James and Vicki provide tips on how to get important messages across.
Make no mistake - relationships are complex!
Relationships can be the source of great happiness or alternatively the cause of immense misery. The dynamics between any two individuals are constantly changing and evolving over the course of the relationship.
Often, what initially excited us or drew us to our partners can be the very thing that years later infuriates or annoys us.
Within the normal realms of any relationship, it's typical to experience highs and lows, peaks and troughs. Passion can also ebb and flow as the relationship moves from the initial stages of excitement and attraction into a more familiar and comfortable coupling.
Defined roles within relationships can also alter dramatically with the birth of children, ongoing illness, financial pressures, cultural and environmental issues.
When some of the defined parameters in an established relationship start to shift from within, previously shared values can be altered creating conflict where harmony once resided.
When certain maladaptive behaviours start to creep into a relationship, we start to see or experience what is known as Dysfunction.
What is considered Dysfunctional in a relationship?
There are many behaviours and habits that can be labelled Dysfunctional in a relationship.
The list of traits below, illustrate typical* Dysfunction.
More negativity than positivity Escalation of Negative Affect Criticism Defensiveness Contempt Stonewalling Physical, Emotional & Verbal Violence Emotional Check-Out Gaslighting Minimising Silent Treatment
While this list is not exhaustive, these traits are those that we see in devitalised relationships.
What we focus on in Relationship Therapy
There is no one size therapy which suits every situation, however, the interventions listed below form a solid foundation for positive Relationship Therapy.
Emotion Regulation Building Distress Tolerance Skills Building Skills for Managing Conflict Building Skills for Enhancing Friendship Dialogue instead of Gridlock Turning Towards instead of Turning Against Collaborative Life Dream Planning Creating Shared Meaning Understanding Equality in your relationship De-escalation of negative emotion Fulfilment of Core Human Needs Learning new forms of Communication Utilising all communication Channels