Individual & Relationship Counselling. Wimbledon - Kingston Upon Thames - Putney - Surbiton


Category Three

Making Love Last

It is that time of year, the sun is shining and days are longer. My life is spent thinking, talking and researching love and what makes it last. I was fascinated to read John Gottman’s psychological research into what makes love last and the five indicators he identified. His work in his relationship lab is able to tell within 94% accuracy if a relationship will last or not.

So, what are these five areas and how can we cultivate and strengthen them in order to bolster the love?

Love lasts if we are able to relate tales that have warmth, affection and respect for each other. If we think and speak about our relationship with fondness and admiration we foster it.

Keeping the focus on “we” as opposed to “me”. Having a clear sense of being in this together and working as a team even if there are disagreements.

Truly knowing our partner. The trick here is keeping a real connection and understanding how our partner ticks. Being curious about what our partner thinks or feels about things keeps us connected.

All relationships face hardships along the way. Love thrives if they can be seen as a way in which a couple pulls together and over comes adversity.

Having a relationship that lives up to expectation or better still perhaps surpasses it in some ways, bodes well. Feeling satisfied and letting our partner know engenders love.

So, before you rush off to buy your card perhaps we could all look towards these five areas. Genuine fondness, making the relationship central, keeping connected, pulling together through tough times and feeling satisfied.

If you are struggling to keep the love alive take heart and know that if we take charge of our relationships we are able to turn things around. In my experience, small changes make all the difference.

Pam Custers

Relationship Therapist
www.pamcusters.co.uk

Addictions

Addictions impact on both physical and psychological health. Symptoms of addictions may include depression, panic attacks, sleep disturbance, obsessive-compulsive traits, bad relationships and poor work performance.
Often what starts out as a social release can have dangerous consequences. The last place we expect to find this is when we are making choices during or after work.

The pressure that we face at work maybe so hard that we may just want some “down time” to escape the pressure at the end of the day. We may feel we have to work and play hard. This may take the form of a large glass of something wet or a line of cocaine. When does the letting the hair down all turn horribly wrong. Substances help us escape feelings of pressure and stress however they can become highly addictive.

Here are the “Alarm Bells” signal for addiction:

  • Needing more of a substance in order to achieve the desired effect.
  • Having strong feelings to use the substance in order to combat feelings of low mood, insomnia, anxiety, or even physical symptoms such as runny nose, shakes, headaches
  • Spending lots of time thinking about getting high/drunk.
  • Legal, financial, or emotional issues related to substance use.
  • Feeling powerless over the use of a substance.
  • Spending less time on activities that once were enjoyable.
  • Use of a substance despite the knowledge it is hurting you or others.
  • Using a substance in order to avoid or lessen the effects of withdrawal.

Does any of this sound familiar? Admitting you have a problem and that you may be addicted is the first step towards recovery. So what is the next step?

Talk! Speak to someone you trust such as your GP or a therapist who is experienced in helping people with substance abuse issues.
Act now! Addiction gets worse over time and can lead to family breakdowns, financial crises and sometimes death.