Individual Therapy“The privilege of a lifetime is being who you are” - Joseph Campbell
What is Individual (Relational) therapy?
One aspect of my work with individuals is to help them to understand how they connect with others and how best to deal with their needs for support from others.
Our attachment (bonding) to our parents and significant others we grew up with, has a profound effect on our emotional development, and has been linked to various aspects of our functioning, such as our psychological well-being, our physical health and the quality of our relationships, including our relationships with our partners, our parenting relationship with our children, our friendship choices and even our relationship with ourselves. Attachment styles (bonding patterns) are passed down through the generations as we learn how to be in relationship through our experience and learning from those closest to us.
Our beliefs and expectations that are formed in childhood become the blueprint for our relationships. Research has shown that our childhood relationships shape how we perceive others and the conclusions we make about others’ minds and motivations. Our beliefs and expectations also influence the ways others are likely to treat and perceive us. They affect how we manage our emotions and how emotionally distressed we become. These conditioned beliefs and expectations are often unconscious and can be identified in our critical inner voice. Once we have identified our critical inner voice, we can begin to challenge our beliefs and ideas. It then becomes easier to change our behaviour and change the unconscious patterns that have kept us stuck in the past.
Attachment styles can be healthy or unhealthy. If our relationships tend to be conflictual, toxic or unsatisfying, we, in all likelihood, have an unhealthy (insecure) attachment style. Through individual therapy, we will become more aware of our unhealthy, unconscious beliefs and patterns. As a result, we will be able to reflect on ourselves and see how our past wounds, and the defences that we create, to protect ourselves from being hurt again, become the walls that prevent us from having the closeness we need in relationships. We can then learn new ways of being in relationship and will make more conscious, healthy relationship choices.
How does Individual (Relational) therapy work?
Regular individual therapy sessions are recommended.
Individual sessions are a process of discovery as I accompany you on your journey of self-reflection.
The process of therapy is based on your particular needs for growth.
Because our attachment ability is broken in relationship, it is best repaired in relationship. The quality of your therapeutic relationship with me is important as you will need to feel seen, heard and emotionally safe with me. This is the basis of secure attachment.
In your individual counselling work, you may begin to:
- identify and understand your attachment style, how it was formed and how it continues to influence your life
- challenge your critical inner voice that sustains unhealthy patterns and filters your experience
- understand your strengths and vulnerabilities in relationship
- understand the connection between the frustrations you’ve experienced in your relationships and your frustrations in childhood.
- become aware of your past wounds and defenses
- begin the process of healing past wounds and moving beyond your fears
- discover how you may unintentionally sabotage relationships to protect yourself from unconscious fears and expected hurts
- change behaviours and shift the patterns that have kept you stuck in the past, and free yourself to live more fully and more consciously in the present.
- learn new relationship skills
- transform conflict into growth
- reshape your relationships through your own growing awareness and change
- form healthier relationships and create the life you envision, not the one scripted to you from your past conditioning
- benefit others through your increased awareness and compassion
- recognise your uniqueness and aspire to living a life of meaning and purpose
- develop an internal sense of security and resilience that helps you to cope better with the natural hurts and challenges that life can bring
- improve your overall quality of life
How do I know I need Individual (Relational) therapy?
Signs that you may need individual therapy to help with your attachment style include:
- Difficulties with intimacy and commitment
- Dysfunctional relationship patterns
- Troubled relationships with partners, family members, friends
- Anxiety when in relationships
- Fears of abandonment or rejection
- Being involved in emotionally or physically abusive relationships
- Difficulties connecting with emotions or feeling overwhelmed by emotions
- Parenting problems
- Conflict in the extended or nuclear family
- Traumatic/painful childhood history
- Inability to trust
- Feelings of isolation
- Social difficulties
- Depression and anxiety
- Substance abuse