Bonnie’s elderly mother lived with her brother in a neighboring town. He oversaw their mother’s finances, living situation, medical appointments, and activities.
During one of Bonnie’s regular visits with her mother she became aware that her brother was taking unreasonable amounts of money out of their mother’s checking account to “cover expenses” and “pay for the grandchildren’s college funds.” Bonnie’s mother had no idea how much money she had, how much her son was taking, or how much her monthly expenses even were.
With some planning and preparation, Bonnie reached out to her other siblings and together they confronted their brother. It didn’t go well. He angrily listed all the things he’d done for their mother and everything he’d “given up” to take care of her.
“She owes me,” he screamed at his siblings, “and she owes me a lot more than this.”
Family dynamics, which are molded and formed over decades and generations, can be complicated, painful, and difficult. Often, it’s impossible for these engrained ways of thinking and behaving to change without enlisting the help of someone outside the dynamic. Peak to Peak Counseling’s therapists are skilled at working with families to create a calm and cooperative environment where issues can be clearly identified and healing and growth can begin to occur.
To be fair, it doesn’t always work. Sometimes, despite everyone’s best efforts, families become estranged, and the only option left is to let go and grieve the loss.
In the case of Bonnie’s family, after the initial flare up, the family was able to reach out for help. After the creation of a calmer situation, family counseling helped everyone to understand that the underlying issue was that Bonnie’s brother had taken on more than he could handle. The siblings came together and rallied around their mother and brother, providing resources and support. A third-party financial advisor was hired to sort through their mother’s finances, and a plan was created for sharing their mother’s care responsibilities. Working together, Bonnie and her family were able to create a situation that was much less stressful and much more fulfilling for everyone.
The case studies on this website are fictionalized accounts based on real situations and people Peak to Peak therapists have been honored to work with over the years.