Your relationship with your therapist/counsellor/life coach
Your relationship with your psychotherapist, counsellor or life coach is unique. It offers you the opportunity to experience support and understanding and presents you with the right kind of challenges at the right pace for you. Whether you want to work through a particular issue in counselling, to deepen your sense of yourself and free potential in psychotherapy, or to set and achieve goals in life coaching, good psychotherapy/counselling/life coaching provides structure and subtle guidance through the process.
Your relationship with yourself
In the context of psychotherapy and counselling, when we aren't aware of how the past is affecting us we can become locked into behaviour patterns. Sometimes these patterns were necessary to us at earlier stages of life. For example, a troubled family home might have resulted in your becoming emotionally cut-off. When you were young, this may have been your way of coping. But in your adult life it may have turned into a difficulty communicating, achieving what you want or in maintaining relationships. Through the process of psychotherapy and counselling, this can change. You can experience yourself in a far more understanding, constructive and compassionate way.
The behaviour patterns referred to above may also of course be true of someone who employs a life coach, but they will often be limited to observations in the life coaching process. Life coaching is much more focused on the present and setting and achieving goals. In the process of achieving these goals though, relationship with self can greatly improve.
For more detail on the differences between psychotherapy, counselling and life coaching, please refer to my Frequently Asked Questions page.
Your relationships with other people
In terms of psychotherapy and counselling, one of the positive effects of knowing yourself better can be an increased understanding of others. As this develops, we can learn when to contain or express our feelings and to communicate in ways that weren't possible before. This gives others the opportunity to respond to a real self and not to a system of defences. It's possible to feel truly understood.
Many types of self-limiting patterns, including addictions and compulsive behaviour or sexual problems, are expressions of feelings related to the past. Psychotherapy and counselling can help you to see your patterns, why they've formed, and to free yourself from them. Working with a therapist and counsellor, you can find new ways of responding to life that better reflect your true self.
In terms of life coaching, the process will give some space to self-limiting beliefs to the extent that they stand in the way of you achieving your goals. By achieving goals, as mentioned above, relationship with self improves and relationships with others will often change as a natural result of that.