Safe, respectful relationships help us to flourish, grow and heal.
We were created to be in community. We need relationships with others, both individually and as part of a community. They provide us with a sense of belonging, safety, and support and often purpose. In fact, it has been shown that physical illness can result from social isolation.
Positive relationships are healing relationships.
Trust, honesty, and compassion are three elements of a healing relationship.
Being loved, respected, understood, and connected to others can have a profound effect on your health and your healing and growth if you have struggled with adversity or trauma.
Having a trusting, compassionate, respectful relationship with your counsellor or therapist is also just as important.
Feel free to reflect on these aspects in your relationships including your counsellor or therapist.
Because you can have the most trained and certified therapist or the most ground-breaking evidence-based program however unless you feel safe, seen, heard, respected and a sense of compassion from your trusted support person you literally will not be able to take in the strategies and tools they offer.
By using the following, some which apply to your personal relationships and some that can be used with your support persons you can decide which aspects of your relationships are healing and which can be improved or perhaps some that need distance or professional help.
For each relationship, ask yourself if the following statements are true.
I feel emotionally and physically safe.
I don’t need to walk on eggshells around the other person.
When I share my feelings and experiences, they are validated.
I can be myself without guarding or masking or shrinking myself.
I don’t need to modify when I share my feelings or experiences to protect myself from an unpleasant/hurtful reaction.
Both the other person and I can reveal our true feelings without fearing a hurtful reaction for the other person.
Both the other person and I have the ability and willingness to understand one another and express kindness.
I can take a break if needed to care for myself/compose myself/ organise my thoughts and come back to discuss the situation/my feelings later without the other person demanding I respond when I am unable to.
I hope that this information helps you assess your relationships so that you can continue to grow and flourish in connection with others and community.
May you be that safe, compassionate, and honest person for yourself and others.