How Family Therapy Counselling can help Stepfamilies

Family Therapy Counselling & Relationships

In a world rich with culture and vibrant family dynamics, feeling a sense of belonging within a harmonious family unit, remains one of the strongest innate, human desires. It is incredibly natural for families, including stepfamilies formed of all shapes and sizes, to experience challenges in learning how to relate to one another.

Stepfamilies emerge in a time of new growth, sometimes following a bereavement or separation. There can often be difficulties in adjusting to the transition, just as it is not easy for a seedling sprouting through the soil and gravel to begin its journey. Yet this process is necessary, in order for it to blossom into a flower.

Where can I Find Experienced Family Therapy Counselling?

Family Therapy Counselling is available at Leone centre and can help stepfamilies to enhance and establish bonds, identify needs and boundaries within the family, build inter-relationship bridges, resolve conflicts, develop healthy communication styles and more. Our experienced therapists remain neutral – we don’t take sides. We help by identifying and assessing behavioural patterns within the family and through encouraging fair, balanced communication between family members.

“Family is family, and is not determined by marriage certificates, divorce papers, and adoption documents. Families are made in the heart.” – Author of the sun is snowing, C. JoyBell C.

Stepfamilies and Trust

All relationships orbit around a core of trust, the more we trust someone the more open and authentic we tend to be, which leads to greater levels of joy and life satisfaction. Creating trust between members in a stepfamily, may come with the added obstacle of the trust having been damaged in the family prior to this new one. Therefore, things can start off on a rocky foundation, especially for children, who may be grieving their original family unit. Its important to apply tender patience to trust building and allow it time to grow organically.

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On the note of authenticity and trust, children generally have a heightened radar and can sniff out when someone is putting on an act. As a step parent, it can be tempting to overextend your efforts to build a relationship. The most effective and sustainable way of building trust involves vulnerability, which means being compassionately honest with yourself and the family.

Every Family is different

Devoting time in getting to know the characters within the family, can provide an opportunity to learn about boundaries, new routines and ways of being. It may be that the stepchildren are tasked with learning how to share the use of certain rooms in the household, or to accept contrasting interests or tastes in music.

Adjusting to the pre-existing bonds between parent and child can be difficult for the step parent, feelings of resentment may surface. This is nothing to be ashamed of or to reject, it is an understandable human emotion. When there is a fertile environment for open communication, any fears or resentments can be acknowledged and worked on.

Maintaining peace within any family is no easy job and stepfamilies can come with extra pressure. However, experience of dealing with change and the potential for deepening levels of compassion from the hardship, can result in stepfamilies becoming brilliantly resourced in healthy relating. This empowering groundwork is hugely beneficial throughout all areas of life.

Another benefit of stepfamilies is the potential growth in a support network from new extended family members, such as cousins and grandparents. Different people will welcome this introduction of new energies in various ways. For some it will enhance their lives greatly, for others it could be overwhelming.

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Every family situation is unique and complex. Family Therapy counselling can help stepfamilies to manage the complexities of the relationships, in an unbiased way, that gives space for all voices to be heard. Ultimately, pain needs to be witnessed so that it can be moved.

Thankfully, increased awareness of mental health issues in the global scope, has brought about a growing understanding of the value of counselling, support and therapy of all kinds. Leone centre offers flexible family therapy at all stages, including pre-stepfamily counselling, at the birth of the stepfamily and throughout the different cycles. The objectives of family therapy counselling include: improving communication, solving family problems and understanding how to work through special situations.

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