In today's episode we are in conversation with Dr Ilene Strauss Cohen - https://doctorilene.com - psychotherapist, author of five award winning self-help books and above all mother to two lively daughters. Ilene's publications include her most famous book, 'When It’s Never About You', and her new book, 'Anxious for Answers'. She’s a regular contributor to Psychology Today, with dedicated readers numbering in the millions.
In the discussion with Ilene we talk about life transitions and family as systems. How does a big change in a couple's or family's life impact on everyone? We discuss how the arrival of the child impacts on a couple. Having a first child is one of the biggest changes that happens to the couple relationship, yet many couples are often very unprepared for this big life change.
Another big life event that has a huge and often transformational impact on a family is the death of a family member. This is particularly true if this family member was very influential.
Ilene explores some of the idea of Bowen's Family Systems Theory. Couples and families are emotional units where each member impacts the other and is interdependent. If there is change at one end of the system, it will affect everyone else.
Ilene also highlights how to manage anxiety in the couple system. Couples in conflict are often in a high state of anxiety and need to regulate this first before they can resolve the conflict.