We can’t get away from the fact that we all start and live in families. They come in all shapes and sizes. It is normal to disagree with each other from time to time, occasional conflict is part of life.
Conflict can happen when family members have different views or beliefs that clash. You may have different parenting styles, this leads to misunderstandings and conflict, you may be separating or divorcing. Ongoing exposure to the conflict can be stressful and damaging to relationships especially to children, it causes emotional harm.
Common Causes of Conflict
- Learning to live as a new couple
- Birth of a baby
- Birth of other children
- A child going to school
- A child becoming a young person
- A young person becoming an adult.
Each of these stages can create new and different stresses and potential conflict.
Changes in the family situation can also take a toll on the family and contribute to conflict. This may include events such as:
- Moving to a new house or country
- Travelling long distances to work
- Change in financial circumstances.
- Separation and Divorce
What is Support is there?
You can see members together, Family counseling involves working with various members of the family to bring about positive change; the focus is on the interaction between family members rather than within an individual. Often several members of the family meet together, although not everyone has to be involved if they do not wish to be. It focuses on the strengths of each member of the family. It enables family members, couples and others who care about each other to express and explore thoughts and emotions safely, to understand each other’s experiences and views, appreciate each other’s needs, build on strengths and make useful changes in their relationships and their lives. In divorce or separation, this is not possible due to high levels of conflict being too high or a partner is abusive. It has to be a safe space for everyone
I am a ‘systemic practitioner’ (I’ve completed many other pieces of training too) this refers to a Clinician who has completed Family and Systemic Psychotherapy to intermediate level. I am a member of the Association of Family Therapy ( AFT) Systemic practice underpins many important developments in services and training in public, non-statutory and independent services in the UK. See About AFT for further details of systemic practice in action.
Conflict can escalate when the people involved are too angry to listen to each other. Misunderstandings fuel arguments. Suggestions include:
- Try to stay calm.
- Try to put emotions aside.
- Don’t interrupt the other person while they are speaking.
- Actively listen to what they are saying and what they mean.
- Check that you understand them by asking questions.
- Communicate your side of the story clearly and honestly.
- Resist the urge to bring up other unresolved but unrelated issues.
If you feel that there is Domestic Abuse, and your partner may be controlling contact Women’s Aid: