Relationships

How to address abuse in a relationship: Take the right approach in counselling

In this article, I discuss the relative merits of different options clients can take to address issues involving abusive behaviour in relationships.In my work as a Calgary psychologist and a Cochrane psychologist, I sometimes work with individuals and couples whose goal is to address abusive behaviour in relationships. This is an issue often entails a pattern in which one partner in a relationship engages in behaviours intended to dominate and control the other partner. This leads to abuse in various forms including verbal and physical.There are different counselling options for addressing the issue of abuse in relationships...[more]

2019-03-24T22:05:01-06:00By |Categories: Anger, Relationships|

How to address social anxiety issues:  Be aware of and target self-fulfilling prophecies

In this article, I discuss how you can become less anxious in social situations by recognizing how your beliefs affect your and other people’s behaviour. In my work as a Calgary psychologist and a Cochrane psychologist, I often work with clients who become overly anxious in social situations. The discomfort these people experience can be so strong that will often avoid social situations or leave social events prematurely. A key factor which contributes to excess anxiety in social situations is negative thinking the person has regarding how others are likely to respond to them when they enter such situations. This negative thinking sets in motion a negative self-fulfilling prophecy in which...[more]

2019-03-12T09:49:18-06:00By |Categories: Anxiety, Relationships|

How to deal with difficult people: Use strategies from cognitive behavioural therapy

In this article, I discuss ways of thinking and behaving which can make it easier for you to deal with difficult people. In my work as a Calgary psychologist and a Cochrane psychologist, I sometimes have clients who have who want help in dealing with difficult people. The people in question could be friends, co-workers, family members, supervisors or intimate relationship partners, to name a few. The problem of dealing with such people is often tied to clients being required to interact with them—sometimes on a regular basis. Given that a significant amount of your time is consequently occupied in interacting with people you find unpleasant, it is important to have strategies to decrease this unpleasantness and thereby make dealing with such people more manageable...[more]

2019-02-24T22:14:37-06:00By |Categories: Relationships, Stress|

How to increase closeness in a relationship: Use the principles of self-disclosure

In this article, I discuss how you can use self-disclosure to turn casual relationships into close ones. In my work as a Calgary psychologist and a Cochrane psychologist, I sometimes have clients whose goal is to have closer relationships. In many instances, these clients already have some interaction with people in ‘casual’ relationships and are seeking to move from the ‘small talk’ of these encounters into closer and more fulfilling relationships with more substantive conversations. A pivotal step which can take relationships to the next level entails using the principles of self-disclosure...[more]

2019-01-13T21:51:46-06:00By |Categories: Psychology, Relationships|

How to improve your social life: Do what the best baseball hitters do

In this article, I discuss why making frequent contact with a good swing leads to hits in baseball and in one’s social life. In my work as a Calgary psychologist and a Cochrane psychologist, I often have clients whose goal is to improve their social lives by having more friends or people to date. My advice to help these clients is to do what the best baseball players do in order to get on base: Make frequent contact with a ‘good swing’ and the hits will come on the baseball field as well as in your social life...[more]

2018-12-02T22:08:30-06:00By |Categories: Psychology, Relationships|

The more the merrier? When it is good and not good to have others participate in your therapy

In this article, I discuss circumstances under which having other people attend therapy with you is recommended and when it is better to attend by yourself. In my work as a Calgary psychologist and a Cochrane psychologist, most of my sessions with clients are individual ones in which I meet with one client dealing with particular issues. However, a significant minority of my sessions with clients are those in which more than one person attends and participates...[more]

2018-11-18T21:27:07-06:00By |Categories: Psychology, Relationships|

The irresistible force meets the immovable object: How to proceed when you become stuck during discussions of relationship issues

In this article, I discuss how you and your partner can proceed when you have reached an impasse while discussing an issue. In my work as a Calgary psychologist and a Cochrane psychologist, I often work with couples in relationship counselling who become stuck when discussing issues. This can lead to frustration, anger and other difficult emotions. Experiencing these emotions is often followed by the two partners making negative comments toward each other. This is followed by more of the aforementioned emotions as well as some additional difficult ones like hurt and sadness. The partners may then withdraw from each other, leading their relationship friendship to suffer. This can then result in the relationship as a whole moving in a negative direction. In the following sections, I will discuss several strategies you and your partner can use when you are stuck on an issue you are discussing...[more]

2018-10-21T21:31:48-06:00By |Categories: Relationships|

Relationship rules for managing conflict

In this article, I discuss how you and your partner can make and follow ‘relationship rules’ to manage conflict effectively. In my work as a Calgary psychologist and a Cochrane psychologist, I often work with couples in relationship counselling who have challenges in managing conflict. One of the reasons couples have difficulties is that they often lack agreed upon ‘relationship rules’ for how to proceed in particular conflict management situations.  Trying to address these situations without agreed upon rules is challenging for several reasons...[more]

2018-10-04T22:37:17-06:00By |Categories: Relationships|

After the affair: When the unreasonable becomes reasonable

In this article, I discuss how relationship requests which are unreasonable become reasonable in the wake of an affair. In my work as a Calgary psychologist and a Cochrane psychologist, I often work with couples in relationship counselling whose goal is to rebuild their relationship in the wake of one partner having had an affair. In these situations, one of the biggest challenges is for both partners to be patient with the healing process. For the hurt partner, this means understanding that it will necessarily take a lot of time to heal from the hurt and to regain trust in the unfaithful partner. For the unfaithful partner, patience entails understanding that the hurt partner is not likely to quickly get over the hurt and regain trust in them. Having said that, there are strategies both partners can follow to facilitate this slow process of healing and rebuilding trust...[more]

2018-09-09T22:10:02-06:00By |Categories: Relationships|
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