Do you have trouble "getting along" with your family?
Do you want to manage your emotions and solve relationship issues?
Where are you now?
We are often asked to mediate family conflicts and end quarrels
between relatives. To offer this service yourself, you would need
good systemic diagnosis skills, solid coaching or counseling skills,
quality communication skills ... and experience.
Individual coaching is good preparation for the more
complex couple counseling - and coaching couples is good
preparation for the more demanding family coaching.
If you weren't born with huge experience and
we can coach or mentor you.
The first goal is
to stay resourceful as you assess families.
We use an effective flowchart for this.
Systemic Therapy Flowchart . More on
Family Coaching & Family Context
A human system is made up of individual people,
bonded together by
emotions and rules, with goals that individuals cannot accomplish alone.
Most family systems are groups
of biologically related people who
maintain stability and cohesion by predictable
Relationships problems occur in a context and the context is always
part of a problem. Of all the hurts a family can inflict on each other, few
are so hard to remedy as those caused by a shared desire for stability. See
Family Systems Theory for more.
For example, if a sick child motivates family members to
avoid conflict until the child's health improves - then
that child's sickness may be part of that family's way to maintain
stability, and may be duplicated through the generations. We sometimes
call this family karma. The momentum of family habits and
traditions can be very strong.
After diagnosis, our first step is usually to help families
solve whatever stops them solving their own problems. Individual
coaching for troubled children (or for one
parent) is unlikely to change family dynamics. Our couple counseling helps
partners resolve partnership conflicts and our family coaching focuses on
Systemic Diagnosis . Emotional Incest
. Family Coaching
Where do changes start?
We usually meet one or both parents for
individual meetings. Occasionally, this triggers whole family changes. For example if a family victim
ceases being a victim - other family members may quickly change their behavior.
Then, we invite the parents for couple counseling, to help
the parents resolve their conflicts with each other. (Objections often
arise when the parents were raised in families in which
interpersonal conflicts were secret and could not be discussed).
Mother - Son Bonds
. Father - Daughter Bonds
. Sexual Affairs
Shhh! Don't tell. It's our secret.
Family secrets threaten families. The threat is
that revealing family secrets might anger, depress or alienate
family members. Family secrets often include or imply threats,
e.g. "If you tell, BAD THINGS will happen".
Hidden debts, abuse, lost lovers, mental illness
and addictions may be burned into a family's emotional reality. Family
histories may be edited and changed, with evasion and dishonesty being
normal. Children of such families often learn that some problems
should not to be named, let alone discussed.
Sometimes, "Don't tell your Mom"
attempts to hide emotional incest.
Sometimes, "Don't tell your Dad" tries to conceal
parental alienation. While
the initial exposure of family secrets can trigger negative emotions,
it is usually healthier for a family to expose their secrets and discuss them.
I always felt burdened by family secrets. When I
was 17 I started digging into them. I discovered that my sister is
not my sister and that my cousin is my sister, but I don't know whether
to tell them. My father begged me, "Please don't".
Note: During our online sessions he decided to tell his
father that if his sister or
cousin enquires into their own origins,
then will he tell them what he knows.
(He said later that he felt much lighter following this decision).
Some children are raised by fathers who wrongly
believe that they are the children’s genetic fathers. The mothers often carry the
burden of such secrets, fearing the consequences of exposure. This, like
other family secrets, can create unhealthy bonds and suffering.
(In this case, mothers may bond to or reject their special children -
especially if a child resembles a past lover.)
While shared secrets can cement special friends
... for every pair of special friends, there are people who feel left out,
rejected and lonely. Shared secrets are a part of many relationships, but some
secrets cause lasting suffering. We often help people resolve the consequences of
Systemic Family Coaching & Counseling
People with secrets and hidden agendas may wonder how
much of their personal truths they're willing to share. Even if they
recognize our skill and experience - they may be scared that our coaching
or counseling will expose something that they prefer to keep hidden. What
resources do they need to cope with exposure?
People who don't trust us may not talk about their
problems. They will more likely hide their negative
emotions and relationship problems.
Family Coaching Flowchart .
Parent Coaching . Parental Alienation
Wishes & Demands
We distinguish between wishes and demands.
Wishes are what people hope for - yet are not essential to staying
Demands are usually requirements for a relationship to
continue. Many people have difficulty communicating their demands.
- Demands are not negotiable
- Demands are behavioral events, not
- Demands can be met or not. There is rarely much room for doubt
- Demands have power; they are core to who you are and what you
Goalwork . Double Wishes
Questions for Family Meetings
Family members are often most alive and involved when they
are solving family problems ... or when they are fighting.
A common family concern is the debt of children to their parents. Children cannot repay their parents for their lives
- they may try
to, but they can't. We perceive that any debt owed to the parents can be collected
by their own children, who in turn pass this bond to the next generation.
Individual Coaching within Family Coaching
Our family coaching includes resolving individual and relationship
problems. Resolving the consequences of a suicide, for example, may be a family
issue, while helping a couple solve relationship conflicts is more often
Contact us to resolve negative emotions and family
Online Family Coaching,
Counseling & Systemic Therapy
I thought you were just
another therapist - but you were not just. Not even. Not only.
Plagiarism is theft.
Copyright © Martyn Carruthers, 2005-2018
All rights reserved.