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Therapy for Relationships - Inner Light Psychotherapy - Houston, TX

Relationship Therapy

How can therapy help my relationships?

There are so many ways!

A few key ways that therapy can help ALL your relationships (not just your romantic one!) include: improving communication, increasing self-awareness, resolving past issues, identifying and breaking unhealthy patterns, building empathy and compassion, and setting healthy boundaries.

What are common “family of origin” issues?

Family of origin issues refer to the challenges and dynamics that individuals may carry from their early family experiences into their current relationships and adult life. These issues are often rooted in the family environment in which a person grew up and can have a significant impact on their behavior, beliefs, and emotional well-being.

Common family-of-origin issues include:

  • Communication patterns
    The way family members communicate with each other can shape an individual’s communication style in later life. For example, if a person grew up in a household where open communication was discouraged or conflicts were avoided, they might struggle with expressing themselves or dealing with conflicts in their adult relationships.
  • Role expectations
    Family roles assigned during childhood can influence how a person perceives their roles and responsibilities in relationships. For instance, a person who was expected to be the responsible caregiver in their family might carry this role into their adult relationships, possibly leading to difficulties in sharing responsibilities with their partner.
  • Attachment styles
    The attachment patterns formed with caregivers during childhood can impact how individuals form and maintain relationships as adults. For example, someone who had inconsistent or neglectful caregiving might develop an anxious or avoidant attachment style, affecting their ability to form healthy, secure relationships later on.
  • Boundaries
    Family dynamics can shape an individual’s understanding of boundaries and personal space. If boundaries are not respected or established in the family of origin, it can lead to difficulties in setting and maintaining boundaries in current relationships.
  • Trust issues
    Experiences of betrayal or inconsistent support in the family of origin can lead to difficulties trusting others in adult relationships. Trust issues may affect intimacy and emotional vulnerability.
  • Intergenerational patterns
    Certain behavioral or relational patterns, both positive and negative, may be passed down from one generation to another. For instance, if a person witnessed their parents using aggressive behavior to handle conflicts, they might unconsciously repeat the same patterns in their relationships.

Therapy can be instrumental in addressing family-of-origin issues by helping individuals explore and understand these patterns and dynamics. Through therapy, individuals can gain insight into how their early experiences influence their current relationships and work toward healthier, more fulfilling connections with others.

What is attachment-based therapy?

Attachment-based therapy is a lens of psychotherapy that focuses on how early relationships impact emotional development and interpersonal patterns. I have found it to be so powerful for clients to have a tool that helps them understand “why they are the way they are.”

Overall, it helps clients explore past attachment experiences, understand their effects, and improve relationship skills. The goal is to develop healthier and more fulfilling relationships through insight and building new skills.

What if my partner or family member won’t go to therapy with me?

While couples counseling is often recommended for partnership issues, individual counseling can be a valuable alternative, depending on the situation. In fact, there are instances where individual therapy may be a better choice than couples therapy.

Personal growth and changes within one person can positively impact the entire relationship. Individual therapy helps you understand your own patterns, behaviors, and beliefs that affect your relationship. It provides support, guidance, and strategies for communication, self-care, and setting boundaries.