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Difficulties bonding, getting close to others, relationship problems

“It’s hard to get close to anyone” if you have been let down badly in the past or if you grew up without a strong (or with a difficult) bond between you and an adult (parent/other).

You may find you have problems with close relationships with others now; perhaps you feel too vulnerable and anxious to allow yourself to get close, perhaps you fear that people will leave you, will abandon you or treat you badly.

You may not have realised the depth of your problems or how they interfere in your life, until a specific trigger, e.g., the loss of a loved one, the birth/adoption of a child, a feeling of “not quite fitting in” at work. The problems may be well hidden from others but you are aware of having the problems now.

Problems may be at different levels, including affecting your beliefs, how you view the nature of relationships, affecting your emotional, romantic and social life.

Working through your fears with a trusted Clinical Psychologist in a course of appointments will help towards overcoming these issues. You will need to find someone whom you feel you can start to build up a good working relationship with, to help you consider these underlying issues.

After the assessment stage, you can discuss a clear contract with your Clinical Psychologist therapist, so you know the number of sessions/appointments you will be meeting for. This will be helpful for you to know where you stand (so you can work through to have a good ending to your therapy).

Counselling for relationships, couple therapy, may be helpful as well as one to one therapy for interpersonal problems. Cognitive Analytic Therapy for problems getting on with people can be helpful for many.

See our clinical psychologists here or contact us here.

Written by © Dr Jurai Darongkamas, Consultant Clinical Psychologist, (with over 35 years’ experience). The above has been written to provide a brief overview for the reader. It should not be used as a basis for any action until after obtaining a professional opinion about your unique difficulties, strengths, circumstances, life history, etc.

Clinical Psychology Service