Family Caregiving Stress

Providing ongoing care to a family member with chronic or disabling conditions can be incredibly difficult. Family caregiver stress occurs when a caregiver becomes so focused on the needs of their loved one (in this case a family member) that they aren't aware of their own well-being. Symptoms of caregiver stress include irregular sleep patterns, fluctuations in weight, and feeling overwhelmed, tired, irritable or constantly worried. To manage family caregiving stress, it can help to seek support from others that are in a similar situation (e.g. a support group), or work with a professional to practice self-care, set realistic goals, set boundaries, and learn to accept help. If you are experiencing the stress of caring for a family member, reach out to one of TherapyDen’s specialists today.

Meet the specialists

There are two big components of Family/Caregiver Health: good communication and the ability to forgive. I have specialized training in what can be the difficult process of forgiving, as well as being forgiven. I also have specialized training in nonviolent communication methods. And sometimes the caregiver, or family member, just needs a private place to say all of the "awful things" that they don't think anyone else wants to hear, or should. I am happy to feel the anger, be grossed out about the icky stuff, and laugh at the foolishness with you!

— Susan Rooney, Counselor in Portland, OR

Whether it's your child, spouse, or other loved one, taking care of someone with chronic pain, illness, and/or disability can put an enormous strain your physical and mental health. I can offer insight into your loved one's experiences and provide guidance on how to improve his/her quality of life as well as yours. You have been the pillar of support for so long. If you will allow it, I will help share your burden.

— Meg Hrivnak, Marriage & Family Therapist in Kingsport, TN

Adult children who fail to launch or who fall back into the nest after setbacks can be impossible to dislodge without help. With careful, strategic planning, I help you help your child to grow up and assume their rightful place in society with confidence. You need new skills and new ways of communicating to ensure that this launch sticks. I'm here to help with that.

— Andrea Rogers, Licensed Clinical Social Worker in Los Angeles, CA

Whether your perspective is that of a child, parent, caregiver, or all of the above, the experience of being part of a caregiving unit is going to require a great deal of patience, good communication skills, diplomacy, anger management, forgiveness, goodwill and love. It's a tall order. We all need help.

— Susan Rooney, Counselor in Portland, OR

I work with families of individuals with disabilities. I understand the unique challenges that come with this role.

— Amy Jackson, Counselor in Summerville, SC

As a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, I believe that family work is just as vital as individual work when struggling with issues in the home. I work with clients typically for one hour, once per week, and that is quite honestly not enough time to make changes quickly and efficiently when working with family stress. I will be thoughtful in my recommendations on the most effective means for therapeutic growth. And that may translate to me asking for the vital supporters in a client’s life to join in sessions so that there may be ongoing work throughout the week in between sessions. This treatment resembles me supporting the caregiver so they can in turn support the client. This includes “homework” assignments and tasks to complete, and a variety of ways that the session is conducted, sometimes with the client alone, sometimes with the caregiver alone, and sometimes all together. As always, the goal is for a reduction in stress and a healthy functioning family.

— Christy Livingston, Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist in Healdsburg, CA