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Repairing the Foundation of Your Relationship from a Construction Standpoint

Ah... relationships.  The thing that in one way or another brings everyone to my door.  They might be romantic, familial, platonic, collegial, or even unrequited.  As humans, we are relational beings in need of connection and support from others.  We can try to convince ourselves otherwise; however, it is my firm belief that maintaining stable mental health requires a solid support system.  Our symptoms of depression or anxiety are often exacerbated by negative relationship dynamics or experiences.  It might seem easiest to just cut and run (and in certain cases, such as abuse, perhaps that is the best course), but much of the time, repair is possible.  Difficult, but possible.

My clients often come to therapy citing communication problems as a primary source of discontent in their relationships whether they be parent/child or intimate partnerships.  They wish to jump right in to developing communication skills; however, their progress often quickly stalls or never really begins at all because they neglect the foundation of their relationship house.... the actual relationship.  Quality time.  Actually focusing on liking one another again.  The argument is that if their communication improves

they will want to spend more time together.  My argument is that you have to spend time together in order to practice these skills.  Who wants to spend time with someone they don't like discussing difficult and emotionally fraught topics?

Exactly no one

Without a solid foundation of quality time to remind us of all of the reasons we like and love one another, the rest of the work is tedious and frustrating.  After all, we can't build a real house without a solid foundation- it would collapse.  So consider taking some time, even briefly, to set the difficulties aside and do something fun together.  It might give you and your partner/child/colleague the motivation and desire to make changes and compromise.

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