Discovering your relationship pattern is not only a key to improving your relationships, it can also benefit your overall mental health and wellbeing, writes Clinical Psychologist Joey Tai.
Life is full of opportunities, events, and practical things for anyone to keep busy with. However, despite the many gadgets and activities we fill our days with, it is ultimately our relationships which determine our overall happiness.
What is the point of having all the riches in the world if there is no happiness at home? As it was once famously said, there are many rich people around who are very poor. Indeed, we’ve heard of the countless stories about people with deathbed regrets, wishing they had taken more time and effort with their loved one/s.
I believe that in order to have successful and healthy relationships, whether it be with family, friends or our significant other, we need to understand ourselves better, and how we interact with others.
What is your Relationship Pattern?
In 1984, a prominent researcher named Lester Luborsky suggested that every person has a single, consistent relationship pattern that occurs in most – if not all – of that person’s relationships. He stated that these patterns are not apparent to the individual, but occur unconsciously as a result of the experiences a person went through in their development. Put simply, how you relate to authority figures, colleagues, spouses or friends (the list goes on) can be narrowed down to a specific relationship pattern.
There are three components to this relationship pattern, and they can be loosely defined as: the individual’s Wish; how s/he perceives the other to be responding; and his/her subsequent response.
As mentioned above, the first step to having healthy relationships is to understand yourself. I might add, that it is even more helpful to understand your recurrent weaknesses in relationships! A simple way of gaining this understanding can be achieved through identifying your relationship pattern. For example, you might have a Wish to be respected, but experience others as being dismissive. This leads you to feel ignored, so as a result you withdraw.
How identifying your Relationship Pattern can help
I specialise in identifying the core relationship patterns of my clients and feel that this is a fundamental way of developing an intervention that is going to be most helpful for them. This applies to many common psychological issues such as depression, anxiety and different personality disorders.
As you might imagine, it is especially useful in couples’ therapy as well. In fact, my Master’s thesis looked at how the core relationship patterns for individuals can be used as a backbone for effective couples’ therapy. Many of the couples that I have seen have mentioned how useful it is for them to identify not only their own relationship pattern, but also that of their partner.
A trained psychologist is able to help identify your recurrent relationship pattern; as mentioned above, most people are often not even aware of how they relate to others, and it requires someone with formal training of this method by Luborsky.
If there has been a buildup of difficult situations, particularly in your developmental years, it can result in a negative relational pattern. It is imperative to understand and make subsequent adjustments in order to start having better outcomes in your relationships.
If you just can’t seem to maintain healthy relationships, please do not hesitate in making an appointment with me here at Vision Psychology. Your happiness is more important than anything!
Author: Joey Tai, BA (Psych), Master of Clinical Psychology.
Joey is a clinical psychologist who specialises in helping others function better interpersonally. He believes that this is a crucial factor in overcoming a variety of mental health conditions such as anxiety, depression or personality disorders. His postgraduate thesis focused on this particular topic of interpersonal connectivity.
To make an appointment try Online Booking. Alternatively, you can call Vision Psychology Brisbane on (07) 3088 5422.