Presentation on theme: "Family Counseling. Conflict Conflict is simply the natural and healthy progression of any relationship. Most psychologists will tell you that a certain."— Presentation transcript:
Conflict Conflict is simply the natural and healthy progression of any relationship. Most psychologists will tell you that a certain amount of family conflict is healthy, far better than a situation with no conflict at all (which is also indicative of a problem in itself).
Unfortunately, it doesn't always end there. According to Dr. Leonard Felder, author of When Difficult Relatives Happen to Good People, 70 percent of us have a frustrating or difficult relative lurking somewhere in our family tree. Whether that relative is an immediate family member like a rebellious child or difficult parent, the impact on the entire family can be extremely stressful and at times, quite destructive. In some families, there is no single person, but just a seemingly "bad mix" of personalities that cannot get along.
When the degree and intensity of fighting and arguing increases to the point where they impact daily functioning, happiness, or the personality of one or more family members, outside intervention becomes necessary. Counseling offers family members a neutral voice and a place to be heard. It can also give us the necessary tools to resolve conflict in a healthy way, bringing peace and harmony back to our everyday lives.
Families with addiction issues are often not able to see beyond the learned behavior and their reactions to it. Families are often caught in just trying to get the addict to treatment. BUT WHAT THEN?
What is Intimacy Intimacy encompasses an entire way of being, acting, and thinking. It is a place of commitment, vulnerability, and trust. Intimacy is when people understand each other while simultaneously feeling understood. People can be married or part of a family and never truly be intimate with each other.
Unfortunately, for the most part, we all carry emotional baggage with us before we even enter committed relationships, we cannot allow ourselves to trust or be open with our partners or families. Consciously or unconsciously, we are always waiting for the proverbial shoe to drop; meanwhile we shut ourselves off from experiencing what we all innately desire — a partnership in which we can simply be, without fear or mistrust. When a relationship lacks intimacy, one or both parties involved can feel unwanted, anxious, lonely, inadequate, depressed, rejected, resentful, and angry just to name a few of the many emotions that surface.
Until we are able to rid ourselves of our old patterns and ways of reacting, we will see intimacy in one of two ways: we will either crave intimacy in an attempt to make up for the lack of intimacy we felt growing up or we will push it away in order to avoid feeling the pain of the past. Ironically, both types of people are after the same end result, they just go about it in opposite directions — neither of which is healthy or effective. For example, if you are the type of person that craves the feeling of intimacy, you will tend to smother your partner in neediness. You will try and fill your own feelings of desperation and emptiness through your spouse, something that will ultimately cause them to back off, ironically causing more neediness on your part and more retreating on theirs.
First of all, the only thing we ever have control over in life is our own feelings and reactions. While intimacy involves more than one person, simply changing your perspective and response to any given situation can make a world of difference to the relationship. If you can’t first tear down the walls that keep you from experiencing intimacy, it really doesn’t matter what your partner does — it will never be enough.
Generally, families of addicts feel alone, empty, depressed, resentful, or angry, this is a sign there are unresolved underlying issues. As cliché as it sounds, we do have to accept ourselves first before we can accept another person. Intimacy involves vulnerability and trust. It involves people reaching down into the core of their beings and allowing the other person in with no fear or regret. Intimacy with another person is one of the most rewarding things we will ever experience in life. Given our pasts, this can be a very scary ordeal
You as the counselor must recognize the fear that accompanies the thoughts people have of being open and vulnerable, and you must be ready to understand him or her. You must see how the addicts behavior has caused the feelings the family is having. Initially, You as the counselor must works with them to resolve the pain and hurt from past experiences. This is a very personal and raw aspect of working through what has caused the shut down of emotion.
How do we do this? Open with a question of what they would like to work on Begin with one issue at a time Help them to identify their feelings Have every person be heard about how they feel about the issue Help them express their feelings in healthy ways Help them set one goal for the week to be conscious of Discuss rules of mutual respect for feelings and time outs available to all
Dealing with Anger Many families have tremendous anger that arises after the fear is acknowledged Like all emotions, anger is a very natural response to a particular situation. Instinctively, we are hardwired to react aggressively when faced with a real or perceived threat. Although healthy and in some cases even crucial to our well being, anger becomes a detrimental force when it develops into uncontrollable rage, hurting those around us, or when it simply controls our lives.
Anger itself is not the problem; it is how we chose to react to the anger that gets us in trouble. Often times we may not even realize we are angry until that pivotal moment when everything around us seems to fade away and all we feel is our heart pounding faster, our blood pressure rising and then, this wild, unrecognizable being seems to take over, doing and saying things we would never say on our worst day. This is the point when anger becomes dangerous.
Any rational thoughts we might have had, left the minute we started seeing red. And even though we consciously know what is happening around us, we feel helpless to stop it. Suddenly, it feels really good to throw anything within reach, lash out at everyone in the vicinity, and scream at the top of your lungs. You don’t care that you resemble a raving lunatic; releasing the pent-up energy is all that matters, even if people you love and care about get hurt. Then, when it’s all over, the guilt sets in as the results of your actions become known causing yet more unresolved anger. It is a never-ending cycle.
Healthy ways to process Identify feelings of anger Discuss appropriate ways to release the feelings Physical exertion helps tremendously (thus DV situations) Create a plan to help identify and move into appropriate communication then action
Boundaries Allow the family to have an open discussion about desired behaviors Discuss appropriate reactions to behaviors Help them set time outs and words to agree upon as triggers to create boundaries Come to agreement that when these triggers are used that all will cooperate