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 Novena because of busy routine?
Well, you are not the only one dealing with these problems in Novena. 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.
Married to a Passive Aggressive Person and What to Do
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.
Person Centred Counselling and the Core Conditions
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 Novena :
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 Novena deal with them.
Three Signs of A Successful Marriage
When two people in love decide to tie the knot, and take the marriage vows, they start a journey full of hope and expectation. It is however not uncommon to hear stories of separation and divorce. In fact the divorce statistics are a little alarming. Studies show that in the United States alone, there is one divorce every 13 seconds. In other words, 50% of all marriages in the US end in divorce, and the average length of marriages that end in divorce is eight years.
Even in countries like Uganda where divorce is still stigmatized due to cultural beliefs, the story is not any different. Some couples seem to be humming along in perfect harmony, until you suddenly hear the unexpected.
Despite sharing common interest and similar careers, couples still end in divorce courts. It is also true however, that some marriages have thrived against all odds and have made it to the golden jubilee anniversary. Very often the signs of trouble are there. We only choose to judge success in marriage by the wrong standards. Here are three signs one can use to tell if their marriage is headed for success.
You freely express your feelings
Most people who are in love fight. In the beginning, there is what seems to be a period of bliss, and there is little about your partner that bothers you enough for you to air it out. Or you might be trying hard to avoid conflict because you assume it could mean that something is awfully wrong with your relationship.
It is important to remember that fights in a relationship are often about those areas in your lives that aren't easy to understand about each other, and in many cases there may never be any straightforward answers.
This is perfectly normal and is not an indication that something is terribly wrong with your relationship. Being able to express yourself, even if it involves a heated argument can be a sign that your marriage is on the right track.
Fights provide a way for couples to reconnect. They often touch our weak spots and these are what we need to concentrate on in order to make success. Arguments provide an atmosphere for expression of one’s true feelings about our habits and various weaknesses. Coupled with positive criticism, they can be a means to help us understand our selves and how we relate with our partners.
They thus promote understanding of those unique details that make one relationship different from another. They also prevent accumulation of anger. When a fault is sighted in a relationship, it needs to be addressed promptly. Unfortunately this may mean engaging in a heated argument because each party is passionately trying to prove that they are right. On the other hand if such faults are allowed to accumulate, they will culminate into Anger out bursts that will in turn lead to regrettable irrational decision making.
A study by the University of Washington on newlywed couples found that couples who rarely fought or argued were happier in the relationship than those who fought often. Three years down the road however, the findings had reversed dramatically. Couples with an early history of bickering had worked their problems and were more likely to be in a stable marriage. Couples who had avoided conflict early on were more likely to be in troubled relationships already.
Note that this is far from violence or verbal abuse which are unacceptable, and are signs of disrespect. The important thing here is not who can win, because any one can win provided they are willing to win at the cost of love and respect. What then should the fight be about if not winning? A healthy fight is aimed at restoring the balance of power rather than destroy it. You are fighting to let the person you have chosen to spend the rest of your life with, know exactly how you feel about the situation. This kind of fight will end in surrender rather than loss and this must never be one sided. Fighting matters in marriage because what counts out of it is forgiveness. Avoid the temptation of the desire to win which is as present as any other marital temptation. You should always unite to fight external forces. Remember never to say what can’t be unsaid, never go to sleep angry and worse still, end a fight by having sex with someone other than your partner because infidelity is unacceptable.
You Still Spend Time With Your Friends
Despite being married, you're still two different people with many different interests in life. Therefore, your marriage should not feel like some sort of 'dungeon' that robes you of all your rights and freedoms as a human being.
Remember before you fell in love with your darling, you had a life, friends and family. Perhaps these are among the things that got him or her to fall head over heels for you.
A good marriage affords you the freedom to do those things you enjoy to do, because these are what define you and your happiness. These should of course be morally acceptable and shouldn't be the kind of activities that disgrace you or your partner and you marriage (remember marriage means growing up). Spending time with friends keeps you up to date with life outside your relationship. You will not be ‘left behind’ on trending fashion or entertainment news. This keeps your mind fresh and brings a general sense of happiness to your life. You will also get a well-deserved break from all the pressure that could be piling up in your relationship. Spending time away from each other refreshes the mind and allows you time to think of each other and miss each other’s company.
You don’t need to live in each other’s pockets or do everything together. Studies show that relationships in which one or both partners are overly possessive are more likely to encounter problems than those in which partners freely relate with friends and family. This calls for trust which by all means must be earned. There is no doubt that trust is important in any relationship, in fact a marriage without trust is doomed to fail. Trust, love, honesty and effective communication are the key to spending time away from each other successfully
'We' and 'Us'
The use of such unifying pronouns is a characteristic of a successful marriage. This is often expressed in activities done together. According to Tara Packer-Pope, a wellness blogger for the New York Times, the way you talk about the good and bad times of your early years together is about 90% accurate in predicting success or failure in a marriage. In her article; “How to avoid common marriage traps” Tara sights an example of a couple that go hiking together on their first date. “In a happy marriage, the wife might tell the story this way; "we got terribly lost that day, but we laughed about how neither of us had a good sense of direction. After that we knew better than to plan another hiking trip.”
“But if the relationship is stressed,” she continues, “the wife might tell the story this way; He lost the map and it took hours to find our way back. After that I never wanted to go hiking again.” Same story but told from different mind sets. The latter depicts a sense of individualism. The wife feels that most of what happened was her husband’s fault. This is typical in marriages that are heading towards a sour end, as one partner possibly feels suffocated by the unfair distribution of power in the relationship. It should be understood that marriage is about balance of power. The best way to avoid domineering is by never letting activities done together, to be determined or controlled by one person.
These Subtle signs are present in many marriages. But because they often go unnoticed, many of these marriages end up in painful separations or divorce, leaving children in difficult positions of having to take sides between their parents. Most of the marriages that have thrived against all odds are those in which these signs are noticed and dealt with early.