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Trust is the ability to rely on someone and to feel confident in them.  This means understanding and knowing that they will be there for you, and that you can depend on them to take care of you, and your needs.  Being able to trust someone is very important and it enables the strength of a relationship to grow and develop.  

Trust is the key to every relationship.  It is necessary for people to feel safe and to feel close to someone.  This doesn’t just apply to romantic relationships, but also to friendships, family, work colleagues, and also professional relationships.  It is really important that people feel they can trust someone.  If they don’t – then they won’t open up to them, and they won’t feel that they can depend on them. 

Trust is very delicate.  It takes time to build, and when it is broken, it is a hard thing to rebuild and repair.  A good example of this is when someone feels that they have been betrayed by a partner.  Lies are often a key example of this.  If a partner has lied to cover up something, then they have betrayed their partner, and consequently trust has been broken.  After this it can be incredibly difficult for someone to trust them again.


Lack of trust can lead to insecurities.  It can often lead to someone suspecting the person to repeat what they have done before.  For example if someone has been unfaithful in some way, then partners are left feeling suspicious that the person will repeat the same action again.  Feelings of insecurity are hard to manage and incredibly difficult to handle.  People can often feel paranoid, anxious and on edge.  They can also end up acting out, whether this is with food or alcohol, or they can even get into habits of checking up on someone.  Either way, they are not living a calm and relaxed life.

People often feel that once someone has broken their trust, that it is very difficult to get that trust back again.  The assumption is often that once someone has broken trust, they will do it again.  On an even deeper level then this, if people have been hurt before or had their trust broken before (for example by a friend or partner), then they are much more likely to be mistrusting in future relationships.  This can lead people to constantly feel worried or anxious, and spend their time trying hard to please people or to keep them happy, in order to make sure that they are not hurt again.  This can make for a very difficult relationship dynamic, as people don’t end up being totally honest with one another, resentment can often build, and on top of this people do not end up getting exactly what they need out of a relationship.

The truth is that trust can be re built, but it does take a lot of time.  It is not just about words – eg// re assurance and apologies, but it is also about actions.  Sometimes people will need to be shown that they can rely on a person again.  They will need evidence that this person is not going to hurt them again, and they will need to see signs that they can begin to trust again. 


Communication is the key in this process.  People need to be able to talk through what has happened in any relationship.  For example if a friend has really let another friend down ,then the two of them need to have a conversation around why this happened, how it happened, and the friend will need re assurance that it wont happen again.  Relationships are likely to be very delicate after trust has been broken – so it is important that people don’t expect it to be re built immediately.  It will take time, and it can be a slow and painful process.  Time is a healer, but during this time, talking and openness is the key to re building.

In addition to this people who have had their trust broken need to start to recognise when they are being irrational and when they are over reacting.  If a person is trying to earn trust again, then they do need a chance to prove themselves.  This means that there may be times when people can assume the worst (because their trust has bee broken in the past).  The person who broke their trust needs to try and be patient, and understanding, and be mindful that it will take time for the wounds to heal.  However for the person who is trying to trust again, they need to be able to recognise and accept when they are in a state of anxiety and not thinking rationally.

Anxiety is something that can be calmed down in various ways – for example yoga, pilates, walking, reading, or exercise.  Provided these things are done to moderation then they can be very beneficial.  However in more extreme cases this alone wont calm anxiety down, and help people to calm down.  It may be necessary for them to see a therapist and get some help with their insecurities, anxiety and at the same time counselling can help people to re build trust. 


When a person comes for therapy, and they have had their trust broken, it is imperative that a therapist enables them to learn how to trust them.  A therapist can do this with consistency, continuity and reliability.  They can demonstrate a relationship that is safe, secure and reliable.  Over time this will hopefully enable someone to trust their therapist, and to open up to them.  In turn they can then explore their insecurities and trust issues around other relationships. Over time if it is appropriate then people can invite other people into their therapy sessions – for example a partner, or a family member.  This can be really useful if trust has been broken and it can enable people to re build their relationship and begin to feel more secure with one another.  It gives the opportunity to discuss and talk through any issues and areas of concern, and to improve communication.