top of page
Orchid Header Image
Dr. Jessica C Jones Logo


What qualifies as relationship distress?


Relationship distress is simply put as anxious or depressive symptoms as a result of issues within a relationship and/or the aftermath of a break-up, separation or divorce.



Why do people seek therapy for relationship stress?


Individuals usually seek therapy for help dealing with romantic relationships, however, relationship distress can occur in all relationships such as family, friends and even coworkers. Some common reasons for seeking help with relationship distress can be:


  • Feeling overwhelmed with anxious and depressive symptoms but unsure how to improve the relationship

  • Family conflict

  • Partner will not attend couple’s therapy to resolve issues jointly

  • Wanting to make amends

  • Contemplating divorce/break-up

  • Help coping with loved one’s mental illness and/or substance abuse

  • Healing from a break-up

  • Feeling unappreciated

  • Negatively self-esteem as a result of the relationship


Relationship Distress

Painting of a women crying depicting Relationship Distress

What can I expect to get out of individual therapy for relationship distress?


As outlined in the Individual therapy section, therapy can have both short and long-term effects. Many people begin to experience symptom relief in initial stages of therapy by being able to have a safe, non-judgment environment to explore thoughts and feelings. Initial short-term benefits often include strategies for managing and coping with distressing symptoms. Long-term benefits can offer deep structural change in the way one views themselves, others and the world and improved interpersonal relationships. (If you are seeking couples therapy and not individual therapy, please see couples therapy tab under 'services.')


Treatment Approach:


Treatment approach to relationship distress depends on the symptoms and the nature of the relationship. In general, talk therapy utilizing interpersonal and psychodynamic approaches is often most useful to understanding the function of the relationship to you and better understanding the underlying conflicts involved. When necessary, solution focused work tailored around problem solving may also be applicable to aid in developing healthy emotional boundaries and improved interpersonal relating.

bottom of page