Common Challenges of Family Conflict and Estrangement over Christmas

Christmas can be fraught with challenges when living with ongoing family conflict and estrangement. The video below discusses the 5 the most common challenges, which include Guilt and Shame, Chronic Indecision, managing difficult family visits, etc. Finding practical solutions to these can very helpful in creating a sense of autonomy for my clients. Continue reading Common Challenges of Family Conflict and Estrangement over Christmas

Difficult Family Questions over Christmas

As Christmas is so synonymous with family time, those who have a difficult (or no) relationship with their family may also have to deal with uncomfortable questions around if they will be spend time with family during this period. My latest video discusses why these questions are so hard and how scripting basic responses can help deflect the situation and quickly move onto a different … Continue reading Difficult Family Questions over Christmas

Why Parking Family Struggles is Important

Many of my clients have reached out to me because they are at a point where they genuinely don’t know how to move forward. In some cases, they have no desire to reconnect or reconcile with estranged kin, but due to the bonds of family, there is a strong chance they will cross paths again at some point. In other cases, they desperately desire to … Continue reading Why Parking Family Struggles is Important

Learning how to PARK Family Struggles – January Estrangement Clinic

January can be a symbolic time for some to reflect on where they are now and where they would like to be in 12 months. However, for those struggling with family issues, such is the scale and impact of these that it can keep them feeling stuck in their heads and hearts, irrespective of the time of year. And this can then contaminate other areas … Continue reading Learning how to PARK Family Struggles – January Estrangement Clinic

My Journey to Estrangement Publishing

Research, Publishing, and the Importance of Rejections My name is Karl Melvin, and I’m accredited with the IACP. As a therapist, early in my career, I came to specialize in working adults who were struggling with their family in various ways, to the point where the relationship had completely broken down. In 2016, I returned to college to do a Master’s in Counselling and Psychotherapy, … Continue reading My Journey to Estrangement Publishing

Estrangement, Bias and Terrible Advice

I recently posted about the types of therapy biases experienced by the many estranged people I have spoken to, and this is demontrated in this recent agony-aunt style article a frustrated client shared with me. The person writing and her husband are struggling with her husband’s family, using the word ‘abusive’ twice to describe them, as well as other potential terms suggesting abuse, such ‘controlling’ … Continue reading Estrangement, Bias and Terrible Advice

How long are you estranged and why does it matter?

During the process of researching family estrangement, it became clear the current length of time of the family distance was an important component, which determined several key details, such as how comfortable and ready a person was in discussing their situation and how much time they have had to reflect and come up with their own ideas/theories on the family history and dynamic. My latest video below discusses the … Continue reading How long are you estranged and why does it matter?

Estrangement: The nightmare before, during and after Christmas

At this point, I don’t think anyone needs a reminder of how difficult Christmas is for those estranged from family. However, it is worthwhile discussing how exactly this period affects people. Watch this video discussing the most common challenges my clients have to contend with.   Take care Karl Continue reading Estrangement: The nightmare before, during and after Christmas

Christmas, Estrangement and Difficult Questions

Christmas, Estrangement and Difficult QuestionsOne of the hardest social challenges of being estranged is trying to explain the situation to others. There is so much dense history and complex factors which led to the family situation, that it will feel impossible to encompass years of interactions in a few sentences. This might then be compounded with Christmas (and other holiday periods), when you might be … Continue reading Christmas, Estrangement and Difficult Questions

Estrangement, Therapy and Bias

In the last few years, I’ve heard many stories of estranged individuals struggling to find the “right” therapist, having had negative experiences when they reached out to a professional and walked away feeling worse off. This is not true of all therapists, but some of the problems cited included: 1. Reconciliation Bias: Some therapists had an agenda around reconciliation, insisting the client ‘must’ reconnect and … Continue reading Estrangement, Therapy and Bias