One of the most rewarding benefits of therapy is the improvement it can make to our relationships.

That’s what clients often observe during the therapeutic process.

This can include any type of relationship, including romantic ones, which proves you don’t necessarily need to go to couples therapy to make a difference here.

Exploring with clients how they relate, or fail to relate, with others forms a key part of how I approach therapy.

As humans we are born to connect…but it doesn’t make it easy.

It's good to connect
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Heightening self awareness, understanding our attachment styles and putting healthy boundaries in place can be life changing in terms of how we relate.

These key principles can help us connect more honestly, authentically and fully with others and ourselves.

That’s true, meaningful change, which can be born out of the therapeutic relationship between counsellor and client because, what gets broken in a human relationship needs to be healed in a human relationship.

The patient needs an experience, not an explanation.

Fromm-Reichmann

AI therapy – can connection by bot?

The rise of AI (Artificial Intelligence) tools such as ChatGPT, AI Chatbots and online self-care Apps can help us develop practical techniques to cope with what life throws at us on a daily basis.

AI therapy is essentially based on the idea that people come to counselling for information.

Yet information is everywhere and if that was enough, person-to-person therapy wouldn’t be necessary.

Ultimately we are born to connect and real, lasting change and healing occurs through the experiences within human relationships.

You can’t manufacture true empathy and listening. And as Thomas Hübl says – The essence of relating is, I feel you feeling me.

We think we listen, but very rarely do we listen with real understanding and empathy. Yet listening of this very special kind is one of the most potent forces for change that I know.

Carl R Rogers

Rupture and repair

I tell clients that if they are not feeling comfortable within our therapeutic relationship, then they can end the process at any time.

In that regard, therapy is pressure free and I don’t demand a long-term commitment.

However, I caveat this by potentially exploring what the reason could be behind any rupture in the relationship.

We can’t change the past but we can change the way we relate with the past.

Do I remind them of someone? Have I said something that’s triggered a feeling of discomfort, anger or loss? Has a particular conversation brought up a painful memory?

Exploring reasons for the disconnect can be a hugely powerful agent for change.

close up photo of two person s holding hands
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It might, for example, reveal some relational trauma from the past which has never been fully understood, processed or resolved and remains a stumbling block to meaningful connection with others.

This insight can provide new understanding and awareness which can then allow people to authentically and honestly navigate difficulties in relationships, not just retreat from them or accept things as they are.

It can be hugely empowering and if I can repair an uncomfortable relational experience with a client, it only makes our therapeutic relationship stronger and helps them fully connect with themselves and others.

I can’t see that exploratory process of repair being possible between human and bot, now or in the future. Rupture, yes, repair, no.

Connection
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Connect with me

If you are interested in starting counselling, you can email me on andywestoncounselling@gmail.com

More information about me can be found, here.