FAMILY COUNSELING: BLENDED FAMILIES, STEP-FAMILIES, CO-PARENTING AND NORMAL FAMILIES WHO ARE HAVING DIFFICULTIES
In an ideal world, families represent a supportive structure from which we draw strength and feedback, encompassing of individuals whom we care for, and with whom we feel close and comfortable. A favorable family environment allows us to openly share thoughts and feelings. However, in reality, few families meet this expectation, and in some cases, families are far from ideal, associated instead with- stress, misunderstanding, anger, disconnection, and unmet needs. Family dynamics of blended families, step-parenting, co-parenting, step siblings etc are addressed.
Step Families / Blended Families
Step families or blended families can create challenges for both parents and children, as family members are urged to accommodate a number of changes. Children may face difficulty adapting to different parenting styles and family routines. In addition, children from blended families often experience stress, brought on by visitations, contact and conflict between biological parents and step parents, or through conflict with step siblings.
Adults, who are planning to remarry or cohabitate with children from previous relationships, are likely to experience problems in their current relationships. Through therapy, family members can expect to attend most sessions as a group or individually, supplemental sessions for each child or with one/both parent(s). Group, individual and couples or marriage counselling along with parental guidance all form part of a comprehensive counselling program to create a well-functioning family context with healthy relationships and a comprehensive and common goal and vision of family development, roles, communication strategies and conflict resolution. Mediation from a family counselling perspective is objective and respects each individual member’s experiences, emotions, values and concerns without judgment or ‘taking sides’.