Relationship and Communication Counselling
Creating a constructive communication style is essential to developing and maintaining healthy relationships.
For many individuals, the desire to connect with others in a meaningful, enjoyable or beneficial relationship is a natural basic drive, but for various reasons many find it elusive.
We all have what it takes to develop interesting, productive and highly beneficial relationships with others through the way we communicate. All it takes is learning the skills and developing the tools that will help us get there!
Whether you have experienced previous hurts or rejections, or been raised in an uncaring or hostile environment which has produced fear or rejection or caused you to anticipate hurt, you can let go of unuseful defence mechanisms and relate in a mature and productive way again.
Relationship and Communications counsellors can assist people to unlock the keys to successful relationships and enjoy their lives again.
Stages in Relationships
Before considering what can go wrong with relationships, we also need to consider how relationships are formed. There are many different theories on relationship development, so we shall consider one of these theories below:
“To know when to go away and when to come closer is the key to any lasting relationship.”
Doménico Cieri Estrada
Stage 1 – Courtship/Romance or Fantasy Stage
This can last from two months to two years. This is when the partnership is new and the couple want to be together and can do nothing wrong in each other’s eyes. Probably they are both still on their best behaviour as well. They will focus on commonalities (what they have in common), such as interests, music, friends etc. This is the stage when our defences are low, so that the relationship can grow and develop. There are also biological effects, as the body will produce large amounts of endorphins, making us happy, excited and positive.
Stage 2 – Familiarisation/Adjusting to Reality/Disillusionment
This is when the couple realise their partner is actually a human being. They will start recognising each other’s flaws, as the couple become more relaxed with each other. The body may not produce the same levels or endorphins. This can happen suddenly due to a dishonesty or deceit. This can be a confusing stage and it can be hard to show as much openness and connection as at stage 1. However, this is also the stage where we have to learn to communicate with each other if the relationship is to continue.
Stage 3 – Disappointment/Distress/Power Struggle Phase
Characteristics in this stage can become harder and harder to deal with. The couple will begin to pull away from each other. They may believe that conflict is a bad thing, and become increasingly aware of their differences. They may fight over the boundaries in the relationship, with small issues becoming big problems. At this stage the couple will define unacceptable behaviour and may consider leaving the relationship. The individual may feel that their partner is untrustworthy or uncaring or self-centred. Deep resentments may develop. This is usually the stage where most couples break up or seek divorce. If they are able to move through this stage, they will move to stage 4.
Stage 4 – Stability/Friendship/Reconciliation Stage
This is a restful stage. Some couples will never reach this stage, but those that do will find that they have more trust, love and connection with their partner. The couple will have a history and rely on the predictability of the relationship. They will realise that their partner isn't perfect, but their differences aren’t as bad as they thought. Conflicts can usually be resolved to some extent and the individuals may feel more confident within the relationship. Some individuals will feel a sense of loss as they realise they no longer have the fantasy partner they thought they had. But there will be more feeling of friendship and commitment. They may start to re-establish their own outside friendships and interest. There is some danger that the couple may become bored with each other or drift apart, so it is important to try to maintain the connection established in the Romance Stage.
“When we're incomplete, we're always searching for somebody to complete us. When, after a few years or a few months of a relationship, we find that we're still unfulfilled, we blame our partners and take up with somebody more promising. This can go on and on--series polygamy--until we admit that while a partner can add sweet dimensions to our lives, we, each of us, are responsible for our own fulfilment. Nobody else can provide it for us, and to believe otherwise is to delude ourselves dangerously and to program for eventual failure every relationship we enter.”
Stage 5 – Acceptance/Transformation/Real Love/Commitment Stage
It is estimated that only around 5% of couples actually make it to this stage (Relationship Institute). This is when couples know who their partner is, including their strengths and weaknesses, but choose to say with that person because of (or in spite of) those things. The couple will genuinely love their partner and look out for their best interests. They will usually have similar life goals. Many couples will make a public and formal commitment to each other at this stage to demonstrate their commitment to the relationship. At this stage, the relationship becomes a true partnership.
Relationships And Communication Counselling Course
To develop an understanding of the role that communication plays in establishing, building, maintaining and ending relationships.
Course Duration: 100 Hours of self-paced study.
You can start he course at any time.
The course is divided into six lessons as follows:
- Communication in emerging relationships
- Self-awareness & communication goals
- Communication patterns in relationships
- Influences on relating behaviour
- Communication techniques and skills
- Maintaining relationships
To learn more or to enrol, click here.
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