The most common reason that people come to therapy is difficulties in relationships. Friends, families, and romantic partners can leave us feeling disappointed, hurt, frustrated, or unfulfilled. Despite our best intentions to work things out, we may find ourselves in conflict, feeling neglected, abandoned, doing too much or too little. Often we want from our partner or family member something they do not want or are unable or unwilling to provide. The resulting conflicts between what we want and the realities we face in our relationships can create a lot of suffering in our lives. When this conflict becomes chronic, it can drain our energy, vitality, and self esteem, resulting in hopelessness, depression and anxiety.

ISTDP can help uncover and interrupt relationship patterns that are affecting us negatively. Although we can’t control what others do or say, we can pay close attention to how we react emotionally. Often we cannot see how our feelings and responses to what others do or say can create more suffering than the injury itself. There are many ways we can increase our suffering: trusting too little or too much, doubting ourselves rather than paying attention to our feelings, surrendering our power in the face of conflict, to name just a few.

We can help with various types of relationships:

  • Intimate relationship with a partner
  • Family relationships with children, parents, or siblings
  • Professional relationships
  • Relationships with friends

Therapy for relationship issues can take the form of individual, couples, family therapy, or a combination of these approaches.


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