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Articles on: Relationships

Relationships are the stuff of meaningful life. People need people. Most clients will have one or more relationship issues. Reams of research show us that loneliness, disconnection from family and friends, alienation cause not only mental ill health but physical problems too. So when relationships go wrong it can feel almost like an existential threat. Happiness is so often found within good relationships and when we help our clients connect in healthy ways with the people in their lives we help them thrive and form a base from which they can build ever more meaningful lives.

  • overcome-fear-of-confrontation

    How to Help Clients Overcome Fear of Confrontation

    Confrontation isn’t always easy and doesn’t always go smoothly. But, like a bitter medicine, it may hold a cure. So what about those who just can’t confront others? If you ever work with clients who feel they would rather do anything than confront someone, I hope these ideas are useful.

  • sibling-rivalry

    Help Ease Your Client’s Adult Sibling Rivalry

    Sibling rivalry can be complex. Love and envy, affection and resentment can and often do coexist within one relationship – but they make uncomfortable and messy bedfellows. Here I offer five strategies that may help you help any clients who exhibit sibling rivalry.

  • overcome-fear-of-rejection

    How to Help Your Client Overcome Fear of Rejection

    The fear of rejection can stalk our minds like some mythical monster, terrorizing our dreams and casting a shadow across our every thought. Here are seven tips to help you help your clients overcome a morbid fear of rejection to live a fuller and happier life.

  • family-therapy

    One Guiding Principle for Family Therapy

    Family therapy is an effective treatment for a wide range of mental health and relationship problems. It can help families improve their communication skills, manage conflict, and cope with life transitions. And because families are systems, small changes can create large effects. Here I want to explore the one principle that governs so much of […]

  • reasons-to-stay-abusive-relationships

    3 Reasons Clients Stay in Abusive Relationships

    It can seem baffling, infuriating even, when an abused partner stays with an abuser, even more so when they go back to them after having left. But often it is every bit as baffling and infuriating for the person being abused. So why do people stay in these relationships, and how can we help the […]

  • self-sabotage-in-relationships

    How to Stop Self Sabotage in Relationships

    Self-sabotage can impact all areas of a client’s life, but relationship sabotage can be especially disruptive. I’ve worked with hundreds of relationship saboteurs over the years, and they all do similar things. Here’s what not to do when seeking to have a sustainable and happy relationship.

  • stop-obsessing-over-toxic-ex-lovers

    How to Stop Your Clients Obsessing Over Toxic Ex-Lovers

    Not too long ago I was asked on a Q&A call about what might be going on when clients feel addicted to an ex even though they know consciously the person is no good for them. Listen to or read my reply to hear my take on why this happens and give a couple of […]

  • resist-guilt-manipulators

    7 Steps to Help Your Client Resist Guilt Manipulators

    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.

  • key-social-skills

    6 Key Social Skills to Teach Your Shy Clients

    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?

  • relationship-saving-strategies

    How to Help Your Client Stop Over Criticizing the Ones They Love

    Good relationships are the biggest predictor of a happy life,[1] yet excessive expressions of contempt destroy relationships like nothing else.[2] Contempt, commonly expressed in the form of criticism, fundamentally communicates the idea that “you are worthless”, even if this is not the intention.