Family Issues:

YOUR PARENTS

Our parents have had a huge influence on us. Learn how to honor the positives, and release the negatives...

YOUR SIBLINGS

Your siblings have had (or are having!) a huge influence on you, both positive and negative. You may need help to accept both.

PARENTHOOD
Parenthood can be stressful - learn how to deal with the changes

Becoming a parent can be exhilarating - but can also be very stressful too. Learn how to deal with the changes parenthood brings.

Dating Issues:

WHY DO I KEEP CHOOSING THE WRONG PARTNER?

Often, people who have had a series of failed relationships will look back and realize they have a pattern of choosing the same kind of person - and that person is not a good fit for them. If this is you, it may take a bit of digging, but it is possible to figure out why your pattern exists - more important, though, is to determine how to change your pattern.

HOW COME 'AWESOME' KEEPS TURNING INTO 'AWFUL'?

Another pattern that can occur is that relationships start out very quickly and powerfully - but then quickly (or immediately) fizzle out. Although this may be due to poor choices in partners, it can also be linked to a fear of intimacy, lack of self-respect, or unrealistic expectations of how relationships develop and change over time.

Developing Healthy, Long-Term Relationships

Our Parents
Your parents had a huge influence on you!

Parents - or other primary caregivers - were the reason we survived as an infant, and then grew to become a toddler, a child, a teenager, and ultimately an adult. They were the single most important part of our early lives - whether that was good, or bad. Even though our parents may have been acting as they thought they should, in a way that they thought was 'the best', their behaviour was based on what they had as examples from their own parents or from their friends, or based on what they understood 'society' was telling them to do.

So, if they had grown up in a negative environment, with no model of a healthy parenting relationship, how could they know anything else? If your parents had these kinds of experiences themselves, you likely grew up in that same enviroment and most likely exhibit the same behaviour - so now, it's time to break the cycle!!!

Our Siblings
Siblings - Love'em or Hate'em, They're Yours!

Sibling relationships are possibly the most dynamic through our lives - from competing with them for our parent's attention, to struggling to a way to get along amidst our own power and control struggles, to acceptance and understanding that we should be there to support them and cheer them on. Sometimes, reaching the point of acceptance and understanding feels impossible - but it often just needs a little shift in perspective.

Our Children
Becoming a Parent Can Be a Wonderful Journey!

Becoming a parent is possibly the most rewarding thing we can do in our lives - to first be part of creating a new life... and then, the incredible responsibility of caring for and raising your child, to help them learn about the world around them and how to interact with and become part of that world - and finally, to help them launch and become more independent, and move on to creating their own lives.

Throughout this process, you have other roles and concerns you're juggling as well - your spouse, your friends and other family members, your careers and workplace, and your own health and well-being. It can be confusing or even feel overwhelming at times... and that's when you may need help.

Friendships
Healthy friendships provide warmth, support, joy, and fun!

a strong friendship is a jewel - beautiful and priceless.

A great friendship is an unbelievable thing. It can be started in any number of ways, yes, but it grows and thrives all on its own - there is no forced relationship that creates it, and often nothing that forces it to stay together - it survives strictly on mutual trust, respect, honesty, empathy, caring, support... even love. What an incredible relationship!

When they're balanced and working well, both friends are getting what they need from the friendship, and offering what's needed back into it. Sometimes, though, a friendship that started off strong may falter, with the balance becoming skewed perhaps, or one (or both) people coming to the friendship with their own agendas and not treating the other appropriately.

When a friendship becomes unhealthy, you have options on the directions to take - and a little guidance can be extremely helpful.

Dating
Healthy dating relationships provide warmth, joy, and fun!

An initial bit of advice - "Make Smart Choices"

Great dating relationships require several aspects: a great partner, mutual attraction, open and honest communication which is respectful, and empathy - the ability to see things from another's point of view.

For dating relationships to be successful, you need to start with clearly understanding what your goals are - you might be dating for simple companionship (seeing movies or working out together), for something more intimate (sex), or even to give someone a 'test run' before stepping into a deeper relationship (which might be moving in together, or starting a family, or even marriage).

And of course, your reasons should match or at least be compatible with your partner's reasons. Don't simply assume both your goals are aligned - have a very open discussion with your dating partner.

Committed Partners

Committed partnership relationships can be incredible!

Committed partnership relationships can be incredible!

If you're in a committed partnership - married, common-law, living together, or even still living in your own places - you know how fantastic it can be when things are working!

They can also be extremely tough, too, because you've chosen to be with your partner for the long-term, and yet things change. To maintain solid relationships of this kind, communication is obviously key, but so is having realistic expectations, clear boundaries of how you wish to be treated, and also respect for your partner's boundaries too.

A sense of humour, and a willingness to put your ego aside, are also very useful!

Specific Relationship Questions and Issues