Bliss Therapy Celebrates Two Years of Counselling published | 23 November Two years ago we opened the doors to our boutique style private practice in Uptown Waterloo. Since then our mission has been to help the people of Kitchener-Waterloo through the various challenges of love and life, and to develop and enjoy the fulfilling lives we know that they deserve! We are Bliss Individual and Relationship Therapy, and over the last 24 months our eight specialized therapists have counselled over 1000 amazing people. Reaching this exciting milestone has us all reflecting on anniversaries and relationships in general. No relationship is without work, and as therapists our first instinct is always to help, so to mark our anniversary we have put together the following eight tips for building strong partnerships and relationships. Eight Tips for building blissful relationships. 1. Toast the past and make goals together for the future “An anniversary is a time for celebration! Look back and reflect on the accomplishments and periods of growth. No matter what happened… you made it through. It is also an opportunity to set new intentions going forward in your relationship! Take a pause, take a breath, enjoy and celebrate this milestone!” – Kelly McDonnell-Arnold | Sexologist 2. Your relationship is unique. Don’t compare! “Sex means something different and is different for everyone. Try not to compare your sex life to things you see or hear about from other people.” – Lindsay Kenna | Relationship and Sex Therapist 3. Talk to your partner and share! “The best way to keep a relationship going strong is to invite your partner on your journey. Communicate your wants and needs clearly, share your fears, and be vulnerable.” – Tammy Benwell | Therapist 4. Trust each other. “Trust is the backbone of any relationship. If you can develop trust in yourself, you will be able to listen to your feelings and share them with your partner. There also has to be trust that your partner will be able to manage their own feelings in response to yours. With this trust, couples can learn from each other and grow together, rather than apart.” – Heather Anderson | Psychologist 5. Be awesome alone, be awesome together. “It is important to give one another space inside of your relationship. The word space often scares people because they think their partner is unhappy. The reality is that you are hurting your relationship if each of you does not have the space to be an individual within your partnership. Having space creates healthy relationships. When you take the time to emotionally recharge as an individual, it takes the stress off your relationship and allows you to enjoy each other more as a couple.” – Tonya Beattie | Therapist 6. When you encounter difficult times, trust in each other and the relationship you have built. “When tremendous loss is experienced in a relationship, such as the death of loved one, it can be difficult, even painful to support or be supported by your partner. Our inclination when someone is in pain may be to try to “fix it”. The reality of grief is that it cannot be fixed; it is our natural response to the loss of someone or something we loved, and therefore it will be experienced. First, recognize that you and your partner will experience grief in your own unique way and it is important to honour that in one another. Provide space for your partner to experience and express their feelings without judgment or the desire to make it better. Finally, turn toward one another rather than the often-easier response, which is to turn away from the pain and hurt, and the relationship. Marriages and partnerships can survive profound loss, and it will take empathy, compassion and mutual respect for each other’s experience of grief to help that happen.” – Melissa Reid | Grief Therapist 7. No one wins when you keep score. “I think that many busy couples struggle to avoid ‘keeping score’ of who is doing more than the other. Try to consider that even though you may be working at very different things or in different settings, you might both be working as hard as you can and doing a great job with your respective responsibilities.” – Heather Stuart | Therapist 8. Know that you are both right and both wrong. “In a relationship, both people can be exactly right and exactly wrong at the same time. Try to focus less on being “right” and more on understanding the space in between. You might ask yourself, ‘How can I better understand why my partner feels this way?” When we give up a little bit of power we have the opportunity to gain a little bit of compassion?'” – Jenna Luelo | Therapist As we here at Bliss head into our third year, our goal is to continue to grow and develop as a practice in order to best help you navigate through the challenges of life, both in your relationships and in your individual journeys! Want to know more about Bliss Individual and Relationship Therapy’s team and journey? Check out our infographic!