Clients who are single often come in to psychotherapy to discuss fears, emotional patterns or mental blocks around dating that often hinders successful relationships. The psychotherapist works on decreasing a client’s social anxiety, increasing confidence, taking dating action by utilizing a dating action plan, learning to choose healthy mates and increasing self-esteem, as well as many other issues and treatment methods.
Clients sometimes come in while in the midst of a long-term relationship, in order to ascertain if the relationship is healthy and how they can improve it. A psychotherapist often examines the client’s feelings about the current relationship, past relationship history and relationship blueprint, the pros and cons of the current relationship, their communication style and what a client can do to improve it or whether it’s in their best interest to leave that relationship. Leaving a relationship is, of course, is ultimately the client’s decision and the therapist acts as a sounding board and guide to help the client sort out the elements in the picture and to make their own decision.
Often, when there are issues only one partner is willing to address it and to try psychotherapy. When in individual therapy the identified issue is marital problems, the therapist can help that individual sort out his or her feelings about their partner and the relationship. Therapy can be instrumental in improving the client’s overall emotional health, developing balance and happiness in their lives and enhancing their ability to react reasonably to their partner’s issues. It can ultimately help clients to make good choices about what to do next in that relationship.
- Dating anxiety
- Fear of rejection
- Needing a dating action plan
- Picking the wrong matches
- Lack of dating experience or relationship experience
- Sexual fears or issues
- Dating advice or guidance needed about specific situations
- Dating as a career woman
- Dating after divorce or later in life
Fear of Commitment Issues
I have had a number of clients who would like to get married but fear trusting another person and making a long-term or lifetime commitment. This can stem from having divorced parents, being very independent, having past betrayals or many other issues. Therapy helps these clients examine and work through fears and internal obstacles that prevent commitment and growth.
Self Esteem Issues
Clients often come to me because they do not feel confident and are often pressuring themselves and putting themselves down. This has become an ingrained pattern, so automatic that they barely notice the self-talk anymore. The therapist mirrors their self-talk back to them so it can be examined. Often clients are perfectionists and they will do 8 things great but focus on the one thing that needs improvement. They do not applaud their own successes or strengths and as a result, they feel constantly inadequate and unlovable.
This is one of the most important issues to deal with because we are with ourselves 24/7 and we are the source of all we create.
A therapist helps a client evaluate their relationship with themselves and their level of self love. Then they work on making conscious internalized limiting beliefs and criticisms and challenge them. They work on helping a client to re-parent himself or herself to internalize kinder self-talk, self-soothing and the ability to be good-enough.
Sometimes clients are shy or insular and they haven’t had a lot of experience making friends or dating. Perhaps they came from families that were private or non-communicative so it is a hard transition to suddenly be social in the world at large.
Therapy can be helpful because it is a safe place where the client will not be judged and it’s confidential so the client can practice one-on-one communication in vivo first. When we practice techniques in a safe way, they become easier. In time fears are discussed as well as limiting beliefs about one’s social self. New communication skills are practiced as well as developing a tougher skin around rejection. Ideally, over time self-esteem is increased and relationships are viewed as positive and supportive rather than negative.
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