Elizabeth Ryan CoPotential - Counselling Relationships

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The Articles below were published in the "Free Spirited" Magazine in Australia. They may help you to understand more about how you handle relationships and what you can do to improve them.


Establishing Solid Foundations
Love is the most powerful force in the Universe, and expanding our capacity to love is for most of us a gradual and ongoing pursuit. Many of us harden our heart with years of self-protection to avoid pain. To love another person, however, we need to have some softness of heart, which involves being able to feel rather than cut off from our emotions. It's impossible for someone to have an intimate and meaningful relationship with

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Promises, Promises
Making a relationship commitment is one of the most important promises we ever make because of the depth and breadth of the potential ramifications. Relationship commitment is about retaining dedication to each other despite differences, personal limitations, crises, other options, etc. Can we legitimately pledge to love, honour and cherish another person - until death us do part - when we've barely tasted adulthood?

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Living in Harmony
Few phenomena impact on our life more than the quality of our intimate relationship. Yet, when we fall in love we're often so swept away with emotion that we place more emphasis on romance than on forming a quality relationship. We soon start fantasising about the future and, as Billy Crystal said in "When Harry met Sally," "you want the rest of your life to start as soon as possible."

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The Wounds That Bind Us

The need to give and receive love is fundamental to emotionally healthy human beings. When we're receptive to the possibility of establishing a loving relationship, we're initially drawn to some people more than others. Consciously, we're generally discerning about the qualities we find appealing and we try to steer clear of people whose attributes we find troublesome.

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Communicating Realistic Expectations: An Act of Love

When we first meet someone and fall in love, we experience a sense of euphoria, ecstasy and enchantment. We think that our new love can do no wrong and he/she will make all our dreams come true. Believing we've been blessed to have met the perfect partner, we're susceptible to the seductive notion that a blissful and effortless future awaits us. Myths like this, which abound around love and relationships, can fuel unrealistic expectations that hinder the potential longevity of the union.

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The following unpublished article may inspire insights about managing arguments:


Constructive Conflict Management Strengthens Relationships
How we deal with conflict is one of the crucial indicators of whether or not our intimate relationship will last. We're naturally inclined to pursue peaceful and predictable environments, so we don't generally welcome conflict. Conflict is experienced when we want or believe something that's at odds with what another person wants or believes.

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