Reaching Out To Estranged Family Members
UPDATE: Colleen contributed to the article: Expert Tips for Reaching Out To Estranged Family Members, by Alexandria Brooks, writer for Women’s World
When it comes to estranged family members and reaching out to them, there are many different ways to do so. Some people may be able to get through to their loved ones without any problem at all, while others may need a little more help. In this article, we will look at some steps that you can take to try to contact your estranged relatives.
- Be proactive and make a plan. Now that you’ve decided to contact your estranged family members, it’s time to prepare and know what exactly you’re looking for from the relationship. Chances are you’re experiencing a variety of emotions so be sure to take time to think through how you want to approach them. Address your own feelings about reconnecting with them and why you want to reestablish communication before you meet with them. You may want to consider contacting a professional counselor or therapist who can help guide you in terms of how best to proceed.
- Be clear and concise in your communication. It’s important to be clear and concise when communicating with your estranged family members. You’ve planned what you want to say, being sure to have your facts straight, and given thought to your feelings. Now it’s time to share what led you to contact them. Be straightforward — don’t try to justify or explain yourself as this will only lead to more confusion. And if they ask questions, answer honestly but keep your responses short and simple. You’re not trying to convince them of anything, just sharing what’s on your mind. Remember, It is their choice whether or not to accept your invitation to reconciliation.
- Be understanding and respectful. Don’t go into the conversation expecting too much from your family members. They may not want to talk about certain things at first, so give them time to think before asking for specific details. Also, don’t assume they’ve already processed their feelings. Respect the fact that your family members may need time to work through some stuff themselves. Be patient and understanding.
- Don’t expect immediate results. Most likely you’ll get little to no response at first. It could take weeks or months for family members to respond, depending on the situation. Don’t give up hope though; there is always a chance they’ll eventually decide to talk with you again. In the event, you don’t receive a positive response, it’s important that you don’t let it affect your decision. If a relationship with your estranged family member is what you’re seeking, don’t stop reaching out. Your goal should be to maintain your connection without being pushy or demanding.
- Take care of yourself mentally and physically. You’ve made the decision to reconnect with your family members, which means you’ve taken an active step towards healing. This can take a mental toll on you, especially if you haven’t seen them in years. Be sure to take breaks throughout the day to relax and recharge. Try to avoid getting caught up in negative thoughts and focus on the positives. Surround yourself with friends and loved ones for support as you prepare to start talking with your estranged family members. Keeping yourself healthy will help you gain a healthier outlook on your situation. You are in control of your life and you deserve to feel good about yourself and the decisions you make.
- Seek professional help from a qualified counselor or therapist. If you find yourself struggling to cope with the emotional stress of reconnecting with your estranged family members, seek counseling from a trained professional. Counselors can provide guidance and support while helping you identify and overcome any obstacles that might stand between you and your family members. A licensed counselor can also help you understand your options and determine the best way forward.
Get Support From A New Heights Mental Health Professional
Our staff at New Heights Counseling wants you to know, that help is available. Call us today at (850) 757-1552 or visit our website at New Heights Counseling to schedule an appointment with one of our counselors who specializes in helping people with relationship issues. Check out our staff bios on our website at meet our team. Our counselors will develop a plan of action with you, so you can be confident in your approach with your family member. We walk alongside you at whatever pace you’re comfortable with.
New Heights therapists are professionally trained to help people who struggle with family relationships. Whether you or another member of your family is separated from parents, siblings, children, spouse, partner, or other relatives, we can help. We offer free initial consultations to all new clients. Call us today to set up an appointment.
- Family Estrangements: What You Need From Therapy, Psychology Today, Vinita Mehta Ph.D., Ed.M.
- Estrangement: Definition, Causes, & What You Can Do, Choosing Therapy, Tanya J. Peterson NCC
- Mental Health and Exercise, The Link Between the Two!, Colleen Wenner, Founder & Director of New Heights Counseling
Other Mental Health Services Offered At New Heights Counseling
The staff at New Heights provides counseling for a wide range of issues such as divorce, separation, family problems, parenting skills, anger management, anxiety, depression, stress, grief, loss, addiction, abuse, trauma, Post-traumatic Stress Disorder, self-esteem, confidence, body image, eating disorders, and many more. We want to be able to provide you with the best solution for your problem and we will work together towards achieving that. We’re here to help you improve your life by giving you the tools to make better decisions.
We are located in Okaloosa County on the 2nd floor of WorkSpace Suites at 1992 Lewis Turner Blvd, Suite 1057, Fort Walton Beach, FL 32547. Get directions here on Google Maps or visit our office location webpage. Our office hours are Monday through Friday, 8 AM to 4 PM. Evenings/Weekends by appointments. Call (850)757-1552.
About the Author:
Colleen Wenner founded New Heights Counseling, in order to provide counseling services for individuals struggling with relationship concerns and mental health issues. She is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor and a certified supervisor in Florida. She is also an EMDR trauma-certified practitioner and consultant in training. Colleen and the therapists at New Heights Counseling are committed to providing excellent client care and services the Fort Walton Beach, Crestview, Niceville, Destin, and surrounding communities.