Crystal Spiegel, LCSW 303 5th Avenue, NY 646-846-2947
Maybe trust issues prevent you from getting too close with other people. Every time an issue arises in a present relationship, wounds from the past resurface and you feel like you can’t depend on anyone.
Or perhaps your struggle is just the opposite—you’re close with so many people and feel stretched too thin. You’re always doing things for others and never have time for self-care. As a result, you feel like you don’t take up any space in your relationships—people expect you to take care of them and never give you anything in return.
The Same Old Conflicts And Arguments May Keep Repeating Themselves
Your relationship issues could involve coworkers, friends, family or romantic partners. Maybe you’ve tried to resolve them, but the same old problems rear their ugly heads each time. The same old cycles of conflict repeat themselves. Every argument ends the same way and every attempt to heal disconnection falls flat.
Oftentimes, present relationship troubles have a lot to do with attachment issues from the past. But on your own, it’s hard to make connections between the past and present. That’s the beauty of relationship counseling. With me, you can get to the root of your relationship problems and enjoy healthier, more meaningful connections with others.
Many Of The Relationship Patterns That Helped Us As Kids Don’t Serve Us Anymore
It’s normal to find yourself repeating unhealthy relationship patterns. Usually, these patterns arise because of how you learned to protect yourself in past relationships. For instance, maybe you learned to withdraw from conflict as a kid because doing so helped you avoid facing your parent’s anger. Avoidance may have helped you then, but now, you may find that it prevents you from forming deeper connections.
In this way, what worked in the past doesn’t always work in the present. From time to time, we all have to update the ways that we approach relationships. Otherwise, we risk falling into patterns of behavior that don’t serve us anymore.
Even The Most Caring And Well-Intentioned Parents Can Cause Attachment Issues
Growing up in an abusive or toxic home can affect your ability to engage in healthy relationships. At the same time, however, attachment issues are not always the result of negligent or hurtful caregivers. Even parents who are loving and well-intentioned can have holes in their parenting.
For example, maybe you had a parent who was incredibly caring and supportive but also an alcoholic. Or perhaps they cheated on their spouse or had a bad relationship with family members. These experiences can leave a lasting mark on your view of relationships, consciously or unconsciously.
This is why it’s so important to seek help. On your own, it’s hard to get to the bottom of your relationships struggles and uncover why they arose. Working together, you and I will explore how the wounds of the past impact you today and what you can do moving forward.
You May Have Some Questions About Relationship Counseling…
I’m afraid of what I’ll discover about myself through counseling.
Investigating yourself can feel scary and overwhelming. That’s why I seek to go at whatever pace you’re comfortable with. We will not go any further than what feels safe for you. Although it may feel daunting to look into your relationship’s patterns, doing so is the only way to bring about long-lasting change in your life. Awareness is the key to all growth.
I’m worried that counseling will lead to a breakup or end of a friendship.
You are in charge of what you do in your life. I’m not here to tell you which relationships to keep and which to lose—I’m here to help you figure out what’s best for you. Oftentimes this means establishing healthier boundaries or improving communication patterns. It rarely means breaking off relationships completely.
My partner won’t change, so what’s the point of me trying to change?
It’s hard to change a relationship when the other person isn’t willing to put in any work. We can only control ourselves, however, so I encourage you to do your own work regardless of your partner’s willingness. Besides, if you benefit from relationship counseling, your significant other might change their mind and decide they want the same thing for themselves.
Let Me Help You Overcome Old And Familiar Relationship Patterns If you’re tired of falling into the same conflicts again and again, I believe that my approach to counseling can help you breathe new life into your relationships.
To get started, you can email me or call 212-810-6761 for a free 15-minute phone consultation.
Counseling Can Help You Trust Your Voice And Figure Out What You Want
In a relationship the first step to building healthy relationships with others is building a strong relationship with yourself. After all, you have to know yourself to know what you want in a relationship. In therapy, you will learn to trust your voice, dialogue with your intuition, and gain clarity on what your goals are. This can help you figure out healthy boundaries and communicate your needs to your loved ones.
Most importantly, relationship counseling is a space for change. You are the expert on your experience and I have many tools to help you make the changes you want. Together, we can work on improving communication, rebuilding your sense of trust, and managing your reactions to others.
Learning To Connect With All Of Your Parts
Relationship therapy can help you engage with every part of yourself, even the parts in contradiction. For instance, part of you may love your parents for how they cared for you, and another part may resent them for the mistakes they made. Counseling is a chance to sit with multiple truths and allow yourself to feel all of your feelings. You can have it both ways. You can admit that your parents messed up without making them the bad guys in your story.
The core approach I use is Internal Family Systems (IFS). This approach can help you look at what parts of yourself are healthy for your relationships and what parts aren’t. You can also learn to connect with the parts that have been neglected, ignored, or misunderstood. By showing them love, you can tend to deep emotional wounds and increase your self-compassion.
Healing From Past Relationship Trauma
Since a lot of relationship issues stem from past hurt, I often focus on healing trauma with my clients. To do so, I draw from an approach called EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization & Reprocessing). At its core, EMDR seeks to help you change your relationship to painful memories. This approach uses a series of gentle stimulation exercises, like tapping and moving your eyes back and forth, to help your brain eliminate the stress you feel when recalling past trauma.
Regardless of how stuck you feel, it is possible to make changes at any stage of life. Relational patterns can be old and familiar, but you are not bound to the trappings of the past. By deepening your relationship with yourself and making peace with all of your parts, I am confident that you can achieve the relationships you want.
Copyright © 2023 Crystal Spiegel, LCSW-EMDR and IFS Therapy - All Rights Reserved.