Reproducible Activities to Address the Challenges Families Face Today
Although we have an idealized idea of a “perfect” or “normal” family, there really is no such thing. All families have their own unique structures, challenges and strengths. Societal changes have led to alterations of ways people now think about family life and recognize a variety of family structures. Life in these family structures can be frustrating, yet satisfying.
Family structures are continually changing. Today’s modern family quite often no longer consists of a mother, father and children in one household. Modern families are much more complex and harder to define and describe.
In order to deal successfully with all of the various issues that are present in today’s modern families, family members often need to examine and explore their family structure, patterns, relationships and traditions. The Today’s Modern Family Issues Workbook provides assessments and self-guided activities to help family members explore old patterns of interaction and behavior which may no longer be effective, and identify ways to develop more effective interactions and behaviors. Many choices of self-exploration assessments and activities are provided for family members to use collaboratively with other family members to develop a healthy family unit.
The Today’s Modern Family Issues Workbook is designed to be used either independently or as part of an integrated curriculum. You may administer any of the assessments and the guided self-exploration activities to an individual or multiple family members with whom you are working, or you may administer any of the activities over multiple sessions. Feel free to pick and choose those assessments and activities that best lead to the outcomes you desire. The assessments and activities are divided into four chapters to help you identify and select assessments easily and quickly:
Chapter I: Family Identity
This chapter helps family members determine how effective they have been in establishing a new family identity of their own.
Chapter II: Getting Along
This chapter helps family members explore how well they get along, communicate and resolve conflicts that arise.
Chapter III: Connecting
This chapter helps family members identify how committed they are to each other, and how often they are tolerant and enjoy spending time to each other.
Chapter IV: Rules & Boundaries
This chapter helps family members explore how successfully the discipline, rules and boundaries have been established for the family unit.
About the Authors:
Ester Leutenberg has worked in the mental health profession for many years as an author, publisher and as an advocate for those suffering from loss. She personally experienced a loss when her son Mitchell, after struggling with a mental illness for eight years, died by suicide in 1986.
Soon after, as a way of both healing and helping others, she co-founded Wellness Reproductions & Publishing with her daughter Kathy Khalsa. Ester began developing therapeutic products that help facilitators help their clients. She is the co-author of theSEALS series for teenagers as well as Meaningful Life Skills for older adults, and the eight-book Life Management Skills series for adults.
Ester, a breast cancer survivor since 2003, has counseled other survivors in overcoming body-loss issues. Her involvements with Survivors of Suicide, the Coyote Task Force in Tucson, various support groups in Sun City Oro Valley and volunteering at two hospitals are among many ways she continues to feed her passion of helping mentally ill people, their facilitators and their families.
John J. Liptak is the Associate Director of Career Services and adjunct instructor in the Counselor Education Department at Radford University. He received his EdD in Counselor Education from Virginia Tech. He has worked in a variety of settings including a federal prison, a mental health center, a job training program, and now in higher education.
Dr. Liptak frequently conducts workshops on assessment-related topics. He has written seven books on career-related topics that have been featured in numerous newspapers including The Washington Post, The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and the Associated Press. His work has also been featured on MSNBC, CNN Radio and on the PAX/ION television series, "Success Without a College Degree."
At Radford University, he works with college students entering internships or preparing for graduation and entrance in the workplace. Through individual coaching sessions, workshops, and classroom presentations he helps students develop the emotional intelligence skills they need to be effective in the world-of-work. He is teaching a senior-level course that will teach emotional intelligence skills to graduating seniors.
With Kathy Khalsa and Ester Leutenberg, John has written three comprehensive books for teachers and counselors to use with their students and clients: The Self-Esteem Program, The Social Skills Program, and The Stress Management Program: Inventories, Activities & Educational Handouts. With Whole Person Associates, he and Ester continue to co-write books to add to their Mental Health & Life Skills Workbook series, and their Teen Mental Health Series as well as the new Coping Series, the Mind-Body Wellness Series, and the Family Issues Series.
John resides in Radford, Virginia with his wife Kathy, and their Shih Tzu named "MacKenzie."