Reproducible Activities to Address the Change and Crisis Challenges Families Face Today
At some time or another, most families experience changes, then experience stress resulting from the changes, and then go into crisis-mode. However, not all families have a crisis as a result of the stress from change. Resilient families are able to rebound from adversity, to flex in response to the pressures and strains of everyday family life, to become stronger after the change, and to adapt with more resources at their disposal. Resiliency refers to the coping strengths of the individual members, and the combined coping strengths of the family as a whole. Families who exhibit resiliency are flexible when dealing with stress, have coping strengths that can be called upon when experiencing a stressor, and have the ability to reorganize in the face of stress to become stronger and better.
In order to maintain an effective and useful family unit, family members must develop skills for managing change, coping with stress, and building resiliency from external and internal stressors. The Family Change & Crisis Workbook provides assessments and self-guided activities to help family members explore old patterns of interaction and behavior that are no longer effective, and to 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 Family Change & Crisis 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 Changes
This chapter helps family members explore the types and intensity of the stressful changes the family is currently going through.
Chapter II: Family Stress
This chapter helps family members explore how well they are managing their current family stress and explore ways to cope more effectively with change and stress.
Chapter III: Family Crisis
This chapter helps family members explore how difficult a change can be on some or all family members and ways to manage and cope with issues and crises.
Chapter IV: Family Resilience
This chapter helps family members explore ways that the family can come together and build resilience as a family after stressful changes and crises.
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."