How Can Individual Therapy Help Me With Intimacy Issues?

Maybe you are in a new relationship with a really wonderful person but you're struggling to trust that this could be the start of something good. Or you've been with your partner for awhile but you keep feeling yourself self-sabotage or shut things down when there's an invitation towards vulnerability. Maybe you're experiencing an increasing sense of disconnection from others but you have no idea how to practically address it.

Therapy can help.

At the core of the therapeutic relationship is the concept of letting someone in. Your relationship with your therapist actually becomes the vehicle through which previous attachment wounds are healed, as you form a supportive and deeply authentic relationship. Therapy isn't just about talking about the things happening outside of session; it's also a live learning experience, as you practice the skill of being honest in the moment, and experiencing the rich growth in relationship that comes out of being authentic with another. 

As your therapist helps you recall and revisit past relationships and unpack the messages you received from your family growing up, you collaboratively find patterns that emerge and you're able to explore how these patterns shape you and impact your life decisions. As we gain better insight and understanding of the pitfalls we tend to struggle with, we become better equipped to avoid them and create new ways of interacting, that better align with our goals. 

Your therapist can also help you identify your attachment style, and how that affects your approach to relationships (both romantic and non-romantic) as an adult. Attachment styles are established based on how your primary caregiver responded to you when you were an infant. (citation:1) For example, if your parent was emotionally unavailable or rejecting, it's easy to slip into the pattern later in the life of thinking that you can't depend on people. Or if love and attention were inconsistently given in your family of origin, and you never quite knew which way things were going to go, it may be hard in your adult life to feel a sense of safety in your relationships. No one has to be defined by their attachment style. Through therapy, gaining a better understanding of the way your brain is programmed can open up a journey towards "re-wiring" the way you approach love and relationships. Once you know why you do, say, and feel the things you do, you can begin to address those ways of thinking and create new and better patterns for your future.

Citations:
(1) https://www.verywellmind.com/attachment-styles-2795344

Lauren Strine, LMFT