DiscoverCounselor Toolbox PodcastRelationship Insecurities: Causes, Consequences and Interventions
Relationship Insecurities: Causes, Consequences and Interventions

Relationship Insecurities: Causes, Consequences and Interventions

Update: 2019-12-013
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446 – Relationship Insecurities

Dr. Dawn-Elise Snipes PhD, LPC-MHSP, LMHC, NCC

Executive Director, AllCEUs

*Based in part on Love Me Don’t Leave Me by Michelle Skeen, PsyD.


Objectives

• Identify signs of relationship insecurities

• Explore causes of relationship insecurities

• Identify at least 5 interventions to address relationship insecurities


Signs of Relationship Insecurities

• Difficulty trusting your partner

• Comparing yourself to your partner’s exes or random people in the community

• Requiring frequent reassurance that you are enough

• Anxiety when separated

• Internalizing negative thoughts creating self-fulfilling prophesies

• A feeling of distance or detachment

• Reading negative into everything your partner says


Relationship Bricks

• Often past relationships cause us to build a wall around our heart

• Have clients write the name of people from prior relationships on bricks and put them in a backpack

• Have them put on the backpack and go on a nature walk for 15 minutes.

• When you get back, ask about all of the things they noticed on the walk and how carrying that heavy backpack kept them from being mindful


Causes of Relationship Insecurities

• Insecurities indicates anxiety or fear of being hurt or abandoned

• Prior learning (Unpack those bags—1 bag/person/session)

• Create paper “bags” for each past relationship brick

• Write a pros and cons list of that relationship

• Write a goodbye letter to that person/relationship detailing what happened, how you felt and how it impacted you

• In sharing what is in the bag, take back your power.

• Instead of saying “You made me feel” say “I felt”

• Instead of a narrative of abandonment and betrayal because of personal inadequacies, explore other reasons the other person to left the relationship

• Explore forgiveness in terms of choosing not to allow that person to continue to hurt you


Causes of Relationship Insecurities

• Insecurities indicates anxiety or fear of being hurt or abandoned

• Prior learning (Unpack those bags—1 bag/person/session)

• When you are ready to let go of that anger and hurt, take the brick out of the backpack.

• Each week notice how much lighter the backpack feels and how much less energy it takes to tote around


Causes of Relationship Insecurities

• Insecurities indicates anxiety or fear of being hurt or abandoned

• Trying to master a prior failed relationship

• Make a Venn diagram


Causes of Relationship Insecurities

• Insecurities indicates anxiety or fear of being hurt or abandoned

• Low self-esteem (Self-validation)

• Collage

• Best friend activity

• Values activity

• Sell yourself

• People may have difficulty developing self-esteem based on a pathological inner critic

• Thought stopping

• Handling hecklers

• Validate in the present / check for accuracy

• Embrace imperfection and synergy


Causes of Relationship Insecurities

• Insecurities indicates anxiety or fear of being hurt or abandoned

• Poor communication

• Stop assuming you know and expecting mind reading

• Mindfulness

• Lack of Connection

• Intentional activity—Make a list of all of the things you like to do. Intentionally spend time with each other each day.


Causes of Relationship Insecurities

• Insecurities indicates anxiety or fear of being hurt or abandoned

• Imbalance in power (She does everything… If he leaves, I will not be able to survive.)

• Address anxieties about dependency or helplessness

• Develop support systems and strategies and disaster plans


Causes of Relationship Insecurities

• Insecurities indicates anxiety or fear of being hurt or abandoned

• Jumping to conclusions/Personalization

• Relationship Assumptions “Family Feud”— We surveyed a bunch of people. What are the top 3 explanations for this…Smells like perfume, is late, doesn’t text back right away, doesn’t want to do anything lately, lost interest in sex


Interventions

• Address emotional vs. factual reasoning

• Grieve past losses

• Partners

• Friends

• Parents

• Heart-Break Pot (break into large pieces)

• Using paint pens and markers write on the inside of the broken pieces their feelings about the loss

• On the outside of the pieces name or draw their sources of support.

• Glue back together


Interventions

• Love yourself and believe you deserve love

• Love languages know yours and your partners

• Touch

• Quality time

• Acts of service

• Words of affirmation

• Gifts


Core Principles of Relationships

• Uniqueness of the relationship from others

• Celebrate the uniqueness—How is this time different?

• Integration of beliefs, behaviors and motivations

• Relationships are about synergy

• What beliefs, motivations and behaviors do you share?

• What beliefs, motivations and behaviors do you each have that compliment each other?

• Temperament

• Tendencies

• Values

Core Principles of Relationships

• Mutually envisioned trajectory

• Relationship goals

• Relationship activities

• Relationship pace

• Positive and negative evaluation

• Emphasize the positives

• Mitigate the negatives

• Responsiveness

• Pay attention and be responsive to your needs

• Pay attention, ask about and be responsive to your partner’s needs


Core Principles of Relationships

• Communication and challenge resolution

• Develop rules for discussing and resolving challenges

• Maintenance

• Ensure both partners are engaging in self and relationship maintenance activities

• Recognize the importance of self-maintenance

Core Principles of Relationships

• Shared goals and needs

• Discuss shared goals and needs

• Compromise on differing goals and needs (i.e. money, sex, activities)

• Knowing and exceeding relationship expectations/standards

• Know what a “good” relationship looks like to you and your partner and strive to exceed expectations

Mindfulness Questions for Clients


• What am I feeling?

• What is triggering it?

• Am I safe (emotionally and physically) now? If not, what do I need to do?

• Is this bringing up something from the past?

• How is this situation different?

• How am I different?

• How can I silence my inner critic?

• What would be a helpful reaction that…

• Moves you more toward your goals

• Moves you toward a positive emotional experience


Summary

• Low self esteem and failed prior relationships can cause problems in future relationships

• Transference, cognitive distortions, low self esteem and poor relationship maintenance can all contribute to relationship insecurities

Excellent Resources for Clients


I absolutely love both of these books. Google previews are available on the New Harbinger website: https://NewHarbinger.com

Remember to use promocode 1168SNIPES to get 25% off your entire order. (Clients can use the code too)

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Relationship Insecurities: Causes, Consequences and Interventions

Relationship Insecurities: Causes, Consequences and Interventions

Charles Snipes