Relationship Building Skills

Is your once loving relationship in trouble?

  • Do you feel angry a lot of the time?

  • Are you and your partner constantly arguing?

  • Do you know, or suspect that there has been an affair?

If so, you’ll benefit from talking things through with a someone who can help you to look at your relationship in a more objective way. Someone who can provide you with the communication skills needed to solve and resolve disagreements rather than fuelling even the smallest issue into another episode of bickering.

Most people who come to see me admit almost immediately that they’re great – even magnificent – at creating upset and disharmony but not at all good when it comes to conflict resolution. By ‘conflict’ I don’t mean that you’re fighting all day every day, shouting and using hurtful language. More that when something upsets either or both of you, it’s now a habit to respond in a way that escalates the situation. You end up feeling bad but neither you nor your partner, friend, child (whoever) knows how to communicate with tenderness needed to defuse the argument.

Please consider calling me on (03)9687 2083 to arrange your first FREE fifteen minute phone consultation. For your convenience, I offer sessions outside 9am -5pm.

Gay-friendly relationship and family counselling

Let’s hope that soon it won’t be necessary to say that. It’ll be the case that all people offering relationship improvement skills development will make sure that they don’t just view the world through heterosexual eyes. Parents who are gay or lesbian don’t escape the challenges that come with the joys of parenthood. I’ve worked with many gay and lesbian couples who are having relationship issues around parenting styles. Particularly if the child/ren were around prior to the relationship.

See Esther Perel’s TED Talk about maintaining intimacy in relationships

Esther Perel, author of Mating in Captivity provides an entertaining and insightful look at the challenges facing relationships today.

I work in the western suburb of Yarraville. For many years, I’ve been working with couples and families to create greater harmony in their lives. Sometimes, it’s a matter of overcoming a particular problem – how to get on with in-laws, or how to cope with the demands of a new baby. I’ve seen how important it can be to gain some perspective on what’s upsetting or annoying in your relationship and to feel comfortable to speak about those things knowing that there’s a referee in the room who is giving equal time to all sides of the conflict.

I believe strongly that schools and parents should be teaching the basic communication skills that are the foundation of conflict reduction and conflict resolution. Most of my clients say that even if their parents were loving and supportive, they didn’t grow up with a blueprint for resolving differences. Most of us are too involved, too invested in the day-to-day of our own relationships to see clearly how we can solve problems we’ve encountered.  We’re definitely too involved to see how we might have created the very things that we find annoying, uncomfortable and distressing.

Relationship help is not just for intimate partnerships.

I’ve  had extensive experience helping friends to solve issues that were potentially damaging to their longstanding friendships.  It’s true that as we go through life we change a great deal.  During the transition from childhood to adulthood, we often find that the person who was our very best friend throughout primary school may not be our closest friend in adulthood.  Then again, there are friendships that are life-long.  If you’ve been fortunate enough to have the great joy and support of those long-term friendships, those relationships are every bit as important as your relationship with your life partner.

That’s where a skilled outsider can help. My work is sometimes a little bit like being a mediator or arbitrator in disputes.  I can help all parties to a conflict to see their role in the conflict and how to resolve it, as well as re-affirming how much everyone stands to lose if the issues aren’t resolved.

Surviving adolescence – for all involved

I’ve had particular expertise and experience in working with families, to help all involved to navigate their way through whatever issues they’re facing.  I have a particular interest in helping parents and children work their way through the challenges that adolescence presents.  As one mother expressed it when she came to see me, “one minute my daughter was being given permission to come home on the tram with friends so long as they were home by 5pm and the next thing we’re in a constant screaming match because she comes home at 5am from nightclubs we’ve forbidden her to attend.”   Yes, in a few short years boundaries that were accepted by children are being challenged and even flouted by the same adorable girl or boy.   In that situation, it’s important for parents to acknowledge how much they love the rebellious and sometimes verbally abusive daughter or son.  It’s very important to express that love often.  Yes, boundaries must be established and maintained.  Adolescents can’t be given licence to use abusive or hurtful language or to ignore curfews.  It’s also part of relationship development to help parents make the distinction between not liking their son or daughter’s behaviour but still liking, and indeed loving that person.

Call now on (03)9687 2083 for your FREE no-obligation fifteen minute phone consultation. Or email me on jkavanagh@iinet.net.au 

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