Family Drama & Crisis

Negative Childhood ExperiencesFamily dynamics can produce drama & crisis which can affect both individuals and couples. Common issues include becoming an adult in your parent’s eyes, reconciling value differences between family members, and raising children (to name a few).

The articles below may help your current situation or you can suggest an article or get help by contacting Susan Saint-Welch HERE. She does not provide psychotherapy by email or outside California.

Choose A Psychotherapist That Fits You! The How-To!

Choose the right psychotherapist

Trying to choose a psychotherapist that fits you can feel challenging, but that feeling is normal. Beginning psychotherapy, if you’ve never done that before, can also be a bit daunting. First of all, you don’t know what it’s going to be like. You don’t know if it will work for you or if you feel it’s a good match with the therapist. What if you find out you’ve been doing things the hard way or ineffectively? You are in good company if this rings a bell for you.  No worries. Here are some tips for finding the right therapist. I…

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Mother’s Day is Not the Same for Everyone: The Good, The Bad and the Sad

Mothers Day - Good Bad Sad

Mother’s Day is consistently the second Sunday in May. However, Mother’s Day is not always the same for everyone. For some, it means a happy and festive family gathering. For others, it may signify haunting childhood memories. And still, for others, it may be filled with sadness, loss, and regret. There is no “one size fits all” or “correct ” way to experience Mother’s Day each year. However, you would never know this from the retail stores’ point of view. For them, it’s advertising “finding the perfect gift for Mom,” or flooding the stores with displays of candy and flowers,…

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Essential Tips for Dealing With Your Life Crisis (Medical, Financial, Relationship, Divorce)

Pic of person in crisis

Sometimes a life crisis (medical, financial, or a family member’s divorce) can be dealt with more easily than an ongoing unhealthy family dynamic. If you are dealing with unhealthy family issues that are ongoing, see my article entitled How To Cope With Family Drama Without Falling Apart. A life crisis often leads to family drama. Effective communication can make the difference between healthy or challenging family relationships, as well as managing family drama and scary situations. Every traumatic event has effective communication skills that work and help you focus on the issue at hand. Below are various types of situations…

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6 Communication Tips For When Your Family Is In Crisis So You Stay Away From Unnecessary Drama

Communication Tips for Family Drama

Family crises often lead to family drama. Effective communication is vital, both for dealing with the situation but also working together as a family unit as best as possible. Communication can be effective, hurtful, inflammatory, intimidating, bullying, and fearful. But effective communication really can make the difference between healthy or challenging family relationships, as well as managing family drama and scary situations. Sometimes singular medical issues, financial issues, or life events such as a divorce in the family can be dealt with more easily than an ongoing unhealthy family dynamic. I will discuss these singular issues in my next article.…

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How To Cope With Family Drama Without Falling Apart

Coping with Family Drama

Believe it or not, you most often you really can cope with family drama without falling apart. And even more than that, you can turn conflict into a productive conversation that results in the family effectively dealing with the issues at hand. Really! It’s not magic! If you are dealing with a toxic family member, no worries. You can still find a way to set healthy boundaries to deal with toxicity.  If you are the toxic family member then pay attention to how you might be negatively affecting your family and what you can do to move forward in a…

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Do You Still Feel Like a Child in Your Parents’ Eyes? Do This!


Do your parents treat you like a child, even though you feel like an adult and have the bank account and responsibilities to prove it? Are you having more arguments with your parents over your decisions, lifestyle or values? Do you feel you are growing apart over these arguments? And then are you getting guilt trips like, “I know you are too busy with your friends to call me”. Moving the Parent-Child Relationship into Adult-Adult in the 30’s is challenging, but normal. A change occurs in the parent-child relationship when the child starts becoming an adult. For the sake of…

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Two Precious Gifts From Father To Daughter: Not What You Think!

Precious Gifts

A father is the gateway to his daughter’s future relationships with boys and eventually men or women. What are these precious gifts from father to daughter? When we think of child-rearing we often think of supporting the family through steady employment or cooking healthy meals for them. Keeping them clothed and medically cared for. We also can think beyond the basics. For example, reading them bedtime stories or having certain traditions during bath time. Or taking them on family vacations and helping them with homework. But these things are not the most important gifts: A Father’s Most Precious Gift to…

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Teen Discipline Driving You Crazy? This Proven Method Really Works!

Can’t teach your teen discipline? Do they refuse to perform the simplest chores? Do they consistently fail to do their homework? Think they will NEVER learn responsibility? Then follow this sure-fire system of earned privileges that we created for use in one of the first Emancipation Training Centers in the US. This positive parenting system will teach your teen responsibility and how the real world works. The real world is about meeting expectations and working through the challenges we experience in life that enable us to grow and to take necessary risks. We learn that failure happens and we can…

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Adult Children of Alcoholics, Depressives or Narcissistic Parents – Part 1

Adult Children who grew up with unhealthy parenting dynamics often feel “broken” – that there is something wrong or missing in them, and they do not know why. They think it must just be “ME”. On the contrary, their difficulties in coping and personality result from growing up with their unhealthy family dynamics. It is how they survived. The two articles in this series seek to reassure those Adult Children that they are not broken. But they do need to seek help to work through the effects of that unhealthy dynamic. Part 1 identifies behaviors that may result from trying…

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Heal Negative Childhood Experiences as an Adult

Negative Childhood Experiences

Negative childhood experiences stay in our memory bank in our brain. They can affect our brain function, emotions, sleep function, relationships, immune system, and even physiologically in general. We must heal these negative childhood experiences in order to have healthy relationships and to lead a fulfilling life as an adult. What We Will Not Be Discussing: I want to be clear that I am not addressing sexual, physical or any kind of abuse resulting in Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) or serious trauma. PTSD and trauma are specialties that require the professional training of a skilled therapist and or program with…

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