Therapy Blog for Orem, Spanish Fork & South Jordan

Family Counseling – Adolescents And Blended Families

family counselingIf you have ever thought about attending family counseling, you are not alone. Family counseling is becoming more accepted in Utah as a way to work through problems. Although there are still stigma’s related to going to counseling, many more people are open to trying it (Related Article: Stigma’s – Counseling For Mental Health Problems In Utah). 


Here are a few common issues that clients come into family therapy for here in Utah. 


Family Therapy With Adolescents


Trouble with your teenagers is a common problem clients come into family counseling to get help for. This is a time when your growing children are trying to find out who they are where they also start challenging you in the process. It can be frustrating for you to see them change from that loving, sweet, obedient child into one who pushes against you and doesn’t seem to want to be around you. Parenting an adolescent isn’t intuitive and can be difficult. 


Here are a few things you can consider when having problems with your adolescents. 


First, adolescents thrive in structure at the same time they push against it (Related Article: Parenting Adolescents 101: Adolescents Thrive In Structure And Push Against It). They might not want rules, but struggle without them. Also, they might not want you to follow up on them and ask them about their night, but become disconnected and struggle without it. So, be involved. Make sure you show them love through setting boundaries and asking them about their life. This will be difficult and also will help them feel loved and close to you.


Second, know that your role as a parent is going to change as they grow older. They are learning how to become their own man or woman and often struggle to know how they can fit into a group while doing that (Related Article: Family Therapy – How To Create A Stronger Family). You are also struggling to figure out how to parent them differently as they are 15 versus 5 years old. You are still obviously involved, however it takes a different approach.


Third, make sure your marriage is good. When you struggle with adolescents, your marriage can surfer as well. Take the time you and your spouse need to work on yourselves. Connect in deliberate ways so that you are being fulfilled as well. Without a strong marriage, parenting adolescents will be very difficult. 


Family Therapy With Step-Families


Step-family problems are a common difficulty we see in family counseling in Utah. When you blend families, you bring their issues and yours. Trying to blend two different cultures (every family is its own culture) can be painful and hard. 


Here are a few things to consider when struggling to blend step-families.


First, it’s a deliberate process. It won’t just work itself out because you and your new spouse love each other. You will need to approach each one of your children specifically to help them transition to a new culture and family setting. Talking with the family as a whole about how you are trying to bring your families together and let them talk about what it’s like for them, for example. 


Second, hold onto traditions and ways of living from both families as you blend. You don’t need to recreate completely new traditions or rituals. It’s important to honor what you already have on both sides. If you need help knowing which ones to hold onto, ask your children. They will tell you what they like and want to keep doing. 


Third, know that it will take time. Blending step-families is difficult and a process. It will take months and years to work through some of the difficult aspects of this task. Be patient as your children struggle with you to figure it out. 


Try family counseling to help with adolescent problems and step-family issues. Spanish Fork, Orem, American Fork and South Jordan. 


Written by Triston Morgan, PhD, Utah Marriage and Family Therapist


Utah Therapy


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