The term “interpersonal relationship” refers to a bond that exists between two or more individuals. The nature of every relationship is based on what each person brings into their union, including the type of their personality, and their past and present experiences. Research shows that the attachments we form early in life, the relationships we develop with our caregivers, and the exposure to different parenting styles, all play a tremendous role in our ability to form healthy relationships in our adult lives (Ester Goldvarg, 2012).
Any type of relationship evolves over time and just like the bond can grow stronger over time, it can also deteriorate under many different circumstances. Among the most common issues that lead people to seek therapy and counseling in the area of relationship issues are communication problems, feelings of jealousy and mistrust, infidelity, and parenting issues. When faced with these situations, people often have difficulties dealing with them on their own, but feel embarrassed to seek help.
The truth is that many relationships can be saved and significantly improved over time with the help of such psychotherapy approaches as Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Emotion Focused Therapy, Multisystemic Therapy, and Couples Behavior Therapy. Struggling couples who turn to therapy have demonstrated improvement in relationship satisfaction, communication skills, and general well-being. Dr. Goldvarg has dedicated a large portion of her academic studies and her career to research in the area of relationships issues and to working with couples and families to help them achieve satisfaction. In the cases when couples are unable to improve their relationships and choose to separate, therapy helps couples improve their understanding of the reasons why their relationship did not work out, assists them in developing coping strategies to deal with their loss, and helps them with every step of the way to get through this process, especially with issues that concern parenting.
Although relationship therapy is often thought of as marriage/couples counseling, the focus on relationships extends beyond the couple union. Thus, when needed, we also offer family therapy that involves the entire family system and work with people who are having difficulties in their relationships with parents, siblings, and/or children.
To learn more about the research on the effectiveness of relationship therapy and counseling please read the following scholarly articles: