All families have conflict as the children, teens and adults within it evolve and change. A certain amount of conflict is natural when people live in close proximity with each other – however when normal conflict turns into regular shouting matches and family members start hurting each other (emotionally or physically) it’s time to get help. Family therapy can be a very effective way of revealing the sources of conflict and stress, and learning to deal with them.
Sometimes family conflict is caused by unacceptable behaviour from just one family member, but their behaviour affects everyone. In this case, as well as working with the person in question, I also work with the entire family. This helps the family to provide support for the individual, but also for each other, as they learn to deal with the behaviour of that person and reduce conflict.
Reducing Family Conflict
Family therapy provides a safe space to help families reduce conflict by encouraging open communication between all family members. It allows individuals to voice their thoughts and be heard, while exploring and listening to other people’s perspective in a real and genuine way. Family members can develop new strategies to reduce family conflict, and learn coping skills for major family changes like divorce or new relationships. Effective family therapy addresses the problems within the family, to create real, permanent and positive change.
Family Therapy Issues
Family therapy helps deal with such issues as:
- Blended families
- Challenging behaviours in children and adolescents
- Children leaving home
- Cultural differences within relationships or in the wider community
- Different parenting styles
- Divorce, separation and relationship break-ups
- Drug or alcohol abuse
- Financial problems
- Living with mental health issues, like anxiety, depression, stress
- Parenting and step-parenting; step-siblings
Blended families come about when one or both parents have children from previous relationships. The behaviour of individuals in a family is influenced by the other family members, and this can be even more pronounced in a blended family. It can take time for children to adapt to a new family structure, and it may help to speak with a counsellor about the transition before it begins.
To find out more please contact me.