“A great relationship doesn’t happen because of the love you had in the beginning, but how well you continue building love until the end.”
― Author Unkown
Relationships matter… immensely. As human beings, we are hardwired to be attached to others in ways that meet a variety of needs. Belonging is a core need for humans to flourish physically, mentally and emotionally.
Research shows that when someone chooses a life of solitude, their quality of life diminishes. Their ability to tolerate distress (resiliency) decreases, and they are more prone to illness. We learn how to love ourselves and how to regard ourselves by our interactions with close loved ones. They act as mirrors for us.
The parts of our brains responsible for love and attachment are regulated by each other. As a baby, I learn love through my connection to my caregivers, as reflection in their eyes. Dr. Sue Johnson, in her book Love Sense: The Revolutionary New Science of Romantic Relationships asks, “How does a baby know he is delightful? The baby knows he is delightful because when he looks into his mother’s eyes, he sees delight.”
We learn how to love ourselves and how to regard ourselves by our interactions with close loved ones. They act as mirrors for us. Research shows that when someone chooses a life of solitude, their quality of life diminishes. Their ability to tolerate distress (resiliency) decreases, and they are more prone to illness. We’re just not a solo species.
Close, connected and healthy relationships help us to function more securely in the world. When we feel safe, seen and soothed then we experience a state of love. This “soft place to land and a solid place to launch” allows us to actually have a bigger experience of life. When we know that someone has our back, and they are consistently there to care for us and cheer us on, then we are more likely to take risks in life.
Here’s the crux of it. We’re able to have the fullest expression of our selves when we have healthy close relationships. This may seem odd, but it’s true. Our individuality gets to flourish within a really safe and nurturing relationship.
That is why relationships matter, why it’s vitally important to create, grow and care for our relationships. The quality of our relationships gives us great insight into how fulfilled we are and whether or not we may have more work to do.
When we find ourselves struggling in creating, growing or caring for our relationship, or we’re struggling with who we are in the relationship, or even simply finding ourselves wanting more, that is the time to address our situation. Our future self, our future experience of our life, depends on it.
The truth is we’re often unable to see ourselves accurately. And as an objective, third-party, our counsellor can see us and the environment around us.
A counsellor is much like a soccer coach.
Think of a soccer player in the game, focused on their own next move, the player can not see all the other players. They can not see themselves in the game, and they can’t see the bigger picture of the game. It is the soccer coach who can see what the player cannot and provides key information that will help the player in their game. That’s also the benefit of working with a therapist; to gain a more encompassing perspective and information from within your own life that you might not be able to see because your viewpoint is from within.
Our Relationship Counselling Services
Couples are most likely to engage with therapy when they are in the midst of crisis, but couples therapy can be so much more than a last minute attempt to save the relationship. Many people have not had good role modelling, and school rarely teaches effective relationship skills. Couples therapy can be a way to deepen understanding, to prevent small problems from becoming large ones, to strengthen relationships and to support and encourage the creation of a shared vision.
When a relationship commitment is newly made, for example when a couple first lives together or becomes engaged, premarital counselling can help create the foundation for a strong, successful relationship by supporting fundamental skills such as communication and conflict resolution.
And even before there’s a love relationship, dating coaching can help clarify many things, such as who you are, what you want and what your own relationship goals are. This supports you to “consciously date,” and be better able to attract and create a successful relationship.
People think a soul mate is your perfect fit and that’s what everyone wants. But a true soul mate is a mirror, the person who shows you everything that is holding you back, the person who brings you to your own attention so you can change your life.
– Elizabeth Gilbert