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The Broken Valentine - A Family Divided.

Valentines Day is about love and friendship. It is often portrayed as being warm, sparkly, full of delight and excitement. Love and friendship can feel that way, but what happens when it fades or becomes broken?

What happens when parents separate or best friends hurt us? Life can suddenly feel bleak and hopeless. Anxiety and depression can set in.

 Instead of sparkles and joy there is anger and resentment. Instead of smiles there are hidden tears.  The hardest part is when our broken relationships affect those around us. Sometimes it is hard enough dealing with our own pain as we work to re-group and move on. Let alone, find the energy to care for another.

Are you going through a separation, a divorce, or a big life change as a family? The pain and the struggles are real. Child therapy, teen therapy and family therapy can help.

You can see your child is struggling but you don’t always know what to say or do? You want to be helpful, but are at a loss? You are afraid your child is bottling up their feelings in a way that could cause them further emotional harm. You’re worried that your child is feeling caught in the middle even though you do everything in your power to prevent this? “Am I seeing changes in their behaviors” you ask? “Is that anger in their voice”? Are you worried they are blaming themselves? Do you feel like there is only so much you can do as you carry on and try to work through your own pain and anger? There are so many questions and feelings to navigate. It is exhausting.

Finding the right child therapist, teen therapist, or family therapist is important as you and your family adjust to new realities.

While you may not be able to fix the situation, calm the fears (theirs and yours), or control how all parties behave or interact there are things that you can do.

·       When sorrow and pain is deep there are often few words available. So just spending time together can create a safe container for your family. Spend time together today. Let laughter find a way in. Go for a walk. Play a game. Join a short class together. For example, local rec departments often have sports, martial arts, cooking, or art classes available. Look for volunteer projects to be involved in together.

Doing things together can create a pause, strengthening and calming the nervous system. Words may not be available at this time but a felt sense of being together is.

·       As a parent you are the main safety net for your child. This may feel overwhelming. Keep it simple. Know you cannot control how your child feels, you cannot control how other people affect your child, you cannot fix everything. But you can show your child that it will be OK. Lead by example and take care of yourself. Find a support group, find a therapist, or have regular visits with good friends. Exercise, go for walks, engage with a creative part of yourself. Take a hot bath, read a book. Remember and re-connect with what fills you as a person and then do it.

When you engage in short moments of self-care it sends a message of safety to your child that things will be OK. It sends the message that they are safe and loved no matter what.

·       Create rituals or patterns of predictability. For example, what is the last thing you do together each night before bed or in the morning? Do you have a predictable morning, afternoon, or night schedule? Create a mantra you can say with your child or teen that can be repeated daily.  Read a book together before bed. Tell each other your “highs and lows of the day” at a specific time each day.

Creating a safe, nurturing, predictable environment will go a long way to helping stabilize both you and your family during this difficult time.


When outside help is needed look for a qualified therapist.

Finding the right child therapist, teen therapist, or family therapist is important.

Call Melissa Deaton Cook at Spiral Roots LLC today for more information.

Openings available. 540-416-1628

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