Sonia Herbert

Psychotherapy and Counselling


Throughout our lives, we are involved with many different kinds of relationships. We have friendships, romances, work and school/college-related connections, familial ties, and, quite often, relations that defy categorization. Each of these situations has the potential to enrich us, adding to our feelings of self-worth, enjoyment, and growth. These relationships are healthy.

On the other hand, in other situations, we may find ourselves feeling uncomfortable. It can be difficult to come to the realisation that a lover, friend, colleague, or family member is not treating us with the respect we deserve. Keep in mind that in all kinds of kinships, there is likely to be some disagreement, need for compromise, and times of frustration. These alone do not necessarily indicate that a relationship is unhealthy.

Here are some things to think about when considering whether a particular bond is a healthy one or not:

In a healthy relationship, you:

•    Treat each other with respect
•    Feel secure and comfortable
•    Are not violent with each other
•    Can resolve conflicts satisfactorily
•    Enjoy the time you spend together
•    Support one another
•    Take interest in one another's lives: health, family, work, etc.
•    Have privacy in the relationship
•    Can trust each other
•    Are each sexual by choice
•    Communicate clearly and openly
•    Have letters, phone calls, and e-mail that are your own
•    Encourage other friendships
•    Know that most people in your life are happy about the relationship
•    Have more good times in the relationship than bad

In an unhealthy relationship, one or both of you:

•    Try to control or manipulate the other
•    Make the other feel bad about her/himself
•    Ridicule or call names
•    Dictate how the other dresses
•    Do not make time for each other
•    Criticise the other's friends
•    Are afraid of the other's temper
•    Discourage the other from being close with anyone else
•    Ignore each other when one is speaking
•    Are overly possessive or get jealous about ordinary behaviour
•    Criticise or support others in criticising people with your gender, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, religion, disability, or other personal attribute
•    Control the other's money or other resources (e.g., car)
•    Harm or threaten to harm children, family, pets, or objects of personal value
•    Push, grab, hit, punch, or throw objects
•    Use physical force or threats to prevent the other from leaving

Taken from, Dec 2013

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Confidential Counselling and Psychotherapy in Bewdley | Worcestershire

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