• Relationships

    How To Turn Conflict into Deeper Connection – Part 2: Committing to Connection

    view of two pairs of feet facing each other

    This is part two of a series of three posts about how we can use conflict to serve our relationships, instead of seeing it as a threat to closeness. I recommend reading part one first if you haven’t already done so. Part three will be published soon.  In the first post in this series, we looked at the different ways many of us avoid conflict. Whatever your particular flavour of conflict avoidance, if you want to get to a place where arguments seem like opportunities you can meet instead of threats you need to run from, then I recommend trying out a position that may feel a bit new or…

  • Relationships

    How To Turn Conflict into Deeper Connection – Part 1: Avoiding Conflict

    This is part one of a series of three posts about how we can use conflict to serve our relationships, instead of seeing it as a threat to closeness. Parts two and three will be published weekly on Fridays. A few years ago I was facing an afternoon of practising conflict at a weekend workshop called Authentic Relating Training, and I was feeling sceptical. It was my first ever experience of being in a space where we were being taught to practice conscious communication and self-responsibility in our relationships, with all the new language and different ways of thinking that involved, and it had been quite revelatory. I’d gotten through…

  • Personal Growth,  Relationships

    How To Stop Beating Yourself Up for Going Round in Circles

    Have you ever felt as though you’re just dating the same person over and over again? Have you looked back after another breakup and found yourself beating yourself up for not seeing all the same signs, and for making all the same mistakes? Or perhaps a pattern keeps playing out within one relationship, and you tell yourself you’re just going around in circles? It can be so frustrating to notice patterns like these, especially when they’ve caused considerable pain in the past. This is a place I know well, and there’s one perspective which I’ve found really helpful. I’d like to share that perspective here, and talk a bit about…

  • Personal Growth

    How To Find the Best Therapist for You

    Finding a therapist, coach, or counsellor can be difficult. There are hundreds of different forms of therapy alone, plus considerations around values and lifestyle to take into account. I talk to many folks who have struggled with therapy because they didn’t feel safe to talk about sex or different relationship styles, or who felt that endless talking about their problems wasn’t actually helping very much.  While longer-term psychotherapy and counselling is an important part of treatment for specific mental health diagnoses such as depression or BPD, shorter-term coaching can be a great alternative for people who are otherwise mentally healthy and need some support to work through specific challenges. Coaching…

  • Personal Growth

    How To Work With Difficult Parts of Yourself

    Do you battle against parts of yourself that you don’t like very much? Maybe you have some people-pleasing tendencies that you’ve identified as a ‘problem,’ or you hate how emotional you get when you need to assert a boundary. Do you feel frustrated at how easily you cry when you get upset, or wish those anxious voices asking all the ‘what ifs’ would just go away for good? It makes a lot of sense that we’d want parts of ourselves that we don’t like to just go away. It can feel as though they’re sabotaging our efforts to have healthy relationships, causing all kinds of behaviour that feels unhelpful. Where…

  • Personal Growth,  Relationships

    How To Stop Being a People-Pleaser (for good)

    Ok, so you’ve identified that you’re a people-pleaser. You’ve noticed a pattern of feeling frustrated in your relationships (whether romantic or platonic – it can show up everywhere) because you fail to communicate your wants and needs early on. You go along with it, telling yourself it’s not so bad, until you reach breaking point… which usually ends in an emotional blowout or simply giving up and cutting the other person out entirely. Either way, there’s a lot of resentment that slowly builds and it’s really, really draining. It feels impossible to put yourself first – what if your requests are too much? What if you hear a “no?” It…