ADVANTAGE BEHAVIORAL HEALTH - MAIN

Five Facts about Family Feuds

Are constant feuds causing a lot of drama in your family? Unfortunately, arguments with family members are all too common. You can resolve family feuds by knowing the facts about family relationships. Read the five facts about family feuds listed below, and determine whether you think the statements are true or false. Then, read the explanation of each answer.

True or False: Four-letter words always have four letters.  
Answer: False
Most people associate four-letter words with profanity, but four-letter words can be other words too, such as ugly words or words that can easily be put downs. Adult versions of four-letter words may include statements like, “you never…” or “why do you always…” or “You ought to…” or “Why can’t you…” Comments and questions like these can easily cause destruction in relationships.

True or False: Acts of kindness will erase meanness.
Answer: False
Kind words and acts of kindness can benefit relationships, but one bouquet of flowers does not erase a week of bitterness. One snide or spiteful comment, such as those mentioned above, can erase the past twenty acts of kindness.

True or False: Children can find solutions to their problems.
Answer: True
This applies to children of kindergarten age or older kids returning home from college. At any age, children should be held accountable for trying to find a solution to their problems. Children, like adults, who are in conflict should be given the opportunity to state their view of the problem, but also their ideas for resolution before others jump in to offer their advice.

True or False: Little changes in you can mean big changes in your spouse.
Answer: True
We know if we wait for our spouse to make changes for the better, we may be waiting until the cows come home and the pigs start flying. I am sure it is easy to think of the things your spouse does to bug you. But consider your own reactions too. If you make changes in how you typically have a negative response to your spouse, he/she will notice and perhaps be inspired to make changes themselves.

True or False: It helps to withhold anger as long as possible.
Answer: False
If the statement were, “it helps to withhold negative, unnecessary anger toward a family member” then the answer would be true! But withholding anger only causes it to build up and eventually come out in an explosive manner. This behavior is always destructive and can ignite many family feuds.

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About Centerstone
Centerstone, a not-for-profit organization is the nation's largest provider of community-based behavioral healthcare. With a history that spans over fifty years, Centerstone provides a full range of behavioral health and related educational services to more than 69,000 individuals of all ages and their families annually. Children, adolescents, adults, seniors, and families all receive help from a multitude of different programs in more than 120 facilities and 150 partnership locations in Tennessee and Indiana. Centerstone is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF) in Tennessee and The Joint Commission in Indiana. For more information about Centerstone, please call toll free at (888) 291-4357.

About Susan Gillpatrick, MEd, LPC, CTS
Susan Gillpatrick, Centerstone Crisis Management Specialist, primarily works in the field with clients in critical incident response situations, and in Centerstone's wellness trainings and presentations. She is also responsible for planning and implementing marketing and growth strategies for Centerstone's Crisis Management Strategies.

In recent years, Ms. Gillpatrick worked for the Shelby County Government Victims Assistance Center in Memphis. There, she co-developed a model program for the state of Tennessee entitled, "Homicide Response." Her work in this area received the 2000 Achievement Award from the National Association of Counties.

Ms. Gillpatrick is a Licensed Professional Counselor, Certified Trauma Specialist, Certified Workplace Conflict Mediator, and Mental Health Service Provider in the state of Tennessee and a National Certified Counselor. She is also a member the American Counseling Association, the Association of Traumatic Stress Specialists, the Tennessee Mental Health Counseling Association, and the Middle Tennessee Employee Assistance Professionals Association. She is a frequent presenter at local and national conferences, and has had numerous articles published. She received her Master of Education degree in Human Development Counseling from Peabody College at Vanderbilt University.

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