A blended family is a term used to name a family that remarries another. This is often called “stepfamily” too. It can get complicated when you are already familiar with your old family, and you have to adjust to a new one. Do not think of this as something that you will never get past within your life. Everything takes time, and so is adjusting to your new family. By applying some changes in your blended family, as suggested by therapists, everything will work out well with effort.
If there are issues between partners or family members in a blended family, you can resort to therapy. There are types of treatment that you can do to help you cope up and understand each other. It may be couples therapy, family therapy, or a one-on-one session with the therapist so they can help you address the issues in your blended family life.
A secure attachment is the foundation of health for children and adults in psychology research, but there is more to the model of attachment than what is depicted in our culture and Instagram posts with the hashtag #attachmentparenting (numbering 340,000 posts on Instagram). — Amy Quinn, MA, MS, LMFT
How Can Your Family Benefit From Therapy
Therapy can guide you with things you should sort out first. Couples therapy can help parents figure out their roles and responsibilities in their blended family. They can be assisted on how to control discipline, parenting, and finances, so they both get equal parts in their family.
Children can express their worries or concerns in family therapy. They are the ones who are most affected by this change. Treatment will undoubtedly help you communicate with your children well. With that, just reassure them always that they are loved unconditionally even if there are significant family changes.
Types Of Therapy For Blended Families
There are several approaches to therapies for blended families. Here are some that would genuinely help you:
Family Therapy. Families can attend such treatment as a group, or they can have separate therapy sessions for children and another for the parents. This way, it will not be overwhelming, and you can get to know how therapy works gradually.
Family Systems Therapy. Since a family is a system, this approach is looking into how the family interacts in a therapy session, in and outside of therapy. Therapists will understand how the particular family system works, where the problem focuses on, and how they resolve issues. They can now get help in the areas where there is a tension so that the whole family can function as one.
Reassure your children that they will always have both parents’ love and explain how things will work. — Meri Wallace LCSW
Family Attachment Narrative Therapy. This type of therapy lets you, as a family, attend a therapy session every day for two weeks. You get assisted on how you can talk to your child, form a bond, and be comfortable with each other, especially if you are a stepparent.
Family Narrative Therapy. This therapy separates a person from the problem. It may be a child that has some anger issues toward a parent. They will then be allowed to talk about their feelings and where their emotions are coming from until they are ready to have proper communication with their parents.
Attachment-Based Family Therapy. This type of therapy is also aligned with attachment therapy. This helps children, especially teens, in blended families, share their emotions and thoughts. If their relationship is affected by outside forces, then they will need to be detached from that and have help facing the problem.
Tips To Help You Transition In A Blended Family
Make family therapy an option. It is not just for the mentally sick, but it could be a tool to help you regain your relationship with your family. It will not be embarrassing to do something that will help heal all the issues in your family.
Planning. Before you start considering a blended family, you must plan first. You can talk to your partner and your children so they could understand the situation and it can also help you avoid future problems.
Keep in mind the non-residential parent. This is important, especially if your children would want to see their other parent. Explain this to your partner and tell your partner that you will still have to communicate with your ex. It is for the sake of your children, and your partner could also do the same.
Parents can learn how to be attuned to their child’s emotional state and respond appropriately. What creates trauma is a sense of isolation. — Vikki Stark M.S.W., M.F.T.
Always pay attention to the children. It is better to reassure your children consistently. They may worry about their stepparent or be concerned that they will be loved less because of this new family. They only need to be reassured that no matter what, they will be loved and that you will answer any questions they have with all honesty.
These can surely help you keep in check your family, and if they are ready for the transition, they are about to go through. It will be hard at first, but if you are communicating well, and you are always assuring your family that they will always be loved and accepted, the transition will go smoothly. Always consider therapy if you cannot control issues so that you get the professional help that you and your family needs.