Have been trying to resolve the issues between your parents? Are you unable to understand and meet the demands of your partner that is causing issues? Are you going through a toxic relationship which is causing mental and physical problems? Is it getting hard for you to manage your relationship with your friends in Orchard because of busy routine?
Well, you are not the only one dealing with these problems in Orchard. There are many people who are going through the same phase. You will be surprised to know that it is the main cause of depression and stress in many people. However, an important thing you need to understand is that mistake happens from both sides and you have to resolve them together.
What happens most of the time is that after suffering for so many years by the hands of someone close, dear, or loved ones; our way of behaving with others and overall attitude, gets a bit aggressive and loud towards small things and issues. We start to react harshly over normal things and when we get a reaction from others, we end up with feeling that no one understand us and everyone is trying to hurt us, but in reality it is our behavior that is causing all the disturbance. Don’t consider it just for romantic relationship but it can be between you and your parents, siblings, and friends. However, there is also no doubt that romantic relationship failure gives us the biggest heartaches.
The Core Conditions
The three main core conditions that Carl Rogers considered essential for effective counselling are:
1. Unconditional Positive Regard. (UPR)
However in Roger’s paper “The necessary and sufficient conditions of Therapeutic personality change” he lists six conditions in total.
1. Two persons are in Psychological contact.
2. The first, whom we shall term the client, is in a state of incongruence, being vulnerable or anxious.
3. The second person, whom we shall term the therapist is congruence or integrated in the relationship.
4. The therapist experiences unconditional positive regard for the client.
5. The therapist experiences an empathic understanding of the clients internal frame of reference and endeavours to communicate this experience to the client.
6. The communication to the client of the therapist’s empathic understanding and unconditional positive regard is to a minimal degree achieved.
No other conditions are necessary . If these six conditions exist and continue over a period of time, this is sufficient…(Rogers Reader p221)
Unconditional Positive Regard, Empathy & Congruence are the counsellors or therapists conditions needed to facilitate change. Without these conditions being present a healing relationship cannot form. In the six conditions above we see that the client also has to ‘play ball’, Psychological contact is needed. If the client does not want to be there they are free to withdraw and the counselling processes cannot continue. The client too it seems needs to realise that there is something not working for them in their lives.
So what are these conditions? Roger's three core conditions for therapeutic change as explained by the good man himself:
"The first element could be called genuineness, realness, or congruence. The more the therapist is himself or herself in the relationship, putting up no professional front or personal facade, the greater is the likelihood that the client will change and grow in a constructive manner. This means that the therapist is openly being the feelings and attitudes that are flowing within at the moment. Thus, there is a close matching, or congruence, between what is being experienced at the gut level, what is present in awareness, and what is expressed to the client.
The second attitude of importance in creating a climate for change is acceptance, or caring, or prizing--what I have called 'unconditional positive regard.' When the therapist is experiencing a positive, acceptant attitude toward whatever the client is at that moment, therapeutic movement or change is more likely to occur. The therapist is willing for the client to be whatever immediate feeling is going on--confusion, resentment, fear, anger, courage, love, or pride. Such caring on the part of the therapist is non-possessive. The therapist prizes the client in a total rather than a conditional way.
The third facilitative aspect of the relationship is empathic understanding. This means that the therapist senses accurately the feelings and personal meanings that the client is experiencing and communicates this understanding to the client. When functioning best, the therapist is so much inside the private world of the other that he or she can clarify not only the meanings of which the client is aware but even those just below the level of awareness. This kind of sensitive, active listening is exceedingly rare in our lives. We think we listen, but very rarely do we listen with real understanding, true empathy. Yet listening, of this very special kind, is one of the most potent forces for change that I know."
There is a lot packed in to the above descriptions, at a glance it does not seem much but upon examining them closely the basic framework of Rogers counselling work is described.
The first condition is named as congruence, realness, genuineness. That is to say that you are present and aware with the client. If we look back historically to the time Rogers was writing in the 1950’s I think he was saying to drop the facade of Doctor or Psychoanalyst to come out from behind the white coat and meet the person as another person, while still remaining in the role of therapist. My understanding of the therapeutic climate of the time is that the therapist took on an almost authoritarian role as a ‘fixer’ of a ‘broken’ patient. Rogers was the one who helped change the ‘Patient’ into a ‘Client’.
Once the client is treated as an equal communication will start. If the therapist comes across as an authority or an expert the client will start to tailor their answers to suit this. As Wilson points out in Prometheus Rising:
“Accurate communication is possible only in a non-punishing situation;
communication occurs only between equals”
I think that Rogers was also saying that we should be ‘real’ with who we are as a therapist. If we are only putting on the counsellor mask it will be picked up upon, much like when we visit a show room and get greeted by an over-zealous sales person, we can easily sense that they are not genuine or that they are only giving us attention because they are after a sale.
Unconditional Positive Regard:
Unconditional Positive Regard: UPR in a nutshell simply means that the counsellor listens in a non-judgmental warm way to the client. There are no conditions put upon the relationship. By taking this position in the relationship the client will be able to talk about what they are thinking and feeling without fearing a judgment or a rejection. It strikes me as ironic that one of the core conditions is a condition of unconditional positive regard. Nevertheless UPR is one of the bits of magic in the relationship that makes the listening and healing possible. It also ties in nicely or is on a similar continuum to congruence, as again communication occurs only between equals. Initially when I first came across this concept I wondered if I could hold it with all persons. I thought of an extreme case of an abuser, I wondered if I could hold this UPR? I thought about this and discovered that it is possible to separate the person from their behaviour. It is only when UPR is present that the client will trust the therapist enough to be open and honest about their inner world. I have faith in UPR so much so that no matter how much a person feels that they have slipped from society’s grace that they will be able to gain UPR for themselves and others and hopefully start anew. Rogers was quite wise to say that we all have potential for change up to the moment of our death. If find this concept wonderfully optimistic and applaud it.
Empathy or empathic understanding is the next core condition. This is where the therapist picks up on the feelings of the client and reflects this back to the client. This is the process where the therapist can act as a support to the client by making them feel ‘as if’ the therapist is there experiencing their array of emotions. There is an expression that I like that illustrates empathic understanding the term is ‘Grok’ it’s taken from the novel ‘Stranger in a Strange Land’ (Heinlein, 1961), literally it means ‘to drink’ but is taken to mean 'understanding.' It is often used by programmers and other assorted computer geeks while discussing computer code. To ‘Grok’ means to become one with, understand and empathize with something or someone to the extent that the object or person becomes part of one’s sense self. I think that empathy in the person centred world is a ‘Groking’ of the other person, without getting so caught up in the experience that you react and become lost in it. Not to lose the ‘as if’ quality.
Do the Core Conditons Improve all relationships?
I am going to take a leap of faith and say that the core conditions do improve all relationships. I have all ready experienced the power of the conditions in my own personal counselling and have felt how powerful they are. Without a doubt in my mind I will say that within the therapeutic setting that they are essential for a healing relationship to occur.
I was debating with myself around the question of them improving
all relationships. Initially I thought that that this would not be the case so I decided to bring the conditions out into the playing field of life and experiment. I have been having a lot of fun with this. I decided to be congruent as far as its possible to be with anyone I met on the street for the last few weeks in as far giving a nod or saying ‘hullo’ if eye contact was made, rather than doing my usual paranoid ‘I’m too busy and important to be dealing with the likes of you’ walk. The response was phenomenal. One gent I’ve passed dozens of times while out walking my dog actually stopped for a chat for the first time, it consisted of no more than six words but it was a start. I’ve been getting smiles and salutes from perfect strangers when I pass them on my bike too. Saying that I’ve also encountered a few zombies too, but I’m sure it’s only a matter of time before contact is made. I think that time is a dimension of a relationship that gets overlooked sometimes, trust can take time.
Personal Anxiety & Fear
I have also recently had the fortune of being harassed by the local teenagers that live in the council estate adjacent to my house. As my house is the first house on the corner our cars get targeted frequently, windows smashed, set alight, stolen etc ... I saw some teenagers out in the garden the other night and went out to them. My usual approach is to tell them to clear off, usually in colourful language, this time however I went out and tried out the magic of unconditional positive regard with them. I met them as people rather than ‘bloody hooded youths’ and asked them what they were up to? This was taken as an accusation, I told them that I wasn’t blaming them for anything, only that we had been getting vandalised and that since they were in my garden I had a right to ask them what they were doing there. I asked them what they were doing out on such a cold night and they said that they where board. They had nothing on that night. I asked them what they thought should be there for them to do and one of them was quite keen on a racetrack another on somewhere to play ‘Xbox’. Admittedly one of the girls launched into a rant about how “youse (the people in the new houses) moved into our area and we’re going to smash up your stuff and houses and you until you all move away” and “ ‘cos you are the corner house that you are going to get it ‘cos your easy to run away from”, rather than rising to this bait I reflected this back to them saying that I understood that they were upset and felt like smashing up the place but asked them if they thought that this was fair? After some time they said that no it wasn’t fair but that it would probably continue. To cut a long story short I returned to my house and thought that I had made no head way with them. However, I felt that I had made some with myself. I lost my fear of the ‘youths’ and gained an understanding that these people are just board children that lack boundaries and parental control in their lives. This has made living here less scary for me and this was only through having UPR, empathy and congruence present in my dialogue with them that this change in me occurred. As a foot note to this story, the next night 12 cars on the road got their windscreens smashed, mine however was not one of them yippee! – perhaps I did get through in some small way!
More Fear and Loathing
Something similar happened again but this time with a group of younger teens from the area. Without going into too much story I started to apply the core conditions to my dealings with them whenever I had cause to. It really has made a huge difference with them. I realise that they were picking up on my distrust and judgement of their behaviour; once I started to meet them as real people I have had very little hassle with them. In fact they will now come up and chat the way children do whenever I am out working in the garden or on the cars. The other morning when I went to walk the dog there was a small group of them sitting on the wall. Rather than getting the usual dirty looks I got a ‘howareya mister!’ from them. So I can say that even in the most difficult relationships no matter how troubled they seem, using the core conditions will help improve them for the better. Perhaps only small steps at a time but steps towards something better never the less.
Heinlein, R. A. (1961). Stranger in a Strange Land. Berkley Publishing Group.
O'Farrell, U. (Reprint 2001). First Steps in Counselling. Dublin: Veritas.
Rogers, C. (1980). Way of Being. Boston: Houghton Mifflin.
Rogers, C. (2005). The Carl Rogers Reader edited by Kirschenbaum & Henderson. London: Counstable & Robertson.
Sanders, P. (2006). The Person Centred Counselling Primer. Trowbridge, UK: Cromwell Press.
Wilson, R. A. (1994). Prometheus Rising. Arizona: Falcon.
In all these situations, after back to back failed relationship issues and suffering from heartaches, you end up feeling mentally unstable. You find hard time in coping up with your daily routine or you simply cannot stop thinking negative about the world, its people, and whatever is happening around you in a negative manner.
What you can do in this regard?
Well, you need someone there for you to help you coping with the anxiety, depression, and this continuous sour of feeling down and dismayed. YOU NEED US!
“We are the best relationship therapists in the world to help you dealing with general and severe relationship issues caused by yours or others’ actions”.
Relationship therapy that’s also known as couples therapy, marriage, therapy, or relationship issues therapy; is an attempt to help you make an improvement in your relationships, specifically romantic ones, by resolving conflicts, issues, and misconception, occurred due to mistakes and misunderstandings.
There is no exact or required time to ask for and get relationship therapy until you find yourself in a mess that requires to be cleaned. Moreover, when you don’t want the problem to get worse, you need an expert advice, a helping hand, to go through the conflict and resolve it without damaging your relationship.
• Before and After a Marriage In Orchard :
Moreover, you can ask for a relationship therapy before and after your marriage because it is a legal relationship and failed marriages won’t only cause depression and anxiety in the spouse, but it can even become the cause of you losing all of your income while competing in a family court against your spouse while filing for Divorce/Separation.
• When You Want To End A Relationship In A Less-Disturbing Way:
Moreover, you can also ask for a relationship therapy when you feel so nagged and downed by a failed infidel relationship. When you don’t want your mental health to fall apart and you also don’t want to end the relationship like this. The responsible behavior is that even if you both don’t mean to stay together, still finish the relationship in a way that won’t be toxic for anyone of you.
• When You See Your Kid Is Suffering From Mental Issues Because of the Conflicts Between You Two:
Furthermore, if you have been into a relationship where your kids are being suffered due to the conflicts between you and your partner, they will get mentally disrobed. Remember, you both are special for each other and watching other suffer is a suffering for yourselves. Even if you don’t show it to them, kids are sensitive and sharp, they sense the tension in the atmosphere and feel it to the end. Most of the time, instead of talking about it, they start getting isolated and here is when the overall problem starts. Here, again you need help from an expert therapist to help your kid coming back to his or her track. It doesn’t matter that your all kids would suffer the same, however the sensitive one requires your help the most.
• When You Have Suffered Through an Abusive Relationship
A toxic relationship, either it gives you sexual abuse, emotional abuse, or physical abuse; it leaves some after effects on you and you start to take things in a very different way which most of the time is not healthy. Here you need to talk to expert therapists on your ex-relationship and the problems associated to it. Remember, it is not end of your life. The life never ends until you die. Therefore, one toxic relationship doesn’t mean you should stop asking for love. However, before getting into involved with someone else, you will have to get rid of all the abusiveness in your veins and heart caused by it. This is when you need to go to a relationship therapist so that you can accept and start your new relation in a better and healthier manner.
• When you need Serious Mental Help:
Most of the time a suffering through Communication Problems Sex and Sexuality, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), Adjustment issues, and Bipolar Disorder (BPD) requires serious and immediate help or else the after-effects can be worst and require a huge time in resolving issues. This can end up in failed marriages, failed relationships, and successful attempts of suicide. When you don’t want this to happen, you need to bring the sufferers to us and let our experts in Orchard deal with them.
Passive Aggression and Relationships
We all have different personalities and different ways to cope with our feelings. People who are passive aggressive do not want to deal with their feelings of anger. There is a difference between acting passive aggressive occasionally and being passive aggressive all the time and it dominates their thoughts, their actions, their personality.
People who are passive aggressive all the time are known to have PAPD, passive aggressive personality disorder. They switch off between several thoughts. They believe they are perfect and will discredit anything their spouse may say about them. They will say yes, but secretly feel angry, and plot ways to not do what is asked of them because they are secretly afraid to express their real opinion. They play the part of the victim and slant the story so that they are the innocent one.
The Passive Aggressive Person and Their Partner
A passive aggressive person finds a willing victim. There is a problem between both people. The passive aggressive person resists, and the spouse gets and shows their frustration. The spouse also has dynamics that were set up in their childhood. It often comes from watching their own parents. One parent withdrew, and the other gets frustrated. They grow into adults who take care of others and feel unappreciated for it. As an adult, they unconsciously choose a partner who plays out these unresolved feelings. They will also repeat the patterns of their parents behavior towards each other.
The spouse falls for the passive aggressive person’s charm, his neediness, and doesn’t see how this throws off their lack of connection to others. The dynamics of the marriage leave the spouse who is not passive aggressive in doubt about themselves. The passive aggressive person blurs the lines between their own failures, and make them the other person’s. The passive aggressive person is very clever at eluding their spouse’s way of discovering what they are really about. Their life together is often filled with unsettling inconsistencies. When the passive aggressive husband, for example feels threatened, they withdraw, the wife feels frustrated and shows her anger. They are not able to settle the conflict in a direct way and the disagreement goes unresolved. Healthy relationships need openness and appropriate displays of anger.
The spouse of a passive aggressive person takes on several roles at various times. They are the rescuer. They are the controller who is managing and handling the situation. They are the victim. They are often pushed into frustrating situations that cause them to feel angry. Caught in a role of being all of these people, they ride an emotional roller coaster, as the passive aggressive spouse continues to make their mate feel like they will do what is asked of them.
The passive aggressive person knows how to erode their spouse’s self esteem. Their mate is feeling frustrated and angry, and may feel guilty about being angry. The passive aggressive person, through their innocent and naïve ways makes their spouse feel guilty about being angry at them and often gets their spouse to apologize to them.
How to Handle a Passive Aggressive Person
It is in our nature to repeat what we are unaware we are doing. The person who is attracted to a passive aggressive mate, will find another just like them in other relationships they have. There is a certain level of neediness that attracts this person to a passive aggressive individual. The person who is attracted to a passive aggressive mate does not usually set limits, is not usually demanding, and may be easily manipulated.
If you are married to a passive aggressive person you can handle the person by using straight non confrontational talk. It may help to change some of their irritating behavior.
Passive aggressive personality disorder is a pervasive way of being and behaving. It is a lifelong habit. It is not an easy task to straighten this out. I t starts with setting firm limits for yourself. Don’t blur the boundaries between their needs and what you think you can do for them. Stick to the promises you have made to yourself. Speak in terms of how you feel. State it in terms of “I feel...” Don’t protect your spouse from your feelings. Don’t accept their excuses when your spouse says they couldn’t do what you asked. Tell them, it is their choice and express how their behavior has affected you and others. Choose your battles. Focus on what is important. Intervene where it will count for you. When you are in an argument with your passive aggressive spouse make sure they don’t turn the focus back on you. Tell them it is about them, not you.
What You Can Do for Yourself When You Are in a Relationship With a Passive Aggressive Person
Become as self aware as you can. Observe how you avoid conflict, the ways you are passive yourself, and what triggers your own response to anger. Be vigilant about how they turn the blame on you. Don’t allow them to take the discussion off track. Try not to let them push your buttons and get you angry, so they can walk away from you.
It may be helpful to learn stress management so that you can handle your own anxiety effectively. It is important to encourage your spouse to make their own decisions, and to let them see that doing things helps to build their own confidence. Try not to be critical of their behavior. If you come on strong, they may react by retreating and isolating themselves because, remember they can’t how yo their anger. Try to raise them to a level of honesty and to say they don’t really want to do the things you have asked. Then you can explain how this makes you feel. Try to make fewer demands, asking only for what you need and see what happens. Show how the distortion of the truth is creating more problems. Be gentle, be direct, try not to be aggressive. Don’t allow them to make excuses or make excuses for them. Challenge their ambiguity and double messages, or how they are ignoring you.Challenge them when they try to cloud the issues with things that are not relevant to the situation. Don’t let them get away with giving you mixed messages.
They will try the tactic of making you feel sorry for them as though they are the victim, to avoid you coming down on them, and get you to feel sorry for them. Point out that their behavior is self defeating and not solving anything. Make them accountable.
Be sure to give them praise for the progress they are making. Hopefully you will get them to realize that there are good ways to resolve conflict. Understand for your knowledge that their fear of being dependent on you is related to their own rebellion. Try to avoid invading their privacy, or get in the way of them making them making their own decisions. Your partner may be afraid to acknowledge their own fears. Help them have the courage to deal with these feelings and that everyone has fears, and that it is good to learn about ourselves.
Passive Aggressive Partners
Your partner is bound to blame you for what is going on. It is important that you let them know how they betrayed you and that they must earn back your trust. Ask them what they will do to rebuild the trust you need from them.
Point out when they sulk and get moody and how all these things only make things worse. Show them how they close themselves off, and how that makes the issues more difficult to deal with. Keep the conversation open.
Be willing to learn about yourself too by accepting feedback and listening to criticism without getting defensive. Chart the relationship with new definitions so that positive change can take effect.
Show how they are manipulating the situation and being controlling, even though they may vehemently deny this. Show how they are using withdrawl tactics, sarcasm, irritability and moodiness, and intimidation in situations. Avoid getting into power struggles with them. Talk about unexpressed anger and how it can fester and cause destructiveness in the relationship.
Through couples counseling you and your spouse may be able to express uncomfortable feelings in safe and appropriate your. Give your passive aggressive spouse the opportunity to be more direct with you. Learn about yourself and how you react to anger. Observe how your interaction can fuel their anger, and on the positive side, how you can undermine their passive aggressive behavior.
Stay away from nagging them, it does not good and will only make things worse. Expressing your feelings in the right way will make all the difference in how you both handle the issues. When your partner gives you the silent treatment, tell them that it is upsetting to you. Explain that not talking makes it easier for each of you to form assumptions that put more distance between you.
Passive Aggressive People
All relationships are built on compromise. Let your partner know your compromise and get them to state theirs. Make them an active part of solving the problems in your marriage.
If your passive aggressive partner does not want to negotiate or compromise with you, it may be appropriate to state some consequences. If you do setup consequences, you must follow through on them.
If after everything has been tried and said, perhaps you need to stop spending so much energy on this person. Ask yourself what you are getting from this relationship. it is time to question if your partner is really capable of being close to you. Is your partner putting their energy into helping the relationship or avoiding their own problems?
If you tried to make things work with this person, it may be time to move forward. Be forewarned that the passive aggressive person will seek revenge against you. If you aren’t all that unhappy in the relationship, then stay in the relationship. But realize that maybe it is time to give yourself what your spouse is not and cannot give you. Working on yourself may have a bigger payback. The choice is yours, but whatever you do, do it for yourself and make yourself happy most of all.
To read more about marriage and passive aggressive personality disorder click here.