The Family Counselling Centre – Blog

Tackling Tough Times – Communication made easy

coaching, Family, Parenting, Self development & growth
We communicate all the time. Every minute of our waking day we are communicating something to someone somehow.  How do we do that? Most people answer by saying "we talk and use words", they are correct to a point. Communication, however, is so much more than just using words.  At our September "Let's get Talking" event at Sandi's bistro  participants uncovered what supports communication and why communication breaks down. Here now some comments from some of our participants. "My husband and I joined a welcoming and informal group to discuss how we communicate with each other, especially when times are tough.  Andrea took some time in helping us understand how communication takes place and how we give and receive messages to and from each other. " "Andrea illustrated how ... our interpretations" of things…
Read More


Family, Parenting, Self development & growth, Social Media
Young and old talking about Social Media The consensus seems to be that Social Media might be a wonderful tool however there is this underlying fear of what seemes to be vast unknown dangers. Participants between the ages of 16 and sixty joined us in our last, "Let's Get Talking", discussion. Despite the age range it became obvious that everyone had struggles with healthy integration of social media. Questions like … “What are the benefits of putting our life story online?” “How to manage teenage users?” “Social Media wastes a lot of time and at the same time can be a source of great support" … came from the participants and were discussed in detail. The varied Social Media platforms can be likened to the estination that The trick is to learn…
Read More

Body Boosting for Stress Relief

coaching, Family, Parenting
(by Leigh Johnson) TFCC’s life coach, Leigh Johnson, had the pleasure of hosting our monthly ‘Let’s Get Talking’ conversation last night. The topic was a pertinent one for our busy lifestyles: Managing Stress. What became clear from the stories of all participants was the incredible resource our bodies are – both in warning us about too much stress and in participating in the healing process itself. The impact of stress cannot be over-estimated and it is increasingly evident through statistics that show stress-related illnesses increasingly being the number one cause of premature deaths in our western societies; that we are not listening to our bodies. Every single participant at the conversation last night had experienced burnout at least once in their lives and the symptoms of this were scary. So,…
Read More

Who Are You Disciplining?

Parenting, Self development & growth
 -written by Leigh Johnson The word ‘Discipline’ is an interesting one. We all think we know what it means but when it comes down to defining it, it is actually far more elusive. An internet search too can prove just as inconclusive, with quite a variety of meanings and interpretations filling the screen. So what exactly is discipline? I’m not going to answer that question as such – partly because I suspect a large number of you have got heart palpitations right now, or glazed eyes; and partly because the official definition is not important. The word ‘discipline’ is such a heavily loaded word that its meaning will always be as wide and varied as the number of people discussing it. The meaning of this particular word is actually created individually through each of our own experiences…
Read More

Mother/Son Relationships

Family, Parenting, Self development & growth
What is unique about mother/son relationships is the general expected high regard they hold for each other.  Typical issues like the "Mommy's Boy" , the overprotective  mom or interfering mother and even the mom that replaces existing or potential spouses are well known publicly. We see sitcoms and comedy using these classic scenarios as materials for entertainment. What however is really behind them. Mothering a child is a full time job and instinct takes on a path of protecting the offspring and equipping the young ones with necessary life skills. On a side note - research shows that it does not seem to matter if it is a biological mother or an adoptive mom. Once mother bonds with the child, boys and girls, these instincts grow stronger and ideally takes…
Read More

Use, Abuse and Misuse

The internet is full of memes that illustrate the widely accepted need for some kind of alcoholic beverage to calm nerves, to celebrate, to finish the day, to relax, to reward, to surprise etc. They are trying to convince us that we are deserving and ought not to feel bad about our Sun-downers, quick drinks after work with the guys, G&T’s or Bubbly or Mommy juice. Unfortunately at The Family Counselling Centre we see a more sinister side to those memes. Mothers and fathers, filled with guilt and shame, come and sit with us in our counselling rooms. They woefully disclose how their drinking habit has changed the way they interact with their kids and their spouses. Couple after couple explain to us how “Girls Night Out” or “Thursday Drinks…
Read More

ADD/ADHD, Dyslexia, Dyspraxia, Aggression etc.

Disability/Special needs, Family, News, Parenting, Programmes
Does any of this sound familiar to you? Your child is unable to sit still, he does not follow instructions, she is so manipulative, punishment does not seem to work, her teacher thinks she might be depressed, very low concentration span, struggling with sequencing etc. Terms like ADHD/ADD, Autism Spectrum, Dyslexia, Dyspraxia seem to be brandied about quite easily and it seems like, if the child has a label or a diagnosis it might be easier to send him/her off to be treated or medicated. What if I were to tell you that there are so many otherfactors that could be influencing their behaviour and that it is not necessarily always a diagnosis that might be helpful but rather adjusting the way your child moves. The brain and the body connect…
Read More

Are you living with a special needs/disabled child?

Disability/Special needs, Family, Parenting, Programmes
Then this is for you! One of our passions at The Family Counselling Centre is disability awareness. I, Andrea Nettel, have a special heart for families living with disabilities because my son was diagnosed with Congenital Muscular Dystrophy at age 2 . He is severely disabled and needs an electric wheelchair and a service dog to function semi-independently. He is now 16, goes to Wynberg Boys High School and aside from his disability he is a normal teenager. My journey with him has made me acutely aware of the unique situations families with disabilities find themselves in. Disability, special needs, differently-abled... what does that actually mean? Well if you find yourself struggling because the system around you does not fit your family, chances are that your family has special needs. There…
Read More

Care for the Caregivers

Cargivers, Christmas, Emergency services, News, Self development & growth
This time of the year my heart goes out to all people working in caring professions. Doctors, social workers, nurses, NSRI staff, teachers, fieldworkers, police, emergency services, etc. Their plight is hard throughout the year but for some reason during the festive season I become painfully aware that, as everyone is celebrating and taking a load off, many cargivers are working hard to keep everyone safe and healthy.  (more…)
Read More