Can You Dive Before You Learn to Swim?

These hot temps have got me wanting to either be swimming or running through sprinklers all day!  Summertime always reminds me of being young and taking swim lessons; especially all the nerves and worry that went into the first day of getting into the water and trusting that my mom was going to hold me tight enough until I learned to swim myself.  

I'm not quite sure what it was she did, or the swim instructor for that matter, but eventually I felt confident enough to have her let go and let me begin to swim and bob around myself.  Of course, it was a gradual process....first she held onto me very tight, then eventually I was able to hold onto the edge of the pool with her hands around my waist and finally it was just me holding onto the edge and beginning to try it out on my own.  As a parent, this process seems so reasonable...building confidence in a young child and letting them learn how to do it on their own, but as an adult in a relationship, building confidence and safety can be much more difficult.

I hear from folks all the time that they want to be confident in their relationship and partnership, but are scared and unsure of how to build or repair trust.  They want to build trust before they risk getting hurt (again in some cases), but the challenge is that we can't build trust unless we risk.  It isn't until we risk getting hurt and find out that our partner is there to catch us that we are able to trust and feel confident in our partner's words and actions.  

Now I'm not suggesting your jump off into the deep end of risk and use that as your maiden voyage to build trust, but what about starting by just taking small steps?  What if we risk a small amount, see if that safety net is there and then use that to build our confidence in risking a bit more and in turn being able to trust a bit more?

How can you build safety and trust in your own relationship by risking just a bit?  

I encourage you to begin your own "swimming lessons" in your relationship; building up your confidence that your partner will be there to grab a hold of you in case your head dips below the water line.  Feel free to call or email with questions on how to use therapy as a way to support this process, 916.955.3200 or