Relationships are a very important part of our lives, but they can also be very complex. Experiencing difficulties within our relationships is, therefore, not unusual. However, for some of us, the challenges that we can experience in relationships can cause a significant level of distress and it can be hard to negotiate these challenges and find a way forward. As a result, we may find that we become less confident in ourselves, especially when thinking about or trying to manage particular relationships. This may mean that we avoid situations where we think we may see particular people or encounter complex relationship issues, or we may find ourselves starting to question ourselves more and possibly even becoming more upset, angry or distressed about this aspect of our self, or our life.
Relationship difficulties may not only be experienced within a particular relationship we have with someone, such as with our partner, spouse or child, but also experienced within a type of group of people, such as those at work, people in authority or people of a particular culture, origin or background. However, some people may also experience that relationships in general can be difficult for them. In both cases, it can be really useful to explore in a safe and calm atmosphere some of the difficulties that are occurring and possible patterns that may be reinforcing these difficulties and make change feel hard. Working on matters relating to relationships can be undertaken with, both, one party or more than one party involved in the relationship, depending on what fits a particular circumstance and those involved.