For as much as we crave relationships in our life, we can be shocked to realize how much dedication and intention are required when it comes to relating with another person. We often hear that relationships are work — and while that doesn't sound very fun, it represents the reality that relationships often ask us to move out of our comfort zone, and into personal growth. When two people come together to create a relationship, the beginning is full of love hormones and the thrill of something new. As the hormones and thrill begin to fade, we start to see the other person in their true colors. When we enter a relationship, we bring everything to the table: family histories, childhood wounds, life traumas, mental health circumstances, insecurities, fears, desires, and dreams. It is impossible that all of our “stuff” will play nicely with another’s.
The fact is that our partner ends up serving as a mirror in our relationship. They reflect back at us our own behaviors and habits, and rarely do we like to see those reflecting back at us so bluntly. Of course, we are a mirror for their “stuff” as well. It is important to see this mirror function as an opportunity for two people not only to create intimacy, but to support one another in the evolution of their best selves. Therapy is incredibly helpful and supportive of creating a nurturing environment within a relationship, where conflict and disagreement can be healthily welcomed as a means to grow closer and let go of what is no longer serving.
Treatment for relationship issues comes in the form of couples therapy or individual therapy for the couple. Many couples feel hesitant to go to couples therapy because they assume it’s some sort of “last resort,” implying that their relationship is on the rocks. There is a stereotype that couples therapy is only needed in dire situations like the stages before a divorce, when in actuality it can be the key to a lifelong, thriving relationship. Couples therapy is a form of counseling where a therapist works with a couple to help them achieve clarity and insight into their relationship. The therapist will work to support the couple as they navigate their conflicts. The process of couples therapy improves communication, intimacy, and overall relationship satisfaction.
It’s important to note that relationship troubles don’t only come in the form of two people together. Relationships can also be a tough area when someone has a hard time dating and finding the right person. Not being in a relationship but desiring one can create intense feelings of loneliness. Loneliness is defined as feeling disconnected from others. Loneliness is a sadness that can come from isolation, or not being able to engage with other people as often as desired. What’s interesting about loneliness is that it is an emotion that can occur even around the presence of others. Because more than anything, loneliness is a state of mind. Seeking therapy can be an empowering solution for symptoms of loneliness, and trouble finding a relationship. Therapy can help individuals find a state of balanced wellbeing, which supports one’s ability to create a relationship.
Colorado CBT is a Denver clinic which helps couples and individuals work through relationship related issues, using treatment methods such as CBT, DBT, Emotion Focused Couples Therapy, and Gottman method. Please reach out and make an appointment to get started!