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Relationship Issues

Relationship Issues

How we manage and conduct our relationships have wide ranging and profound implications for our lives

Those of us who have the benefit of supporting and loving relationships are likely to have more resilient health and to live happier and longer lives. In contrast those of us with negative experiences of relationships, can suffer with low self esteem, increased levels of stress and anxiety and a reduction in overall health and wellbeing.

Why are relationships so important?

We human beings are relational animals, we have a great need throughout life for positive interactions with others. This need is hard wired into us, it springs from the fact that we are born comparatively undeveloped relative to other animals and are highly dependent upon those around us to provide the safety and support we need in order to develop.

Modern culture draws us into ever closer relations with one another. Our lives are so intimately woven into the lives of others and the culture in which we are embedded that it is not really possible to think of us as individuals isolated from the relationships and groupings of which we form a part. In the context of this deep interconnected, interdependent world, how we relate to ourselves and one another is of fundamental importance to our own wellbeing and the wellbeing of those around us.

What causes difficulties in relationships?

We learn how to relate from our experiences of relationships. This learning starts from the very beginning of our lives and is more or less refined by subsequent experiences. This process of learning how to be with another and adapting how we relate according to our experiences is healthy, it is the model of a person who learns to adapt to their surroundings and who has the flexibility necessary to relate to a broad range of people and a broad range of situations.

Problems tend to occur when we become stuck in our way of relating, when we continually use old models of how to relate in situations and relationships that are not suited to those models. This can happen for a number of reasons, for example when we have been betrayed in a relationship we may adapt by becoming more suspicious of others. This adaptation makes sense in the short run, it is our way of protecting ourselves whilst we are recovering from the hurt that we have experienced, however if it persists it may inhibit and cause problems in our relationships in all sorts of ways; we may find that we are less able to be open and vulnerable with others and this may affect the amount of intimacy we experience and permit.

What different types of relationship issues are there?

Relationships are so vast and complex and the difficulties that we can have with them are so numberless that no list could ever hope to cover all of the issues that can surround them. Never the less below are some of the more common issues around relationships:

  • Loneliness
  • Isolation
  • Social anxiety
  • Affairs
  • Betrayal
  • Divorce
  • Anger and conflict
  • Stage of life pressures
  • Sexual issues
  • Sexuality issues
  • Anxiety about separation
  • Bereavement
  • Problems establishing intimacy
  • Trust issues
  • Commitment issues
  • Work relationships
  • Trauma
  • And more

When can it be helpful to consult a psychotherapist about relationship concerns?

We all experience difficulties in relationships from time to time. If we are lucky we have people around us who we can talk to; who can help us to make sense of what is going on and who enable us to find a way forward. However many of us do not have this vital resource and, even for those who do, there are times when the difficulties feel so insurmountable, or are so personal and private, that we are not able to get the support that we need from it.

In these and other circumstances, speaking to a psychotherapist can be extremely beneficial. Psychotherapy takes place in a private and confidential environment so that you can feel safe enough to discuss whatever feels necessary. Psychotherapists are trained and experienced in working with and helping people through a whole range of different relationship concerns so you can trust that you are being supported in a professional and respectful way.


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107 Bancroft
United Kingdom

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