Much joy can come from new marriages and new beginnings, but the transitions faced by blended families also tend to be difficult.
As you anticipate a new marriage or adjust to the realities of blending two families together, perhaps you are facing a number of challenges.
Are you struggling to bring two families with different personalities and preferences together?
Do your current spouse and former spouse have trouble getting along? Or, maybe it is the children who are struggling to adjust to a new stepparent or stepsibling.
Is the stress and pain of all these adjustments and potential conflict bringing unwanted stress, tension or exhaustion to your family relationships?
Blended Families Face Unique Challenges
Second marriages face many of the same problems as first marriages. Individuals who get remarried still have to learn how to communicate, how to work through conflict, and how to build a life together. However, blended families face additional challenges, especially when both partners have kids from a previous marriage. Consider some common adjustments blended families face.
- Blended families must work to create a new family identity that brings together aspects of both families.
- The remarried couple must work to clarify boundaries with former spouses and determine how much say new spouses have in parenting decisions.
- Blended families must work through the loss and grief of leaving one family dynamic behind to work on a new family dynamic.
- When each family has children of differing ages, blended families must work hard to meet various developmental needs and ensure that no child feels forgotten.
A Marriage and Family Therapist Can Help
All of these adjustments are common and normal challenges faced by blended families. However, even though they are normal, for many families, it would be a mistake to try and work through them alone. Families often need help from a marriage and family therapist as they work through these transitions. A therapist can help remarried couples navigate the challenges of bringing two families together.
At the Prescott Relationship Center, we have extensive experience providing relationship therapy to blended families. We provide counseling for remarried couples, and in some situations, the family as a whole. We take the time to gain a comprehensive understanding of your family dynamics, including the marriage relationship, parenting relationships, and the complicated relationships that can develop with former spouses and extended family members. The counseling process is designed to help you navigate difficult relational issues, enabling your family to live a healthy life together for years to come.
We Offer Evidence-Based Counseling Practices
Our approach to therapy is grounded in evidence-based counseling practices. The particular form of treatment we use is called Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT). Emotionally Focused Therapy has been supported by decades of research studies to improve the relationships of distressed couples. It has also been used in the context of family therapy to help family members work through conflict.
Emotionally Focused Therapy is highly relevant to the needs of blended families, as it focuses on relational bonds and emotional experiences. One of the primary issues blended families face is how to develop strong and healthy bonds between new family members. Through EFT, family members can learn how to understand and accept each other’s unique emotional experiences and different ways of approaching life. Healthy family dynamics are developed as couples and their children learn how to interact with each other, meet each other’s needs, and bond with one another.
Married couples can benefit from EFT for couples, which is a highly effective form of therapy that focus on the marriage relationship. Research shows that 90% of couples who receive EFT show significant improvements. Depending on the situation, you may also benefit from counseling for the family as a whole. Emotionally Focused Family Therapy focuses on the new blended family, fostering healthy relationships between stepsiblings, stepchildren, and stepparents.
Many Blended Families Seek Counseling
Many blended families are aware that they need help. It is common for couples to seek out counseling prior to a second marriage, and some research suggests that a majority of couples in blended families seek out some form of counseling within the first four years of the marriage. This is good news for blended families. When couples are aware of the potential for problems and seek out proactive help, this builds a strong foundation for the future of the family.
No matter how difficult your situation might seem, we want to help. Research tells us that EFT leads to increased intimacy and higher levels of satisfaction within marriage relationships. We also know that distressed couples who completed EFT are not only less distressed once they finish, but they also maintain these results over time.
Even more encouraging is the fact that EFT tends to yield fast results. You don’t have to be in therapy forever. Couples and families who are focused and motivated often experience significant improvements after 8-10 sessions. In this short amount of time, you, your new spouse, and your new family can learn means of relating that will allow your family to thrive for years to come.
Contact Us Today
We are dedicated to helping couples transform and strengthen their relationships. If you think we would be a good fit for your needs, please do not hesitate to call us today at 928-420-8300. We are happy to answer any questions you might have about our approach to relationship counseling and how we might help you and your spouse.
If you have any fears or concerns about marriage or couples counseling, we encourage you to read our Frequently Asked Questions page. If you have additional concerns, please don’t hesitate to contact us.
Making an appointment is easy–you can call the Prescott Relationship Center at 928-420-8300. After all, if not now, when?Make sure to ask about our discounts for active duty military, veteran and full-time teachers in need.