All About Relationships
A relationship is a way in which two or more people are connected. Whether they are familial, romantic, work-centered, or otherwise defined, they play a major role in our mental wellness.
Why Relationships Matter
Research has found that a strong social support network (which may include friends, partners, family, or peers) leads to multiple mental health benefits, including:
- Improved ability to cope with stress
- Enhanced self-esteem
- The promotion of healthy behaviors
- Positive outcomes in lifelong mental health
- Increased life satisfaction
Likewise, relationships help us through times of hardship. They can greatly ease our healing journeys, whether we are dealing with trauma, depression, grief, or other challenges.
Relationships aren’t always easy to build or maintain, particularly in today’s more digital age. Researchers have identified a “loneliness epidemic.” In a survey of 20,000 US adults, almost half reported feeling left out, lonely, or isolated. One in four said that they rarely felt understood. Loneliness has a major impact on our emotional health and can affect our physical health through increases in the risk of cardiac disease and trouble sleeping. physical ailments like decreased cardiac health and troubled sleep.
Conflict is also an issue that pops up in all relationships. Sometimes, we find ourselves stuck in conflict patterns that we feel like we can’t get out of. We may notice that we prioritize the needs of others over our own, or become frightened when relationships become serious. These and other patterns can stand in the way of healthy, loving relationships that we are seeking.
How Can I Work on Them?
Psychodynamic Therapy looks at your relationship patterns, how they developed, and how you can change them. This is a great choice for someone who finds themselves “stuck” in certain types of relationships.
Couples or Family Counseling
Couples and/or Family Therapy offer you the chance to work directly with your partner or family member and a therapist. The therapist will support both of you in expressing your thoughts and feelings. They will use their expertise to mediate while you discuss heavy topics, such as money, power, fidelity, and more.
Brain-Based Therapies are helpful in targeting the parts of our minds that are activated by our relationships and daily interactions. They are especially helpful for those who’ve experienced trauma or anxiety. These types of therapies are appreciated for their efficiency.
Mindfulness brings awareness to our feelings, thoughts, and behaviors in the present moment. It helps us recognize how our interactions make us feel, both emotionally and physically. Whether we are dealing with social anxiety or conflicts within a relationship, mindfulness may offer us clarity and insight.
It’s completely normal to struggle with sexuality, whether due to stress, pain, trauma, self-consciousness, or other concerns. A sex therapist provides a safe, empathetic space for you to discuss your concerns. Note that sex therapy does not involve engaging in sexual activity during a session. Your comfort will always be the top priority. For more on what sex therapy is and isn’t, check out this blog.
Our team has written a number of blogs discussing everything from sex and emotional intimacy to conflict and unhealthy relationships. Find them on the right-hand sidebar!
The Resilient Brain Project
Our therapists have curated a library of free tools designed to support you with your relationships and healthy sexuality. Resources include:
- Advice on how to build new friendships as an adult
- TED Talks on infidelity
- An app designed to help adolescents develop social skills
- The ultimate friendship playlist
- Pre-planned date night guides
- And more