June 11, 2017

Does Therapy End Friendships?

One of the things that I see repeatedly in the beginning stages of therapy is that people start to clear out their friends and family.  Does therapy truly end friendships?

Most people come in for therapy because they are struggling with relationship(s).  Maybe they are having trouble with a friend or romantic partner or family member and want some help figuring out why they feel so stuck, or hurt, or trapped, or emotionally damaged.

As we work on their history in this relationship it usually uncovers a pattern for my client of problems in other relationships in their life.  Most often it’s an issue in one or more of the 5 areas of the Post Induction Therapy model I use:

Self esteem:  not feeling that they deserve to be treated better or not valuing others

Boundaries:  not knowing how to protect themselves and not be vulnerable

Sense of self (Reality): not having a clear sense of their own feelings and thoughts and who they want to be

Dependency: not knowing how to ask for or get what they want or need

Moderation: not knowing how to respond to life in moderate ways and staying away from extreme reactions

As we work on these areas and people start to feel better about themselves and get stronger, they begin to change what they expect from and how they respond to people in their lives.  Either one of four things happen in response to this:

  • People pressure you to change back

  • People turn away and avoid you

  • You decide a relationship has been painful or a burden or unfulfilling and decide to move on

  • People join with you to improve and enhance the relationship because it is important to them as well

So, does therapy end relationships?  In my opinion, bad relationships end relationships and deciding not to tolerate them opens a door to more respectful relationships where you can feel valued, safe, respected and peaceful…with a side dish of joy!

Only allow people into your inner circle if they are kind, generous, respectful and loving.