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  • Writer's pictureMona Cooley

Scared of Being Bashed

“I am scared I am going to be bashed” – This statement has been mentioned to me several times. Loved ones think if they were to participate in a family meeting, or have family attending sessions due to conflict, they feel they will be bashed. During family meetings, loved ones thought they were going to be bashed, but were pleasantly surprised that was not the case, instead, it was about listening to each other and each having a voice in the conversation. It is about “how to” approach situations with each person accountable for the approach they take. Blaming such as, “They did this,” “you did that” are the phrases used. I know what it feels like to be blamed; it doesn’t feel good. The automatic reaction is to defend your case and listening is not the first reaction. As soon as you hear – “YOU did this,” it triggers a reaction. If it was said this way, “I feel frustrated when being blamed for the problem,” others will be more open to hearing the frustration. Each family member is learning how to express what they feel and think so others will be open to listening to what is said. Then the person hearing it learns “how to” respond to what is being said so they feel heard as well. This is what happens. The body language or tone of voice can trigger a reaction. Ask yourself the following questions: Do you listen to yourself? Do you see what you are presenting to others? Do you know how what you are presenting is perceived or do you know how to listen so others feel heard? Everyone in the family is responsible for listening, understanding and validating each other. It is not about bashing, it is about LUV - Listen, Understand, Validate.

Cool Family Solutions Method towards mental health and well-being is:

1) Referral

2) Family

3) Education

4) Program

5) Independence

Bringing in the family as part of recovery and giving them the right tools to cope and problem solve through education, enables their loved one to move towards building a healthier future and better connections between them.

When a family member initially attends a session, he or she may discover that their loved one feels hopeless, stressed and unable to understand what they can and can’t do in their situation. Many people don’t learn the skills and tools they need to cope with their new situation.

A client explains how they felt initially going through the CFS Method. They were asked how this process helped them the most:

“It’s your approach with people. I will never forget the first night I attended the support group. I sat there feeling like my whole world was crashing in on me, kind of like a severely injured bird. Then you as the facilitator gently made suggestions and ask questions that made me think and answer to myself what I needed to know in order to move forward. And when it finally sunk into my brain that this was something I could not fix and realized I had to look after myself, it was like a miracle happened for me. You never tell us what we should do. You can make people open up to themselves and others and help lift the fog that clouds their troubled minds. You know how to be stern and compassionate at the same time. You are such a clear thinker. You have a way of bringing things to the surface to be dealt with that one cannot do on their own. I think you’re amazing and absolutely the best at what you do.”

The purpose of our sessions is to guide attendees in “how to” approach their situations so it works for everyone. Bashing and blaming does not solve anything. Those who attend realize quickly it is more about focusing on the participant in the class and how they are going to approach their situations. They learn the only control they have is, “what they feel, think, say and do.” Bottom line: it is about “how to” build relationships, not break them.

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