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Counseling/family problems

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Question
My sister 58 and niece 32 are both receiving counseling and medication for depression and anxiety.  Neither is able to work at this time as they are so unstable.

Their relationship has become very emotionally volatile.  Thankfully, they have agreed to spend some time apart.  (My niece is an adult and does not live with her mother.)

I am the main source of emotional support for each of them (in addition to their counselors and spouses).  

My question is this:
What advice can you give me so that I can be supportive of them but not get dragged into the drama?  The only thing I can think of is to be a good listener, not give advice, and not repeat what the other one says to me.  Do you have any additional guidance that you can offer?

I am feeling at a total loss right now emotionally.

PS:  To complicate things, the family matriarch (mom to my sister and I; grandmother to my niece) died only weeks ago.  That has only made things worse given everyone's fragile state.

Answer
Hi Carol,

Thank you for asking me a question and first and foremost my condolences to you and your family.  I do understand that you are currently in a state of coping not only to the death of someone in the family but with mental and emotional disturbances that your sister and your niece are both experiencing.  

To make things light for you, you are doing a great job of becoming a listener to both of them and rephrasing all their heartaches which of course, it may take time for them to really see how things are happening.  This is a good start I know but of course it could drain you as well.  I guess, that is the reason why you are looking for another ways, right?

Considering the level of maturity of your sister and your niece and how close the knit is between you and them, you may want to consider your ability to distance from them.  Space is a good means to be able to find out how they would response to their emotional and mental level.  That is; you want to make sure that they are not all dependent on you.  You want them to get heal by giving them activities that would take away the level of depression.  You can spend time with them to show how beautiful to walk out on a hot sunny day, enjoy a bike ride and/or to make sure at least they are having a great time to eat a simple meal.  This is a means to give them options or choices that would lead them to be proactive rather than inactive.  When you helped them plan their day they would see that they have something to do instead of dealing their heartaches and losses.  

I hope this can be of benefit to you and your family.  May GOD be with you.  I am not sure if you are prayerful but of course, this is the best defense I can give you.  Align yourself with GOD :) Take care and have a great day.  

Maia  

Counseling

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Maia

Expertise

I can answer any counseling concern related to coping with stress, emotional imbalance, sibling rivalry, marital relationship, spiritual confusion that affected/affecting and will affect your well-being. I am not the usual "what is in the box!" type of counselor. I am very polite and gentle but direct to help you understand your situation. I also use pastoral technique to help you understand that human needs supernatural power from the source in order to cope with stressors. Please be informed that I am very much welcoming in any questions you would like to ask but PLEASE DON'T BE RUDE in the stating the subject/concern. ANY FOUL LANGUAGE can restrict me to entertain your queries. Thank you very much.

Experience

I am a Counselor with BS Behavioral Sciences degree. I have experienced in counseling both individual and groupd sessions. I have conducted a lot of workshops related to peer counseling and healthy mind body and spirit related topic. I did a couple of thesis counseling session when I used to work in a Medical College. I have been commended for my research work. My passion is to listen and be able to assist anyone who needs problem-solving solution.

Organizations
Psychological Educators' Society (2001-2004)

Education/Credentials
BS Behavioral Sciences Counselor for 5 years Researcher for 2 years Psychometrician for 2 years Adept in counseling, use of psychological testing and administration and interpretation/use e-clectic technique

Awards and Honors
Graduated with Honours (CLINICAL OFFICE ASSISTANT)

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