All relationships experience difficulties from time to time, but if the problems between you and your significant other are beginning to have a profound and long-lasting impact on your bond, professional therapy may be necessary to resolve the issues and move forward in your relationship. Many times, these problems are deep-seeded in the past, some of which might even date back to your childhood. At Harmony Place Monterey, we can help you identify the underlying issues and begin to address them so that you can nurture a healthier relationship overall.
Difficulties in relationships can often be attributed to underlying issues that must be addressed to overcome conflict and build a healthier bond between two people. At Harmony Place Monterey, we deal with the following issues in relationships, both one-on-one with clients and working with couples and even extended family when appropriate:
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Attachment issues typically occur during the childhood years, but if they are never addressed properly, they can negatively affect adults as well. Problems are particularly prevalent for adults that try to form a meaningful relationship with a significant other. Because attachment disorders lead to the inability to be genuinely affectionate and compassionate with other people, relationships that are formed tend to be unfulfilling for both parties involved.
Fortunately, attachment issues can be treated, although it can take some time. Psychotherapies are used to help individuals explore the underlying problems that led to the attachment disorder, such as a history of abuse, abandonment or neglect by a primary caretaker. When those underlying issues are dealt with in a safe and healthy environment, people can often learn how to develop compassion for others and enjoy healthier, more meaningful relationships throughout adulthood.
When you suffer from neglect or abuse during your childhood, the effects of those experiences do not go away automatically when you become an adult. You can bring the pain and other residual effects into your relationships throughout life, including marriage and other intimate bonds. These early issues may lead to lack of trust, poor self-esteem and other problems that impact your ability to forge meaningful ties with others.
Family abuse is a broad term that can encompass a variety of behaviors and experiences. Physical violence may be the type of damage that people typically think about, but actions that demean a child, hurt self-esteem or exploit the child in another way can also apply. No matter what type of abuse or neglect is involved, it can have a significant impact on your ability to bond with others and form healthy relationships. By working through the issues associated with the abuse, many adults can form positive, fulfilling relationships as adults.
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If you face significant challenges in your efforts to form close relationships with others, an intimacy disorder may be to blame. While some intimacy disorders might be diagnosed as social anxiety disorders, there are many other reasons behind the fear of bonding with others both emotionally and physically. In many cases, the symptoms of an intimacy disorder can be traced back to childhood and the relationship between the child and a primary caregiver.
While a classic sign of an intimacy disorder is an inability to bond in a healthy way with others, there are additional signs of this disorder that may not be as clear. For example, some people struggling with an intimacy disorder may exhibit signs of sexual addiction, which may materialize as an obsession with the actual act of sex, looking at pornography or other related behaviors. In addition to preventing sufferers from forming healthy intimate relationships, sex addiction can become an intrusive behavior that disrupts a person’s daily life. Treatment for sex addiction and other intimacy disorders typically entails psychotherapy to uncover the root of the condition and address it directly to change thinking patterns and behaviors.
Treatment Options for Healing Relationships
When a couple is experiencing relationship problems due to an intimacy disorder affecting one or both individuals, help is available. At Harmony Place Monterey, we offer a variety of treatment options to help individuals and couples turn away from the issues leading to the intimacy disorder so that they can form healthier bonds with one another. While individual therapy is usually the first course of treatment, other options might include:
Before partners and other family members come together for treatment, we recommend individual counseling for the involved parties first. Once family therapy begins, it is a short-term, intense course of treatment with regular sessions and homework to reinforce the principles learned during therapy. Interventions, in this case, remain focused and targeted, with specific goals that need to be achieved to consider the therapy effective.
Unhealthy attachment patterns are often best addressed through couple therapy that works with both individuals in the relationship to forge a stronger, healthier bond. “Earned secure attachments” are the goal of these therapy sessions in most cases, allowing both individuals in the relationship to feel more comfortable and confident in their connections with others. We offer specific, proven interventions designed to achieve this outcome, so that patients can make the closer, healthier bonds they have always wanted.
If you are struggling with relationship difficulties in your life, it is likely past relationships or events have contributed to the issue. To learn more about issues facing relationships, contact Harmony Place Monterey today at 831-747-1727.