CounselCareCanada Learning Solutions
Education and Training for the World in Which You Practice!
Because they are human, adults and children come to the blended family with numerous losses, which may appear to be significant or insignificant at the time. For children, these can range from loss of frequent contact with the other biological parent and extended family, loss of a cherished family pet, friends, school, and so much more. For adults, these can be less easily identified, and can include loss of dreams, stability, old identity, friends, and so much more. These losses need to be accepted, respected and grieved.
Blended families have no lack of issues to fight about, including those listed below. Generally the degree of fighting is inversely proportional to the lack of discussion about boundaries and rules beforehand, and the pattern of thinking-feeling-behaviour around the issues:
Finances: who spends on what, how much and how often;
Children: who disciplines mine, yours and ours (also related to finances);
Rules and Boundaries: Who gets to do what, when, and why. How consequences are negotiated and perceived degrees of fairness;
Substance use/abuse: Lack of agreement about substances and limit setting;
Division of Labour: Who works inside and out of the home; division of labour established, honoured, and respected;
Responsibilities: for the relationship, the children, other relatives, other obligations.
How Will I Learn It?
Learn valuable skills you can use in other areas of couple therapy as well:
Learn how to use CBT to help couples resolve existing conflicts over finances, child issues, and perceptions about accountability and responsibilities;
Learn how to use CBT to teach couples to work with children and adolescent emotions;
Learn to use CBT to help couples deal with issues when children and adolescents are deemed disrespectful to the new partner;
Learn to use CBT to help couple partners to decrease conflict with "the demon ex";
Learn to use CBT to help couples understand and address issues of unresolved grief in the family;
Learn to use CBT to help couples express specific concerns they may have in becoming blended.
We specialize in online learning in Cognitive Behaviour Therapy for health professionals. We realize that educating professionals in CBT significantly expands the health and wellness resources available to our healthcare clients.
You will work in small collaborative groups within a larger class. In fact, you can register with a group of 6-8 peers and expect to complete the entire program with that same group. Alternately, you can register individually and work with people from across the country and beyond. Your collaborative learning groups will facilitate the development of critical thinking skills, the co-creation of knowledge, meaning, reflection, and transformative learning. Reciprocal scaffolding (Holton and Thomas, 2006) is utilized where collaboratively working groups are provided with opportunities to learn from the experiences and knowledge of each other.
This online program consists of weekly video lectures, weekly discussion, frequent electronic quizzes to keep you on-track, and group Case Studies. Each group will engage in Skype/Adobe Connect meetings on a regular basis.
Holton, D., and Clark, D. (2006). Scaffolding and metacognition. International Journal of Mathematical Education in Science and Technology, 37, 127-143.
Program Pre-Approved by the Canadian Counselling & Psychotherapy Association for 50 Credit Hours
Event Code 64931047
Pre-Approved by the Canadian Addiction Counsellors Certification Federation for 39 CORE CEU Hours
January Intake (Registering Now)
January 29, 2018 to April 27, 2018.
$1075 +HST: Early Bird Discount ($75) for Registration and payment before December 15, 2017
Registration Deadline: January 12, 2018
Using Cognitive BehaviourTherapy in Preparing Couples for Committed Blended Relationships
Help Blending Couples Create a New Manifesto
That they will critically examine their spoken and unspoken expectations for the blended relationship;
That they will recognize the symptoms of Scapegoating and Demonizing and resolve not to engage in either;
That they can likely begin to see each other in a very different way when viewed through the lenses of "Mandy's Dad" and "Jason's Mom";
That conflict and power struggles will ensue; it will not be the conflict itself, but rather the way they will deal with this conflict, that will determine the success of their blended relationship;
That people earn the respect of others; solid relationship are respectful, just, as well as caring;
That unresolved issues do not 'just go away'; families get stuck in certain areas, and end up having the same arguments (often disguised as other arguments) 'over and over again' for decades;
That family life is messy; with blended families expect to have a proportional amount of mess;
That human beings (adults and children) require attention, affection, and appreciation on a regular basis. And more...
This course draws on Dr. James Bray's longitudinal 9-year landmark study on what causes blended families to fail, combines this with the Cognitive Behaviour Model (CBT), and the logical assumption that when we know what can go wrong and know what to do if it does, we create health and strength in families.
In an age of separation and divorce, we see new hope all around us in the faces of those who still believe it is possible, not only to come together in new relationships, but to do so with two sets of children attached! Many of those who have lived in previous conflicted relationships believe that coming together with their new spouse (who may also be coming from a conflicted relationship) will work because 'we love each other so much'! Many do not understand that the same patterns of thinking-feeling-behaviour that contributed to conflict in the previous relationships are transferred to the new relationships. This time around, these same patterns of thinking-feeling-behaviour can become triggered more quickly and more extensively by the normal complexities, challenges, and frustrations of blended family life. This course is designed to help professionals prepare couples for blended living.
Our automatic thoughts are the first thoughts that go through our mind in response to an event or situation. They affect emotions (we feel sad or upset) and behaviors (we may cry or become angry). It is often not even considered that these are 'our' thoughts, and not necessarily the result of what someone else has said or done to offend us. Reflecting on automatic thoughts is a valuable exercise in almost any situation, and can be perhaps the most important tool one can take into a blended family, and save numerous arguments. We also carry around beliefs that lie just under the surface and influence our automatic thoughts. Learning more about these intermediate beliefs can be the first step in moving toward positive change. These intermediate beliefs are expectations and assumptions we have about ourselves, others, and situations. "Children should not answer back" is an intermediate belief, as is "people around here have to pay their own way". These rules and guidelines may work very well if we are living alone, but can cause difficulties when living with a group of people such as blended family. Cognitive Behaviour Therapy helps people look at automatic thoughts and intermediate beliefs and how they impact behaviour, and can be beneficial in helping two families blend successfully.
Presence of Scapegoating and Demonizing: Do particular children become the focus for tension in the home; do they become the scapegoated or demonized child; are ex-spouses 'demonized' in front of their children; Are certain children favoured over others;
Discipline Problems: Has one or more child become a discipline problem;
Forced Friendships: Are children expected to like each other right away and never disagree; Do step-sibling disagreements become the focus of parental attention;
Custody and Court: Are the words 'court' and lawyer' used frequently; Do parents speak through lawyers and not directly to one another; Are custody and visitation tense subjects.
Attachment and Emotions: Do partners and children feel free to be in contact with people from their 'past lives'; does jealousy interfere with a healthy expression of emotion for 'other parents' and grand-parents, extended family and past friends; Do children feel that they cannot express open loyalty to the other biological parent;
Expression of Emotion: Are family members free to express a healthy range of emotions; can they disagree without causing a strong reaction from an adult; Are children developing fears and expressions of guilt; Are there open expressions of aggression against ex-partners.
Learn to engage couple in Myth-Busting. Help them bust the following myths, and the sooner the better:
Myth: They, (and their children), will neatly arrange into expected roles, and that attachments will automatically form;
Myth: The new partner is the father, or mother, of their children. This position puts that adult in a position where they will almost always fail. Both adults and children need time to establish a connection, and children need to be allowed to feel and express loyalty to the absent parent;
Myth: The new parent should discipline and advise their children. This role belongs to the biological parent until such a time when the bond between new partner and child is strong enough to maintain partner as disciplinarian;
Myth: Children should transfer loyalty from their absent parent to the new partner. Even when children have not been treated well by their biological parents, it is essential that they be allowed to maintain loyalty as long as they need to. Loyalty conflicts are common, and quite destructive to children;
Myth: We should be strong enough to deal with our own problems. In fact, blended families are generally quite vulnerable, and many need some kind of professional help from professionals trained to work with the complexities of blended family living .