Respectful, honest communication is critical to addressing troubled relationships. Clients may see relationships breaking down over financial problems, fears of infidelity, lack of shared interests (“We’ve simply gone in different directions.”), or myriad other problems and differences of perspective. If commitment to the relationship is there for both parties, then forging new communication patterns can revitalize, even transform, relationships. Finding new ways to communicate, including becoming a better listener, is not easy or quick.
Sometimes only one person in a relationship is ready and willing to look into how to change things for the better. That’s ok. We all know, we cannot change other people. But we can take an honest look at ourselves and challenge ourselves to be different, more vulnerable, more ready to share those parts of ourselves that we’d rather deny or hide away, and ready to listen to another’s words and really hear what they are sharing of themselves.
Family relationships, work relationships, and of course intimate relationships all can benefit from therapeutic work that includes coming to a better knowledge of oneself as well as learning tools to improve communication, verbal and non-verbal, with others. We don’t live, love, work, or play in isolation. Work with a counselor can help clients both strengthen the relationships they already have as well as nurture new ones.