“A family resilience approach is a very positive and constructive way that we can use to teach families how to make sense of what has happened and how to move forward, as difficult as that may currently seem to be.” Alison M. Heru, MD
Loss is inevitable. None of us escapes “The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune.” How do we best help families and communities heal from trauma and loss as they respond to persistent life challenges and adversity?
The positive concept of resilience, initially defined as an individual trait, constitutes the ability to withstand and rebound from stressful disruptive crises that interrupt developmental tasks. These include death and other traumatic losses as well as challenging distressing unexpected family transitions such as:
- Separation and divorce
- Chronic, severe and potentially life-shortening illnesses
- Unemployment and financial impoverishment
- Barriers to success for at-risk youth
Many therapists define family resilience as “Strengths Forged through Adversity” and here at MettaMorphosis we focus on three goals:
- Reducing stress and vulnerability
- Fostering healing and growth
- Empowering families to emerge strengthened, more resourceful, and better able to love fully and raise their children well
In focusing systemically on families and communities we embrace the intrinsic value of extended kin and non-digital social networks to meet challenges, make meaning and define a future purpose. The goal is to not just survive but to thrive in the domains of personal well-being, relationships and productivity.
Every “individual” crisis involves the entire family. A person’s death creates an “Emotional Shock Wave” that reverberates throughout the extended family system for many months or years after the salient event. Loss occurs on multiple levels:
- Loss of the physical person
- Loss of relationships
- Loss of family content and structure
- Loss of hopes and dreams for the future
Understanding the interactions between family structure, function and process enhances “the art of the possible,” and furthers dialogue to help families get safely through turbulent waters. Acknowledgement of the reality and shared experience of loss facilitates family reorganization and reinvestment in other relationships and life goals. Focusing on strengths and resource helps families develop the ability to struggle well and empowers families to overcome persistent adversity.
For more information on how Jennifer Sprague or Larry McMechan can help your family learn to cope with the stressful or traumatic events that have shaken your life, please contact us at 705-741-5223 or by email email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org