Did you know that your style of being in relationship is wired into your brain? And that this style can be a good thing, or it can be problematic. If it's problematic, your relationship style can be changed through psychotherapy.
Neuroscience teaches us that relational patterns--how we are in relationships--are patterns learned from the beginning of life in our interactions with our caregivers. These patterns become part of the way our brains function. Quite frequently, certain behaviors and feelings are acceptable in these early relationships, and other behaviors and feelings are not.
Our relational patterns are formed according to which feelings and behaviors were encouraged, and which ones were denied early on in our lives. "Acceptable" behaviors and feelings (to our caregivers) become a part of our relational repertoire, whereas the "unacceptable" feelings and behaviors are eliminated from our style of relating. Healthier patterns help us navigate relationships--for example if we are comfortable with our own vulnerabilities or communicating our thoughts and feelings, relationships usually go well. Other patterns may make our relationships more difficult--such as discomfort with our own vulnerability, or withdrawal from communicating. Each individual's capacity for relationship is made up of many different positive and negative patterns of relating.
If you find yourself making the same mistakes over and over in relationship, repeating harmful or hurtful relational patterns, choosing people who are difficult to be in relationship with--even though you are trying not to, or if you have just one pattern in your relational style that you'd like to change, psychotherapy can help you to build new relational patterns, changing the patterns wired into your brain. This is called neuralplasticity, and means that you are not stuck with the relational patterns you now have, but that the brain can actual change itself as you have new and different kinds of experience, so that you can have happier, more rewarding relationships.