Is your family in crisis? Has your family undergone some extremely stressful event, such as divorce, remarriage or loss and feels destabilized?
My personal experience of divorce, remarriage, and the blended family brings great insight and compassion to my work with families. My approach to working with families is to treat them as a system. Often, it may appear that a particular member is “the problem.” This is often one who is acting out in some way and causing other family members great stress and/or embarrassment. From a family systems approach, I view the family as a unit with every member playing a critical role in whatever dynamic is unfolding. The “patient” therefore, is the family and each member will be asked to look at the role he/she plays in the problem and the contribution he/she can make for healthier family functioning. This approach can be very empowering for families because it helps them to see how, together, they can restore balance to the system.
The effects of blending families are multi-dimensional and may provoke stress in a number of areas such: as ongoing conflict between divorcing spouses; emotional turmoil for all members of the family especially children; transition in financial stability, and many other areas. Families as a unit or individual family members often need support at this time to work through anger, loss, resentment and fear. I bring my own experience of the blended family to my work. The following are the types of situations which arise for clients:
- Conflictual relationships in the family
- Separation/divorce in the family
- Blended families and issues around step parenting
- Death/loss in the family
- Dealing with addiction in the family