Adult family work can be the most challenging work we do at the Sydney Couple and Family Specialists. By the time people reach out for help there are usually entrenched patterns of behaviours and years and years of conflict, cut-offs, resentments and in even some cases abuse to deal with.
The risk for this work is that in some cases, poor counselling can make the situation worse for the family. It is vital that adult families seek an experienced Family Counsellor who has training in systemic theory and understands how to contain sessions with adults.
Adult families most frequently come unstuck when they are not able to navigate through major transitions – such as an adult child partnering up and becoming involved with another family (in-laws). Roles change and often expectations aren’t met, creating hurt and resentments.
If you are an adult family who is struggling with relationships, you might be experiencing the following:
- You have recently married into a family and don’t feel respected by them.
- Your new partner does not like your family and you feel caught in the middle of them all.
- Your adult child has recently married (or partnered) with someone who you struggle to get along with and you are not sure how to stay connected to your child going forward.
- You have had conflict with your adult child and have now lost contact with them and perhaps also your grandchildren.
- You are an adult who has been estranged or cut-off from a sibling (or a parent) which has caused a major rift in the family.
- You are an adult child who feels your parents treat you differently to your siblings and in an unfair way.
- You are an adult child who feels resentful and let down by one or both of your parents.
- You are an adult child who has underlying issues from your childhood and wishes to be heard by your parents.
- You are an adult family who frequently get into high conflict which happens when you get together or via text messages, phone calls and social media.
- You are an adult family that would like to learn healthier ways to communicate.
- There is a “problem person” in your family who is causing major stress and you don’t know how to manage their behaviour or how to have healthy contact with them.
- You are an adult child and one or both of your parents have re-married somebody you do not like or get along with.
- You are in a family business and there are personality clashes.
- There has been a death in the family and this has created disputes over estates.
How Family Counselling can help your adult family:
- The Family Therapist will provide a safe space for the family members concerns to be heard and listened to.
- The Family Therapist will provide a space where conflict is managed in the room.
- The Family Therapist can help everyone to communicate in a healthy and non toxic way.
- All family members will be taught how to communicate with each other outside of the sessions.
- Family members will be given direct feedback and advice on how to manage tricky social situations and interactions with other family members.
- The Family Therapist will provide the family with ground rules to help facilitate repair of relationships.
- If there has been a cut-off, the Therapist will provide a process which allows family members to come together and repair their relationship and heal past hurts.
- The Family Therapist will be able to teach your family how healthy family structures work and what changes need to be made when you partner up.
- The Family Therapist can help you communicate hurt and distress about past events that have occurred in the family.
- The Family Therapist will help your family manage a difficult personality and help you identify what you are dealing with and how to respond to that person.
- Family counselling will help you identify where negative behaviours and communication have come from and help you to determine ways to change these intergenerational patterns.
- The Family Therapist will set tasks to help you repair relationships going forward.
- Family Therapy can help adult families understand what has happened to them and to view their problem in a different way.
Don’t live the rest of your life with a painful or unresolved family situation. It’s not too late to change things. Get the support of a qualified and experienced Family Therapist.