Unfortunately, not all relationships last. There are always a lot of different issues and reasons why people break up, and a lot of reasons can be pretty complex. If you have just gone through a break-up, or you’ve experienced this a while ago but still haven’t got over it, now is a great time to heal and feel well within yourself. Healing doesn’t necessarily have to be due to wanting to date again; you may need to recover just for yourself and yourself only. Depending on the circumstances, a lot can be said and done that warrants a special time for healing and growth.

Healing After Narcissistic Abuse or Trauma

While there is a lot that can be said about narcissism and abuse, it’s important to first note that if you are experiencing depression and/or anxiety as a result of your past relationship, it’s always advisable to seek help from your doctor or a therapist. They will be better suited to help you after your experiences.

On a general note, it’s easy to run through the things that a past partner has said to you and reflect upon them as facts. Depending on what they have said, it may be easier to feel like a lot of problems in the relationship were your fault or that you were the issue and why the relationship didn’t work out.

A part of healing involves self-reflection and self-care as a starting point. Taking care of your body and your mental health is crucial to healing. Start off small with intentional acts of self-care such as a warm bath with essential oils, creating a song playlist to listen to while you’re relaxing or working and even just going outside for half an hour a day for a light walk. All of these things will help you to feel better on the inside to help you recover and heal.

Take Time Out

Emotions can be intense at the best of times. After a breakup, they can feel even more elevated and harder to control. Your feelings are yours to feel and there’s certainly nothing wrong with how you feel. You have to take time out and let yourself feel what you need to feel. There’s no right or wrong way with dealing with your feelings after a breakup.

The only thing to consider is if your feelings lead to self-sabotaging actions such as drinking, taking drugs or gambling. Whilst these things may feel like they help you to forget about the breakup and how you’re feeling, these actions won’t help you in the long run. Instead, give yourself time to grieve and feel sad, angry, empty, depressed… whatever it is you feel.

Create a supportive network

It can be hard after a breakup to lean on friends, especially if the majority of your friends during your relationship are mutual friends with your ex-partner. You may not feel like you have any friends anymore or that you’re feeling a lot more alone. This is where finding supports is a good idea.

Perhaps you have some colleagues at work who you’ve been meaning to catch up with after a shift. Or, you may have been putting off that dinner with your parents. Whoever it is, ensure they are supportive of your needs and wants as a supportive network and get to know some new people. We’re not suggesting downloading Tinder (just yet!), but some local social groups may also be a good idea. Haven’t worked on your hobby for a while? Maybe now is a good time to get back into it.

Set Boundaries

After all of this work on yourself and trying to heal, the last thing you want to do is go plummeting backwards to an ex, especially if the break-up was harmful to you in any way. You may find after some time, your ex will try to contact you, apologise or try to rekindle the relationship. As much as you may want to give them another chance, it may be best to leave them in the past.

Depending on the circumstances and the reasons why you broke up, the breakup may have been what you needed. There’s nothing wrong with letting go of toxic relationships and if that leads to a separation or divorce, it is ok. Your needs and your self-worth are never worth letting go of purely to stay in a relationship. Set boundaries for yourself and if that means blocking them on social media, blocking their phone number or ensuring they don’t visit your home (or whatever boundary you want to put in place), make sure you stick to them.

Breakups can be hard, especially a breakdown of a marriage or a partnership you’ve been in for many years. It can be a scary ride to navigate and feel wrong to let go of someone who has been in your life for a while. The important thing to remember is how you feel, what your needs are and if they’re met with this person. If you’re experiencing abuse or painful experiences, this is something you should never have to endure for the sake of “love”. If you need help or guidance after a breakup, always have a chat with your doctor who may refer you to a therapist or psychologist for more assistance through this time.

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Your relationship doesn’t have to be on the brink of devastation to be looking for a relationships counsellor. Not many people realise that seeking therapy as a couple can help to improve your relationship before problems start to occur. But, when looking for a therapist, wher5e do you even start? How do you know who will be the best therapist for you and your partner? There are a few things you can do to ensure that your first and following sessions are productive and helpful.

Find Someone Who Specialises In Couples Therapy

Many psychologists and therapists have specialty areas when counselling others. Some are more experienced in adolescent therapy, others have depression and anxiety. Some have a particular interest in their field and will therefore focus on that area of expertise.

When you first look for a therapist, find one who specialises in couples therapy. Many will have a website and will state what they like to focus on in their sessions. By choosing a therapist who focuses on couples therapy, you know you’ll be off to the best start with your sessions.

Delve A Little Deeper

Once you find a therapist who specialises in couples therapy, that may be a good time to dig a little deeper into their expertise. You will likely find a lot of information on their websites such as how long they have been a therapist and any qualifications they may have. They may also disclose what a session looks like with them. For example, is there a lot of homework to complete? How many sessions do they want to work with y9ou for? Do they have a specific type of therapy that they utilise?

Another aspect to keep in mind is if you have specific concerns within your relationship that you want to discuss. Do you want to discuss nonmonogamy or BDSM themes? Is this something this therapist has experience in or can work with? No matter what your concerns are, if you can’t find the information on their website, you can contact them directly and ask if these are issues they can help you with.

Stick With It

Therapy of any kind can bring up some uncomfortable moments and conversations. Add in your partner and thi9ngs can feel a little rough when in therapy. This is why many couples seem to give up on it before it’s even begun. One of the biggest tips we can give to you is that it is best to stick with the therapy for as long as your relationship needs. While it may feel hard at first, addressing the root problems over time is going to benefit you and your partner. While a session here and there might help with surface issues, long-term therapy can help you in the long run.

Be Understood

At the end of the day, these sessions are for you, your partner and your relationship; not your therapists. If ever you feel very uncomfortable or that you’re not being heard, it's always a good idea to be more assertive and make your feelings be heard. There are times when a therap[ist might not get it right 100% of the time on their first attempt. And that’s ok! Relationships are complex. This is why it is more important than ever to make sure you are heard and voice any concerns you may have with your therapist. Make sure how you feel and your thoughts surrounding the therapy and your relationship aren't overlooked. If you feel that your therapist isn't hearing you or your partner out after talking to them about your concerns, you can then look to find another more suitable therapist.

Finding a therapist can sometimes feel like you’re on a journey to finding another partner in life. But after your search and when you find someone who you can trust and confide in together with your partner, you’ll see the benefits long-term for a happy and fulfilling relationship.

If you’re looking for a relationship therapist in the Mornington Peninsula, Aly’s Place provides the perfect space to be open and honest together with your partner. Have a chat with us today about what you’re looking for and how we may be able to help.

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When was the last time you had an open conversation with your partner about your sexual needs? Do you communicate often? Do you never say a word, even if you want to?

Talking about sex, pleasure and intimacy shouldn’t have to be hard. And, if you do open up to your partner, it can lead to better communication and higher levels of satisfaction within the relationship. There are a few methods to help improve your communication skills and help build a stronger bond between you both.

Start Early

If you’re new to your relationship, it’s always good to be open about sex early in the relationship. Start with talking about contraception and consent, simple and easy topics. Then, move on to more in-depth topics like pleasure and turn-ons. Having these open conversations from the start helps to build trust and intimacy within your relationship as it develops.

But, It’s Never Too Late To Start

It doesn’t matter if you’ve been in your relationship for several months or years and have never brought up the topic of sex. It’s never too late to start. Sometimes it is helpful to have a fresh start and open up the conversation from a new beginning. A good tip is to not bring up all the past experiences that haven’t been pleasant or fulfilling. Instead, focus on the future and what you hope to achieve together from now o9n.

Talk About Your Fantasies

Unfortunately, there can be a lot of shame surrounding fantasies, so many couples don’t disclose them. But, the majority of fantasies fall into one of seven different categories, so your fantasies are either quite common or shared with your partner. The more you understand that fantasies are quite normal, the easier it will be to talk about them with your partner and move into acting on the safe and consensual ones.

Time Your Discussion Right

Right before or after sex is not the best time to talk about your needs. This is likely to be when you’re feeling more vulnerable and may lead to an awkward discussion rather than a healthy one. Make some time out of your day to sit down together and talk about your desires. This is the best time to talk about what feels good, what doesn’t and what you’d like to do in the bedroom.

One exception to the rule is to talk about your fantasies when you’re already turned on. Believe it or not, discussing your fantasies in the heat of the moment when you’re both already aroused can help lessen the blow of any fantasies that you’re unsure of disclosing. Your partner may be more receptive to your fantasy at this time and may help to get the ball rolling on talking about your fantasies together.

Stay Positive

One thing to be sure of when talking about your needs is to keep the conversation positive and use “I” rather than “You” statements. We don’t want the conversation to become a blame game of who isn’t doing what. Remember, regardless of how you feel in the bedroom, it’s always important to still be thoughtful to your partner. After all, you’re opening up the discussion to make things better for your relationship!

Instead of “You don’t do…”, try “I would like to…”. Talk about what you like and how you feel rather than focus on the things that aren’t going so well. Also, add in some positive reinforcement for things your partner does do well. Try and add in phrases like “ I like it when you do…”.

Remember to Listen And Ask Questions

With big conversations surrounding sex and intimacy, it can be hard to focus on listening to what your partner has to say because you’re so tied up thinking about the next thing to say to them. Listen to their responses and see if they talk about how they feel as well. You may even find that you’re on similar pages. Don’t forget to ask any questions if you need clarification on anything they say to you, too.

It may feel daunting to talk about your desires and needs in the bedroom, but a good, open conversation can help develop your relationship to ensure you’re having a fulfilling sex life. It can sometimes be useful to have these conversations with a therapist who can help guide the conversation and help to reduce4 any friction that may occur. Aly’s Place in the Mornington Peninsula, Melbourne, has highly experienced counsellors and therapists who can help guide you and your partner to a stronger relationship. Or, you can join the discussion online at the Real Relationships Facebook group where you can ask questions anonymously and talk to our therapists and other like-minded individuals.

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