An angry crisis at Christmas time
Rosie experienced a very difficult upbringing with parents who were violent. She landed up in hospital with concussion more than once. So in the past, Christmas was often a time of terror for her.
This year, her mother wants her to bury the hatchet and visit together with her husband and teenage daughters. Rosie wonders whether she'll be able to contain her furious feelings and pretend that they're going to have a happy Christmas.
Brian is desperate to bring his family together for Christmas. He went through a painful divorce some years ago and has two grown-up children with whom he has some shared fond memories. However, during their teenage years there were many fights over access. Both his children resented Brian's firm opinions about discipline.
His son has just got married to a woman who doesn't want to spend Christmas away from her relatives. Brian lives 200 miles away. Brian is furious. "That woman's turned my son against me."
Both of these stories are just fragments. A counsellor can help the client explore the thoughts and feelings that lie under the surface of the anger felt by Rosie and Brian.
Possibly Rosie can bury the hatchet - but exploring the situation with a counsellor may or may not lead to that conclusion.
Possibly Brian can be helped to see the situation from his son and daughter-in-law's point of view - or maybe not.
The only certainty about situations such as these is that there will be more to both these stories than meets the eye. A counsellor can help people like Rosie and Brian decide a little more calmly and a little less angrily, what it is that they really want to do next.
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