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Every Family Has Its Problems, This Is How Some Stick Together No Matter What

Every Family Has Its Problems, This Is How Some Stick Together No Matter What

Families are meant to be there with you through thick and thin. They are supposed to pick you up when you fall down, nudge you to the right direction when you are lost and misguided and correct you when you are mistaken and short-sighted but what happens when you are in a war with the ones you called family? Do you go your separate ways or do you make it work?

Before we make any hasty decisions and come to the conclusion, let’s analyze what a family conflict is.[1]

Family conflict is a struggle or discord among the members of a family, whether it is between the parents or parent and child or between siblings. It is caused due to many reasons. It might be caused by financial problems; when we can’t pay bills. The other reasons might be a rivalry between the siblings, due to different sets of beliefs and viewpoints and poor communication in the family.

Whatever the causes and reasons, family conflicts take away a sense of security and belongings from a person and if not resolved, it will result in breaking of the family or even criminal activities at worst.

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Let’s go in depth about the different types of family conflicts.[2]

1. Parental Conflict

It occurs when a husband and his wife are in constant disagreement with each other. This creates a hostile environment, which will ultimately harm socializing aspects of the child as a child coming from a high conflict background can’t socialize with his/her counterparts and is more prone to have a conflict with others. This usually results in the divorce of husband and wife.

2. Parent-child Conflict

It occurs when the parents don’t agree with the viewpoint of children or vice-versa. It is primarily caused due to generation gaps and controlling behavior of certain family members. It leads to the separation of a child from family.

3. Sibling Conflict

It occurs among the children of a family and may result in breaking of the family.

So, what shall we do when there is conflict between the family members? Shall we quit, give up on each other and stop being families? Or we work towards resolving whatever the issue that is causing the conflict?

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If you want to resolve a family conflict, then you should know about family counseling.

Family counseling falls under the Family Act, it helps families with relationship problems and manages the issues concerning the family and children during marriage, divorce, and separation. It may also be about the grave feelings, living arrangements, financial issues, and issues regarding children.

Family counselors are trained individuals, who help people solve emotional issues with their family and reach agreement in the case of disagreements.[3] He/she will listen to our problems and help us find effective solutions.

People should go to family counseling whenever there is a source of discontent and disharmony in family or whenever the family is faced with important issues as a unit. It can be after or before or during a marriage, separation, divorce, remarriage or death of a family member. The other scenario might be a case if any of the family members is suffering from physical or mental health problems.

Some of the signs to look for in case you need family counseling are listed below.

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  • Communication breakdown in a family
  • Withdrawal of family members from family events
  • Extreme reactions to little problems
  • Violence upon oneself or family members
  • Change of behavior
  • Substance abuse problems in family

These are telltale signs, if you find above signs, then it’s time to take family counseling.[4]

Even after a separation or divorce, family counseling is still necessary.

Whenever we separate with our partners with some irreconcilable differences, we shouldn’t forget that the separation doesn’t only affect us, they affect the children as well. Therefore, if we seek family counseling, it will help address the needs of children and provide children with the stability they need to flourish in life.

The divorce rate in USA is about 40 to 50 percent among the married couple, which is even more in their subsequent marriage. Homeless and runaway youth primarily identify family conflict as the main reason behind their decision to walk away from their family.[5] Most of these could be avoided if we were willing to see the family counsellors and work to mend our relationships.

For instance, take a case of Jacqueline Mary Ray and Tom Selleck.[6] They were the power couple of Hollywood, however, they split because Tom was obsessed with the role in the series Magnum P.I. This could have been avoided if the couple would have given family counseling a try. In many other notable cases, celebrity couple like Kristen Bell and Dax Shepard, Jessica Simpson and Eric Johnson, Kim Kardashian and Kanye West went to family counseling, which resolved their family conflict and helped them remain as a family even amidst the conflict.

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Remember when we have a conflict in the family next time that blood is thicker than the water and any conflict can be resolved with the help of family counseling.

Featured photo credit: Pexels via static.pexels.com

Reference

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Nabin Paudyal

Co-Founder, Siplikan Media Group

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Last Updated on October 30, 2019

How the Stages of Change Model Helps You Change Your Habits

How the Stages of Change Model Helps You Change Your Habits

Change is tough, there’s no doubt about it. Old habits are hard to shift, and adopting a new lifestyle can feel like an uphill battle!

In this article, you will learn about a simple yet powerful model:

Stages of change model, that explains the science behind personal transformation.

You’ll discover how and why some changes stick whereas others don’t last, and how long it takes to build new habits.

What is the Stages of Change Model?

Developed by researchers J.O. Prochaska and Carlo C. DiClemente over 30 years ago[1] and outlined in their book Changing For Good, the Stages of Change Model, also known as the Transtheoretical Model, was formed as a result of the authors’ research with smokers.

Prochaska and DiClemente were originally interested in the question of why some smokers were able to quit on their own, whereas others required professional help. Their key conclusion was that smokers (or anyone else with a bad habit) quits only when they are ready to do so.

Here’s an illustration done by cartoonist and illustrator Simon Kneebone about the different stages a smoker experiences when they try to quit smoking:

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    The Stages of Change Model looks at how these conscious decisions are made. It emphasizes that change isn’t easy. People can spend a long time stuck in a stage, and some may never reach their goals.[2]

    The model has been applied in the treatment of smoking, alcoholism, and drugs. It is also a useful way of thinking about any bad habit. Social workers, therapists, and psychologists draw on the model to understand their patients’ behaviors, and to explain the change process to the patients themselves.

    The key advantages to the model is that it is simple to understand, is backed by extensive research, and can be applied in many situations.

    The Stages of Change Model is a well-established psychological model that outlines six stages of personal change:

    1. Precontemplation
    2. Contemplation
    3. Determination
    4. Action
    5. Maintenance
    6. Termination

    How are these stages relevant to changing habits?

    To help you visualize the stages of change and how each progresses to the next one, please take a look at this wheel:[3]

      Let’s look at the six stages of change,[4] together with an example that will show you how the model works in practice:

      Stage 1: Precontemplation

      At this stage, an individual does not plan to make any positive changes in the next six months. This may because they are in denial about their problem, feel too overwhelmed to deal with it, or are too discouraged after multiple failed attempts to change.

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      For example, someone may be aware that they need to start exercising, but cannot find the motivation to do so. They might keep thinking about the last time they tried (and failed) to work out regularly. Only when they start to realize the advantages of making a change will they progress to the next stage.

      Stage 2: Contemplation

      At this stage, the individual starts to consider the advantages of changing. They start to acknowledge that altering their habits would probably benefit them, but they spend a lot of time thinking about the downside of doing so. This stage can last for a long time – possibly a year or more.

      You can think of this as the procrastinating stage. For example, an individual begins to seriously consider the benefits of regular exercise, but feels resistant when they think about the time and effort involved. When the person starts putting together a concrete plan for change, they move to the next stage.

      The key to moving from this stage to the next is the transformation of an abstract idea to a belief (e.g. from “Exercise is a good, sensible thing to do” to “I personally value exercise and need to do it.)[5]

      Stage 3: Preparation

      At this point, the person starts to put a plan in place. This stage is brief, lasting a few weeks. For example, they may book a session with a personal trainer and enrol on a nutrition course.

      Someone who drinks to excess may make an appointment with a drug and alcohol counsellor; someone with a tendency to overwork themselves might start planning ways to devise a more realistic schedule.

      Stage 4: Action

      When they have decided on a plan, the individual must then put it into action. This stage typically lasts for several months. In our example, the person would begin attending the gym regularly and overhauling their diet.

      Stage 4 is the stage at which the person’s desire for change becomes noticeable to family and friends. However, in truth, the change process began a long time ago. If someone you know seems to have suddenly changed their habits, it’s probably not so sudden after all! They will have progressed through Stages 1-3 first – you probably just didn’t know about it.

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      Stage 5: Maintenance

      After a few months in the Action stage, the individual will start to think about how they can maintain their changes, and make lifestyle adjustments accordingly. For instance, someone who has adopted the habit of regular workouts and a better diet will be vigilant against old triggers (such as eating junk food during a stressful time at work) and make a conscious decision to protect their new habits.

      Unless someone actively engages with Stage 5, their new habits are liable to come unstuck. Someone who has stuck to their new habits for many months – perhaps a year or longer – may enter Stage 6.

      Maintenance can be challenging because it entails coming up with a new set of habits to lock change in place. For instance, someone who is maintaining their new gym-going habit may have to start improving their budgeting skills in order to continue to afford their gym membership.

      Stage 6: Termination

      Not many people reach this stage, which is characterized by a complete commitment to the new habit and a certainty that they will never go back to their old ways. For example, someone may find it hard to imagine giving up their gym routine, and feel ill at the thought of eating junk food on a regular basis.

      However, for the majority of people, it’s normal to stay in the Maintenance period indefinitely. This is because it takes a long time for a new habit to become so automatic and natural that it sticks forever, with little effort. To use another example, an ex-smoker will often find it hard to resist the temptation to have “just one” cigarette even a year or so after quitting. It can take years for them to truly reach the Termination stage, at which point they are no more likely to smoke than a lifelong non-smoker.

      How long does each stage take?

      You should be aware that some people remain in the same stage for months or even years at a time. Understanding this model will help you be more patient with yourself when making a change. If you try to force yourself to jump from Contemplation to Maintenance, you’ll just end up frustrated. On the other hand, if you take a moment to assess where you are in the change process, you can adapt your approach.

      So if you need to make changes quickly and you are finding it hard to progress to the next stage, it’s probably time to get some professional help or adopt a new approach to forming habits.

      The limitations of this model

      The model is best applied when you decide in advance precisely what you want to achieve, and know exactly how you will measure it (e.g. number of times per week you go to the gym, or number of cigarettes smoked per day). Although the model has proven useful for many people, it does have limitations.

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      Require the ability to set a realistic goal

      For a start, there are no surefire ways of assessing whereabouts in the process you are – you just have to be honest with yourself and use your own judgement. Second, it assumes that you are physically capable of making a change, whereas in fact you might either need to adjust your goals or seek professional help.

      If your goal isn’t realistic, it doesn’t matter whether you follow the stages – you still won’t get results. You need to decide for yourself whether your aims are reasonable.[6]

      Difficult to judge your progress

      The model also assumes that you are able to objectively measure your own successes and failures, which may not always be the case.[7] For instance, let’s suppose that you are trying to get into the habit of counting calories as part of your weight-loss efforts. However, even though you may think that you are recording your intake properly, you might be over or under-estimating.

      Research shows that most people think they are getting enough exercise and eating well, but in actual fact aren’t as healthy as they believe. The model doesn’t take this possibility into account, meaning that you could believe yourself to be in the Action stage yet aren’t seeing results. Therefore, if you are serious about making changes, it may be best to get some expert advice so that you can be sure the changes you are making really will make a positive difference.

      Conclusion

      The Stages Of Change Model can be a wonderful way to understand change in both yourself and others.

      While there’re some limitations in it, the Stages of Change Model helps to visualize how you go through changes so you know what to expect when you’re trying to change a habit or make some great changes in life.

      Start by identifying one of your bad habits. Where are you in the process? What could you do next to move forwards?

      Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

      Reference

      [1] Psych Central: Stages Of Change
      [2] Boston University School Of Public Health: The Transtheoretical Model (Stages Of Change)
      [3] Empowering Change: Stages of Change
      [4] Boston University School Of Public Health: The Transtheoretical Model (Stages Of Change)
      [5] Psychology Today: 5 Steps To Changing Any Behavior
      [6] The Transtheoretical Model: Limitations Of The Transtheoretical Model
      [7] Health Education Research: Transtheoretical Model & Stages Of Change: A Critique

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