When I first entered the field of counseling, I was mostly interested in family therapy. My interest was in understanding what causes dysfunction in the family system and how therapy can be helpful in creating healthier interactions and relationships within the family.
Later, I became interested in the relationship between couples and the ways in which each partner influences and is influenced by the other. I realized that many of the symptoms we complain about – like depression, anxiety, fear, etc – stem from relationship problems with the one we love.
Now, much of the work I do is focused on how individuals deal with the complexities of all of their relationships. It seems to me that when we feel like we are relating well with others that we are feeling pretty well in general.
Being human means we are primarily interpersonal. That is, more than anything else, we relate. We have relationships. We have them with ourselves, with our family, our partner, our friends, our pets, our hobbies, our spirituality, etc. Almost always, when we look closely at our concerns and struggles, they involve some kind of relationship, so improving our ability to relate to others effectively will improve our satisfaction with life.