You may have heard recently about family income plans as a form of life insurance. In these next few paragraphs, we will aim to explain just what exactly a family income plan, or family income benefit as it is also known, is, and how it may of benefit ti you as a life insurance plan.

First of all it is important to understand the various needs for life insurance and therefore have a greater understanding of were exactly the likes of family income plans fit within good financial planning.

There is generally only a handful of reasons one would have life insurance. The obvious ones are family protection and loans or mortgage protection. Mortgage protection or loan is quite simple you have a liability of a certain amount of money, so best advice dictates that you should insure exactly that amount in the event of death, and if funds allow in the event of a critical illness. Family income benefit does not cater for mortgage or loan protection for reasons that will be later explained.

Protecting your family is where family income benefit comes into play. The basic description of it is that it is there to adequately protect your family financially should you die. In order to meet this need, you first of all need to have a figure in mind. That figure needs to reflect the amount of money you think your family will need to continue to live in the manner to which they are accustomed should you pass away and no longer be able to provide for them.

A lot of people tend to use their incomes as a good benchmark to work from when ascertaining what level of cover they actually need. The reason for this is during life you may support your family to the tune of 25,000 for example, so it is fair to say that in the event you die they would need 25,000 per annum in order to maintain their standard of living.

Before the family income plans existed the only real form of life insurance policy available was in lump sum form. The difficulty with this sort of policy is that you had to work out one lump figure which you felt would be sufficient to protect your family after your death and pay out 25000 per annum. Also, when taking into account the changing rates of inflation and the unpredictable returns on investments, this lump sum figure could be very difficult to calculate. It could, and often did, prove very risky.

Therefore family income benefit was created. This plan basically pays out the amount of money required annually. If your annual salary was 30000, you covered this amount of money so that in the event of your death, the policy pays out 30000 per year.

Another facet called indexation was also introduced in order to make the policy function even more efficiently. Indexation means that the value of the fund would be increased each year to allow for inflation. In this way, no matter how inflation has changed the market, your family would be guaranteed to be adequately provided for. The policy would also continue to rise once it had been paid out, so your family will continue to benefit from this aspect of the plan after your death.

And so, if the sort of protection you need is family protection and you have a salary to protect aswell, which is more often than not the case, you should certainly consider taking out family income benefit. Your family will be adequately provided for, and because of the indexation clause included, you can be safe in the knowledge that your family will also be covered in the case of future inflation. Family income benefit is definitely a god way to go.

Do not force yourself to be around family members who constantly and continuously abuse you, belittle you and make you feel as if you are lower than garbage. While you cannot change our family, you can change the amount of interaction you have with any family member who is treating you less than lovingly. You do not need to be abused anymore than you already have. There is nothing that says you need to live your life in the midst of abuse, bad behaviour and a lack of respect for your health, your life and your healing.

If you find that being around your family or even being in extensive contact with your family puts you right back down into the feelings of low self-esteem, low self-worth, making you feel as if you are not important and that you do not matter, then it is time to take charge of your healing and your life. If you find that you are constantly being thrown back into the feelings of anger and helplessness, then it is time to either limit your contact with your family or remove yourself completely from them until you are stronger within yourself.

It doesn’t matter if others want to think that that is your perception. You did not imagine what happened. Waking up to someone touching you inappropriately, being afraid to talk, waking up to screams of someone being brutally choked or hit is enough to give you lasting nightmares. Your healing is the only thing that matters. For that to happen you need to remove yourself from around family members that constantly ignores your pain and act as if you are their personal punching bag.

Sadly, family members tend to take out their pain, anger and frustrations on the child(ren) that seems to be the weaker link in the family. Granted, what they think is weak is simply that child wanting peace, love and laughter in the house. Growing up in a family dynamic that is filled with domestic violence and sexual abuse is very traumatic and is made worse when a child(ren) are the recipients of the blows from adults who do not know how to handle their pain and even their own abuse.

While there is nothing wrong with understanding the family dynamics you grew up in and how it affected each member of your family, you should not put aside your own pain for the greater good of the family nor should you continue to allow yourself to be their personal punching bag. That is especially important when the main consensus is to not air the family’s dirty laundry. That is exactly the time when you need to address your pain. Hiding the family’s dirty laundry and suffering in silence is not healthy. You cannot be protecting your family while you are suffering in pain and then said family is making you feel worse. Therefore, if your family refuses to deal with what happened, then you need to take the time to heal yourself so that you can live a healthy life.

Being abused in not normal nor is it healthy. There are family members who feel that if they had to put up with it, then so should you. That may make them act as if your health or your life is not important or that you are being selfish. Yes, they will view your taking care of your life as being selfish because you are not or you are no longer being for them. They may not even realize how the abuse they suffered is affecting them. However, once you become aware of what is going on then you can take steps to initiate your healing. That may encourage family members to change their behaviour and to seek help.

However, be prepared for family members to accuse you of lying, that you are making stuff up and to heap a whole lot of vicious criticisms on you. Understand that they may be fighting their own demons and if they were to acknowledge what happened to you then they would have to face their own pain. Getting to the bottom of emotional pain takes a lot of willingness and a whole lot of inner strength.

Regardless of what family members may think of you there comes a time when you need to start concentrating on your healing. The first step after deciding that you are deserving of a better and healthier life is to now remove yourself from your family. You cannot be healing yet still be in the same situation that caused you pain. Do not bottle up your pain that will only cause depression and other health problems. It is okay to be angry with your parents. Their responsibility is to protect you, not to abuse you or to ignore when others have abused you. Be mindful that if you express that anger to your parents they may just ignore you more and accuse you of being an angry, bipolar person. That is their way of getting you to submit to them.

There are some male relatives who will feel that it is okay to treat females as objects and as things to be abused. Stand your ground and do not allow any male relative or even female relatives to put their hand on you or abuse you in other ways. If your family refuses to respect you, then do not be afraid of walking away from them and begin to live your own life powerfully without any abuse. Seek a qualified and trained Therapist who can support you in expressing your anger and help you to dig up the pain out of your system, so you can begin to live a healthy and happy life.

It is understandable to want or to even expect parents to be angry if someone abused you, even if it is the other parent. That is why your pain and anger is quite understandable if you do not get the loving support you were expecting from your parent(s) and the rest of your family. Do not waste the rest of your life trying to get your family to acknowledge your pain and the abuse you suffered. You will only be subjecting yourself to more abuse. Take care of your own life and your healing. Realize that your family may not be ready to be healed or they may feel that there is nothing wrong that it’s just in your head. Bear in mind that may be what they were told by others who do not want to deal with such heavy things or they developed unique ways to help them block out the abuse while it was going on. They may block it out so much that they may start to believe that the abuse never happened. That is their coping mechanism.

Protect your mental state and remove yourself from that environment. Focus on healing and moving your life forward. You are deserving of a life filled with clean, healthy love, a life that is free of abuse of any kind. You may not be able to help your family, but you sure can help bring healing, comfort and support to others who are facing similar issues.

One of the aftereffects of suffering any kind of abuse, whether sexual, physical, verbal, emotional and or psychological, is feeling as if your life does not matter. However, when you take the time to heal, begin to develop inner strength and self-love, you will be able to now help others, thus helping to begin realizing and feeling that your life does have meaning. Do not think that because you were abused that something is wrong with you.

You are perfect, loving, strong, beautiful and deserving of more in your life. You are the difference that others seek for their lives. You no longer stand for abuse of any kind and you will no longer tolerate abuse of any kind. People need others who are strong enough to stand up for them, stand up against abuse, and stand up to their families and say, THE CYCLE OF ABUSE ENDS WITH ME!

You can now decide if you want to be around your family and to what extent. Do not allow anyone to guilt you into being around family that keeps on adding on the abuse. Keep limiting your interaction with family until you are satisfied with your healing. You can decide how much time you are going to spend with family. It is important that you establish boundaries in your life and not allow family to violate those boundaries. Yes, some family members may no longer talk to you, however, you are now your own person directing your life. And while it would be nice to be close to your family, you have learned to no longer expect anything of them or from them.

When we can relinquish the hold of family members who are constantly furthering the abuse, then we can stand in our own power, in our own life and lead our lives in the direction that we desire. You now know what is best for you, what works for you and what makes you feel safe, loved and protected. That does not mean that you do not love your family. It just means that you love you more.


About the Author:

Trudy-Ann Ewan is a Spiritual Wholistic Life Guide, who specializes in working with Women, who are seeking to heal their lives from the pains of sexual abuse, domestic violence. Women who are ready to embark on their Journey to building a balanced, wholistic and healthy relationship with themselves in order to create and live a passionate, powerful life. To read more from Trudy-Ann, feel free to visit her website: []. Feel free to contact Trudy-Ann Ewan via the website if you are interested in any of her Speaking and/or Coaching Services.

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During World War II when Italy was fighting on the side of the Axis, a certain number of American aviators were shot down over Sicily and Southern Italy near Naples. Those that were taken prisoner by the Italians found something interesting ..the welcome mat was out !!! The Italians were so interested in making connections and building friendships with Americans living in Chicago, New Jersey, Rochester, and Pittsburgh that they forgot they were in the middle of a war. Family was family, war or no.

Even the Germans were quick to explore connections across the war zone. Chicago had a huge German population. Again, they were more interested in exploring family connection than fighting a war.

That was way back in 1942. Since then, the world family has expanded beyond belief. In every country, there are people that have friends and relatives living all over the world. A family living in Rochester NY may have close friends and relatives living in Salerno, Italy, Naples, Italy, and many points located elsewhere around the world. Even now, there are huge segments of our population that have relatives in Viet Nam, China, India, Russia, and Korea.

How do they stay in touch? The long distances and high costs of global travel make it impossible. So, they now can do the next best thing. They can set up an electronic “family room.” The “family room” is always open. All a family member has to do is log on to the conference, and in three minutes or less, he or she is in the room along with all friends and relatives located all over the world. They can exchange their latest photographs, and even show videos of themselves to all family members. The “family room” is the next best thing to being there in person. Even friends and acquaintances can be invited in, no matter where they live. For example, look at these family events that can be displayed:

Julie living in Rochester NY just had twins. Her husband Steve just took some awesome videos of her in the hospital. Through Secure Webconferencing, the whole family gets into the “family room” to see the new twins and have a celebration, no matter where they are in the world.

Sam just bought a new house in Oakland, New Jersey. With his video camera and Secure Webconferencing, he takes the entire family on a tour of the whole house, especially the swimming pool and the basement rec room. Awesome !!!!!

Jeffery and Linda just got engaged. What better way is there for the whole families of the engaged couple to get together and meet one another than over a “family room” – or maybe more than one “family rooms”

Getting the family together, no matter where they live has never been easier. All you have to do is just sign up with one of the many webconferencing programs that are available today. The program you select will give you the sign up URL and the methods how you can get set up as a Moderator. You can then give all of your family attendees the URL to log into the conference. Your family is good to go !!!

Family counseling is a form of psychotherapy that helps families with the goal of improving their relationships and work through problems and incidents in a non threatening, impartial setting. Issues such as divorce, the death of a family member, conflicts as a result of a move, an addition to the family ie a new step parent and or step child, and others can create problems and uncomfortable situations for all family members involved, which is why family counseling is such an important tool.

The principal goal of the therapist during these sessions is to observe the interaction between family members. If a heated conflict occurs, the therapist will ask each person to describe their feelings and emotions and will ask other family members how they are coping with the disagreement and how they feel each family member is dealing with the situation. Observations made by the therapist are designed to help point out poor communication skills, and the effects of the behavior on others.

The therapist may also identify reasons why a family is unable to work through issues and conflicts on their own, including family members with underlying mental conditions, alcohol, or chemical dependencies. People with these types of issues often require additional individual counseling sessions geared towards helping them recognize, treat, and cope with these often debilitating conditions.

Within a traditional family counseling session, common issues discussed include providing and maintaining structures and boundaries, school related issues, including self esteem, bullying, and failing grades, arguing and fighting, temper tantrum, and learning how to balance distance and love. Boundaries in a family are defined as artificial lines that inidicate limits. When these boundaries are undefined or non distinct, communication breakdowns can occur that can severely impact family life for everyone involved.

Family counselors gage the boundaries or lack of boundaries within a family by examining the currently existing communication patterns between members. Questions such as how stable is the family during life style transitions, and how well do they handle change become very important during this assessment period.

Counseling sessions may be conducted with the entire family each week, or with the parents one week and the children the next. Some counselors prefer to see female family members one week and male family members another, depending on the individual dynamics of the family. Regardless of the type of counseling chosen, all concerned should know that by simply admitting that a problem exists and working to change it, they are taking the first step towards building healthy familial relationships and setting a good example for the other family members as well.

Family time is a necessity for those wishing to build happy and healthy families. Parents that take time out to eat as a family, play, read, and talk together, teach children that they matter, that relationships are worth nurturing, and that strong family bonds breed success.

Setting aside blocks allocated for family time can be very difficult for busy families. By the time everyone is home from work, school, sports, and other outside activities people are tired, playing a board game seems like the least important item on the to-do list. However, playing a board game, metaphorically, is the most important item to cross off of the list.

Family time is valuable time when parents can take time out to observe their children, follow their children, hug and kiss them, encourage, guide, and laugh. Family time is when children feel comfortable opening up to their parents; this is a time when the mood is relaxed and children feel supported, valued and loved.

Eat together

Studies have shown that the family activity with the greatest positive impact on children, is sitting down together to dinner each evening. Benefits for children include learning patience, (family members should wait for everyone to be served before eating and remain at the table until everyone is through), sitting quietly and calmly to eat, and listening attentively and participating in the conversation. If an evening meal is impossible to schedule, families can find a different meal to gather, a fun idea is to set the table later in the evening when everyone is home, and have dessert together.

Children should be included in meal preparation, setting the table, and clean-up. Although table manners must be taught and reinforced, mealtime should be a pleasant experience with a focus on togetherness. Quick behavioral reminders will reinforce good manners and then conversation can be resumed. Parents should choose to be in a good mood and not let the day’s issues weigh down the meal. After all, this is family time!

Creative planning can make the evening meal easier to put on the table and clean up afterwards. Simple meals, and meals prepared in advance and frozen, are good ways to ease the evening scramble and help keep the focus on family time, not on cooking and cleanup. Instead of spending an hour cleaning the kitchen after the meal, simple meals free up some time in the evening for togetherness.

Shut off the television and the computer

Shutting off the television in the evening helps to place the focus on the people in the house instead of the strangers on the screen. The evening hours spent interacting as a family instead of staring at the television will benefit everyone greatly and will help create warm and lasting memories.

Shutting off the television and the computer eliminates the risk that children will be exposed to damaging levels of violence and sexual content. Experts claim that violence and sexual imagery negatively change the brain chemistry of children, resulting in permanent changes in the brain’s wiring.

Set a relaxed mood

Bathe young children and put them in their pajamas. Put on some light music that isn’t jarring or offensive, this often cues a little impromptu dancing from children, always good for a laugh. No arguing, bickering, or crabbiness. Family time should be warm, joyful and happy. Parents should be demonstrative and giving, snuggle, hug, and kiss the kids and each other. Family time like this is ideal for modeling loving, kind behavior.

Find fun games and activities

The nature of children is to be fun loving and flexible and open to many ideas. Coloring, board games, guessing games, acting, playing with dolls or cars, and reading are all fun things to do together. Allow children to help set the evening agenda. One idea based on the Montessori principal of learning suggests observing the child and leading by following the child.

There are other opportunities during the day for family time

The evening is not the only option for family time. Parents should seek out other times to be together. Take the kids on the morning and afternoon dog walk, invite them to join in on gardening, ask them to help wash the car or help with the laundry. It is probably true that activities will be completed slower with kids as helpers, but their happiness far outweighs the inconvenience.

Parents who zone out each evening in front of the television or computer for hours and hours rob children of the necessary family time that they need. It is stingy of parents to choose to channel or web surf over spending time with their kids. In a blink of an eye the kids will be up and out of the house and parents will have the rest of their lives to stare blankly at a screen, alone.

Making a conscious effort to spend quality family time together is vital to the health and welfare of children. Children do not thrive if parents don’t interact with them daily. When parents choose to have kids, they automatically choose to sacrifice their time to raise their kids. Family time is a parenting tool which helps to regulate the content that children are exposed to and introduce healthier activities. Developing strong relationships with children also will build bonds that last a lifetime.

One way to look at families is to see them as an organism with its members as its different parts: metaphorical organs, skeleton, skin, blood, arteries, etc. The organism is constantly trying to remain in balance and also constantly trying to become all of what it is and to express all of what it is. And to top it all off, it’s constantly growing. Just as individuals experience personal growth, families also can experience “family growth.” A family’s members can learn new, healthier ways of interacting with each other, the family can become healthier as a unit, and the family organism can learn new ways of interacting with the rest of the world. They can’t always do it on their own, though. Sometimes they need family therapy, especially when there’s family conflict.

Family Identified Patient

When there’s family conflict and they come to family therapy, only rarely does the family think of itself as the “client.” Generally, they see one person as the one with the “problem,” and they would like the therapist to help that person feel better or behave in ways the rest of the family would like better. They do generally recognize that there might be something in the family relationships that affect that individual.

Family Conflict Can Be the Beginning of the Solution

In family therapy, it often becomes evident that something new is trying to happen in the family organism that would create “family growth.” Maybe one person in the family is super-sensitive and always upset about something, or one feels left out, or someone is getting into trouble or not doing well at school or at work. Or two people in the family are always getting into arguments with each other. Basically, something is disturbing the peace and everybody (except the disturber) just wants the disturber to stop so that the rest of the family can go about its business again. They don’t understand why this person is being so bothersome for, seemingly, no good reason.

The Disturber as a Channel for the Family to Grow

Here’s a case of an individual calling for family therapy, wanting a couple of sessions of family therapy before she could feel comfortable getting together with them for holidays. In her experience, there was constant family conflict whenever they all got together.When they were all assembled in the therapy session, she began talking about how painful it was for her when they were all together because she felt like an outsider and she felt ignored and dismissed. The others couldn’t understand why she would feel this way; they felt she was always creating trouble where there was none. Sitting with them, it was like there was a hot red wound in the family where she was and that the rest of the family felt cold. Since she was the one in pain, she spoke first.

As she and her siblings were growing up, she said, their father had been physically abusive to their mother. She was the only one in the family who felt the pain of this; the others were able to numb out around it. After this, one of the siblings said he had noticed it but it was over now and therefore she was over it, too. In contrast to the “identified patient, the other sister had gone on with her life. She couldn’t understand why the woman was still holding on to the past. None of them could understand.

Finally, the woman brought up that she had been molested by someone outside the family. This shocked everyone and they suddenly began to feel not only her pain but, in a kind of spreading of the hot red wound, the pain of everything that had happened in their family. The mother admitted her pain at being abused, the father acknowledged the pain he had caused everyone and the sister who had thought all was in the past admitted that, when she was young, she knew about her sister being molested and had felt helpless and silenced. She had felt guilty about this her whole life. Where there was a concentrated “red hotness” and a general coldness, there was now warmth and empathy for everyone. The woman who had called for family therapy now felt safe going to holiday events and the rest of the family felt comfortable having her there. The way the whole family related to each other was more authentic.

Disturbing Children Often Sense the Family’s Underlying Needs

It’s often important to find out why the disturber in the family is doing what they’re doing. Most people (maybe all people) don’t act out for no reason; there’s a need they’re desperate to have met, and they don’t believe they have any other way to meet it besides through what they’re doing. Often, they’re not aware of the need; they just feel hurt and frustrated.

Consider a family where the oldest child was constantly yelling at his younger sister, calling her stupid and putting her down. When he was allowed to speak in the session, he felt that his sister was getting all the attention from their parents. This younger sister would drone on and on about her day while there was no space for the older son to speak about his day.

The parents realized this was true, and admitted they were also kind of bored by the long-winded stories, but that they hadn’t felt comfortable making time limits. This was the first layer of the problem. When time limits were put into practice it helped the relationship between the children to some extent. However, there was another layer. At one session, the son brought up that the family was very disconnected from each other. They spent so much time working and in after- school and after-work activities that they never had time to just relax and have fun together.

The parents were dumbfounded that their young son would be aware of this. It was so true, they admitted! It was right there, but they’d never seen it. This was a great family, so they also started changing how they spent their days and weeks, dropping some activities and spending more time just hanging out with each other. The problem with the two children eased up considerably.

Family Therapy Brings a New Balance

There are endless examples where what seems to be a disturbance turns out to be the family organism trying to bring out something new that heals relationships among its members. Family therapy can help with relationships and family conflict.

Zoe Zimmermann, MA, LPC, is a licensed psychotherapist who has helped many families develop closer and more satisfying relationships among their members. Zoe also specializes in couples counseling. In addition, she is a certified EFT practitioner specializing in working with trauma, painful childhood experiences, phobias, effects of physical and sexual assault, and trauma from accidents.

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To become a family physician, men and women go through a four-year degree program, they study in an accredited family medical medicine residency program, and an additional three years of training before becoming board certified. A family physician is your one-stop healthcare expert. They treat everyone in the family and they exam, research, and diagnose medical conditions from head to toe. This type of care is called integrated care where a family doctor devises individualized health plans to treat mom, dad, and children of all ages. Family doctors treat a wide range of health conditions and they can be your primary care physicians at any point in your life. Unlike other specialties, family medicine involves coordinating all types of healthcare issues, from a common cold, pregnancies, to treating an acute or chronic illness.

Family physicians must practice at the highest level of medical care throughout the world. They are required to become re-certified around every six years, through American institutions like The American Board of Family Medicine, The American Academy of Family Physicians or the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education, all of which have reciprocity agreements throughout the globe for family medicine training. A few of the advantages in being seen by a primary care physician, includes the following:

• family doctors have all of your personal and family medical history because they have been treating you for years.

• physicians that have seen generations of family members can help in researching various genetic diseases, like cancer, if it appears more than once in a generation.

• doctors involved in family medicine environments can perform minor surgical procedures without the added cost of seeing a specialist.

• they improve the lives of the underserved in America and abroad.

Research and clinical studies have proven that U.S. and worldwide primary care physicians have been responsible for lowering the world mortality rates in diseases, such as in cardiovascular diseases, cancer, diabetes, low birth weight issues, obesity, and many other illnesses and health conditions. The statistical results associated with the care provided by family physicians, have proven that they help to increase life spans and control diseases from spreading. Their participation in healthcare has reduced healthcare expenditures, they help to lower hospital admissions, emergency room admissions, and they help to reduce surgical costs.

A family doctor focuses on preventive care, community oriented care, global health, plus they diagnose and manage a wide range of health problems to improve the quality of care in local, rural, urban, and large city health. Even if people are generally healthy, patients benefit by keeping a relationship with their primary care physicians. The physicians support individuals to stay healthy through dietary programs, they encourage their patient’s to exercise to stay physically and mentally healthy.

One of the main reasons that family medicine works, is the relationship that patients have with their doctors. This specialized and confidential relationship is great for individuals who feel comfortable in talking about their medical health with their physicians. Physicians around the world, are available to answer their patient’s questions in a way that forms a trusting bond. This bond creates a trusting relationship, whereby patients will listen and follow their healthcare provider’s advice and directions, thus decreasing chances of spreading contagions.

Family medicine is all about treating the whole person, not just their symptoms. A family physician has a profound effect on the physical, mental, environmental, emotional, and spiritual health of each of their patient’s. Physicians with an intimate knowledge of their patients can help introduce the healing power of hope, love, faith, and trust, as life presents challenges that can evoke depression, fear, grief, and anger. Also, if a physician’s patient requires the need to see a specialist, a family doctor will help coordinate your care. Patients can often feel frustrated and confused when they have to manage the healthcare system on their own. With a family healthcare provider on your side, the whole medical care journey is made easier and less frightening of the unknown.

Refugees have always fled to foreign countries, including the U.S. for a chance of better opportunities for themselves and their family. The present global news events are following refugees today, who are fleeing from their native countries for various reasons. Before being accepted for resettlement, all refugees must pass medical screening examinations, which is often performed by primary care physicians. The physicians perform a thorough examination of a variety of health problems that involve the mental and social health of the refugees. The family doctor’s check for infectious diseases, chronic illnesses, the refugee’s overall musculoskeletal system, and parasites, thus providing immunizations. The information that they gather is shared with that country’s main health agency, which in the U.S. Is the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Keller Primary Care Physicians have all of your personal and family medical history because they have been treating you for years.

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Family problems can cause untold suffering and emotional problems. They can lead to depression, anxiety and even substance abuse. These problems are often very complex so timeliness can be crucial to a good counseling outcome -the sooner therapy is started, the better.

Conflicts like these often cause people to seek psychological or marriage counseling. However, they usually procrastinate, making a beneficial outcome more difficult. Find a therapist who provides an appointment within 7 days. Leveraging motivation by using immediacy in obtaining treatment is crucial to a good result.

Married couples can experience problems because of physical or mental health problems in either person, or in one of their children. Parent-child problems can also create turmoil. For these reasons, it can be helpful if your therapist is a psychologist; psychologists can administer diagnostic tests which can get to the heart of any psychiatric or mental health problems.

It’s important that the spouses or family members stay in therapy long enough to get a substantive benefit. Treatment must be affordable. Family members can secure limited services through Employee Assistance Programs offered through the workplace. These services are typically free and are offered through the Human Resources Dept.

If counseling involves the treatment of psychological disorder(s), health benefits plans will pay for all or some of it. In this instance, seek a therapist who only requires the co-payment at each visit.

Some require that you pay the entire fee, only to be reimbursed later based on the amount your insurance company eventually pays. This is not the standard of practice in the era of managed care; pay only the co-pay. Your therapist should wait for the balance of the payment through the insurance company.

Of course, your responsibility is to do all you can to facilitate that payment by providing the insurance company with any requested information. Respond to such inquiries promptly so your counselor will get paid.

Testing is considered part of an assessment- the first stage of counseling. During this stage the therapist is evaluating the current status of the problems. What are they? He evaluates communication patterns, built-in biases and stereotypes, the existence of psychiatric dysfunctions, problem-solving skills and the levels of empathy that are demonstrated by family members.

Communication and discipline problems between parents and children are very common and can make marital problems even worse. Divorce and the creation of stepfamilies also create difficulties. Often, the couple itself is the problem because of poor communication, continuous conflict, alienation, sexual problems or even in-law problems.

Problems like these often lead to adjustment issues. Since the family relationships are central to the problem, it may be necessary to change their underlying dynamics. A family therapist often provides marriage counseling or family therapy to address these issues as well as to help parents improve their parenting skills. Sometimes multiple problems exist such as, depression in one family member, plus conflict in the marriage itself.

The second stage of treatment is the goal-setting stage. At this stage, the counselor and family members specify behavioral changes towards which to work. These can include increase in levels of demonstrated empathy, the use of negotiation techniques, the demonstration of positive reinforcement and appreciation and the more frequent use of forgiveness.

The last stage of counseling is implementation. This stage includes the development of a plan of action to get the family members from where they are to where they WANT to be. Several counseling approaches may be necessary in these circumstances, including interpersonal and empathy training, cognitive modification and role playing and role reversal. The therapist may ask the clients to use diaries, logs, charts, graphs etc to practice specific the new behavioral skills in their everyday lives.

Does the counselor ever see an individual family member separately from the family sessions? Only infrequently, will a psychologist provide individual psychotherapy to one member of the family, and simultaneously treat the whole family or the couple. However, one exception is that treatment related to child behavior problems will often include individual sessions with the parents to impart parenting skills.

However, these sessions are designed to help with parenting skills only. While it is possible to provide individual psychotherapy to two family members separately, psychologists evaluate its possible effectiveness on a per case basis.

Psychologists who provide family therapy or marriage counseling often have received specialized training in family counseling theory and in family and marriage therapy skills. When you contact a psychologist for family or marriage counseling, do not hesitate to ask about his/her training in marriage and family therapy techniques.

The family is the micro unit of the larger society. Success in family life is critical to success in the society. As a result, the pursuit of success in family life is something we all should be anxiously engaged in.

Those working to build their own families through marriage spend an awful lot of time, energy and money preparing for their wedding instead of preparing for the marriage. It is more troubling because while busying about their wedding, they think and feel that they are preparing for their marriage. These are two different things. A wonderful wedding do not contribute anything at all to a great marriage which is the only road to a successful family life. For those who are not yet married, efforts in preparing for marriage would pay more dividends if it is employed in learning the purpose, principles and practices of marriage according to the author of the marriage and family life, God the Creator.

There are five key tips that can support your effort in attaining a successful family life namely:

· A firm foundation

· Commitment

· Teamwork

· Respect

· Forgiveness

A Firm Foundation

Just like physical structures such as buildings need a foundation that is firmly established to stand the test of time, windstorms, rains and other natural vicissitudes, a family need a firm foundation to be able to stand and grow and provide the platform for people to attain a successful family life.

For some families, this could be a philosophy they came together and formed and decided to live on as their guiding light. For others, it is religion. For some families, it may be a book. However, from my own experience and with some people I have been acquainted with, the Judeo-Christian Bible and some other scriptures used by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints are where they draw the ideology that cements firmly on the ground their family foundation.

The Bible contains information, ideas and strategies God Himself established which represent a firm foundation for building a family.

Faith in God is one of the foundational elements for joyful relationships.


Raising a family is a tough job. It is fraught with challenges. One of the key attitudes towards raising a family is commitment. Commitment also means dedication, promise, vow, obligation, guarantee, duty, responsibility, etc. This attitude is so important that it seems everything else depends on it. It is not possible to attain success in family life without seeing the creation and sustaining of the family life as your responsibility, an obligation and a cause that you have dedicated the whole of your life to. Failure at the family level rubbishes all other forms of successes we can claim as human beings. A commitment to live and die for your family is the only way to feel and think about your family. It must be total. As you think about starting your own family or as you run the one you have now, one thought should pervade all others – I live and die for this family.


When you have not decided to marry, you are a lone-ranger. But when you get married, you have formed the nucleus of what might become one of the greatest teams in the whole wide world. The word team also means squad, group, unit, etc. The word work also means effort, labour, toil, action, exertion.

A marriage relationship is sustained by a team effort, labour, toil, action and exertion. For many couples, marriage relationship is a competition. It should not be so. To have a successful family life, you should work as a team. Think about a typical soccer team. They win only as they work as a team. Think about the relay race team, they win only when they work as a team.


Respect also means reverence, veneration, high opinion, regard, value deference, admiration, etc. Mutual respect is one of the foundational elements for joyful relationships. Mutual respect is so critical in a marriage relationship that I strongly recommend that if people in a dating relationship could not respect each other totally, that relationship should be cut at the point of realization of disrespect from any of the partners. It is challenging to maintain a state of mind of mutual respect. However, if your desire is to attain a successful family life, you need to learn to respect your spouse and this respect should be mutual.


Forgiving those who wrong you is more relieving than the most powerful pain relieving drug on earth. In our efforts and attempts to build a family which involves marriage – a fusion of two different people – think about what happens during the scientific process of fusion – leading to the bringing into the scheme other lives. The process uses heat and also produces heat in the form of arguments, offences and quarrels. All these are necessary challenges of building the most important purpose of the life on earth – a family life. We offend one another – our spouses and children and parents – during this process.

Those who are married for even a few months can attest to the fact that there is always some form of misunderstanding in the process of building a family life.

The challenges may come from family finance, extended family, neighbours, environmental issues, religion, etc. There myriads of sources for problems on the road to building a family life.

The only known cure for these and other challenges of family life is forgiveness. Being right, logical, emotional and deeply sure about the issues on hand cannot help here. Even the apologies of one or both of the spouses cannot help. The only known panacea is forgiveness.

Forgiveness frees both partners and helps them regain the energy and focus required to continue in the process to work for and achieve success in family life.

At present I am theorizing and practicing advanced forgiveness both in family life and in my dealings with all that I have business with.

Think about it.

Francis Nmeribe works out of Nigeria, West Africa and coaches on early retirement planning, multiple sources of income, relationships and personal development. He is the author of a number of bestsellers including “Retire Early To Wealth & Fame, Dating 101: Principles & Practice, Why When And How To Start A Business While Working Full Time, Sex And Responsibility, etc. Visit his blog [] or contact him through email at and or phone +2348178008112.

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Family Tree provides detailed information on the families past history. To organize your research you need to create a worksheet of your family tree. There are many tools to use to help start the process of your family tree, they are not expensive and widely available, and they are great tools for organizing. Studying genealogy will give you the knowledge you will need to understand your ancestry, and it will help in creating the family tree. The family tree is a graphical representation of how the family fits and is related to each other. To make it easier it is a good idea to separate the generations, this will make it easier for tracing the family roots. By seeing the generations it is a good rule of thumb of you your family tree will be formed and how extensive it is. Use a family tree to elaborate on how each of us is connected to each other. The family tree is a great tool for showing children how the family is related plus it give a perspective of how the family was formed..

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