How to Let Go of the Blocks to Healthy Relationships, Intimacy and Love

How to Let Go of the Blocks to Healthy Relationships, Intimacy and Love.

Virginia Satir was widely known as the ‘mother of family therapy’. Her work was revolutionary in so many ways. Working from the 1950’s onwards, she was a psychotherapist who was a pioneer in family therapy and relationships.  One of the first therapists who believed that the presenting problem was rarely the issue, she first focused instead on what was really going on deeper under the surface for her clients.  Much of my training as a Cognitive Hypnotherapist and NLP master practitioner stems from her original work.


Virginia Satir


It is those deeper unconscious drivers that ripple under the surface of a person’s experience that impact everything we do and in every way we relate. And yes, it is most common for people to present with the surface issues that they are experiencing because those are the ones we see. But as much as those unconscious patterns can help us, they can also hinder what it is we consciously want to achieve, who we are and how we relate to the world around us. In short – they stop us from loving without clutching, appreciating without judging, joining without invading, etc.

It is in childhood that we develop our own particular set of unconscious patterns, and then we add to them and carry them with us throughout life. But they are elusive demons and angels – they are masked to us by layers of ‘shell’ that we develop to get by. It’s tricky stuff!

So let’s take a moment to think about you and your relationships. What is it that you see happening that you would like to change and what could be the deeper issue that’s actually happening? What is it that by it being brought into your awareness and let go of could really make the difference in your life and in your loves and let you meet your partner in a beautiful, open, healthy way?


“I want to love you without clutching, appreciate you without judging, join you without invading, invite you without demanding, leave you without guilt, criticize you without blaming, and help you without insulting. If I can have the same from you, then we can truly meet and enrich each other.”  ~Virginia Satir


When we recognise and become free of the under-the-surface patterns we then have the opportunity to relate in a beautiful, healthy way. To truly ‘meet’ the other rather than trying to get any needs met through them. Do you blame, accuse, point the finger towards the other? Do you feel guilt, shame, hurt? Perhaps you aren’t having the sex you would like and see it’s their fault, maybe you are feeling put-upon or nagged, maybe you are wanting more freedom, perhaps you have a deeper longing to feel loved, is it that you crave a deeper intimacy, or perhaps you aren’t attracting a partner at all. Or maybe something else?

Have a think about it: what behaviours are you presenting on the surface of your relationships that are masking other needs and desires and shielding unresolved unconscious patterns? What is it that you hold on an unconscious level that is getting in the way of healthy relating? For some of my clients, these things show themselves as getting angry or arguing about things that your partner does or doesn’t do, for others it’s demanding more time, love or attention than your partner is willing to give or exhibiting avoidant behaviours yourself, for some it can be blaming. If you were to dig deeper what would be the belief or fear that drives the behaviours that get in the way of you having richer, more healthy loving relationships?

Take a moment to close your eyes and take a few deep breaths. Then slowly read these statements and feel into them. Allow your body and mind to rest with each one. What happens? It is neutral, or does something happen for you as you dive into the statement? Allow any feelings, thoughts and memories to come up. You will know if they apply to you as you’ll have some kind of reaction. It might be identification, a strong feeling or even a strong resistance. Both are good information. Both can be indicators that there is something here for you to resolve.

Belief Statements

  • I’m not good enough.
  • I don’t deserve to be loved.
  • I’m not worthy of attention.
  • Happy, healthy relationships are for others, not me.
  • People leave.
  • Love means… (feeling unsafe, losing yourself, etc.)
  • Sex, and desire is bad/wrong/unacceptable etc.
  • Intimacy is unsafe


What happened for you? Perhaps write it down. Spend some time with the experience. Without judgment, just observe. And feel free to send me your thoughts and feelings on what came up. it can be useful to share your experience. You can drop me a line here. 

Remember that all hold limiting beliefs like these. If you identify with the above you certainly are not alone. The secret formula is just to a) Know that it is these that we need to bring awareness to most of all. These are the roots of the tree that by them changing will allow fresh new shoots and leaves to bloom and healthier relating to begin. And b) That once they are clear you can begin to create new positive behaviours and experiences that will make the difference to how you relate to your intimate partners.

It’s amazing how a person can express a desire to connect with another but have a whole heap of stuff under the surface that will be getting in the way of them creating what they say they want. But the good news is that there’s lots that can be done.

Most often people approach relationships from a default position, just reacting to what is happening around them and exhibiting behaviours and patterns of relating that maybe they wouldn’t choose or desire to have in place. This way of being can often be incredibly painful and lead to relationship breakdowns. The alternative is to bring attention to what is actually happening and live to a more created path.

If this resonates with you at all then do know that there is a way through. Cognitive hypnotherapy is an incredible way to shift these things as is movement, breath-work and deep embodiment practices. I use all these together with deep coaching to help my clients create radical shifts in their lives and in their relationships It’s exciting stuff! From this autumn, Yaron Engler and I will be leading an incredible 6-month programme based here in London where we will be supporting 12 men and women on a journey of exploration and freedom around these things and more. If this calls to do consider coming to join us. It will be a fun and exciting journey and could just be life-changing for those who come for the ride.

You. Me. Us. - Relationship program

We are now taking applications for ‘Me. You. Us. – a journey into relationships, intimacy, and love’. If you are interested in applying just click on the link below and send us a message.



And if you’d like to know more about one-t0-one Coaching and/or Cognitive Hypnotherapy just click on this link to send a direct message to me and we can create a time to have a conversation.




Please feel free to share this with anyone you feel may benefit. Healthy relating = Happy living. Give the gift of that to yourself and to others today.

With inspired love,

Kirsty Hanly -




Experiencing Your Relationships as a Catalyst For Growth

Obstacles or Catalysts for Waking Up?
What are you experiencing in your relationships?

Applications Are Now Open for the Me. You. Us. – Relationship and Intimacy Coaching Journey, Starting November 2012


Quote - Relationship and intimacy

Relationship as an awakening. It’s a big concept, isn’t it? For a long time now I’ve described relationships as the final frontier to everything. We can read all kinds of self-help books, listen to spiritual teachings, and take in all kinds of learning, we can feel whole and together and full and wonderful. And then we get into a relationship with that particular person who was sent to push all the right buttons to make us wake the heck up to something else.  It’s both magical and horrible and blissful and painful. Children are sent to us to do the same. It can feel like a universal joke, or the most bountiful gift – depending, in my expereince, on the day of the week!

For some people, they are in the right relationship but don’t know how to navigate what’s going on. Perhaps the sex isn’t as they would like it to be, perhaps there isn’t the intimacy that would make their heart sing or perhaps it just feels a bit dull or clunky. For others, they can’t settle into a relationship that seems to work at all, or maybe have put up so many barriers that they don’t even date. It’s a choice. We can walk awake or shut down to what’s available to us. So what is your path?

Me. You. Us. – Group Programme Starting November 2017

From November, men’s-coach Yaron Engler and I will be running our exclusive small group programme for a maximum of 12 individuals who together will spend 6 months exploring relationships, intimacy and love. Me. You Us. is a powerful exploration led by Yaron and I both in person and online.

Conscious relating is my path as for me it feels like the only true one to walk, and many of my clients work with me because they are choosing the same. How about you? If you’re intrigued or have a sense that this might be for you, if you want to explore, understand, let go of your blocks and dive into creating a way of relating that makes a real difference in your life then do get in contact here and we can tell you more and create a time for a conversation.

Please also feel free to gift this information to anyone you know who you think might benefit from this exploration. The intention of this programme is to make a life changing difference to those who choose to join us. It is fun, stretching and incredibly opening for all who dive in. If relationship is the final frontier, let’s all chart new and wonderful territory!

With love, connection and inspiration,

Kirsty Hanly -



Lorca’s Poetry on Love and the Heart

Lorca’s Poetry of the Heart

I often start my day with music or by reading a poem. Today was Federico Garcia Lorca, the wonderful Spanish poet and playwright. I first discovered Lorca as at student at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (RADA) where an incredible director brought Yerma to life for us all. Today, he is one of my favourite poets for his use of descriptive language and ability to portray, through words, a depth of feeling that often eludes people today.

I believe that when you allow it, you always get what you need when you most need it. So when I decide to open a book at a random page, I smile when I see what I’ve got. So today, this post is for you all, and also for me.

New Heart

Lorca's Poetry - New Heart.

As I read Lorca’s poetry this morning I was struck by two things. How relevant these words are to my life right now, and how completely timeless this particular poem is. It was written in June 1918 but it perfectly describes those deep matters of the heart that never change across and throughout time.  How often do we observe the choice – to close down and lock away, or to allow heart opening growth and learning to come instead?

‘Shall I hang you on the wall
of my emotional museum,
beside my dark, chill,
sleeping irises of my evil?

Or shall I spread you over the pines
–suffering book of my love—
so you can learn about the song
the nightingale offers to the dawn?’

What do you do as a default and how does it serve you?  I know that I vacillate but try hard to stay open during times where my body and mind want to close. The reason? Because growth is always better than protection. Continuing to stretch and open and learn and grow means that you are always open to experience; that you get to live a little more fully each day; that you get to experience the full magic of being you. You get to see that life is incredible in all its pain and heartache, and love and loss, deep feeling and vulnerability. You get to experience the deep and wide expansion that can come from all those things when you decide to remain open and learn about the song the nightingale offers the dawn.

As you think about Lorca’s poetry, I encourage you to think about how open you allow yourself to be, how deeply you can connect to your heart and to others, and where you can listen more intently for the birdsong that opens a new dawn, in whatever it is you are going through.

If this resonates with you and you would like to explore how we can work together on these themes and others that you are noticing in your life, just drop me a line here and we can start the conversation that could open up your life in incredible new ways.

And for today – a huge open heart, and love to you.

Kirsty Hanly -


James Cameron on Dreaming Big and Embracing Failure.

James Cameron knows about how to dream big.

James Cameron is known for making pictures that everyone else thought were impossible. Big budget, epics that would stretch available technology and current thinking of what is possible. He embraced the possibility of failure in a big way, with millions of dollars at stake.

How much do you embrace failure in your life or work? I talk about this a lot with my clients. How a person can set their sights so high that failure is inevitable, but that it leads ultimately to more achievement than you otherwise would have had?

Most people aim low so as to impress by getting it ‘right’ or to make themselves feel good for achieving what they set out to do. What if you were to aim way above your comfort zone? What if you were to reach for the stars to get some way to the moon? What does that mean for what you create in the world?

Like James Cameron, I suggest you dare to dream bigger than you ever have before. And reach for that dream. Neither of us can know where it will take you, but I’m pretty sure it will be closer to a more magical life than you might once have believed possible.

James Cameron Quote