Monday, November 23, 2015

Therapy

Blended Family, Step family, Blended Family Therapy, step family therapy, stepmom, step mom
Therapy is another word for counseling; the two words mean the same thing. I know most people think therapy/counseling is for people with a lot of problems, but that is not true. Therapy is for everyone who needs it. Did you know that over 65 percent of Americans are step related and that there are 2,100 blended marriages created every day? That only one-third of the blended marriages actually last. There is a 70 percent chance of divorce within a second marriage and 73 percent chance in a third marriage.  The odds of it being successful are against us.  However, one way to beat the odds is to look into therapy before you get married or at least within the first year of marriage.  If you are in a blended family, you definitely may need it at one point or another.  My suggestion is to get therapy within the first 6 months of the marriage or if you are living together. Getting therapy early on makes a better chance of having it all work together.  Don’t wait until three years later like we did.  I started my own individual therapy about 3 years into my marriage and I am glad I did, however, it was too late.  Meaning I should have started it within the first year of marriage only because being a Stepmom is the hardest thing I have ever done.  Therapy has helped me tremendously with dealing with all of the stress I have faced with the stepchildren and with the drama the biological mother has caused.  It helped me gain insight of who I am as a stepparent and also showed me what I have done wrong in the first 3 years of marriage.  I just wish I knew back then what I know now and then things would have been much different and a lot better. The first three years of a blended family are the hardest and to get through it, it’s best to have support as in other Stepmoms, Stepmom support group and definitely therapy.  Make sure when you do seek therapy you get someone who deals with blended families.  Even seek out support groups for Blended Marriages within in your church; they are starting to form in many churches. And if you don’t have a support group for blended marriages, maybe you might be the one to start it. 

As far as the children and stepchildren go, they might need therapy to and can really benefit from going.  Not all of the children will need therapy, but only the ones that can you tell are struggling with adjusting to the blended family. How can you tell if a child is struggling with fitting into the family?
The signs to look for to know a blended family needs therapy
Here are the signs:
  • Being disrespectful to biological parent and stepparent
  • Not getting along with new step-siblings
  • Tends to want to do things by themselves
  • Grades are suffering in school or other school related problems
  • Not getting along with peers
  • Ignores step siblings and step parent
  • If they stop doing activities they once enjoyed before
  • If they are suffering from depression since remarriage
  • If you know for sure that the child is dealing with PAS (Parent Alienation Syndrome)

For a marriage – Here are some ways to be able to tell if you need marriage therapy:
  • Arguing a lot over the discipline of the children/stepchildren
  • Having trouble communicating about each other's children to one another
  • Disrespecting one another
  • Stress with the Biological Mother, Father or both
  • Stepchildren and biological children are often arguing or fighting
  • Having a hard time establishing boundaries and discipline
  • Having money differences about spending money on the children or stepchildren
  • Lack of communication
  • If either or both of you are depressed
  • Not meeting each or one another’s needs

All of these are just some of the ways to tell if a child needs therapy because they might be struggling with being in a blended family.  Sometimes the marriage struggles, the ways to tell are listed above.  Don’t wait to long to seek help either one can be very serious. Children who get therapy end up fitting into the blended family very well after going to therapy.  Blended marriages do very well after seeking therapy for the issues you may be going through. Don’t forget the first three years of a blended family are the hardest; it takes time for everyone to adjust to a new family dynamic. Don’t do it alone, seek support from others whether it be a support group, friends who are blended, therapy or from church.  Don’t be another statistic; get help if you need it. Become a successful blended family and not another statistic.

19 comments:

  1. i think that most people can benefit from counseling, therapy - whatever it is called....

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  2. Great advice. Sounds like you've learned a lot in your blended family :)

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  3. Pre-emptive therapy is a great idea for so any people! Better to prevent a problem in my opinion

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  4. Wonderful advice, for any family! People are often afraid to seek out counseling, but preventing a problem is better than dealing with it after you've allowed it to explode.

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  5. I didn't know about this. Thanks for sharing the information and your experience. It's really nice to read about things that I have no experience of so I know what to do in the future. I enjoy reading your posts everyday!

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  6. Therapy is so important in relationships. Many people want to give up before trying it. Thanks for sharing and informing others.

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  7. Those statistics are a little frightening. I'm glad people still try though because there are some great successes!

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  8. Counseling or therapy helps a lot. Many relationships thrive because of this.

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  9. Wonderful advice!! Thanks for sharing the information and your experience.

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  10. Therapy is not something to be embarrassed about. To me it states that I really want this. I think it's beautiful and I'm proud to admit therapy has made me see things differently.

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  11. good tips about watching out for warning signs and getting help before the problems become too much of an obstacle to overcome.

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  12. I think the Brady Bunch model made it look easy for TV and in real life dealing with all of those changes and emotions is hard work. Kudos to you for recognizing it and taking action!

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  13. counseling is great for everyone even before any major issues. it's great to talk things out with a third party that isn't involved in the day to day life.

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  14. Great advice. I think counseling or therapy is one way to get what is inside buried out..and by talking it out, things get clearer :) I agree with all the tips on marriage.

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  16. Great advice. My fiance and I have been together 5 years. We're like any couple, we have our ups and downs. We're thinking about going through a marriage counseling class that's made for engaged couples to identify areas where our marriage could be tested and develop communication skills for those touchy areas.

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  17. Great advice, therapy is good for people even if they don't know they need it.

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  18. Nobody should ever feel ashamed to seek help from a counsellor as everyone has struggles throughout life. People also need to be more supportive of one another.

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  19. Such a great advice for man of us & I agree such counselling has a great value in putting together a good relationship back on its path. But I think it is left in how you take that therapy as some might feel it uneasy.

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