To love and be loved is the true joy of every human heart. There is no higher happiness than this. Alas, in any human drama there are also wounds and disappointments, mistakes and betrayals, pain, heartache and broken dreams. Even so, love comes to our rescue. Love offers us a solution which is a process called forgiveness. Forgiveness is an angel that comes to us when we sleep and wakes us up from the hypnosis. It is the ground of love that supports you when you are falling, breaking apart and coming undone. Forgiveness undoes the blocks to love's awareness. It shows you that the universe of love doesn't ever stop even when all you can see is pain. Love always loves you, even when you can't or won't love yourself. [Robert Holden, Loveability]
Relationships like most living things will not survive without nourishment, care and commitment. Another word to explain this kind of reciprocal relationship is attachment.
Attachments lie at the heart of intimate relationships therefore unhealthy attachment patterns can inflame insecurity and dysfunction. Learnt attachment from previous relationships will trigger certain scripts of what to expect from intimacy and attachment. Negative relationship scripts can be based on boundaries that are too rigid or too blurred. Couples under stress destabilise their connection by becoming either the “emotional pursuer” of intimacy or overly withdrawn as the “emotional avoider”. Communication is likely to become anxiety ridden or shut down entirely.
To begin rebuilding healthy attachment I recommend five stages of communication (Devito, 2004):
1. Receiving: hearing the other, avoid interrupting
2. Understanding: learning the meaning of what the other has said, paraphrase
3. Remembering: recalling and retaining
4. Evaluating: awareness of personal judgments and criticism
5. Responding: answering and giving feedback
Communication and self-disclosure in therapy can provide a safe base to allow a person to feel heard, to realise someone is concerned about them and has them in mind. This is crucial for effective counseling therapy with individuals and couples…www.counsellingrelationships.com.au
A psychology teacher once told me that the root meaning of enthusiasm was to live in God - which is love. What does this mean for those that may not believe in God or religion? We are all unique in our beliefs of love and God. However most of us aspire to live the best possible life we can, to be happy, inspired, abundant, joyful, free, peaceful, healthy, in love and even more.
Of course, human experience from birth is educated with the consciousness, culture and beliefs of the family and environment of its generation. I, like you, become conscious at times of fears, resistances, and blocks as these generally do come up in life. These darker aspects of ourselves are often very threatening and confronting if not expressed and addressed. Dealing with our personal darkness can also be liberating as this process can enable us to unravel what is true for our life, and that which brings greater peace, love, happiness and fulfillment for ourselves and others. A therapeutic counselling relationship, as well as close friends and family can support each of us to explore and understand difficult situations feelings and beliefs. I do not claim to know the mysteries of life and the universe but I do want to support and encourage people to live the best life their heart desires.
Happy New Year
Growth and expansion always involve change. The belief that one has the power to effect change by one’s actions is the ability to be self-efficient. Self-efficiency equates to productive creative behavior and self-empowerment. Sharing of information and power within interpersonal relationships is rare in our traditional hierarchical structures and can cause conflict. In order to avoid unnecessary stress and conflict it is important to allow for differences in personal perspectives. Conflict in the face of change is natural and even necessary. Choices and decisions are likely to involve disagreements over differing opinions and beliefs. The challenge is to enable constructive conflict without escalation into interpersonal conflict. Learning to adapt and be flexible to each others strengths and weaknesses facilitates conflict management instead of escalating the conflict. This learning involves trust in each others ability to adapt and change. Psychological and emotional intelligence enable people to manage a variety of differing values, feelings, beliefs and needs. These qualities foster a sense of belonging, which is vital to ensure ongoing commitment and loyalty to one another and also serves a basic human need. For more information on Psychological and emotional intelligence and conflict resolution please contact me through my website www.counsellingrelationships.com.au
Love is not the icing on the cake of life – it is a basic primary need like oxygen or water. It is as basic to life, health and happiness as are the drives for food, shelter or sex.
Secure connection to a loved one is empowering! When we feel safely connected to others we understand ourselves better and like ourselves more.
It is important to note Love is often out of line with our culture’s established social and psychological ideas of adulthood - that maturity means being independent and self-sufficient often at the expense of a loving relationship; being open, attuned and responsive to your partner. A secure attachment and a sense of being supported and valued, really matters in love relationships. Once we understand this, we can more easily get to the heart of relationship problems.
Relationship counselling seeks to understand the patterns and dynamics of the (&).
For further information check out
Attachment to a significant partner can sometimes have a negative connotation however understanding healthy attachment can help us deal with negative relationship patterns. According to attachment theory and research, there are two fundamental ways in which people differ from one another in the way they think about relationships. For example some people are more anxious than others. People who have attachment-related anxiety tend to worry about whether their partners really love them and often fear rejection. Second, some people are more avoidant than others. People who are high in attachment-related avoidance are less comfortable depending on others and opening up to others. The two dimensions of anxiety and avoidance can be combined to create interesting combinations of attachment styles. These insecure attachment patterns can lead to significant others being unavailable and unresponsive, rejecting, abandoning and abusive.
On the other hand secure attachment patterns lead to available understanding and responsive relationships. For example people who are low in both attachment-related anxiety and avoidance are generally considered secure because they don't typically worry about whether their partner's are going to reject them and they are comfortable being emotionally close to others.
Attachment patterns are often formed in childhood. Our attachment patterns are elaborated and maintained throughout our life experiences. More importantly we can change outdated attachment-related anxiety and avoidance through understanding our personal attachment patterns and needs and through learning how to emotionally attune to our partner and develop healthy communication skills. For further information please visit www.counsellingrelationships.com.au
HAVE YOU EVER BEEN IN LOVE?
Why do significant and important relationships developed chronic problems or fall apart?
Scientific study of the brain and the role that significant love relationships play in shaping it has given a new basis for understanding why people have great difficulty communicating with the most important individuals in their lives.
People, who have experienced confusing, frightening, or broken emotional communications during the brains development in infancy, often grow into adults who have difficulty understanding their own emotions and the feelings of others. When an infant’s attachment bond (love connection with caregiver) fails to provide the child with sufficient structure, understanding and safety, the brain develops patterns of insecurity.
Insecurity can limit our ability to build or maintain successful relationships.
When we are able to recognise insecure expectations, attitudes, assumptions and behaviour as resulting from insecure attachment patterns (love connection). We can then deal with these insecure patterns that influence our adult relationships.
THE BRAIN IS OPEN TO CHANGE
New insights into brain development enable us to understand what it takes to help build and nurture successful love relationships. Relationships in which people are tuned into each other’s emotions are called attuned relationships. Communication skills that produce an attuned attachment and understanding of each other’s thoughts and feelings can enable mutual connection, safety and love.
In my experience as a relationship counsellor I have noticed one of the greatest challenges for couples in conflict is to actively listen to each other. Really listen to what your partner is sharing with you. The second biggest challenge is to be able to share our true feelings without condemning or blaming our partner. Tricky stuff!
To learn further skills in communication, creating attachment and safe connection in love relationships you can contact me on www.counsellingrelationships.com.au
To open our-selves to another person is a part of our human growth. It is certain that a relationship will only be as good as its communication. In healthy communication, we see into another’s reality and he/she can see into our reality. This is referred to as intimacy – IN 2 ME SEE. Unless we are opened by this kind of personal encounter, there will be no real meaning in our personal relationships.
Science recognises that love is one of the most compelling survival mechanisms of the human race. The desire to emotionally attach is wired into our genes. We need healthy emotional attachment with our loved ones to be physically and mentally healthy. Those who are loved and understood also grow and flourish as individuals. Those who feel isolated, judged or estranged from those close to them often have a feeling of living in solitary confinement. A thousand fears or experiences from the past can keep us feeling alone and isolated.
As people, we want to be loved and understood. Ego defences are built up in our psyche to protect us from unhealthy and hurtful attachments with those close to us. Ego defences are often cultivated to protect us from others as well as camouflage what we consider to be defects in ourselves.
When we are able to safely communicate what we feel, value, esteem, hate, fear, desire, hope for, believe in and are committed to – then we can be intimate and grow in relationships. In order to do this we also need the other to become a safe witness. To create safety for another we must be able to give space to their reality, to witness without judgement. Where true and safe communication exists, the focus is not so much with the ‘problems’ and ‘solutions’ as with the communication itself. When we encourage another to share of themselves we are also empowering ourselves to do the same. When we feel safely connected to others we understand ourselves better and like ourselves more.
In love relationships we all live with the feelings of connection and disconnection at times. It is when we can understand these cycles of connection and disconnection– our relationships have a chance to be everything we wish it to be.
The White Ribbon Campaign is the largest global male-led movement to stop men’s violence against women.
PLEASE READ AND INFORM YOURSELF
Here is a link that has evidence based research and statistics on the subject of domestic violence. Through education, personal experience and an open mind we can truly understand domestic violence. Education plays a key role in challenging personal, social and cultural norms. The following information are excerpts I have taken from the White Ribbon’s website.
It requires an understanding of the factors, which underlie and contribute to violence against women and how these factors are deeply engrained in our culture, to the degree to which they are sometimes not immediately obvious. It requires awareness of how these factors influence our beliefs, attitudes and behaviors – about what it is to be a man and how to relate to others. It requires the courage to change, to adopt new beliefs and new attitudes, and it requires the knowledge and skills to put new actions and behaviors in place.
As a professional counsellor I have come across a staggering number of people who have experienced domestic violence. Of the people I have seen so far in my practice men have perpetrated ninety eight percent of the physical violence.
Three cases come to mind; a girl who witnessed her father murder her mother. A man ordered to attend relationship counselling after a 13-year sentence in prison for murdering his wife with a shotgun. Another man threatened to murder his wife and leave her in a pool of blood in front of their small children.
These are mothers, daughters, sisters, wives and friends. These women are you, me and people we know.
These women have parents, brothers, husbands and friends who care and grieve for them.
We all need to be educated on what IS domestic violence.
Please join us on the 25th of November to support women.
To find out more about activities in your local area check out the events section on Australian and New Zealand White Ribbon websites.
I write occasional blog posts to inspire others to stay connected to their authentic selves and the capacity for love and healing within personal relationships.