If our guilt-manipulated clients can start to respond differently to those who manipulate them, they will effectively change the relationship dynamic, feel more of a sense of healthy control, and move the relationship further towards a healthy, genuinely reciprocal balance for both parties.
Articles on: Relationships
Relationships are what bring meaning to most people’s lives. Social connection matters to both health and happiness. Whatever our natural tendencies, we can all learn to be better socially. So what social skills might we want to help our socially unskilled clients develop?
Good relationships are the biggest predictor of a happy life, yet excessive expressions of contempt destroy relationships like nothing else. Contempt, commonly expressed in the form of criticism, fundamentally communicates the idea that “you are worthless”, even if this is not the intention.
I’ve occasionally worked with clients who exhibit that peculiar and often confusing blend of domination and aggression couched in supplication and appeasement. Apparent congeniality and agreeability laced with sarcasm and subtle obstructiveness. So, what specific patterns do we see in the passive-aggressive person? And how can we help them?
Whom we get involved with can have major ripple effects in our lives. The after-effects of an emotionally or physically abusive relationship can include extreme emotional insecurity, chronic fear of abandonment, trust issues, or even symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder. So what principles might we use to help our clients truly move on from past […]
Clients in codependent relationships often don’t seek help for the codependency itself. And, after all, if both are happy to continue as they are, then who are we to disturb their pathology? But if one partner is effectively being pushed into an early grave by the other through drink, drugs, or unhealthy food, then it […]
We tend to be happier if we have someone who we love and who, in turn, we feel loves us deeply. So when relationships go wrong, it can sometimes feel overwhelmingly threatening. As the song has it, “Ain’t no sunshine when she’s gone.” Here I want to offer a list of 12 questions that I […]
Ongoing loneliness tends to produce a sense of lost meaning. We need to feel life is meaningful, and deep relationships are a – perhaps the – vital way many people create and enjoy meaning in their lives. We all have a need for human contact, to give and receive attention. And, like any need, its […]
Having to be mature beyond our years early on isn’t always harmful. Sometimes it may help form wonderfully adjusted, productive, even happy human beings. But what about the disadvantages of an early life with little or no carefree play, overburdened with emotional and practical responsibility?
Just like marriage itself, the experience of divorce can be radically different for different people. Some ex-spouses continue to torment or try to control, and financial worries can feel overwhelming. But these three principles will hold good for anyone going through divorce.