Relationships can be both a source of great satisfaction and support or of conflict and dissatisfaction. Interpersonal difficulties can lead to a significantly diminished quality of life.
Relationship distress can be the result of negative behavior patterns, negative thoughts and negative emotions. Cognitive-behavioral therapy for interpersonal difficulties is an empirically supported approach. From a behavioral perspective, there is an emphasis on increasing positive interactions while reducing the frequency of negative interactions. It is also important to examine the role of cognitions in relationships. CBT assesses the negative cognitive appraisals that result in negative behaviors and ultimately lead to relationship distress. There is an emphasis on improved communication skills which can increase satisfaction in relationships. Additionally, strategies for conflict resolution and problem solving are highlighted. Therapy can improve existing relationships and aide an individual in forming new connections.
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