Stephanie Schacher, Psy.D. Providing assessment and psychotherapy services in Westport and Milford, CT
Having healthy and fulfilling relationships are so beneficial to our lives. Yet sometimes relationships are hard to navigate and can become a main source of stress and unhappiness.
Whether one's discontent lays in a romantic relationship, a parental, sibling or friendship relationship, or in one's relationship with one's child or children, its depth, intimacy, and harmony has a significant impact on our sense of well-being.
It is easy to fall into the pattern of blaming others, or excessive self-blame. While relationships require good communication skills - appropriate assertiveness, attentive listening and demonstrating understanding, and delivering feedback in a way that can be heard - communication alone is not always sufficient to make resilient relationships. Compromise is key. And compromise is difficult, and may not feel good. Also, self-exploration is necessary to come to a greater understanding of your own internal template for relationships that are formed in early childhood.
Research has shown that it is not how much arguing two people do, but if they fight "fair", and if they balance the arguments with a greater proportion of verbalized appreciation and gratitude.
Sometimes people get stuck in a pattern of trying to get something from a partner or relative that he or she is not capable of giving. I can help you navigate the sometimes turbulent waters you may find yourself in, develop ways to achieve more satisfaction in relationships, have appropriate expectations, or recognize when a relationship is unhealthy and help you set better boundaries or walk away.
I also work with parents to help them learn how their efforts to support their children - whether they are minor or adult children - are enabling behaviors and counterproductive to developing into independent people. I call this learning the difference between "good help" and "bad help".