grow from it that counts. In safe, nonjudgmental relationship counseling sessions, you can develop skills to mitigate and manage the conflict in your relationships as well as thoughtfully communicate your needs and respond to those of others.

Instead of avoiding conflict in your relationships, you can learn to navigate it in a graceful and healthy way. Avoiding conflict only breeds more dysfunction, dishonesty and bad communication. There will always be issues in relationships; it’s how you respond to them that matters. In relationship counseling, you will learn skills to handle conflicts before they spiral of control and become a problem.

Relationship counseling can also help you identify where your negative relationship patterns stem from. Together with your therapist, you can determine whether the same issues are occurring in different parts of your life or if you are struggling in one specific area. Some people do great in romantic relationships, but have terrible relationships with family members. Alternatively, other people can be wonderful friends, but would make for an awful life partner. In therapy, we’ll discover what your patterns are and find ways for you to improve your interactions in that area.

At Philadelphia Assessment & Counseling, your skilled and compassionate therapist will offer support with a straight talk style. Your therapist can point out self-destructive patterns when he or she sees them, and help you understand who and what brings joy to your life. An important aspect of relationship counseling is helping you build self-awareness and emotional intelligence. When you have a better understanding of yourself, you can feel confident that your decisions are based not on what others think you should do, but what you know is best for your own health, safety, happiness and security.

You’re not destined to engage in bad relationships forever. In relationship counseling, you can learn to better understand your own emotions, how your reactions impact other people and what kind of energy you bring to your relationships. With help and support, you can learn how to make new friends, have healthy, strong friendships and bringing joy into others’ lives. Learning how to navigate conflict and engage in healthy communication within your relationships can dramatically improve all aspects of your life. Believe it or not, there is such a thing as healthy disagreement. It’s all about trying new ways of looking at situations and discovering healthy ways of dealing with them.

You may think relationship counseling can help, but still have some questions or concerns…

Can you really help me with my problems? My relationship challenges feel so personal and individual that no one could understand.

No matter how strange or specific your situation may seem, relationship counseling can be beneficial. Your therapist can help you figure out what makes you happy and what is keeping your relationships from being open, healthy and strong. With help and support, you can discover what you want and need from a relationship and how to move forward from here. Relationship counseling is about opening your eyes to your own wants and needs so that you can start moving your relationships in a positive direction.

I feel nervous talking about my personal issues.

First, relationship counseling is completely confidential. Nothing you tell your therapist leaves the office. Some people are nervous that they will be scolded or told it’s their fault their relationships aren’t working. Rest assured, there is no blame or pointing fingers in therapy. It’s natural for relationships to change and grow, so the focus in relationship counseling is about helping you to improve future interactions, not chiding you for anything that has happened in the past.

It’s my fault my relationships are messed up and I already know that.

There are always two people in a relationship. You may feel guilty or like you are the one to blame for the problems, but in actuality, each of you is playing a part in maintaining the dysfunction. It’s never all one person’s fault. However, one person can take steps to improve the relationship and steer it back on track.


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If you still have questions about relationship counseling, please call for a free 15-minute phone consultation.* We’d be happy to discuss your therapy needs and our practice.

*all new clients must complete a consultation before being seen for an appointment