That familiar problem back again?

Do issues in your relationship leave you emotionally drained and unable to cope? Does a problem in your current relationship feel like a replay of problems in previous ones? Are you wondering why this same old thing always happens to you? Relationships are not always easy! Two people rarely fit together like jigsaw pieces, whether they are friends, family or lovers. Sometimes the best option is to walk away. However, if a relationship is important to you and you want to work out how to make it less poisonous, then consider psychotherapy. Here is a summary of my work with one such client, who I will call "Monica" (removing or changing any identifying details for the sake of confidentiality).

Monica came to me because of an unmanageable relationship with her sister. Monica wanted to be close to her sister, but couldn't stand her behaviour. I remember that it was a really important moment in therapy when Monica realised that she was not able to change her sister's behaviour, but could, instead, respond differently herself. From that point, she started to feel empowered, less helpless. She continued to spend some time with her sister, but lowered her expectation of what she could get from the relationship. Her focus moved to appreciating the other more meaningful relationships in her life.

It often takes someone who is not involved in the relationship to help you see how you can navigate your way in it. There is usually more scope for change than there seems to be. Psychotherapy is a good option.

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© Gill Sweeting