Do you want to change your family patterns and
enjoy healthy relationships?
Where are you now?
Do you want to solve family conflicts
and quarrels? To do this, you will need mature communication
training, good relationship diagnosis
skills - and individual, couple and family coaching experience - or a good
Individual coaching can prepare you for the more
complex couple counseling - and coaching couples is good preparation
for the more demanding family therapy.
Systemic Family Therapy - Flowchart
. More on Family Coaching
Systemic Psychology & Families
What is a family system? One definition is an entity of
semi-independent people who maintain equilibrium by predictable actions.
A sick child, for example, may hold a family together;
the family may avoid further conflict until the child's health improves.
Family arguments can seriously damage children’s mental
health later in life. If arguments are frequent as children are growing,
there is a dramatic risk that they will suffer mental health problems in
A team of psychiatrists and sociologists followed 346 boys and girls from
similar socio-economic backgrounds in New England, starting from age 5. At
age 15, about half reported that the number of arguments with their parents
and between their parents had increased, and 15 years later these people
were more than three times as likely as the others to suffer from major
depression, or indulge in drug or alcohol abuse.
They were three times as likely to engage in antisocial behaviour, and more
than twice as likely to be unemployed.
(Journal of American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry , DOI:
We help families solve whatever stops them solving their own
problems. We help partners manage partnership issues.
If children are deeply troubled, individual coaching for them or for their
parents may not manage whole-family dynamics.
. Emotional Incest
. Family Coaching
In many cultures, there is little equal communication between parents and
children. Parents tell children, even adult children, what to do, and it's hard
for children to assert their independence. Few parents care why their
children don't do as they are told.
My father told me to get married. It could
be to anyone.
Even if I divorce later. He loses face if he has an unmarried daughter.
Mother - Son Bonds
. Father - Daughter Bonds
. Sexual Affairs
In the West, we usually meet each parent first - alone - for
individual sessions. Sometimes this is enough for a whole family to change. If a
parent ceases to act like a victim or a victimizer -
everybody else will change their roles.
We then invite partners
for couple counseling. Often, our systemic counseling is enough for
partners to build a healthier family.
Family Changework: First Sessions
The family may be wary. They may have hidden
agendas and they're wondering how much of their truths they're
willing to share. Even if they perceive you as an expert - they may fear that you will expose something that they prefer to keep hidden.
And if they don't trust you - they may not show you their stuff. They
may hide their, compulsions, relationship habits and transference loops
- until they are confident that you can help them through any
A good way to start is to describe your knowledge of their situation
... "First your mother phoned me and said that nobody is happy here.
Then ... "
Family Coaching Flowchart .
Parent Coaching . Parental Alienation
Wishes & Requirements
Distinguish between wishes and requirements. Wishes are what we hope for -
but are not essential.
Requirements are essential demands for a relationship to continue.
- Requirements are not negotiable.
- Requirements can be met or not. There is little room for doubt.
- Requirements have power; they are core to
who you are and what you do.
Goalwork . Double Wishes
Questions for Family Discussions
Families are often most alive when
they are solving family problems ... or fighting.
Consider the debt of children to their parents. We
believe that children cannot repay their parents for their lives. Any debt owed to the parents can be collected by their
own children, who hand it on to the next generation.
In a family, when you give more than you get, you are enriched.
We encourage family members to discuss their needs ...
- What are my needs? Are my needs fulfilled?
- What can I do if my known needs are not fulfilled?
- How do I communicate my needs? How else can
- What are my responsibilities? How do I know
when I have fulfilled them?
If external problems are not exposed - you can volunteer
to be a problem. You can provoke the family into discussing how
they can best deal with you!
Provocation & Provocative Coaching
A sense of entitlement may lead to
children who are not motivated to learn, earn or delay gratification.
It is becoming a core problem in Western countries.
Entitlement is a product of societies
where wants are confused with needs and where people believe that
they somehow deserve what other people have.
Consider the consequences. If you give in to every
desire that your children express, you nurture a sense of
entitlement which will likely lead to predictable problems
when they are older.
You may want to give your children what you lacked
as a child, or what the marketing proclaims is good for them. Be mindful
of the consequences to your children. What will they
expect when they are teenagers and adults? How will they
react when the "world" is not as generous as you are?
We help parents say “No”, and to
give their children what is good for the family.
Embedded Individual Coaching
During family coaching, some issues will be individual issues
and others will be relationship issues. Both types of issues can
be solved with the family watching, or privately, depending on the
wishes of the family. Resolving the consequences of an ancestral
suicide or an abortion, for example, may be whole-family issues,
while coaching a couple to improve their relationship is more
We also offer our couple counseling
for resolving other relationship issues ... for example sibling-sibling or
Individual Coaching Flowchart
Much of our family homework concerns family members observing, recognizing and
dissolving transference loops and/or finding appropriate role models for
certain tasks or for solving specific issues.
Contact us to manage emotions and solve relationship problems.
Online Coaching, Counseling & Soulwork 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.