Interpersonal Relationships

Interpersonal Relationships

Close relationships with partners, family, work colleagues and friends offer comfort, support and fun, but are also sometimes a source of distress, frustration and despair.

Natural phases of highs and lows in attraction, energy and enthusiasm can place stress on relationships, as can other variables.

CATEGORY: Relationships


Number: #3


Wolf Pack Sitting Together
Poodle Puppy Meets Big Dog
Two Elephants Climbing On Top Of Each Other 2
Macaw Birds Talking

An Australian Bureau of Statistics’ National Study of Mental Health and Wellbeing released in 2023, of 5,500 people aged 16 to 85 years old during 2020-2021, showed that more than two in five Australians experience a mental health issue in their lifetime and that in 2020–21 more than 3.4 million Australians sought help from a health care professional for their mental health.

The study is published at

When it comes to relationships, unfortunately we don’t always have control over these aspects and you may find yourself with issues in a relationship that you are unable to confront or resolve.


But, left unresolved, these issues can cause psychological, physical and emotional stress. Many problems arise from factors such as work and financial pressures, or goals and expectations being different between partners or between you and other important people in your life.


Some common issues that can come up in relationships of all kinds include:

  • Poor communication skills
  • Emotionally reactive behaviour
  • Shutting the other person out
  • Emotional detachment
  • Undefined, shifting or split loyalties
  • Competing demand or priorities
  • Divergence of values
  • Pressures caused by major life events and transitions
  • Poor problem solving skills
  • Mistrust
  • Breached boundaries or poor boundary setting
  • Poor assertiveness skills
  • Poor conflict management skills
  • Power imbalances
  • Abuse including of power or authority
  • Lack of committment


Therapy | Treatment


Relationship therapy provides you with the tools you need to assist in building resilience, increasing positivity and resolving differences within all kinds of relationships.

Whatever is going on, if you are unable to resolve it, it can cause damage to the relationship itself, and to the individuals in it from a psychological and physical health perspective. Talking about the issues, either in your own therapy, or jointly with the other person, may help you clarify your own thoughts about the situation, develop a plan of action around it it and implement this plan. 

It can be very hard to see the wood for the trees with interpersonal difficulties in particular, and therapy can provide you with an objective third party professional who can help you obtain different perspectives, help you challenge your own thinking and address your contributions to the situation, help you figure out what you want to do about the situation more generally, and support you through doing whatever that is. 

You may wish to come by yourself to discuss a variety of issues including whether or not you should continue a relationship or you may wish to come with the other person, for at least some sessions. Many people find a benefit in discussing their relationship needs individually without the other party present, taking away strategies and things to try outside of the therapy session, as well as attending with the other person if that is appropriate and possible.