BY: trudyj

Relationship Counselling

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Why Self-Awareness and Emotional Maturity Are So Important in Relationships
Trudy Jacobsen | Relationships

Circulating in today’s society is a term known as emotional intelligence.

This concept has not only proven to improve all sorts of relationships—friendships, professional, romantic—but it helps people find true joy as well.

For this reason, many of us strive for it without really pegging a title on our pursuit.

Although the idea of emotional intelligence may sound incredibly sophisticated and complex (and possibly even unachievable), it’s more doable than you might realize. Basically, it really boils down to being more self-aware. And this simple shift in your approach can be invaluable to your relationship.

Here’s why self-awareness and emotional maturity are so important.

Effectively Managing “Triggers”

A sign of emotional maturity is not allowing another person to negatively impact your mood and behaviour. Yet, I don’t need to tell you how difficult this can be.

Regardless of all the “nobody can dictate your feelings” memes, it’s normal to let others impact how we feel. And we do this by being unaware of our own triggers.

Knowing what sets you off can save your relationship from an unnecessary conflict (many, in fact). After all, your emotional triggers may not have anything to do with your partner. And yet, it’s often your partner who may still take the brunt of your negative emotions.

Additionally, once you identify your own triggers, you can explore strategies to help manage your emotions and responses when you’ve been triggered.

Identifying Negative Patterns

In the same way that self-awareness helps you to spot your emotional triggers, it can also work to pinpoint destructive patterns in your life. These patterns may revolve around your communication style, personal boundary setting, self-esteem, etc. It’s not uncommon for negative patterns to drive two people apart.

Becoming more emotionally intelligent means realizing any negative patterns at work in your life and relationship.

As a tip, journaling is an effective way to pinpoint your patterns—just a few sentences a day to help locate your emotional state. Soon, you’ll have enough history to map your patterns and make adjustments.

Fostering a Deeper Connection

According to marriage expert Dr John Gottman, a significant indicator in relationship success is where partners turn—toward or away from each other. For example, when you feel out of sorts or need some type of support, do you communicate that to your partner?

As you may have imagined, the more self-aware you are the closer you and your partner become. Mostly, this connectivity is due to your ability to reach out for your partner rather than turning away.

Developing a heartfelt understanding of each other, the two of you begin to lean on one another more for support. Which also serves to foster a deeper connection.

Encouraging True Healing and Joy

Developing emotional maturity also helps to remind yourself of your highest goals and values. Thus, helping you to align your life pursuits with them.

When you believe that your life has a deep meaning, it conditions you to experience joy, gratitude, and happiness. As a result, these positive emotions overflow onto your relationship. It’s a funny thing but, yes, as you experience true joy, your mind often connects that positive vibe to your relationship too.

Plus, emotional maturity encourages vulnerability, empathy, and a profound openness to healing. Unsurprisingly, being vulnerable is necessary for a successful relationship.


Creating thriving romantic relationships is one of the most difficult endeavours of mankind. After all, most of us have seen our share of failed romances.

But your relationship doesn’t have to end up making the “over” list. Reach out to me today if you’re ready to build up your emotional maturity and improve your relationship. To schedule an appointment with me call (07) 32825453.

BY: trudyj

Relationship Counselling

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Creating a Great Relationship: How to Identify the Results You want to Create
Trudy Jacobsen | Relationship counselling

Romantic relationships tend to be a bit scattershot—going with the flow.

Yet, creating a successful relationship requires more deliberate action than most people assume. Rather than to simply rely on love or passion to lead the way, couples who set relationship goals often find the most long-term success.

To begin, it’s vital to know the results you want to create in the relationship. Then, develop a game plan to actually get you to that point.

But this approach can seem a bit too “big picture” for most couples to grasp. For this reason, here’s a breakdown of how to create a good relationship by identifying the results you want.

Develop a Vision for Your Relationship

It’s important to examine your current relationship so that you can pinpoint areas that need change. Also, this will allow you the space to spot the positives in the relationship as well.

Start off by asking yourself what you want your relationship to look like. Furthermore, dig deep and find out what you want to feel or experience in the relationship. This could mean different things to different people. For example, some partners need adventure while others need security.

It’s during this pondering that you’ll figure out what you need more of or want less of in the relationship to get what you actually want out of it. Knowing yourself well will help you develop a vision for your relationship.

Use Your Values to Guide You

As with any serious part of life, your values will guide you even when you don’t realize it. But it’s even more helpful to know these values and let them guide you as you set relationship goals.

Grab a pen and paper (or a smartphone!) and make a list of your values. Keep in mind that a value is something that is truly important to you.

Of course, you could just jot down something like “I don’t ever want to be late on the electric bill.” However, listing financial security as an overall value will serve to guide you better as it covers a wider range of situations.

Taking this exercise a step further, compare your list of values to your partner’s. Do you have overlapping values? If any of your values align with one another, do you want to move forward together? What about if very few of your values align?

Locate Your Purpose

When you know for certain what your values are, you can then locate your purpose in life.

Plenty of people are on the hunt for their purpose and highest intent in life. Most of the time, however, you don’t run into your purpose like you would a brick wall. Rather, your purpose bubbles up from inside of you. This goes for relationship purposes as well.

Focusing on your list of values together will motivate your purpose to surface. Also, it will reveal your core beliefs so that you can align your purpose with them.

Locating your purpose in the relationship is really writing a compelling future together. Ask yourself how and what you want to contribute to your relationship story.

Take Action to Find Happiness

Some couples work diligently on their relationships only to wind up feeling unsatisfied or unhappy. If this sounds all too familiar, it’s time to take action.

Granted, working on your relationship already requires loads of action. But aim to be more specific with your partner. For example, figure out what has to happen in your relationship for you to know you have a good relationship. Go as far as naming three things that your partner needs to do or say that will make you happy.

It’s amazing how writing these three things down can help you both to identify areas that need work. Give it a go and see where it takes you. Most likely, this exercise will help you steer in the right direction.

For more support creating the relationship you want, please contact me today (07) 32825453 . I would like to help you write the love story you truly desire.

BY: trudyj

Relationship Counselling

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9 Ways to Improve Communication Skills in Your Relationship
Trudy Jacobsen | Relationship Counselling

Have you ever noticed that it’s often the most important people in our lives that we tend to treat the worst?

There are hundreds of things we could blame for this. Yet, most of the time it’s simply that we fall in a rut of familiarity. Plus, in the midst of our daily routines, we can easily get stuck in a pattern of negative communication habits.

These habits impact our lives in a big way, especially our relationships.

If you’ve ever felt that you keep going in circles in your relationships, it’s likely because there’s some kind of a hang-up in your communication efforts. Through awareness and observation, however, you can spot where your communication skills fall short.

Here are nine ways to improve.

Improving Communication Skills in Your Relationships

According to marital expert John Gottman, how you start a difficult discussion is the most accurate indicator of how the discussion will end. But how do you actually communicate effectively from the beginning to the end of a discussion?

1. Let Your Partner Influence You

To maintain a positive perspective on your relationship, it’s vital to let your partner influence you. This means allowing yourself to be moldable, flexible, and changeable.

Always sticking to your guns, or to your way of doing things, isn’t conducive to effective communication. In fact, it can create a gap between you and your partner by building up defensive walls.

2. Know Your Outcome Before You Start

What is the purpose of the conversation? To reach a goal—whether running a marathon, sailing the seas, or having a productive conversation—you must first identify your targeted outcome.

Before you start the conversation, ask yourself what you want to get out of this talk in the first place. With a focused aim, scattershot complaining or blame-casting isn’t likely to happen.

3. Use a Soft Approach

A soft approach, especially when dealing with a sensitive topic, is a meaningful way to connect with your partner. It also encourages a less defensive response from them.

Essentially, to implement a soft approach, use “I” statements opposed to unintentionally casting blame. For example, “I feel upset doing the dishes alone after you offered to help,” rather than, “You always promise to help me and never do.”

4. Weather the Storm

Every relationship has its own unique ebb and flow. In a long-term relationship, it’s important to ride out the waves—for better or worse.

Even in the midst of an intense discussion or even a full-blown argument, remember your team colours. Stay dedicated to weathering the storms of life together, safeguarding your intimate connection. In short, choose words that will help you stay afloat.

5. Avoid Being Defensive

Let’s be real, being defensive is really easy. It takes about two seconds for a person’s “walls” to shoot up toward the sky. Harsh words can dart out from an emotional fortress about as speedy as an arrow. After all, we’re human and protecting ourselves is an innate trait.

With that said, you shouldn’t need to protect yourself from your partner. One communication skill to develop is simply to avoid being defensive. Remember, keep your guard down and your tongue in check.

6. Commit to Vulnerability

Along those same lines of avoiding defensiveness, commit to vulnerability. Strong relationships contain plenty of vulnerable moments. Think of open-mindedness and soft-heartedness like glue, sticking you two together.

Being vulnerable in conversation means listening to each other and taking the time to truly understand one another. Furthermore, it’s validating your partner’s thoughts and feelings too.

7. Only Hold Yourself Accountable

The dynamics of an intimate relationship aren’t exactly like having a gym buddy. When your partner “fails,” it’s not productive to call them out on it.

In a relationship, you only hold yourself accountable. Don’t hold your partner accountable.

8. Acknowledge That There’s Always a Choice

We all make choices every day. Sometimes, however, it may seem that other people don’t give us a choice about how we respond. But, the fact is, we always have a choice.

Even with our significant other, we make the choice on how we respond—words, tone, gestures, etc. Thus, to improve communication skills in your relationship, empower yourself with decision-making skills focused on finding a solution.

9. Give It Another Go

Great inventions, accomplishments, or ventures rarely happen on the first try. The same goes with relationships, especially when it comes to building communication skills. So, keep trying. Practice acceptance and forgiveness, keep asking for forgiveness and try to talk it out.

If the outlook seems blurry, change your lens, so to speak. Most importantly, give it another go.

For support in building communication skills in your relationship, contact me today (07) 32825453 . Counselling can help you navigate through any roadblocks you may be experiencing.

BY: trudyj

Marriage Counselling / Relationship Counselling

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How to Make a Conscious Effort to Understand and Meet your Partner’s Needs

Trudy Jacobsen | Relationships

Being in a successful relationship takes purposeful work.

Sometimes connecting with each other comes more naturally. Other days, it may be very hard to find a path to your partner.

For this reason, it’s important to make a conscious effort to understand your partner’s needs. Doing so makes connecting possible.

But first, it’s important to understand what “connecting” really is.

Most people assume it simply means having a conversation. While talking is a big part of it, there can be so much more to communication than simply passing on information.

Connecting with your partner means you are present, not just physically!. You listen to, understand and validate their needs. It also means finding ways to fill those needs.

Here’s how to make it happen in your own relationship.

How to Understand What Your Partner Needs

According to motivational author and speaker Tony Robbins, humans have six fundamental needs. To figure out what is most important to your partner in the relationship, consider these six pillars as a starting point.

1. Certainty

Avoiding pain and seeking out pleasure, certainty surrounds the idea of security.

An idea to help you understand your partner’s needs is to talk to your partner about how secure or certain they feel in the relationship. Do they feel as though your love is a gamble? And what can make them feel more secure?

2. Variety

Humans thrive on variety. In other words, exciting and even unexpected challenges motivate us, it builds character and increases our abilities.

In your relationship, do you have enough healthy challenges with which to nurture a strong connection? If not, you may want to give the idea of adding variety some thought.

3. Significance

How important does your partner feel to you? In a relationship, feeling important is invaluable.

It’s vital, therefore, that you find ways to let your partner know you need them (and not just a partner). But don’t just restrict yourself to words, think about what you can do each day to show they are important to you.

4. Connection and Love

Humans are social animals, thriving on social interaction. We each need to feel that sense of love and connectivity in our lives.

Ask yourself, does your partner feel loved? Identify how you show your love—holding hands, helping with household chores, etc. Again, this encompasses much more than simply verbal affirmations.

5. Growth

The human experience is one of motion, stopping means withering away. And on this path, people constantly evolve and change.

In your relationship, are you growing as a couple? How do you support your partner as they change and grow?

6. Contribution and Giving

What we contribute to the world becomes our legacy. You may give your time, undivided attention, or even your undying support to your partner.

Think about it: What do you contribute to your relationship? In what ways would your partner see you contribute?

What It Means to Listen to Your Partner

From these six fundamental human needs, you can begin to determine what your partner’s core values are. Effectively, what is truly important to your partner?

Once identified, you can begin to connect with your partner on that level. But, how do you figure out their core values in the first place? You listen.

Listening is probably more involved than you may realise. It’s more than simply waiting for your turn to talk, for example. Rather, listening involves a great deal of observation as well. To make a conscious effort to understand your partner’s needs, it’s necessary to know them.

Watch your partner. Take note of things to which they respond—physical touch, spending time together, having a conversation, gifts, etc.

Listening to your partner is key to connecting with them. Without listening, it’s nearly impossible to truly know them, let alone connect with them.

Why It’s Vital to Break Certain Patterns

To take your conscious effort a step further, make it a point to spot negative communication patterns in your relationship. For example, take a step back when you’re in a conflict and observe what’s really going on. Are you shouting, criticising, waving your arms about, pointing your finger, or playing the blame game?

These negative habits do nothing to help you connect with each other. Instead, they will quickly push you apart.

In making a conscious effort to fill your partner’s needs, have the wherewithal to stop negative patterns. This literally means stopping right in the middle of a heated battle and saying, “Honey, I love you, and I don’t want to fight like this. I’m sorry. Can we start over, please?”

You may be surprised about the impact of such a bold and loving action.

For more ways to discover your partner’s needs as well as unique ways to fill them, please contact me. I would like to help you feel more connected in your relationship. Together, we can make that happen.

15 May 2017
Relationship Counselling

Relationship Counselling

Do you wish you could improve your relationship? Do you feel ‘stuck’ in an unproductive pattern of behaviour? Is it difficult for you to connect with your partner in a meaningful way? Is your partner finding it difficult to please you or have they just stopped trying?


Relationship coaching and relationship counselling can be extremely effective in turning your relationship around in the shortest possible time. I work with couples to bridge the gap between where they are right now, and where they want to be.


Relationship Counselling is about helping couples to discover the underlying issues, which are contributing to unproductive patterns of behaviour. Relationship counselling aims to help you resolve those issues and develop a vision for the future.

Relationship Coaching strengthens your capacity to achieve your vision by identifying and enhancing the communication and interpersonal skills needed to achieve your goals.


The combination of relationship counselling and relationship coaching is a powerful strategy to help you with creating the relationship you deserve.

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