Communication in Relationships

by: Dr. Dino Zuccarini, C.Psych. & Dr. Lila Z. Hakim, C.Psych.

Being able to communicate in an efficient and effective manner in a relationship is important. Each individual in a relationship will have his or her own feelings, needs, wants, desires, opinions, and values to share on a wide range of topics from intimacy needs, children and parenting issues, relationship to in-laws, household roles, duties and tasks, finances, and balancing life-work and family demands. Inevitably partners will have different expectations about how to address these topics. Effective communication strategies allow individuals or couple partners to be able to navigate life’s issues in a manner in which both partners feel valued, seen, and heard. Individuals or couple partners who are also equipped with conflict resolution, problem-solving, and negotiation skills are able to deal with difficult relationship moments in which there is disagreement and when problem resolution seems impossible.

When partners are distressed, they tend to fall into negative communication patterns that escalate into negative displays of emotion or withdrawals. Couples who are ill-equipped to resolve problems and are unable to negotiate, stay stuck in conflict and eventually engage in high-conflict interactions or distancing.

Psychologists and clinicians at CFIR are skilled in supporting you to develop solid relationship communication skills. We help you to learn how to resolve your problems, express and assert yourself, and negotiate with others on topics of great concern to you.

The Relationship and Sex Therapy Service at CFIR offers clients comprehensive assessment, psychotherapy, and counselling to address a wide range of relationship and/or sexual issues for both individuals and couples. In terms of treatment, we offer individual, couple, and group therapy to help you to develop stronger relationships, heal relationship injuries, improve or add new relationship skills (e.g., communication, problem-solving and negotiation skills), and address sexual issues that interfere with sexual satisfaction and fulfilment, regardless of sexual orientation.

Read more about our Relationship & Sex Therapy Treatment Service.