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Relationships

Relationships

Present Patterns

Exploring and addressing the impact of relationship patterns is crucial in virtually all therapeutic approaches. From the outset of therapy, the relationship that develops between the therapist and the client is a key factor in determining the success of the treatment.  Research supports the fact that the therapist-client relationship, more than any other variable (including theoretical orientation of the therapist), determines the course of treatment.

The Influence of the Past

For all of us, our current relationship experiences and choices are affected by relationships from our past.  These can form templates of assumptions and automatic responses, which sometimes cause us to replay painful scenarios that have no place in the present.  The more aware we are of our own patterns, the more freedom we have to change them as we move forward with new relationships.  Both therapist and client are affected by these past patterns.  It is the responsibility of therapists to be aware of how the past can affect their present lives, and to help their clients to do the same.

Self Image & Other Image

Self-image is a familiar concept.  Not everyone knows that we also have “other” images.  Just as we can have more than one self-image, depending on mood and circumstance, we usually have more than one “other” image.  We can think of these as internal templates that contain assumptions, feelings, images and expectations.  We often act in relationship to internal images of the other person, rather than the reality of the person in front of us. If we meet someone that closely resonates with one of our other-images, we may find ourselves very attracted to them, or alternatively, repelled by them.  Some other-images are more powerfully charged with emotion than others.  The concept of other-image helps us understand how it is possible to fall passionately in love with someone before we even know who they really are; it can also help explain why we sometimes repeatedly choose partners who are not good for us.  Resonance can go both ways. I include this dimension of internal self-other images in my work with clients, whenever possible.
Relationships
Licensed Clinical Psychologist