I am often asked by clients how their relationships will change as a result of their therapy.
Some clients worry that their romantic relationships will not survive.
And others fear that they will never be capable of having a healthy partnership.
I see individuals who are concerned that relationships with their family members will never be the same again.
And some that believe they may have to cut people out of their lives forever.
Of course all of the above scenarios are possible (it’s interesting to note that these worries and projections are more often negative than positive), however it’s also possible that relationships may flourish as a result of therapy.
My experience of working in this field has shown me time and again, that as the person in therapy changes, so do their relationships with everyone around them. It is pretty much impossible for those who fundamentally change through therapy, NOT to start to experience change in their relationships.
The reasons for this include the following:
The more you understand about yourself, the more you learn who you like to spend time with.
The more you work on your self-esteem the less you will tolerate those who drain you or put you down.
The more self-esteem you have, the less you will look for others to ‘fix’ you.
The less you NEED others to help you feel good about yourself, the more choosy you become about your relationships.
The more self-worth you experience, the easier you will find it to set boundaries with the people around you.
The more work you have done around your inherited shame (and other unhelpful emotional responses), the more available you will be for relationships.
The more present you are, the more you will experience true intimacy.
It is true, that as a result of therapy some relationships may change and some may end completely, but it will probably be for the right reasons. Chances are you will stop people-pleasing that demanding friend just because you’re scared he will reject you. Or you will put in boundaries with your mum enabling you both to be more honest with each-other. Or perhaps you will end an unfulfilling partnership because now you truly believe that you deserve more.
So, if these sound like attractive propositions, but aren’t a reality for you at the moment, you may want to consider some therapy for yourself, you and your partner or you and your family.
It really is good to talk.