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Anchored. Podcast Episode 1 - We Are Family? Changes in Family Dynamics & Structure

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Anchored. is MFLN Family Development’s NEW podcast created to support and inspire those connected to military families. Each episode focuses on real life struggles and topic areas that many families encounter. We invite you to sit back, relax and get Anchored.with us!

Presenter Bio

Jeff Bickers graduated from Valdosta State College with a BS in psychology, a MS in Sociology and a Post-Master's Certificate in Marriage and Family Therapy.  Jeff was the counselor/program director on the Adolescent Unit at Greenleaf (elaborate) from 1990-95.  He became a licensed Marriage & Family Therapist in Georgia in 1996. Jeff also worked at Charter Augusta, an acute/residential hospital, as a Family Therapist from 1995-2000. Recently, Jeff has been in private practice since March, 2000 at Valdosta Psychiatric Associates.  

The Quote

"We have more ways to communicate now than we ever have, through email, text, telephone, but we don’t know how to talk to each other."

Noticeable Changes

Jeff talks about the changes he's seen in regard to the prevalence of more blended families and lesbian/gay couples with children. He elaborates on the changes within military families due to more deployments since 2001, individuals suffering from PTSD coming back from deployment and military families leaving/transitioning to other military bases.

Unforeseen Barriers and Things I've Learned

I've had to learn not to try and formulate what has to happen in the therapy room and to not make assumptions. You have to learn to ask more questions until you have the knowledge you need. I've had my fair share of experience with learning that there times to ask certain question and times where they aren't appropriate.

Jeff's Advice

  • Client's want you to get to know them, to spend time understanding who they are as individuals.
  • You have to have a sense of humor, to be able to make fun of yourself, and bring lightheartedness into a sometimes difficult situation.
  • Be adaptable. You will find yourself turning people off or away by being rigid or judgmental. Things are not always going to go as you thought they would in the therapy might even find them going in an even better direction than you imagined.
  • You have to take care of yourself before you can take care of others. You can't take the issues client's are struggling with home with you. And that is hard. It is something you will continually have to make a conscious decision about.
Cover Photo Image: Flickr [Decaying boats and an rusty anchor at Sheldrakes, Heswall, Wirral by Beverly Goodwin, October 15, 2013, CCO]

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