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Counselling for Relationship Phobic in Perth

Offering relationship counselling in Perth, Nancy Carbone has found that certain personalities face barriers to intimacy. However, this article will focus on those who fear intimacy or struggle to commit in relationships, but do not know this about themselves.  These individuals feel trapped, taken over or stuck  in relationships, so they back away. These individuals can be known as commitment phobic or relationship avoiders, they feel free on their own. They have a fear of intimacy or getting close. They struggle with relating or building connections with people.  They see their partner as the fantasy image in their head, based on their own feelings and assumptions about them,  rather than relate  to them in a real way. So they often misread their partner, without checking it out with them. Often they feel other people are not interested in them, since that was their own experience. These individuals secretly desire connection, to the point that they will sacrifice themselves for their relationship, giving up their self. The only way they know how to connect is by being resourceful or doing things for others. So their needs for connection are miscued by being helpful or useful and therefore they get misunderstood by their partners. They do not understand why their partners feel unloved or unconnected, when they do so much for them. To connect, they become a slave their partner’s needs, automatically doing what the other wants, without even registering their own needs. In counselling for relationship difficulties, these individuals often say they have  learnt that is was not safe for them to ask for their needs or it was scary for them to show emotions, so they learnt to shut them down at an early age. Asking for what they need leaves them helpless, so they learnt to be self sufficient and not need others.  So, in relationships they do not know how to express their needs for connection or closeness, instead they feel uncomfortable showing their real needs for connection. It is safer to distance themselves and show their needs indirectly by doing acts of kindness, helping others and appearing as if they need nothing. Deep down they are afraid of their needs for closeness and distance themselves from it. They are afraid to show it and will automatically steer away from this by pulling away from relationships when they get too close, because they feel too vulnerable. Often their partners do not register their needs because they will appear that they are in control, so their needs get ignored. They feel wanted for being useful, but then feel fed up of being responsible and helpful.

Counsellor Perth

It is even scary for them to ask for help from a therapist, because it leaves them vulnerable, not being in control themselves. Not being able to fix it themselves and being dependent leaves them feeling unsafe or fearful of being taken over by the therapist needs, so they feel uncomfortable with getting help from a counsellor. Yet the role of the psychotherapist is to enable them to feel safe to get in touch with their self and access their own needs while in a relationship with the counsellor, so they can begin to negotiate their needs in relationships with others. Therapy assist them to see how they end up alone from distancing, because it feels safer and how closeness is dangerous for them, so they can  see this relational dynamic.

Individuals, who are afraid to commit or have fears of intimacy, do not always know they feel this way. Deep down they crave a relationship, but do not know how to connect or are scared to express their feelings for closeness. They keep these needs for attachment to themselves, and appear avoidant, cold or distant to love ones.  When they want to be close, they don’t show this in the way of expressing their feelings or displaying affection. They will often think about it, but not act up on it, it feels too scary. It is safer for them to keep their thoughts, feeling and needs to themselves or have a relationship with their partner in their own head, rather than communicate how they feel to their spouse. They struggle to get out what they feel, because when they did in the past, they were appropriated, scorned or rejected for it.  So they will not show anger, but withdraw and distance in relationships, to deal with angry feelings. So they have never let out their feelings or needs, or know exactly what they are. Therapy allows them the space to get touch with their own feelings or needs.



It is too anxiety provoking for them to put themselves out there, in relationships  Many feel frozen, anxious or disorientated when having to express themselves to a partner. They would rather go along with what the other person says, to get out of the fear evoking situation.  It is safer for them to keep everything inside. Often they will not know how to get their words out, become frustrated when their partner finishes their sentences or pushes them to talk, so they let the other person take over, until they feel backed in a corner or controlled, then they withdraw. They often feel no one get’s them or will really listen to them. Often they will just agree or go along with others because it is easier, then get their own thoughts across. So often no one knows how they really feel and they get constantly misunderstood and ignored. This perpetuates their need to do things on their own, it feels a whole lot easier then interacting and communicating with people.

Counselling for Fears of Intimacy in Perth

Commitment phobic individuals will often have long distance relationships or relationships that do not involve too much closeness. They often present to pre marriage counselling before getting married since they start to get cold feet. Internet relationships are safe, where they can create the fantasy of that person in their head, feeling close at a distance, but not getting too involved. In relationships, eventually their partner expresses needs for more closeness, more affection and communication. But they feel their partner demands too much from them and often will distance further away. The more they pull away, the more their partner will feel alone and want more closeness, causing them to retreat further inside themselves. They feel it is not safe for them to put themselves out there or say what they think, when their partner becomes enraged. In a heated fights with their partner, they avoid couples conflict.

Relationship Counselling in Perth

Anger Counselling in Perth

In conflict, they fear what they say will add fuel to the fire, so they say nothing or walk away to avoid a fight. They fear being attacked for not giving enough, when they feel drained of what they’ve already given and do not understand the emotional needs of their partner. They get confused with what their partner actually wants, and do not know how to give them any more, feeling a slave to their needs and feeling the need to pull away further and recharge  by retreating further into themselves, to avoid the attacks and insults they perceive from  their partners.  Counselling for relationship barriers can address all these difficulties with relating.

For commitment phobic individuals, they fear what they want most, connection and closeness. So they get close on the surface to ensure someone is there, but not get too close because they will feel the other takes over them, demands too much and feels a slave to their needs or trapped by them. The more they give or the closer it get’s, the worse they feel and will distance to feel safe. So, closeness feels like they are trapped, drained, depleted or feels scary to them. So when they get too close, the safer option is being alone, distance, retreating into themselves, while being absent to their partner and emotionally not available as a result.

Relationships can run smoothly at the start, until they become exhausted, drained or depleted at accommodating their partner’s needs, and will back off from focusing on their partners needs to focusing on themselves.  They find all the giving, takes over them, so they lose themselves in their relationships, wanting out of the partnership to recharge their self.  They could have a marital affair or find ways to sabotage the partnership, causing relationship breakup. They will often think that their partner demands too much, is needy. But they actually set up the dynamic where they do not register their own needs in relationships, so they continually go without, often being resentful at their partner for ignoring their needs.  When they try to communicate their needs, they do so in a way that often does not get heard, so they feel ignored and rejected. They cannot show their anger, but will withdraw when they’ve had enough.  They relive the feeling of missing out, when in a relationship. So the only way they get their needs met is by being alone or withdrawing from the relationship. They often do not see the part they play in this. They feel the relationship takes too much from them, feeling their needs do not count and feel the relationship leaves them without their needs being met at all.  So they will want out of the relationship, to meet their own needs, themselves. They do not know how to negotiate their own needs in a relationship, because they’ve always done it on their own. The struggle is how to connect or express themselves, how to have a relationship and accesses their own needs in a relationship.

Personality Disorder


Alone is the safer path, but they struggle with the isolation and the despair of not having connection. As a result they will often suffer deep depression after a relation breakup. They often feel disconnected from themselves and detached from turning inward. Life can feel bleak, lifeless, dull and empty, where there is no one there to connect with. They escape in work, travel, books and sports to get away from the dread of having no one, feeling in exile. Counselling is usually an option at this point and often represents their only lifeline, otherwise they feel they are disintegrating into space, feeling psychic aloneness. So they will repeat the pattern of finding someone who they can look after, take care of, give to, so they can reconnect by feeling useful or wanted. They often attract borderline personality dependent partners who make them feel wanted but eventually drains them, they become hysterical when they feel unloved and persist to get the love they desire, to avoid abandonment.  Eventually the relationship phobic person become drained of their resources and wants to pull back again in order to recharge.  So they oscillate between wanting a connection to escape the aloneness, to feeling trapped, taken over or controlled, to wanting space and being alone, again.

 Counselling for Couples in Perth

Couples counselling in Perth can assist the withdrawing partner to share their experiences to their spouse, so therapy assists Couples Counsellingtheir partner to understand how to communicate with them, without causing them to distance. Often a desperate clingy partner who feels rejected by them will pull for answers and demands them to show love, in a desperate plea to connect. Sometimes partners become distressed and upset at pursuing them. However, hostility and anger responses further pushes them away as they see their partner as demanding more from them. They tend to shut off from others when they feel others want more from them, if they’ve hit their level of having enough.  They also struggle with outbursts of anger or rage from their partner, feeling attacked, overwhelmed and flooded with heighted emotions that arouses them to feel unsafe, so they want to flee for safety. They cannot safely process and hear what their partner is saying, when they feel yelled at and accused, so they want to run for cover. Counselling for couples allows their partner to not communicate in the heat of the moment, but find more effective ways for them to get across their hurt feelings. While couples therapy services  assists the withdrawing partner to get out what is in their head, so it is safer for them to express this to their partner and assists their partner to find ways to deal with them that will not feel imposing on them, but allows safety for them to begin to connect with their partner. When a distressed spouse hears that her partner withdrawals because he is scared of conflict and finds it almost dangerous to talk, it can overcome distressed couples conflict. All of sudden she does not feel rejected or alone. Perth marriage counselling can assist the angry partner to learn more effective strategies to handle these situations, so they can begin to reach their partner, rather than push them away. As a couples counsellor, Nancy Carbone assists to overcome marital discord and relationship breakdown issues, resulting in a breakdown in communication causing spousal disharmony.

Nancy Carbone

Relationship Counsellor and Psychotherapist

For more details regarding counselling for relationship phobic partners call Nancy on 0449 861 147 or send her an enquiry below.

For fear of intimacy counselling in Melbourne visit our counselling in Melbourne service