How to Make a Strong Family: A Person-Centred Approach

Written for parents and professionals and other readers who work with families by a counsellor of many years’ experience in mental health as a psychiatric nurse, psychiatric social worker, counsellor and tutor of counselling skills, the book explores what it means to be a strong family from a person-centred perspective; where the family and not the child is at the centre.

The first eleven chapters explore strong families related to bonding and attachment; the living person-centred family; seven family principles; commitment to the person-centred family; appreciation and affection; spiritual well-being; time together and commitment to the family; understanding people; healthy communication in person-centred families; how strong families manage stress; and encouraging independence. The final chapter contrasts person-centred and dysfunctional families.

Written in a direct and easy-to-read style the author engages the reader in discussion which informs rather than lectures. In keeping with person-centred philosophy, the author puts the reader at the centre and demonstrates the principles of which he is writing; by so doing, he encourages readers to consider their own values and beliefs about families.

The author believes that person-centred parents respect and instil in their children a belief in their uniqueness and worth. And they do this by demonstrating the core qualities of affection, empathy, genuineness, unconditional positive regard, and non-possessive warmth, and by helping their children to reach their potential. Conversely, the characteristics of a dysfunctional family contrast markedly with those of strong, person-centred families in almost every aspect. The qualities enshrined in the person-centred family are foreign to the parents who raise dysfunctional families, and whose children’s self-esteem buckets are so full of holes that they have little self-esteem.

The author states that parents cannot be praised or blamed for their parenting styles; parents who create strong families have gifts and qualities that have been denied to parents who create dysfunctional families. Children from strong families are blessed and have much to contribute to society, and they do so.

Children from dysfunctional families need not perpetuate the dysfunctional cycle; with help through family therapy they can reverse the damage done – if they have the will to travel the long road to wholeness. As they experience the core qualities enshrined in family therapy they, too, can learn to create strong families. As they emerge from the dark shadow of dysfunction, they will find that they have much to offer people who themselves are struggling to break free from the shackles of dysfunction.

Available as a Kindle ebook from Amazon