As humans we are generally social beings and enjoy the company of others we are comfortable with. The ability to form relationships or interact positively with others is also important for our general health and happiness.
I use the term relationship in abroad sense, not with just those close to you. Therefore it can be how you relate to your life partners/spouses, family members, friends, work place colleagues, clubs or groups you frequent, people you meet at the bus stop and last but most importantly the internal relationship you have with yourself.
By their very nature relationships provide a complex source of triggers which can bring to the surface uncomfortable and painful feelings and emotions with their corresponding responses.
Looked at philosophically they also provide opportunity for personal exploration and growth for those interested. Counselling can assist with this process.
So while there are ups and downs, overall a healthy and balanced relationship (depending on the type) can bring feelings of warmth, belonging, companionship, safety, purpose, love and joy.
Confusion and suffering can arise when these positive feelings are not adequately present and when there is a power game in progress or dependence within the relationship. Often these are not apparent to the participants and are in the realm of the unconscious influencing the actions.
The counselling I practise is not about judgement of any of the participants whether they be individuals or groups of people.
By creating awareness of the unconscious responses which cause your unwanted reactions, by exploring the reasons why they exist and by acknowledging their importance from the past, using the counselling process can bring about an understanding of why you react the way you do in certain situations.
It is about helping you see the direction you want to take and, finding the confidence and personal power to make the appropriate decisions and move forward and enjoy the contact with loved ones and others.