“The meeting of two personalities is like the contact of two chemical substances: if there is any reaction, both are transformed.” ― C.G. Jung
Navigating the intricacies of our own being can be difficult enough. The complexity becomes even more challenging to negotiate when you add the myriad variables involved in maintaining relationships. We are often too busy maintaining our own worlds to sit down and hash out the interpersonal issues that are causing discord in the home or workplace. Designating a time to communicate with each other in a neutral space can provide the common ground needed for mutual understanding and compromise.
Couple’s or Small Group therapy can be helpful in any phase of any relationship, whether the relationship is between intimate lovers, family members, business partners, or roommates. Therapy can change the momentum of a downwardly spiraling relationship, deepen an already strong bond by ensuring that minor conflicts don’t boil over into larger issues, or help the process of consciously uncoupling in a manner that invites deeper respect rather than deeper division. Therapy can be short or long term depending on the relationship of the participants and the particular goals for their work together. Exploration can be focused on solving a single pressing issue or it can zoom out and incorporate a broader picture while drilling into deeper layers of the relationship.
Developing more authentic relationship involves:
- Recognizing nervous system disregulation and threat emotions
- Emotional awareness and self-regulation
- Developing honest and open communication
- Working through conflict avoidance strategies
- Owning personal experience AND honoring the experience of the other(s)
- Responding mindfully rather than reacting automatically
- Examining attachment patterns that affect how we navigate relationships
- Establishing healthy boundaries
- Creating shared meaning and rituals
- Establishing more safety and trust in the relationship
- This transformation can be smoother and more sustainable with the aid of a neutral third party to provide tools, feedback, translation and reality-checking.