Family Conflict and Severance

Family conflict is one of the most stressful and complicated areas of life. We are often faced with the difficult decision of creating distance from a family member or even cutting ties for the sake of our own well-being. Going through a family conflict, whether that involves immediate family, in-laws, or a spouse also means that our personal narrative is also being shaped by biological, social or cultural, and familial expectations.

 

As a narrative therapist, my goal is to help you personally separate from the conflict, identify your own values and what is at stake, and create agency to help you make the best decisions for yourself and your life. To this end, I may ask you to consider the following:

  • How is this relationship having a positive or negative influence on your life?

  • Were there ever moments that you did not experience the relationship this way?

  • How do you perceive your responsibilities to your family members?

  • What are your core values related to family? 

  • Are any of your personal values being compromised in this relationship?

  • What is missing from the relationship?

  • What would you lose if you severed ties? 

  • How do your values align with your family dynamic?

In my own family, I have seen conflict between family members in a close-up and heart-wrenching way. I have also had to make personal decisions to severe ties from family members whom I found to be a negative and unsupportive influence. These choices were not made easily and I had to deconstruct my own notions of what "family" means to me, what I value, and the ways that I personally choose to show up for myself and my life. 

I understand the pain of these circumstances and would welcome you to a session where you could explore the many emotions and varied stories around family relationships. I believe that having a clearer sense of our narrative and potentially shifting towards preferred and alternative narratives can assist in the transformation of the relationship and personal healing. 

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© 2020 by Kate Marlena