Fear of Intimacy Counselling

longterm psychotherapy

Individuals with schizoid personality suffer from an underlying fear of intimacy or fear of commitment, so they end up feeling alone. 

Fear of intimacy counselling offers inroads to build stronger relationships, for those who find relationships too overwhelming for them. Often these individuals connect by meeting others needs, that they can eventually lose themselves in relationships. They can feel trapped, controlled or stuck in relationships, so they back away so they can regain control of themselves. Some can be known as having a 'Schizoid Disorder of Self', according to James Masterson. These individuals can be seem  commitment phobic, since they often want out of the relationship just before the wedding day, when they move in together or get closer. They want space to get back their 'self'. They have a fear of intimacy or getting close. They struggle with relating or  connecting with partners. Here are some traits of those who have a fear of intimacy:

  • They think about their partner in their head (fantasy),  rather than relate to them in a real way.  So they often misread their partner.
  • They often  try to solve relationship issues on their own, without communicating with their partner.
  • They operate in their own head, without sharing their thoughts and feelings.
  • They had no pathway to connection as a child, so they do not understand how to communicate or what to say. They keep their thoughts and feelings inside, where it is safe.
  • The feel safer not needing others, being independent.
  • The only way they know how to connect is by being resourceful,  helpful or doing things for others.
  • To connect, they become a slave their partner’s needs, automatically doing what the other wants, without  registering their needs.
  • They become overwhelmed with others and distance.

At Melbourne counselling those who have a fear of intimacy, often they feel it was not safe for them to ask for their needs and scary to show emotions, so they shut down their emotions as a child.  As children, trying to get close caused them to feel used, neglected, rejected, abused, controlled, trapped, enslaved or appropriated by others. Often these feelings remain buried. However, they re-experience these feelings when ever the get close, so they distance because it feels unsafe.  They  learnt to shut down their attachment system, not needing anyone. They turn their needs inwards, by meeting their own needs. Needing others and getting close makes them feel unsafe or scared. So they become in control of meeting their own needs, not letting others in and not turning to others.

Deep down the commitment phobic person will crave connection, but are scared of their needs and distance themselves from their needs. They distance when they get close, because they feel too vulnerable and not in control.  Often their partners have no idea what they need because they appear that they are in control, so their needs get ignored. They connect by being resourceful, but then feel exhausted from be responsible or doing everything, so they withdraw from others, to get back their self.

Fear of intimacy Counselling

It is even uncomfortable for them to ask for help from a therapist, since it leaves them vulnerable, not being in control of themselves. Not being able to fix it themselves and being dependent leaves them feeling unsafe or fearful of being taken over by other peoples agenda's or needs. The therapist must understand their fear, so they can work towards making them feel safe, so they can eventually access their own needs, while in a relationship with another. So, they can begin to negotiate their needs in relationships.

Individuals, who are afraid to commit or have fears of intimacy, do not always know they feel this way. Deep down they  pine for  a connection, but do not know how to connect, scared to get close and don't not know how they feel.   They actually pine for connection, feeling so alone, disconnected from themselves and others. What they want is closeness because they never had this need met, yet they are most afraid of being close.

overcome feeling depressedWhen they try to get close, they find safe ways to connect that does not involve them getting too close. They don’t not openly express feelings or display affection, this is too risky for them. They will often think about getting close, but do nothing about it. It is safer to keep their thoughts and feeling inside. They often have a relationship with their partner in their own head, rather than communicate how they feel to them. They struggle to get out what they feel, because when  were appropriated, scorned or rejected for their needs.  So they will not show anger, but withdraw and distance in relationships, to deal with angry feelings. They  never let out their feelings or know exactly what they are. Therapy allows them the space to get touch with their feelings or needs, to make it safer for them to take the risks of getting closer and sharing their self in relationships.

It raises too much anxiety sharing feelings, so they avoid conflict.  Many feel afraid when having to communicate to a partner when their partner is upset. They would rather go along with the other person, to avoid a fearful reaction.  It is safer for them to keep their feelings inside, by keeping the peace to avoid upsetting others .

Those with have a fear of commitment, often  will not know how to get their words out, often saying nothing when asked questions.  They become frustrated when their partner finishes their sentences or pushes them to talk. Therefore, it is easier to let the other person take over the conversation, until they feel backed in a corner or controlled, then they withdraw. They often feel no one really get’s them or takes the time to listen. Often they will just agree or go along with what others want, because it is safer then having get their own thoughts across. Often, no one knows how they really feel. They are constantly misunderstood and ignored. Not being able to navigate relationships perpetuates their need to be on their own, to avoid communicating with love ones.

 Counselling for Fears of Intimacy in Melbourne

Fear of intimacy counselling can assist those who will often have relationships that do not involve too much closeness.  Those with a fear of intimacy prefer relationships where they do not get too close. If they feel their relationship demands too much from them, they will distance further away. The more they pull away, the more the partner will feel alone and want more closeness. Often the intimacy avoider will feel unable to give their partner what they need emotionally.

Intimacy Fear Counselling in Melbourne

They fear that what they say will cause their partner to become distressed, so they say nothing or walk away. They fear being attacked for not giving enough to their partner. They do not understand how to respond to the emotional needs of their partner. They do not know how to give them any more, feeling a slave to their needs and feeling the need to retreat further into themselves. When their partner requests more closeness, they distance to avoid the perceived attacks and insults.  Marriage Counselling for intimacy withholders can address all these difficulties with relating.

For those with intimacy fears, they're scared of 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, wants too much and feels a slave to their needs or trapped. The more they give or the closer it get’s, the more they want to distance to feel safe.

Relationships can run smoothly at the start, until they become exhausted, drained or depleted and will back off from focusing on their partner in order to focus on themselves.  They find all the giving, takes over them, so they lose themselves in their relationships, wanting out of the relationship to recharge their self.

Avoiding intimacy

Those who avoid intimacy feel being alone is the safer option, but struggle with the isolation and despair of having no connection. They will often suffer deep depression after a relationship ends.  Life can feel bleak, lifeless, dull and empty, where there is no one there. They escape in work, travel, books and sports to get away from the feeling of having no one, feeling in exile. Counselling often represents their only lifeline, otherwise they feel they are disintegrating into space, feeling psychic aloneness. So they will  find a way to connect.  They oscillate between wanting a connection to escape the aloneness, to being in a relationship that causes them to feel trapped, taken over or controlled, to wanting space and being alone, again. 

  Overcoming fears of intimacy with Counselling for Couples in Melbourne

Couples counselling for intimacy fear in Melbourne can assist the withdrawing partner to share their experiences with their spouse, so therapy assists their partner to communicate with them and solve communication breakdown, so they do not feel the need to distance. Often a desperate wife, who feels rejected by them, will pull for answers and request them to show love, in a desperate bid to connect. Sometimes partners become upset at pursuing them and getting nothing back. However, hostility further pushes them away as they see their spouse as demanding more from them. When fights get heated,  they feel overwhelmed and flooded with emotions that arouses them to feel unsafe, so they want to flee or stonewall for safety. They cannot process and hear what their partner is actually saying, when they feel yelled at, 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  communicate hurt feelings. While couples therapy services  assists the withdrawing partner to safely express what is in their head, and assists their partner  to communicate without imposing on them.

When a distressed wife hears that her husband withdrawals because he is afraid to talk, it can provide inroads for the couple to create a safe way to deal with conflict. All of a sudden she does not feel rejected or alone. Couples therapy for fear of intimacy can assist in ways to reach their partner. While assist the withdrawn partner to feel safe to open up their emotional needs and respond to others. Fear of intimacy counselling for individuals offers deeper ways to communicate their needs, by providing a safe therapeutic encounter, so they can take the risk of connecting, overcoming fears of intimacy. 

Fear of Intimacy Counselling

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All content is copyright 2017 Nancy Carbone