What Are Resources for Families Going Through Transition?

What Are Resources for Families Going Through Transition?

Navigating family transitions like a move or welcoming a new member can be challenging, so we've gathered insights from therapy professionals to support you. Drawing from the expertise of an Owner and a Founder, our four contributors offer resources ranging from involving a Certified Parenting Coordinator to engaging in structured family therapy.

  • Involve a Certified Parenting Coordinator
  • Incorporate Mindfulness and Fitness
  • Adapt Play-Based Therapy Activities
  • Engage in Structured Family Therapy

Involve a Certified Parenting Coordinator

As a Managing Attorney specializing in family law and mediation, I've seen how crucial emotional support and coping mechanisms are during transitional phases, like a move or a new family addition. One resource I highly recommend is involving a Certified Parenting Coordinator. These professionals help families navigate changes by fostering effective communication and conflict-resolution skills. They can provide tailored strategies that ensure all family members, especially children, adapt smoothly.

In my practice, I've observed the positive impact of utilizing resources like therapy and support groups. For instance, during a challenging child custody case, my client benefited immensely from regular sessions with a family therapist who specialized in transitional phases. This not only helped the parent cope but also provided the child with a safe space to express their feelings, significantly reducing the emotional stress of the transition.

Another invaluable tool is a structured parenting plan, tailored to accommodate the unique needs of the family during transitions. This plan includes clear routines and responsibilities, helping children adjust by providing stability and predictability. For example, in a collaborative divorce I facilitated, the detailed parenting plan played a huge role in easing the children into their new normal, fostering a sense of security and continuity amidst the changes.

Cynthia Hernandez
Cynthia HernandezManaging Attorney, Hernandez Family Law & Mediation

Incorporate Mindfulness and Fitness

As an Institute of Functional Medicine Certified Practitioner and a board-certified Doctor of Osteopathy running my own practice, Erez Functional Medicine, I've found that navigating transitional phases like moving or a new family addition can be significantly less stressful with certain strategies. One highly effective resource I recommend is incorporating mindfulness and stress-management techniques into the family's routine. These tools can help create a calm and centered environment, facilitating smoother transitions.

For instance, guided meditation apps such as Headspace or Calm offer user-friendly programs tailored for all ages. These tools can be especially beneficial during times of change by helping each family member manage stress and maintain emotional balance. I've observed in my practice that families who regularly engage in mindfulness practices report lower anxiety and better communication during significant life changes.

Another concrete strategy is utilizing detoxifying lifestyle practices to create a healthier home environment. Simple changes, such as switching to non-toxic cleaning products and ensuring good nutrition by following a whole foods-based diet, can significantly reduce the stress burden on families. Providing patients with handouts and checklists on reducing toxin exposure and planning healthy meals has shown to bolster their overall well-being, making transitions like moves or new additions less daunting.

Lastly, involving the entire family in activities that promote physical fitness, such as daily walks or family sports outings, can offer both physical and emotional benefits. In my experience, families that stay active together not only build stronger bonds but also experience enhanced mood and resilience. Encouraging regular family exercise can help mitigate the stress associated with major life transitions, providing a supportive and healthy outlet for coping.

Dr. Aaron Erez
Dr. Aaron ErezOwner, Erez Functional Medicine

Adapt Play-Based Therapy Activities

As a physical therapist dedicated to enhancing health and reducing suffering, I find that incorporating structured and engaging routines can be a great resource for families undergoing transitions. For example, play-based therapy activities can be adapted for the home environment to help children cope with changes like moving or welcoming a new sibling. These activities are designed to be engaging and therapeutic, making transitions smoother and less stressful for younger family members.

Active parental involvement is crucial during such times. I always emphasize the importance of parent education and collaboration in setting achievable goals for their child's development. For instance, parents can use targeted exercises for strengthening or balance and coordination activities at home, similar to what we practice in therapy sessions. This continuity can help children feel more secure and maintain their developmental progress despite other changes happening around them.

Another practical approach is to frame transitions around positive and healthy lifestyle changes. For example, setting goals to learn new physical skills like swimming or cycling can facilitate a sense of accomplishment and provide a healthy outlet for managing stress. These activities not only promote physical health but also help in building resilience and self-esteem, qualities that are invaluable during significant life changes.

Lastly, ensuring regular communication within the family can make a significant difference. By keeping everyone informed and aligned, families can navigate transitions more cohesively. I've seen how regular updates and discussions about progress and adjustments can foster a supportive environment where every family member feels included and understood.

Bryan Wright
Bryan WrightCEO, Wright Physical Therapy

Engage in Structured Family Therapy

As a speaker and founder of Stay Here, a mental health organization focused on suicide prevention and mental health education, I've found that transitional phases in families can be particularly challenging. One resource I highly recommend is engaging in Family Therapy. It's incredibly effective in improving communication and understanding among family members, especially during significant changes like a move or the arrival of a new family member.

In my work, I have seen families benefit from the guide 'Family Therapy Can Help: For People in Recovery From Mental Illness or Addiction.' This guide is invaluable in showing how structured therapy sessions can facilitate better communication and provide a safe space for each family member to express their concerns and adapt to new roles. It's not just about addressing immediate change but also fostering long-term emotional resilience.

For example, during a period of family reconstruction and working through grief, incorporating family therapy allowed for a more cohesive transition. The therapy sessions helped the family members reorganize daily routines and responsibilities, making the adjustments smoother and less stressful. I've witnessed this approach significantly improve the mental well-being of families I've worked with, enabling them to navigate transitions with greater ease and support.

Another practical resource is Al-Anon meetings for families dealing with substance abuse issues. These meetings provide a community of support and shared experiences, which can be incredibly grounding during transitional periods. Combining these meetings with regular family therapy can offer a comprehensive support system that addresses both specific family dynamics and broader mental health challenges.

Jacob Coyne
Jacob CoyneFounder, Stay Here

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