Can therapy help you find love and romance? Therapy isn’t a fairy godmother, but it can certainly help in this area.
You might have already read our article on “How Therapy Can Help You Find Love at Last“.
This article offers 5 more useful ways that seeing a counsellor or psychotherapist helps you find love, and stay loved.
1. Therapy helps you actually believe in love in the first place.
Sure you believe in love but you just haven’t found it yet?
You might find in therapy that deep down a part of you thinks love is not real. Or, that if it does exist, it is for other people and not you because you are flawed or somehow unloveable.
These sorts of hidden negative beliefs are called core beliefs. They are assumptions we make about the world when growing up, which then tend to control all the decisions we make in life.
If our core beliefs about love and romance are negative, we’ll constantly make poor choices in this area of our life.
Or, we’ll drive love away until we learn to identify and change our core beliefs. And yes, therapy is a good place to do so.
2. Therapy uncovers the real secret about finding love.
It’s common to believe that finding love and romance is beyond our control– we just haven’t found the ‘perfect’ partner yet.
We make lists of what he or she will be, and plot how to meet them.
When really the real equation for love is not about ‘finding’ at all, but ‘becoming’. Love is about becoming the sort of person who can be actually be loved and loving in the first place.
If we suffer fear of intimacy, trust issues, or severely low self-esteem, the perfect person him or herself, if they did exist, could stand right in front of us and we either wouldn’t feel in love or would sabotage things.
Therapy is all about looking at what holds us back in life, and this includes what stops us from real connection with others. A good therapist also helps you to recognise your own inner resources, which raises esteem and your capacity to trust.
3. Therapy helps you develop the ingredients you need to love and be loved.
We’ve mentioned in the point above that therapy helps with self-esteem and learning to trust.
It also helps us develop an ability to communicate our wants and needs and have them met, which is crucial in taking relationships past the ‘crush’ stage into a real solid partnership.
But there are other, less talked about but perhaps even more crucial ingredients to finding and maintaining a healthy relationship.
These are skills that therapy can be the first place many of us finally learn. They are:
- setting boundaries (love means taking care of yourself, too)
- being authentic (it’s not about being what someone wants, but being yourself)
- the power of healthy conflict (the real way relationships grow and move forward)
- the ability to be vulnerable (it’s hard for others to love us if we never take off the armour).
4. Therapy teaches you about your hidden ‘attachment issues’.
Attachment theory believes that in order to grow up into an adult who can engage in relationships that work, you need to have had unconditional love and support in the first few years of your life from a primary caregiver.
If this did not happen, you develop a way of forming relationships with others, or ‘attaching’, that is problematic.
Learning about your attachment issues in therapy can give you all new clarity on what is not working for you in love, and what changes now need to be made.
[Read our article on the different types of attachment styles to see which one sounds like you.]
4. Therapy stops you from repeating unhelpful patterns.
Do you find that, despite your best efforts to date someone ‘different’, you end up in the same toxic relationship pattern again and again?
Are you always dating someone controlling, always being too eager to please, or always dating someone emotionally unavailable?
Many of us tend to re-live the most problematic and unresolved relationship we had with a primary caregiver (yes, in other words, you are dating your parents!). Most types of therapy (not all, not CBT, for example) dig into your childhood to find where your faulty patterns of relating that leave you feeling unloved stem from. Schema therapy in particular looks at patterns and helps you transform them.
Interested in what other types of therapy could help you with love and romance?
Read our piece on ‘The Types of Therapy That Help You Find and Keep a Relationship.”
Would you like to explore some of all these points about love with a highly trained, friendly therapist? Harley Therapy connects you with therapists who can help you with love and romance issues. If one of our four London locations doesn’t work for you, consider Skype therapy, as flexible as you are.
Would you like to share an experience of how therapy helped you find love and romance? Or have a question about therapy and your love life? Post in the public comment box below.