Understanding relationships “When we are no longer able to change a situation, we are challenged to change ourselves.” Victor Frankl Staying connected & rebuilding relationships RELATIONSHIPS Throughout our lives we experience different relationships which include: Oneself Partner, husband or wife Children Parents and siblings Friends and colleagues. These relationships can provide us with some of the most rewarding and positive experiences in our lives. They can at times, however, present us with our greatest challenges and can become a source of distress and anxiety. Relationships are constantly changing and evolving. This is often because relationships are affected by many factors. Some of these include; current life circumstances and stresses, beliefs, expectations and relationship history, patterns of interactions and blocks in communication. Relationship challenges and conflict generally feel very difficult for all those in the relationship. Each individual may have their own ideas regarding who is at ‘fault’ and may not understand why other members of the family/person in the relationship won’t change. However, it is likely that everyone is contributing to the stress and break down of the relationship in some way, and are affected in their own unique way. Just like everything else in your life that is important, relationships require work and attention to keep them healthy and functioning. Relationship counselling can give another perspective by under- standing the patterns of communication and interactions that are occurring in order to stay connected to these people in your life. STRESSES AND PRESSURES With life’s stresses and pressures it is easy to lose connection with those around you. These stresses and pressures include: Financial stress Individual stress – anxiety & depression Birth of a child Transition to parenthood Illness Abusive relationship Relationship breakdown Moving house Change in employment Loss of self-confidence, identity, role If you are concerned or finding one or more of the relationships in your life difficult, invest the time to improve/ rebuild the relationships in your life that matter through Relationship Counselling: Develop strategies to manage one’s own stress, anxiety & depression Develop more effective communication & conflict resolution strategies Strengthen your own well being Foster the resilience of individuals, children & families Add to your parenting toolkit empowering you in your parenting skills Communication Managing work/life stresses Resolving relationship conflict Relationship stresses and family separation Loss and adjustment to change Grief and bereavement Depression, anxiety and other mental health concerns arising from relationship issues Parenting concerns Children and adolescents experiencing behavioural and emotional issues Children and adolescents experiencing difficulties as a result of family problems, e.g. coming to terms with a family breakdown Managing parenting after separation and divorce Erla’s client centered and collaborative approach ensures that clients feel empowered, validated and supported in the therapeutic relationship.