Relationships are hard, and relationships with people we care about deeply can be especially so. It is precisely because loving relationships are so essential to our well-being, that they often become the source of so much distress and anxiety. There is a lot at stake in getting them right, and a lot that is impacted when they go wrong.
Whether you are a couple experiencing difficulties, or parents and children, siblings or even close friends who have run into a rough patch, it is important to acknowledge that such difficulties are a very understandable outcome of being important to another person and having an emotional impact on them. To misquote Julian Barnes, relationships hurt exactly as much as the pain is worth. If they didn’t matter, it wouldn’t matter.
When we are subsumed by our own pain and hurt, it can be hard for us to fully see and hear the other. Relationship counselling creates a space for honest, respectful and compassionate dialogue. In the presence of a counsellor who can keep us grounded and focused, we learn to do what we might feel too overwhelmed, angry, hurt and confused to do when we are by ourselves. The aim of relationship counselling is to deepen our understanding of each other, open up channels of communication and learn how to meet each other’s needs without giving up our own.