Relationships 101 — The Personal Side

I love relationships. How could I not? I did after all choose to become a therapist. And, after decades of relationships–both personal and professional–with many different kinds of people, I have gleaned a few basic truths. Most importantly, I have learned (which I think deep down I have believed since I was a teenager) that relationships are simultaneously one of the most difficult AND rewarding parts of the human experience. 

Relationships are powerful. When founded on love and respect, they hold the potential to make us feel known, loved, accepted and respected. Without this foundation they can be dangerous and destructive.

But, if you are so privileged (as I have been), to have a healthy, stable relationship founded on love and respect where both people are honest about their weaknesses and work hard to contribute to the partnership, you WILL experience unmatched love, acceptance, respect and so much more. You will become “a better version of yourself,” as you are both encouraged and challenged. A few times in my life I have been lucky enough to find myself in such relationships.

No matter what kind of relationship I find myself in, I have come to realize there are 2 things I need to make my relationship successful–besides the obvious foundation of love and respect. These are the ability to be vulnerable and the commitment to work hard on the relationship. I have never grown in a relationship in which I did not make vulnerability and hard work top priorities. 

The same is true for therapy. If you need help–relationship or otherwise–you will have to be vulnerable and honest, AND you will have to do some hard work. BUT, you will grow! You will grow mentally and emotionally, as you work with your therapist to make your good places great and your not-so-good places better.

I love therapy because even though it is different from a regular friendship, it still holds the power to nurture, support and transform another person. If you are struggling with any sort of life stressor, a trained mental health counselor can help you. She can provide the support and expertise you need to be successful in every area of your life. Please contact Life Enhancement Counseling Services in Orlando today at 407-443-8862 to make an appointment.


Yolanda Brailey