A relationship that feels normal does not mean that it is healthy. Learn how to recognise the signs of unhealthy relationships to create a new normal.

Black Woman Holding Cardboard Banner With World Peace Written On It Surrounded By White Policemen- Why Racism Is Like Being In An Abusive Relationship - Sandra Harewood Counselling

Why Racism Is Like Being In An Abusive Relationship

All our silences in the face of racist assault are acts of complicity.   Bell Hooks

I am sure that you like me have been impacted, in one way or another, by events in the world right now.   For sure, George Floyd’s death has undoubtedly engaged the collective consciousness into action on racism.   Read more

Woman Holding Smart Phone In hand In Front of Her Face - Recognise It! What You Should Know About Narcissistic Abuse [Infographic] - Sandra Harewood Counselling

Recognise It! What You Should Know About Narcissistic Abuse [Infographic]

 

How do you know if your relationship is abusive?

Are you simply two people who get triggered and can’t figure it out sometimes?  That wouldn’t be uncommon.  Maybe you feel guilty because you’ve not shown up as you best self.  And we all do things at times we regret. Read more

A young beautiful black-haired girl dressed in a white T-shirt and white shorts lying on her side in a room on a wooden parquet in a square painted with a white paint, bending her legs in a lap and pressing them against her chest and hugging them with a hands. Top view - How To Protect Yourself When Self-Isolating With A Controlling Partner - Sandra Harewood Counselling

How To Protect Yourself When Self-Isolating With A Controlling Partner

Home isn’t always a safe place.

And even if you do feel okay, maybe home it isn’t always a calm, peaceful place. Read more

Box of Coloured Eggs With Painted Faces - Verbal Abuse: When The Joke Just Isn't Funny - Sandra Harewood Counselling

Verbal Abuse: When The Joke Just Isn’t Funny

 

Many people assume that verbal abuse is just about swearing.  And some go one step further by thinking that swearing is only abusive if it’s attached to name-calling. If they didn’t call you an #@$%ing [insert], then they haven’t been abusive. Read more

Woman Hiding Behind a Smiley Face Picture, Behind Bars - Coercive Control: 7 Reasons Why Women Don't Leave - Sandra Harewood Counselling

Coercive Control: 7 Reasons Why Women Don’t Leave

 

When Sally Challen walked free from the Old Bailey in London last Friday, many saw this as a landmark decision for how the legal system treats domestic abuse. European countries, including England and Wales, are taking the lead on redefining domestic abuse.  And slowly there has been a build of awareness about a particular aspect of this, i.e. coercive control. Read more

Frightened woman with her arm outstretched with the word stop written on her hand. The Honest Truth About Your Partner's Anger Issues. Sandra Harewood Counselling

The Honest Truth About Your Partner’s Anger Issues

 

What we have called anger may be abuse – David Richo

You can usually tell when someone is angry. It’s visceral. A raised voice, trembling, fidgeting, fast speech, heavy breathing, the furrowed brow, the clenched hand or maybe flared nostrils. But equally, it can be the opposite. Silence or sudden disappearance.

Often couples come to counselling naming a problem with anger in the relationship, anticipating that better communication and anger management skills would help solve the problem of endless conflict.

The problem is, however, that abuse and anger look similar. Read more

Old Gas Lantern In A Window - Gaslighting 101: What Is Gaslighting And What You Need To Do -Sandra Harewood Counselling

Gaslighting 101: What Is Gaslighting And What You Need To Do

 

Gaslighting is a sophisticated, subtle form of emotional manipulation which is so effective that you accept whatever the gaslighter presents as the truth. Read more

Couple Gazing At Water - 5 Subtle Signs Of A Controlling Relationship That Look Like Care

5 Subtle Signs Of A Controlling Relationship That Look Like Care

 

When in your relationship do you feel cared for?

Sometimes we feel embarrassed about our wish to be cared for. But Rick Hanson PhD says that wanting to be cared for is natural, and deeply rooted in evolution. Care is a symbol of love. And love, generally speaking, has been the primary driver of the development of the human brain over millions of years. Care is crucial to survival. Read more

Woman Looking in Mirror - 3 Reasons Why It’s Important to Own Your Projection - Sandra Harewood Counselling

3 Reasons Why It’s Important to Own Your Projection

 

When you struggle with your partner, you’re struggling with yourself. Every fault you see in them represents a denied weakness in yourself. – Deepak Chopra

I’m not sure that I agree with the use of the word weakness, but I understand where Deepak Chopra is coming from.

I don’t know anyone that at some point hasn’t wanted something about their partner to be different. Read more

Black Woman Holding Her Head In Her Hands -What A Blue Fish Tells You About Your Anxiety - Sandra Harewood Counselling

How To Tell If Your Relationship Is Causing Your Anxiety

 

If the story of your relationship (maybe it feels more like a drama) is punctuated with problematic narcissistic behaviours sadly, anxiety will likely also play a part. Read more