What are blended families and how can counselling support my family?
Enhance the bond of your blended family with the support of Kylie Lepri Counselling
In today’s society, blended families are a common yet little-supported family structure. While blended families can bring joy, love, and growth, they can also pose distinct challenges to the family dynamic.
At Kylie Lepri Counselling, we understand that blending two families can be a challenging experience for all involved. We have compiled helpful information about some of the obstacles blended families face, and how counselling can overcome them.
What is a blended family?
A blended family is similar to a step-family in describing two individuals in a committed relationship who live together, with one or both bringing children from a prior relationship into the home. This creates a family unit where each adult becomes a step-parent and their children become step-siblings. However, what sets a blended family apart from a step-family is that the couple will also have a biological or adopted child together, further expanding their merged family structure.
Blended families, like all families may encounter a range of obstacles that can affect their relationships and overall welfare. Additionally, blended families can experience some unique obstacles, including:
When two families come together, family roles and structures often undergo changes. This can be a significant adjustment for all family members, as previously established roles may need to be modified to include new responsibilities. Children may need time to adapt to the new environment and arrangement, while step-parents need to adjust to their parental duties. This can be particularly challenging when family members hold differing expectations and assumptions about each other.
Step-parents may encounter difficulties in developing relationships with their step-children, particularly if the children are resistant to the idea. Children sometimes struggle to accept the changes that come with blending families, creating a barrier between them and their step-parent. Biological parents in blended or step-families may also find it challenging to navigate relationships with both their own children and step-children, resulting in additional strain on everyone.
Effective co-parenting is a crucial component of a healthy family unit. Essential elements of co-parenting typically involve maintaining clear and open communication, aligning parenting styles, and agreeing on methods of discipline. Blended families may encounter challenges when attempting to merge different approaches to parenting. Furthermore, issues related to custody and communication with ex-partners, who may have different parenting expectations, can also complicate co-parenting in blended families.
Conflict is an inevitable part of any family, but in blended families there are specific factors that can exacerbate the situation. These families may experience conflicts between step-siblings, between step-children and step-parents, or even between the parents themselves. The root cause of these conflicts often stem from the family’s unique structure, including adjusting to new environments, roles, and expectations. In addition, conflicts can arise from complicated issues of loyalty, as family members may feel torn between their biological family and the new family structure.
Blended family counselling is a form of therapy that assists families in navigating the merging and evolving of their family structures. The ultimate objective is for all who are willing to participate to learn about communication, adjust to roles and expectations, develop conflict resolution skills, and enhance their family connections. Through counselling, parents and children can gain a better understanding of each other’s viewpoints and work together to establish a strong and united family unit.
At Kylie Lepri Counselling and Psychotherapy, we understand the unique needs of blended families and offer a range of services to support them to build positive relationships, navigate challenges, and build strong and healthy connections. Our specialised team of experienced and compassionate counsellors provide a caring and understanding approach, tailored to meet the individual needs of each family.
Blended family counselling may comprise individual or group sessions, or a combination of both. Our counsellors will collaborate with the family to identify their needs and create a personalised therapeutic plan to address their primary concerns. This may involve conducting separate sessions with parents and children to ensure that all members have the chance to express their thoughts and feelings.
The next step is to contact us for a FREE 15-minute phone consultation. This session is completely free and 100% confidential. During our call, we can discuss your concerns and the best way forward, as well as which one of our counsellors would be the best match for your family situation.
Contact us to make a FREE 15-minute phone consultation. Call us now on 0404 032 636 or book your free phone call online.
If you have been searching for family counselling near me and you are wondering whether family therapy is something you should try, give us a call and we’ll help you decide. If you’re interested in finding out more about family counselling in the Hills District, NSW, you can read our FAQ here.
The team at Kylie Lepri Counselling are all registered Counsellors and Psychotherapists. Located in the Hills District, we specialise in Individual, Relationship and Family therapy. Providing online and in-person support to clients all over Australia. Get Kylie’s FREE e-Book: 5 Proven Strategies to help manage stress today, by joining her newsletter below.