When Relationships Need a Reset
COVID-19 has changed many aspects of relationship dynamics. At best it has created a solid bond between those who were too busy and caught up in the hustle and bustle of life. For others, the confined spaces, and loss of access to daily outlets and distractions has meant many couples and families could no longer avoid the underlying problems and conflict that they had ignored for years.
We all know that relationships are one of the most important aspects of our lives and are also closely linked to our health and wellbeing.
In fact, studies have shown that 60% of people with depression indicated that it was directly linked to their relationship problems.
Secure attachments and healthy relationships create a safe haven for people to retreat to in times of stress. When it’s going well, your relationship brings a sense of peace and happiness. However, when your relationship becomes the very source of distress, it will put extreme pressure on you.
Most couples try to work things out on their own, but you may become stuck in a familiar toxic loop and unable to resolve issues. Getting support from a counsellor may help.
What to expect from Couples Therapy
1. Gain Insight
Therapy helps get to the underlying causes of conflicts. You’ll be surprised how much more you can learn about yourself and your relationship through couples counselling.
Your therapist will also explore your past experiences, hurtful memories and other significant relationships. All of these can leave a mark and influence how you are reacting to triggers.
Understanding your past will help you to understand the present.
2. Have productive conversations
It’s hard to have a meaningful conversation when it usually ends up with two people screaming at each other or walking away altogether. You end up feeling disheartened, drained and helpless after such stressful exchanges. The more you feel you’re not getting through to your partner, the more frustrated and helpless you get.
A good therapist will create a safe space for you to have a conversation where both feel heard and validated.
3. Learn to Understand and Regulate Your Emotion
Clients often come to counselling for ‘anger management’ as part of their relationship struggle. Anger is our most accessible emotion. Its function is to set boundaries and protect us from harm. It is an emotion that comes up when we feel threatened or unsafe.
But to the person on the receiving end of anger, they perceive attack and criticisms rather than helplessness and fear that may be the true feelings hiding behind the angry protests.
Your therapist will help you understand the root of your feelings, and how to express them in a way that is helpful in connecting, not pushing away. They can also support you in regulating your emotions.
From conflict can come connection.
4. Provide Practical Strategies
Couples therapy will give you practical tools and suggestions to help with communication and conflict management. They will also give you strategies to regulate difficult emotions and deepen your connection with your partner.
If you need support with your relationship with your partner or family members, book an appointment today to speak to our couples and family therapist, Kay Chung.